Pandora: The Blairs and the red Ferrari mystery

Just who owns the flashy sports car currently parked outside Maison Blair?

Since the start of the Chilcot inquiry into Britain's involvement in the Iraq war, the former prime minister and his family have been faced with a front-room view of a red Ferrari sitting across the road from their expansive residence in London's Connaught Square. The vehicle bears the particularly pointed number plate "1RAO."

Neighbours claim not to recognise the car, despite its central London parking permit. Some have noted the fact that the registration matches the Iraqi diplomatic number plate, though no one from the embassy was available to comment.

The DVLA, meanwhile, claims to be unable to identify the car – but points out that although the number plate is a diplomatic one, it could well have been sold at auction into private hands.

As for the Blairs, neither seemed amused by the stunt; Tony's spokesman refused to return Pandora's calls, while Cherie proved equally elusive. Still, it appears they are not unaware of the car's presence. When sneaking a closer look in the car window, Pandora's mole was subjected to a stop-and-search by police.

Go Firth and fight the flab!

Colin Firth is said to be a hot favourite for a Best Actor Oscar following his role in A Single Man, the directorial debut of fashion designer Tom Ford. If so, expect to see him down the gym as he prepares for his tuxedo moment. Reflecting on the effect his post-Darcy physique had on Ford, the actor has noted: "He told me I looked good, but that I'd look better if I got a personal trainer." Ford, however, appears to recall things rather differently. "I told him he was fat," he tells The New York Times.

Eco-warrior Styler skips Copenhagen

Ominous news from the Copenhagen summit. Trudie Styler, the most private-jet-happy eco-warrior in showbusiness, is not in attendance.

How can this be? Back in November, Mrs Sting told Pandora she'd be going to fight the corner of the world's rainforest inhabitants. What's more, she promised to travel there by boat (a nasty incident last year saw her berated for chartering a private jet to fly from Manhattan to the White House).

At the weekend, however, her promise began to look less plausible when she was photographed at a gala in Washington. Washington to Copenhagen? That would be one very speedy boat. Alas, Styler's people confirm, no such technology exists. "She's not going after all," we are told.

BBC or ITV: who will have the X-factor?

Expect further ratings wars between the BBC and ITV this weekend. For the first time ever, the live final of ITV's X Factor will compete directly with the BBC's annual Sports Personality of the Year. Both include winners chosen by a live phone-in vote – and underlings at the Beeb aren't happy. "The phone-in on the night is bound to be minuscule in comparison with the X Factor," complains an insider. "And the whole thing costs a fortune to put on – especially getting everyone up to Sheffield."

En 'Vogue': Curran gets a makeover

Alex Curran is the latest England Wag to feature in the hallowed pages of Vogue, gracing eight pages of the fashion bible's January issue. Still, style snobs need not despair: instead of the gushing treatment meted out to her predecessors Coleen Rooney, Victoria Beckham and Cheryl Cole, Curran – wife of Liverpool and England footballer Steven Gerrard – gets a Holly Golightly-style makeover from perma-tanned "über-Wag" to East End hipster. "Will it all be too much?" muses the mag. Perhaps not quite what the publicist ordered.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas