Pandora: Sir Fred's unlikely promise still holds

It is, as they say, the final insult. Nearly six months after Sir Fred Goodwin resigned as chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland following its costly government bailout, not to mention the disclosures that he is to receive a £703,000-a-year pension, we face the prospect of seeing his signature on our bank notes for two more months.

Scottish banknotes currently in circulation still carry Goodwin's signature below the pledge "I promise to pay the bearer on demand".

According to a spokesman for RBS, it will be at least "another couple of months" before the next batch of notes will be put into circulation bearing the autograph of his successor, Stephen Hester.

"The old notes are still in circulation and Stephen Hester's signature won't be printed on any new notes for another couple for months," explains a spokesman for RBS.

"It all depends on the total number in circulation and the sort of condition they are going to be in."

Last week, Shadow Scottish secretary David Mundell stood up in the House of Commons to suggestion that Scottish banknotes should be as acceptable as English ones in shops and businesses throughout the UK. It seemed a sensible enough point to make, but one that will probably be better argued once Sir Fred's name is removed from the notes.

Brangelina's bereavement help line

Proof, if needed, that the compassion of "Brangelina" shines a light in every dark corner. The Zimbabwean media reports that the power couple placed a call to the country's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, offering their support in the wake of his wife's death. Sadly, the call was disconnected before they had a chance to chat. Pity.

Triumph of the Will at the Garrick

There are rumours of an intriguing addition to the membership book at London's distinguished Garrick club.

Telegraph editor Will Lewis, I'm told, was recently proposed to the 20-strong club committee by George Pitcher, the Anglican priest who moonlights as Lewis's religious affairs correspondent.

It's a gutsy move, since several club members are recently-departed Telegraph hacks,who'll no doubt be just itching to have him blackballed.

Fashion doyenne and the Gossip girl

News of an unlikely love-in at Paris Fashion Week between The International Herald Tribune's veteran fashion editor Suzy Menkes and the well-upholstered pop star Beth Ditto.

The pair were overheard chatting this week while sitting in the front row of the American designer Jeremy Scott's show.

"I love your look," said Menkes. "I thought you were very good as a cover girl."

The singer in the band Gossip recently posed nude for the inaugural cover of Conde Nast's new fashion glossy, Love magazine.

What price another strip-off to liven up the stuffy old IHT?

Is he cowardly over custard?

I do hope George Osborne's pluck hasn't deserted him since his ill-judged brush with Peter Mandelson last year. The shadow Chancellor was asked by The Birmingham Post how he felt about his tormentor being pelted with green custard. "It couldn't happen to a nicer man," he chirped, before changing his tune. "Stunts like that don't advance a cause. I'm against a third runway at Heathrow and greater action on climate change, but you achieve those through dialogue and the right policies, not pie throwing."

pandora@independent.co.uk

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