Pandora: The Body painting

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The Independent Online

Elle "The Body" Macpherson has been most famously depicted on the pages of Sports Illustrated. So it's an intriguing decision by the six-foot lingerie mogul to commission ghoulish painter Stella Vine to produce a portrait of her.

Particularly interesting is Vine's "previous" with Macpherson's ex-boyfriend (and pal), the gallery owner Tim Jeffries. Vine adopted Jeffries as her agent and muse in the summer of 2005, only to part ways with him unceremoniously three months later amid rumoured arguments over "too many red dots" (finance and artistic control).

Given Vine's captivating body of work – a bleeding Diana; Kate Moss adorned with the words "I only make love to Jesus" – I hope a hatchet job on Elle won't spring off the palette.

Sick Floyd's friends fight it out in battle to brief press

An unseemly row has broken out over the right to represent the prone form of Keith Floyd, who collapsed last week in a pub.

The hard-living chef, 64, lies unconscious in intensive care, after falling to the floor seven days ago with chest pains and breathing difficulties. He had recently returned "exhausted" from launching a restaurant in Thailand, and had been drinking Scotch.

Floyd's manager of 15 years, Stan Green, is outraged by the behaviour of the press-friendly landlord of the Midland pub where Floyd collapsed.

Green accuses Glenn Geldard – who used to be Floyd's driver – of " promoting his new pub while Keith lies flat out in hospital".

The manager says: "Keith is in intensive care, he can't speak, he is not very well. But everywhere you look this Glenn Geldard is making statements about Keith's condition and talking about his new pub, promoting his pub left, right and centre, using the name – how Keith Floyd collapsed there, how he's going to launch a Keith Floyd restaurant there.

"Who is this bloke making statements about Keith Floyd? Who is Glenn Geldard? It is very distasteful."

He adds: "Only Keith's wife, Tess, knows how Keith is doing, and the only person she speaks to is me. This guy should step back and think about Keith and Keith's family."

The verbal rocket seems already to have found its mark. Geldard appears to be lying low: a barmaid at the Staffordshire pub said that the boss was not there, nor did any staff have his mobile number.

Abracadabra! Publicists fail to vanish Merlin rumour

New publicists for Merlin Ferry, the Burberry model and youngest son of Bryan?

Word at the gates of Wiltshire's £26,000-a-year Marlborough College is that young Ferry, only just 17, and pictured left with Dad, has had a run-in with the Old Bill over a "motor matter".

No great scandal; more of a rite of passage really. After all, older brother Otis, who left school aged 16, has gone so far as being nicked for his vociferous support for hunting, and an altercation with a paparazzo.

Yet Merlin's public relations wallahs proved unable to assist with a firm rebuttal of the rumours. Burberry kept placing Pandora on and off hold, only to finally decide, "You can't quote me on this."

Papa Ferry's office, meanwhile, said: "I don't know anything about it. I really don't know who would be able to help."

Merlin Ferry, perhaps? Surely he could clear it up? "I don't know," chuntered the PR. "But if I did know about it – and I don't – then I would just leave it. I think you should just try not to find anything out." Ok!

Julien's pals run riot

Famed on the fashion circuit for his partying, the designer Julien Macdonald found himself turfed out of a London gastroboozer at the weekend because of his friends' bad behaviour.

Macdonald arrived in Islington for lunch with a trendy entourage about 15-strong. After toad in the hole and mushroom pie, things g0t messy. Macdonald himself was sober and "very sweet", sipping hot water with lemon and honey, an eyewitness says, but the group were rowdy and disruptive.

"The kids were running all over the place. One woman borrowed her child's push scooter and scooted around the pub on it. They were wasted and drawing a lot of attention to themselves.

"They were asked to leave. It wasn't Julien misbehaving but he was with the group asked to go. Too much booze."

Stubborn Staines

Fresh hostilities in Ali G's old hood, Staines. Not gang war, this time, but the crump of mortars does hail from the office of the bland riverside town's MP, David Wilshire.

He is outraged by a new advert urging inhabitants to migrate to Australia: "Screw working in Staines. Hello Adelaide. Fine weather, fine wine, fine beaches, fine wine, fine weather ..."

Wilshire demands a summit in Staines with Bill Muirhead, the Government of South Australia's Agent General, who's behind the campaign.

"We're fixing a date," cackles Muirhead. "I'll go on the condition I don't have to wear a bullet proof jacket and that I provide the wine – so I'll be taking along some of Australia's finest."