Pandora: Stage dive blunts James's picking

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The Independent Online

James Blunt's military days may be well behind him, but his second career still provides the odd professional injury.

Pandora ran into the guitar-playing crooner at a cocktail party, where he arrived sporting heavy strapping on his right hand.

"Sorry I can't shake your hand, I broke my little finger," he said at the launch of Lisa Bilton's new book Lifestyle Essentials.

"I somehow managed to do it whilst I was jumping off stage during a gig in America." Happily, the injury won't affect Blunt's current touring commitments. The former Life Guards captain is already planning to return to play for British troops in Kosovo, where he was stationed as part of a Nato peacekeeping force in 1999. "It makes sense because I served there," he added.

Lord Brocket struggles to flog off his new bangers

In the week after the simple sausage suffered bad press, Charlie Brocket is discovering that the great British banger is proving an increasingly tough sell to shopkeepers.

Last September, the jovial peer announced he was launching his own range of high quality sausages, called "Brocket's Bangers", in a bold attempt to become a cheaper alternative to Prince Charles's successful farmhouse products, Duchy Originals.

The idea came to Brocket, who hit the headlines in 1996 when he was jailed for fraud before finding public redemption though his performance on reality TV show I'm a Celebrity..Get Me Out Of Here!, when he attended a barbecue two years where the bangers "tasted like shit."

Since then, it's been a testing task trying to place his product on the shelves of the country's leading foodhalls. Despite meeting with several leading chains, he's yet to find a major seller. "We've been having a few issues with the big supermarkets, the problem is actually getting some of them to try the sausages," says Brocket, left. "We met with Sainsbury's eight months ago but haven't heard anything. We're selling in a few independent outlets, but as far as I'm concerned, I'd like to see us in one of the big ones."

A spokesman for the manufacturers, Brocket Hall Foods, remains optimistic the venture will succeed. "We're meeting with Tesco next week so fingers crossed," he says. "The whole thing of Brocket's Bangers started out as a bit of fun but now it's time to get serious."

Georgie proves she is a sports super chick

Sky presenter Georgie Thompson has found fame as the sporting couch potato's favourite pin-up. Now, she is attempting to find fortune as an internet entrepreneur.

Thompson, a regular presenter on Sky's sport channels, launches a new website today which she claims will be a revelation in female fitness. "It's called I Am Superchick," she tells me.

"It's something I set it up with my personal trainer which gives people training programmes they can follow from home.

"It's aimed at recently turned 30-somethings who don't have the time, or possibly money, to see a personal trainer several times a week.

"I'm still doing the broadcasting though, my Sky job is still my bread and butter."

That'll be music to her bosses' ears.

Since rival channel sports channel Setanta launched with a bevy of screen beauties, Sky need to hold on to all the talent they can.

A wuthering attack on Natalie

The latest big screen version of Wuthering Heights is likely to get the traditionalists' blood boiling.

According to recent reports, the producers of the forthcoming adaptation of Emily Brontë's classic British novel have decided to cast the Hollywood star Natalie Portman in the role of Catherine Earnshaw.

But a number of critics point out that there are plenty of British actresses such as Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller who would have been more than up to the task, not least since Portman did not do a great job of playing Anne Boleyn in The Other Boleyn Girl.

The matter recalls the baffling decision to cast French actress Juliette Binoche in the 1992 adaptation opposite Ralph Fiennes. One film scribe dubbed her bizarre "Franglais" accent as like watching "Catherine Clouseau".

Best friends

The French populace are not keen on President Nicolas Sarkozy's Hollywood lifestyle, but the one-time king of Tinseltown, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has clearly fallen for it.

The pair hooked up last June, the day after Schwarzenegger, the governor of California, dropped into London for Tony Blair's final day as Prime Minister. According to a US source, the "Governator" is now keen for another meeting – possibly sometime during the summer.

"There are two reasons for this," I'm told. "Firstly, he and Sarko really hit it off last time they met, as they bonded over their mutual interest in tackling global warming.

"Secondly, since the President got married, Arnie is now extremely curious to meet the new Mme. Sarkozy."

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