Pandora: Nigerian scammers' latest victim...

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The Independent Online

Pandora was particularly tickled by recent tales of Jack Straw and his undignified fate at the hand of Nigerian hackers (the best part, of course, being friends' refusal to offer any money to help the destitute Straw-impersonator out, even before the knew it was a fraud).

So imagine our excitement when we got wind of another web-scamming incident, this time targeting a member of the Ministry of Defence, Lt-Col Henry Worsley.

Several friends of Worsley, who recently returned from his trek as one of the "Shackleton Three" (pictured, Worsley centre) to the South Pole, claim that they have received an uncharacteristically stilted email from his personal account appealing for an "urgent loan" of $2,500. "I'm sorry that I didn't inform you about my travelling to Nigeria for a seminar," reads the message. "I need a favour from you as soon as you receive this email because I misplaced my wallet."

Sadly, the real Henry Worsley couldn't be reached last night, though Pandora is assured that wherever he is, it isn't anywhere near Nigeria and he almost certainly hasn't lost his wallet.

A quick change of heart from Balls

Delightful to hear Ed Balls on the BBC yesterday morning, assessing the varied character flaws of Damian McBride. "His behaviour was unacceptable," Balls harrumphed. "If you look at the kind of comments made by people on those websites, they are homophobic, misogynist, deeply sexual and awful." It's certainly a swift change of tack from the Children's Secretary.

It was only last autumn that Balls was seen diving in to save McPoison from the No 10 backwaters following an October reshuffle.

Russell makes his return

And so, inevitably, the resurrection begins: while Jeremy Bowen slinks off to the headmaster's for a slap on the wrists, one fellow reprobate has found himself a new berth.

This weekend, Russell Brand – Pandora's absolute favourite legging-wearing controversialist – will return to the airwaves, for his debut appearance on TalkSport radio. This time he'll be bringing along Noel Gallagher, a fellow football fanatic, for company.

Talksport, meanwhile, are busily brushing off concerns over the possibility of Sachsgate part deux. "This is a programme with two edgy individuals pushing the envelope," claims a spokesman. "That's the point."

Labour's Pope lets fly at Widdecombe

News, now, of some very un-Christian bickering between two of Westminster's most Catholic characters: Conservative battleaxe Ann Widdecombe and Labour MP Greg Pope.

Last week, Widdecombe criticised Tony Blair for suggesting that the Catholic Church should welcome homosexuals. Now Pope has weighed in, joking that the Church should have rejected Widdecombe's application in the first place. "Well, presumably he would have said the same thing to Saint Paul," sniffs Widdecombe.

Demi airs her talented opinion

Sighs of relief all round as Demi Moore (finally!) weighs in on the pressing matter of Britain's Got Talent. The gravity-defying star, left, has bestowed her favour on the lovable Susan Boyle, whose performance at this weekend's audition has become a YouTube phenomenon.

"It made me all teary," Moore is said to have told husband Ashton Kutcher. Simon Cowell, meanwhile, has again demonstrated his ability to spot an opportunity when he sees one; he's reportedly arranging a record deal for Boyle as we speak.