Pandora: Publisher pursues Morrissey by fan mail

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The Independent Online

Hard times in the book world? The publishing director of Faber and Faber appears to be going to new lengths to land That Next Big Title.

Eager to nab the memoirs of Morrissey, Lee Brackstone has written an open letter to the Mancunian miserablist, explaining why Faber would be the best company to handle any autobiography he may be considering.

"Forlorn as this hope may be," he writes, "I can only fantasise that at least you might read my letter through and consider the pleasures and prestige of being an author at Faber."

The message was posted on the company's official blog, Tragically, though, we're told that the former Smiths frontman has yet to get in touch. "In fact, I've been trying to contact him for some time," explains Brackstone. "We did correspond directly, briefly by fax a while ago, but that was all. So I suppose you could see the open letter as an appeal to his aesthetic nature. We have published some of the greatest 20th-century literary figures, and Morrissey belongs in that category."

As for whether or not a Mozza autobiography is to be expected soon from some quarter, it seems fans may live in hope.

"You hear things, all sorts of things," says Brackstone. "I do have contacts in music who have said things. There's so much mystery surrounding him that you never know."

Rats! ITV gets mice

ITV has mice (as in a rodent problem, not the rights to some unfortunately- titled new HBO series). The discovery was made, apparently, by the News At Ten anchorman Mark Austin.

Last year, Pandora reported a similar infestation at the BBC Weather Centre. Perhaps Austin could ring up for a few pest-control tips?

Hurly Burley strikes once more

Rare is the day when Pandora feels much sympathy for Peter Andre, though even our chilled hearts felt a slight twinge after watching his encounter with Kay "Hurly" Burley on Sky News yesterday. The flame-haired news reader, who once grasped the throat of a photographer who accidentally hit her over the head with her camera, somehow managed to reduce the Antipodean "singer" to tears with her line of questioning. Eventually the cameras were asked to stop rolling. Cut!

Dave's no pop picker

Tsk! David Cameron does his best to prove his cool credentials in the March issue of Glamour. Alas, the Conservative leader scores a dismal 2.5 out of 10 in the magazine's pop quiz. One of the questions asked him to identify three handbags by his wife's leather label, Smythson. He only got one. Don't tell Samantha!

Marie bemoans that sagging feeling

Not long ago "Original Supermodel" Marie Helvin was hired as the face of the swanky anti-ageing cream "Stop".

"I'm at my sexual peak!" she gushed at the time. It appears, however, that her enthusiasm has waned somewhat.

"I hate to tell you this but growing older isn't something to look forward to," she told Pandora at the Criterion birthday party. "Everything sags! Your skin changes! You have to change your moisturiser four times a year." Oh dear.