Pandora: No holiday boom for Charles's neighbours

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The Independent Online

When Prince Charles announced that his eco-friendly Welsh hideaway, Llwynywermod, would be available to rent for self-catering holidaymakers, the news caused understandable excitement amongst residents of the nearby village, Myddfai.

Given that the estate's cottages can command up to £1,500 for a week's stay, its high-end customers were expected to give the local tourist industry a much-needed shot in the arm. And, with most of this year already booked up, it seemed that Llwynywermod might be well on the way to making good on the prospect.

Alas, it appears that hopes of a regional renaissance may have been premature. Despite the popularity of Myddfai, locals complain that they have yet to reap the benefits of living so close to a royal residence, arguing that visitors tend to stay away from the town in favour of the comfortable confines of the Prince's farm.

Representatives of the Duchy of Cornwall have claimed to be delighted with the success of the cottages, though have so far remained tight-lipped about the question of local rejuvenation.

Gripes one neighbour: "There are no pubs here now and nothing to draw people together" – which may or may not account for the lack of visitors.

Show of artistic respect for Tories

*With the election starting gun fired, David Cameron can count on the very, ahem, visible support of at least one member of the underground art world. The madcap performance artist Mark McGowan has announced his intention to prostrate himself 10,000 times in front of a picture of the Tory leader on election day. He says: "Ten thousand times is a lot and I am not underestimating the challenge of this massive prostration. I am already in training and preparation, doing sets of 100 at a time." No doubt Dave will be flattered.

Sophie feels the heat in the kitchen

Will anyone stand up for Sophie Dahl?

The model's recent attempts to cast herself as the next Nigella have so far solicited little in the way of complimentary coverage (Kirstie Allsop went as far as to claim that The Delicious Miss Dahl made her want to poke "hot pencils" into her eyes.)

Now Marguerite Patten, doyenne of home economics, has weighed in with her own contribution.

"I couldn't believe my eyes," she murmurs. "I couldn't believe my ears.

"The television producers have no right letting her run riot in a kitchen when there are so many other people out there who could do a proper job.

"She's very pretty but can she cook?"

Cameron's foot slips off pink pedal

After Chris Grayling's B&B gaffe over the weekend, David Cameron has his work cut out if he wants to win back gay voters. Yesterday's speech was not the best start. Despite releasing extracts in which he would pledge to fight for the "young, old, rich, poor, black, white, gay, straight", in the event he promised support only to the "black or white, rich or poor". PinkNews picked up the omission, and the Party press office back-pedalled. "He'll definitely speak about gay voters," it said. "He left out the young and old, too."

Winehouse's Albert Square dream

Amy Winehouse's impromptu appearances behind the bar of her local watering holes have become the stuff of north London folklore. And they could, it seems, be about to make a leap into celluloid.

The songstress's ever-present protégée (and sole signee to Winehouse's label, Lioness Records), Dione Broomfield, tells us that she is angling for a chance to do a Boris Johnson in the Queen Vic. "If they are reading this: please give me a cameo," she squeals. "I love Stacey Slater." Who doesn't?