Pandora: Sir Elton calls in the lawyers as satirical piece strikes a wrong note

Sir Elton John is used to being lampooned by comics around the globe, but his sense of humour only seems to extend so far.

Lawyers acting for the colourful singer have fired off an angry letter to The Guardian to complain about a spoof item that appeared in its Saturday magazine, part of a series titled, "A Peek at the Diary Of... ", with Elton the object of the writer's satire.

Among other things, the article poked fun at Elton'sannual White Tie and Tiara Ball, which took place at his home in Windsor a fortnight ago. Elton is upset that the article implied that the overheads required to put on the bash, which raises funds for the Elton John Aids Foundation, were excessive.

"Naturally, everyone could afford just to hand over the money if they gave that much of a toss about Aids research – as could the sponsors," it read. "But we like to give guests a preposterously lavish evening, because they're the kind of people who wouldn't turn up for anything less... Once we've subtracted all these costs, the leftovers go to my foundation. I call this care-o-nomics."

Sources close to the singer describe the piece as "unpleasant". It's not the first time he's locked horns with the press over the party. In 2006, he successfully sued the Daily Mail over claims that he'd ordered guests at the party in 2005 not to approach him.

Meanwhile, The Guardian confirmed that it had received a lawyers' letter, and was now deciding how to respond.

Nancy's wedding march

Is Nancy Dell'Olio trying to tell us something? Last week, she admitted she still wore her engagement ring despite splitting from Sven-Goran Eriksson more than a year ago.

Then on Monday, Dell'Olio made her catwalk debut in Rome, modelling a wedding dress by Ettore Bilotta.

"He's a friend whose new collection was inspired by me," she explains to me in transit at Heathrow. "I'm very passionate about fashion."

"Would I marry in this? Why not? I don't really go for the traditional type of wedding dress."

Oldman's Hollywood future not set in Stone

Gary Oldman owes his Hollywood breakthrough to director Oliver Stone, who cast him as Lee Harvey Oswald in his Oscar-winning film JFK.

Strange, then, that the notoriously intense pair appear to be non-speakers.

"Oliver Stone thinks I've lost my edge," Oldman tells this month's Total Film magazine. "Yeah. But then I've looked at the last couple of things he's done and I could perhaps say the same thing to him."

The British actor is on refreshingly candid form, and is also happy to burn his bridges with the James Bond franchise.

Addressing the possibility of appearing as a villain in the lucrative series, he adds: "It's not something I would do. Once you do it, you're sort of at an end of a line."

Johnny's other trick

My story yesterday about Johnny Vaughan's vanishing hairline appears to have opened a can of worms.

The Capital radio breakfast show presenter recently gave an interview with a weekly glossy in which he admitted to adopting a comb-over in order to conceal his baldness.

Now, a nark from Channel 4 reports that during his time presenting The Big Breakfast, Vaughan had a fondness for spray-on hair products. "These packages would arrive for him at the studio, I don't think he realised we used to open his post," says my informant.

It's an intriguing detail, and one that Vaughan's agent wasn't able to deny in returning calls yesterday.

Seat expectations

The President of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, stands accused of stealing a colleague's seat en route to this week's G8 summit.

Adrian Lovett, a Save the Children delegate, claims he was forced to move from his seat on the plane after Zoellick's entourage flexed their diplomatic muscles.

Writes Lovett in The Independent's Open House blog: "We were told to move because the plane wouldn't be balanced. Then we see Zoellick being ushered into our seats at the front."

Zoellick, to his credit, has had the good grace to go on-line to apologise about the incident.

"Sorry we somehow ended up taking your seats," he writes. "Hope you otherwise had a good summit."

Plaque to the future

John Thomson has waved a little white flag and surrendered to the Hollywood glamour monkeys.

The Mancunian actor, best known for his role as Pete Gifford in Cold Feet, has just finished filming Iain Softley's new fantasy epic Inkheart opposite Helen Mirren and Brendan Fraser.

In an effort to woo the Hollywood money men, he has since had his teeth straightened, capped and bleached by the celebrity dentist Dr Kailesh Solanki.

Six years ago, Thomson was the subject of a lurid "three-in-a-bed-romp" tale in the News of the World.

I hope the happily married star's flashy new smile won't facilitate any further deviations from the straight and narrow.

pandora@independent.co.uk

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Compensation and Benefits Manager - Brentwood - Circa £60,000

£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

Day In a Page

Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities