Pandora: Malik's final hustle
Thursday 20 March 2008
Hooray, a hat-trick! In the sporting world's most predictable result since Frank Bruno's 1996 obliteration at the hands of "Iron" Mike Tyson, Shahid Malik, the dishy International Development minister, has chalked up a third consecutive victory in the annual pool shoot-out in Annie's Bar at the Commons.
"I have done the impossible," Malik says proudly, dancing like Ali. "In three years, I've lost three frames and haven't lost a match. Next year I'm thinking about giving someone else a go." The only thing holding him back is the £1,500 jackpot he donates to constituency good causes. The victory can only heighten the desire of female parliamentarians to see the recently-married MP strip off for a 2009 Shahid Malik swimwear calendar – "The public baths of Dewsbury", perhaps.
Sex, crack, crucifixion – and now deportation from the US
The stovepipe-hatted hedonist Sebastian Horsley is better acquainted with gloomy sex shops than the bright glare of a US immigration interrogation cell. He seeks alternative experiences: in 2000 he was voluntarily crucified in the name of art. But he got more than he expected flying into New York on Tuesday for the Stateside launch of his biography.
Immigration officials at Newark Airport disliked his three-piece suit and top hat and led him off for questioning. They pulled on the latex gloves – to sift through his luggage, unsure how he would respond to closer examination. They dredged his past, bringing up the prostitutes, former addictions to heroin and crack, and work as a male escort.
Eventually they deported him under section 212 (a) (2) (A) (i) (I) of the Immigration and Nationality Act: "You are an alien... who admits committing acts which constitute the essential elements of a crime involving moral turpitude." Moral turpitude is defined as conduct contrary to "community standards" of justice and sound morals. Sodomy is often included. Perhaps he was undone by his sacking as a newspaper columnist, after an Easter Sunday article about the joys of anal sex.
Horsley, 45, arrived back in London last night. "I was questioned for eight hours," he tells Pandora. "They kept asking why I wore this hat. They said I was disgusting and should be locked up. They didn't seem too bothered about the crucifixion."
Why the long face, Nigella? Meet Saatchi's latest buy
The straw that broke the camel's back? Nigella Lawson has this week had to fend off the indignity of American television critics suggesting that her cameramen are instructed not to dwell on her curvaceous rump ("a butt like the Budweiser horse"). I hope she will not soon be the victim of an expensive practical joke by her husband, the art dealer Charles Saatchi, who must be tempted to leave his latest acquisition – this squashed camel-in-a-suitcase – in the bottom of the marital wardrobe for her to discover before their next holiday.
Saatchi bought Arabian Delight, by the Pakistani artist Huma Mulji, for £4,000 at the Art Dubai fair yesterday. Truly a snip, given the escalating prices for works by Asian artists. The sale was brokered not by Saatchi, 64, but an adviser, according to The Art Newspaper. The collector plans to include the taxidermied dromedary, made from metal rods, cotton wool and, er, camel, in his forthcoming exhibition The Empire Strikes Back: Indian Art Today. I don't know what it means, but we shall soon find out.
Lurching on stage
The Addams Family is to receive the full Broadway treatment. If successful, the production would transfer to London's West End. Marshall Brickman, the Oscar-winning writer behind the Woody Allen classics Annie Hall and Manhattan, tells me he's turning the Sixties sitcom into a musical. "We just finished the first draft and sent it to the composers," he said at the West End opening of Jersey Boys, his Frankie Valli musical. "I can't wait for it. I co-wrote it with [Jersey Boys co-writer] Rick Elice and it'll be on the stage in 2009."
Champagne flows and the awards season continues apace. Yesterday brought the Most Racist Article of the Year presentation. The winning editorial "compared Paraguayan Indians to cancer and described them as 'Neolithic'", 'out-of-date' and 'filthy'," according to the judges' citation. Step forward (drum roll)... the Paraguayan paper La Nacion! I'd like to thank my parents, my editor...
* Prince Charles's Master of the Household, Sir Malcolm Ross, cleared his desk on Tuesday after 20 years' royal service, but only two with the Plant Whisperer. Alas, no party poppers in sight. "Sir Michael Peat and Clarence House offered a leaving do but he turned them down," says a source. "He was in no mood to party with some of them by the time he left." The name of Charlie's former toothpaste squeezer-in-chief, Michael "the fence" Fawcett, crops up.
* Boris Berezovsky's PR, Lord Bell, has been in touch about Tuesday's report that the Russian fugitive wants people to stop calling him Jewish. "Outrageous! He's not bothered," insists Tim. "He's happy to be called whatever."
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