Pandora: No change at Garrick – even for Kate and Libby

Seventeen years after members of London's exclusive Garrick Club voted against lifting their ban on female members,
Pandora hears of another thwarted stab at reform.

We're told that cries of "no, no, no" could be heard echoing through the club's packed dining room on Monday night, when David Whitaker, the retired publisher and a member of the Garrick for more than 30 years, moved a motion proposing that their 1,300 members be asked to vote by post on the matter. Six-hundred local members have already been surveyed with 40 per cent believing that women should never be allowed to join.

Founded by the Duke of Sussex in 1831 for "the general patronage of drama", the club has stubbornly resisted any membership reforms.

Curiously, however, Whitaker is said to have tried to convince members by proposing several specific women who potentially could become candidates, including the veteran reporter Kate Adie and the Radio 4 presenter Libby Purves, though to no avail. "I predicted that Kate Adie would be a war zone," remarked Whitaker after his defeat.

The mysterious casting of Kimberly

News of the latest stunt (cry for help?) from the ITV casting department. Hercule Poirot is to have its very own celebrity cameo. You know, like Posh Spice on Ugly Betty. Only this time it's Kimberly Stewart doing the acting. Stewart is an unusual casting decision – the leggy daughter of Rod, her experience of acting is precisely nil. So whodunnit? No, really?

Campbell gets it on his chest

It's enough to make Peaches et al stop in their tracks. The once rebellious practice of tattooing has found a new poster boy – in the straight-faced form of Alastair Campbell. Blair's former spinner, now compulsive blogger, was filming a documentary on his footballing obsession, Burnley FC, when he was convinced by a local tattoo artist to get the club's crest "inked" on to his chest. How very Mötley Crüe of him. Well, sort of. In the event, we're assured, Campbell went for a temporary option.

Balls' slow start

Pandora's heart goes out to Ed Balls, up at the crack of dawn yesterday. Clearly, the early start was an anomaly for the Schools Secretary. "On the way to Cabinet," he tweeted, groggily. "9am start not v family-friendly." Hang on. 9am? Why, that's the hour that Pandora takes to her desk. Clearly Balls could never hack it in the gossip world.

Calling (almost) all MPs

We predict a busy day in Westminster next Tuesday when the Commons Office holds its surgery for members.

Up for discussion? "Advice for MPs standing down and advice on employment and financial matters." Expect to see half of the Tory backbench rocking up.

pandora@independent.co.uk

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Management Trainer

£30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Exciting career opportunity to join East...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Scientist / Research Assistant

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious start-up company b...

Reach Volunteering: Chair of Trustees

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Do you love the Engl...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?