Pandora: Off with his head! Ex-Mayor is banished to the Tower

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The Independent Online

Industrious as always, Ken Livingstone wasted no time in finding employment after leaving City Hall, eagerly signing up with two glitzy after-dinner-speaking agents. How disappointing, then, to find that it's not quite the glamorous gig he had expected it to be.

The former Mayor had his first booking the other night, speaking before a group of lawyers at the Tower of London.

After singing for his supper – and spilling his wine all over the stage – Livingstone wasn't too chuffed to find that a trip to the men's room meant tackling several flights of stairs.

"I'm sure Henry VII didn't have to go down all these bloody stairs," he exclaimed. "I bet he pissed against the wall."

Another source of agitation was Boris Johnson's claim that he had found "an astonishingly fine collection of wine" in the Mayor's office. "I always told my staff to make sure that no bottle cost more than £10," complained a disgruntled Livingstone. "There was nothing expensive there,"

At any rate, he argued, any wine he did have was there for good purpose. "The only reason we won the Olympics was because I stayed in the bar drinking with the delegates longer than anyone else. I still can't remember how I got to bed that night."

One thing that didn't seem to concern him were rumours of Alan Sugar as Labour's 2012 mayoral candidate. "I doubt they'll go for him," he confided. "He has too many property interests in London."

Black's school of quality control

Jack Black and Dustin Hoffman may star together in Mark Osborne's Kung Fu Panda but, when it comes to choosing films, their approaches couldn't be more different.

Speaking to Pandora at the film's premiere, Hoffman was quick to clarify his tactic. "I would do anything," he said. "Anything that's not a flop. I'd like to do some theatre, maybe. I don't know."

Black is considerably more discerning: "It's all about quality, not just success," insisted the School of Rock star. "You don't just do something to do it. When you do a good movie you feel good about promoting it. When it's a bad movie you want to release it quietly. You try to keep it a secret like an STD."

Hmm. Pandora couldn't help but wonder whether that applied to his mega-flop of a film, Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny – but Black insisted that nothing could be further from the truth.

"I really liked the Tenacious D movie. I was proud of that one."

They're playing his tune

And so to the muddy(ish) fields of Glastonbury, where Pandora was surprised to spot über-model Kate Moss performing a duet alongside Beth Ditto of punk-rock outfit the Gossip. The pair, clad – somewhat inappropriately – in slippers, took to the stage in the PlayStation SingStar VIP tent, where they entertained onlookers with a rendition of the Rocky classic "Eye of the Tiger."

Not far behind was a perky-looking Rhys Ifans who, accompanied by the Kills' striking singer Alison Mosshart, performed "Hammertime".

Moss's boyfriend, the Kills guitarist Jamie Hince, appeared rather peeved when an audience member clambered up on stage and attempted to belt out a Babyshambles cover. Babyshambles, of course, are fronted by Moss's notorious ex-boyfriend Pete Doherty.

No wonder Hince was grumpy.

Richard bricks it

From the sound of things, Richard Madeley won't be reading the reviews once his new book hits the shelves: "I don't give a tuppenny fuck what people say," he says. "Some people who review it won't even have read it – they'll get the knives out because I'm that wally off daytime TV." Also noted: he's no fan of Monica Ali. "I thought Brick Lane was shit. Really boring."

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and his wife Gwyneth Paltrow aren't renowned for their sense of humour. Nevertheless pupils of the Village School were left giggling after walking past the couple's north London home and being sprayed by a mystery hose pipe. Gwyneth having a laugh? Chris playing a prank? No, just an employee cleaning their Prius.

Pandora couldn't help but wince at the following correction in the International Herald Tribune: "An article on Wednesday misspelled the first name of al-Qa'ida's leader. He is Osama bin Laden, not Obama."

Hurry on over to Mike's place

Pity poor Mike Rutherford who, after decades of life in the music industry, is finding the business world a little tougher. Speaking at a recent cocktail party, he told Pandora that his latest venture – a business club at One Alfred Place which he co-founded with Pink Floyd's Nick Mason – is taking a while to get into gear.

"It's a bit slow, you know. The idea is really good, and the people who do go love it. We just don't get many people from out of town."

Rutherford, who plays guitar for Genesis, recently gave up polo, claiming it was "a young man's game". Now, he says, he keeps busy by playing cricket. "There aren't as many injuries. But that's because I only play once a year – once a year is enough."

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