Pandora: No fighting with Thor, insists Sir Anthony

Few would dare to challenge Sir Anthony Hopkins' long-cemented status as one of the big screen's foremost heavyweights.

While purists may sometimes wince at the old boy's choice of parts – although I enjoyed The Mask of Zorro – the California-based Welshman rarely puts a foot wrong when it comes to maintaining his role as a national treasure.

So Pandora is disappointed to report that our Tone has recently been subjected to a spot of bother, courtesy of those troublesome upstarts across the Atlantic.

Problems began to brew when an "on-set source" claimed in the New York Daily News that the Oscar winner was behaving like a "diva" on the set of his latest film, Thor, and had "not tried to hide his disapproval" of co-star Chris Hemsworth's acting skills as the hero.

Those of us who can recall the young Australian's performances in the long-running daytime soap Home and Away may have briefly wondered whether Port Talbot's most successful pensioner had finally lost all sense of artistic judgement.

Thankfully, Sir Anthony has now seen fit to tackle this tittle-tattle head on. "I'm having the time of my life making Thor," he announces, without hint of exaggeration. "We're all puzzled that someone would fabricate a story suggesting otherwise."

Why the Santa Claus slight, Ed?

Having been forced to concede that the decision to portray David Cameron as Ashes to Ashes favourite Gene Hunt in their latest ads was a bit rubbish, you could be forgiven for wondering whether Labour's high command really have their fingers on the cultural pulse. Suspicions are further fuelled courtesy of Ed Balls' curious attempt to compare opposite number Michael Gove to Santa Claus, following what he calls "utterly dishonest promises". Precisely what Santa did to so upset young Master Balls in his youth remains unclear.

Lembit's brush with the Bill

As party leaders brace themselves for the hostilities ahead, one of Westminster's most durable foot soldiers dramatically declares he's ready to sacrifice himself for a political cause closer to home. Step forward the normally publicity-shy MP for Montgomeryshire Lembit Opik, who says that his recent threat to dismantle troublesome traffic lights in Newtown has led to a threat of arrest from the local constabulary. Not that Opik is going to let being on the wrong side of the law stop him: "I'll do whatever is necessary to get Newtown moving again," he ominously declares. (All right, it wasn't exactly ominous.) "If I have to spend the second half of the election behind bars, so be it."

No need to worry about Bob's banter

Sad to hear that Bob Dylan has been banned from performing in China. The Ministry of Culture rejected the chance to play host to His Bobness, reportedly citing his past as "a voice of change". Promoter Jeffrey Wu later explained that the government has been "wary of what will be said by performers on stage" ever since Icelandic eccentric Björk chose to barrack her hosts with shrieks of "Tibet! Tibet!". As Dylan fans will be quick to testify, they needn't have worried. The old goat hasn't bothered speaking to audiences for years.

Is Karen too 'tarty' for the Tardis?

While Matt Smith has been enjoying favourable reviews after his first outing as Doctor Who, Pandora is concerned to learn that the Time Lord's new companion, Karen Gillan, has already been subjected to an unfortunate backlash. The Scottish redhead's portrayal of kissogram Amy Pond has apparently been deemed "too sexy", "tarty" and, perhaps worst of all, "slutty" in some quarters. As a lifelong fan of the Doctor, I trust this regrettable crisis is going to be addressed by the BBC as a matter of urgency.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas