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.

pandora@independent.co.uk

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