Pandora: Shayler prepares for his big day in court

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The Independent Online

Get ready for some colourful sketches – David Shayler has got his day in court.

Last month Pandora discovered the former spook was squatting at a National Trust property in Surrey. Re-imagined as Dolores, the cross-dressing self-described "Messiah," he had been living on Hackhurst Farm along with eight other members of the so-called Rainbow Movement.

Tomorrow, however, Shayler & Co will be forced to defend their right to inhabit the land at Guildford County Court after the National Trust lodged an application to regain control of it. "It's not a process of justice," remarks a nonchalant Shayler of the case. "We aren't worried about it and it has no validity.

"They come around and put up notices but we have signed nothing. We may go for a laugh – but it will only be a bit of fun. We can windup the judge a bit and use it for publicity."

Indeed, it won't be his first encounter with local magistrates. Several months ago he was called into the county witness box in a similar case – involving the Rainbow Movement's occupation of the nearby Tyting Farm. Unfortunately for the squatters, the judge ordered them to leave immediately. Let's hope for Dolores' sake he's a bit more lenient this time.

The Lamb family double act

*News to make Michael Palin tremble in his boots: foppish presenter George Lamb is to try his hand at travel broadcasting. He hopes to team up with his father, Larry – best known as Archie Mitchell in EastEnders – for the proposed programme later this year. "We're going off to some far-flung corner of the world to hang out with indigenous people. Hopefully we can find a father and son. There are a couple of stations we're discussing it with; it will be whoever comes up with the best deal, really," he says.

Horrible histories: Foulkes' final word?

*Is Nick Foulkes to hang up his historian's hat? The dandyish writer and author of Dancing into Battle tells us that his ongoing study of 19th-century gambling, Derby Day, which he plans to publish next year, will be his last.

"I'm very sad to say it but I am getting less and less money from the publishers. In fact I get less these days than I used to when I first started, which is rather funny because hopefully I am getting better at writing them. There just isn't a market for history books anymore."

No more sport for me, says Toksvig

Mutiny over at the BBC, where Radio 4 regular Sandi Toksvig is calling for televised sports bulletins to be abolished. "Every night I find I've just settled down to find out what's happening in the world when the newscaster declares, 'And here's someone you've never heard of with the sport'," she argues in this week's Radio Times. "Why not have five minutes each broadcast about some other leisure interest? I love embroidery. Forget point-to-point, how about petit point?" Of course, Pandora more than sympathises with Sandi – though whether or not the same can be said for her colleagues at the Beeb's sports department remains to be seen.

Another Goodwin takes on the City

*Curious goings-on at Soho's Jagged Art gallery, currently the location for an exhibition of sculptures depicting the Square Mile's "highly paid prop traders whose actions lead to financial meltdown". Whose should the work be, but that of one J. Goodwin. As in Sir Fred Goodwin, formerly chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, now public enemy number one? Tragically, no. "Unfortunately they aren't related," confirms a spokesman for the gallery. "In fact, I doubt they've even met."

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