Pandora: Ramsay begs Mills PR to end the nightmares

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The Independent Online

Ever since November, when a red-top newspaper accused Gordon Ramsay of liaising with so-called "professional mistress" Sarah Symonds – a one-time favourite of Jeffrey Archer – the chef has been faced with a veritable parade of negative headlines.

There were stories that his gastropubs were reheating "ready-meals", that his company had broken banking covenants, that he had filed his accounts late and even that his claim to have played for Glasgow Rangers football club was inaccurate.

Quite a flurry – and not, of course, unrelated to the decision to let go of his long-term PR trouble-shooter Gary Farrow, the media handler of Sir Elton John and the Osbournes, who was credited with steering Ramsay through a tide of tabloid effluent.

Now Pandora hears that Ramsay has turned to Phil Hall, the former News Of The World editor, for help. Until now, Hall's biggest client was Sir Paul McCartney's ever-charming ex-wife Heather Mills, although that ended in 2007 with Hall and Mills citing their "business differences". From Heather Mills to Gordon Ramsay? A case, surely, of out the frying pan and into the fire.

Gaga misses her appointment

Pandora could not love Lady Gaga more. After all, what's there to dislike when presented with a blonde, knicker-loving, Andy Warhol-aping pop sensation?

The people of Swindon, however, are inclined to disagree, after the American singer pulled out of a planned performance in the town in favour of the MTV Awards. We're told the local paper has been flooded with letters from residents, complaining that the move will give the town a bad rep. Honestly, we don't know what they're worried about.

Mexican tourism needs Hirst's help

While swine flu continues to strike fear into our hearts, some optimists are already considering the prospect of Afterwards. At the front of the queue, naturally, is Mexico's tourist board, with plans to launch a celebrity-fronted campaign once the whole nasty hoo-ha has died down (a wise use of its budget, we feel). "Damien Hirst is someone we'd like," claims a representative. Hirst is a regular visitor to Mexico, although he was more than a little reluctant yesterday to confirm whether or not he would be involved in the campaign.

Wanted: Allsopp's lost property

Disaster! Kirstie Allsopp has misplaced her engagement ring and requires you – specifically those of you liable to wander the streets of east London with your noses to the pavement – to help her find it.

It is, apparently, "big and chunky" with "a central stone that looks like a ruby". The Channel 4 property expert explains: "I was learning how to make a mosaic, so took it off and put it in my pocket. When we stopped for lunch, I went to buy some sandwiches from Marks & Spencer's. It must have fallen out of my pocket near the shop."

To find it, Allsopp has created a website,, and is offering a reward of £1,000. So, magnifying glasses at the ready.

A not so fond farewell...

Visitors from all across the political blogosphere gathered yesterday beside Derek Draper's final, conciliatory, LabourList entry, paying tribute to the passing of the website's recently resigned editor.

Among the many moving words were these choice offerings: "Bugger off", "good riddance" and the particularly heartfelt: "This mealy-mouthed, spun quasi-apology is a perfect example of why politics is far better off without you." Oh, dear.