Pandora: Rupert's retreat returns to market
Friday 12 June 2009
Green shoots in the Murdoch empire? Possibly. After taking his summer home off the market when the credit crunch hit, media baron Rupert Murdoch has once again dipped his toe in the property waters, putting his Centre Island estate back up for sale at its original asking price.
The five-acre retreat in New York State, named "Rosehearty", is described by estate agents as a "rare and exceptional property" with "breathtaking vistas of water or gardens".
As well as a pool, spa and tennis court, the retreat contains 11 bedrooms and eight bathrooms – all, apparently, "decorated in a soothing colour palette".
As if such regal luxury wasn't enough, the lucky buyers can satisfy themselves with the tantalising prospect of barbecues with Billy Joel and John Barry – both of whom own mansions nearby – not to mention relaxing in the very same jacuzzi as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who are thought to have spent several months renting the villa from Mr Murdoch, paying a reported $100,000 per month.
Of course, owning the place doesn't come cheap: offers start at a cool $12,800,000. Any takers?
Hungover Heather goes highbrow
Heather Graham hit the red carpet on Wednesday night for the premiere of her comeback flick, goofball comedy 'The Hangover'.
But it seems the actress, who first caught our attention baring all in Nineties hit 'Boogie Nights', has her sights set on rather loftier things in future.
"I'm not planning to go back to TV," she tells us. "I've just been offered a movie role with Kevin Spacey and another one in a film about a Russian ballet dancer – a historical drama. So we'll see."
Good sport? Lineker under scrutiny
Jonathan Ross and Terry Wogan aren't the only BBC names facing a pay review, it seems. We're told that the sports department is taking a close look at their big-name presenters, too.
Much-beloved 'Match of the Day' star Gary Lineker has, apparently, attracted particularly close attention, while Alan Hansen, whose "talking head" salary is believed to be approaching six figures, is also rumoured to be under scrutiny. Neither possibility was denied by the BBC, who refused to discuss individuals' salaries.
Nighy nets the Young Victoria (at last!)
Aha! Pandora knew he'd manage it. Not long ago, we smelt a rat when the eternally groovy Bill Nighy arrived – unprompted – at the premiere of Emily Blunt's Young Victoria, citing the actress's "charm and allure" as his motivation.
Now, says Nighy, he has convinced Ms Blunt to appear alongside him in his next film.
"We just get on so well," he explained at a party in celebration of the Langham Hotel's refurbishment. "We spoke on the phone about it and I've taken her out for dinner. One day she'll just stop returning my calls."
Digby offers Tsar Alan some pointers
A word of advice now for Sir Alan Sugar, courtesy of Digby Jones, who should know a thing or two about life as a government business supremo (he's been Director of the CBI, Minister for Trade, and Ambassador for UK Trade in his time): "Always underpromise and overachieve," Baron Jones tells Pandora. "Sugar's got a very tough job on his hands. And if he wants any help, then he should ring me up. I'd be happy to help him." Such kindness.
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