Pandora: The Jacksons to star in courtroom drama

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The Independent Online

As the date of the courtroom battle between Channel 4 and fitness trainer Matt Fiddes nears, the likelihood of it turning into the hottest contest of the summer grows ever stronger.

Survey, if you will, exhibit A: the lawyers. Channel 4 has announced none other than Adrienne Page QC as its counsel. Page recently secured the stinging victory for science writer Simon Singh over The British Chiropractic Association. Fiddes, on the other hand, is to be represented by Ron Thwaites, the formidable defence barrister who defended Jonathan King during his trial for sexual assault.

And then there is exhibit B: the weaponry. It is being reported in the trade press that the Jackson family are to be called to give evidence. It should make for explosive stuff; Channel 4 has already attempted to keep details of the case secret with the help of an injunction, though were thwarted at the High Court.

Fiddes, meanwhile, claims that Channel 4 and production company Studio Lambert faked elements of their documentary, The Jacksons Are Coming, about members of Michael Jackson's family moving to the UK. A former bodyguard to Michael, Fiddes alleges the Jacksons had never intended to move, and that the entire thing was a publicity stunt. Whatever the outcome, Pandora predicts a bout of June Jacksonmania.

Mistry enjoys 'EastEnders' afterlife

Jimi Mistry has done that rare thing: found life after EastEnders. The actor can currently be found gracing the big screen in Gurinder Chadha's It's A Wonderful Afterlife. Just don't ask what his latest project is.

"I just finished a film in New York and South America," he tells Pandora. "It's a really good American indie movie. It's called.... er. Um. What is it called again?" (The answer's Festival of Light; he got there in the end)

Cameron beats Balls in food fight

News that David Cameron's team has been dishing out Nigella-worthy feasts of figs, Parma ham and roast lamb to those journos lucky enough to be aboard the Tory leader's personal aircraft has left a bitter taste in the mouths of certain media colleagues. By contrast, the catering at a recent address by the Schools Secretary, Ed Balls, was, Pandora is told, so poor that it left several hacks rushing for the bathroom, hands clutched over their lips.

Will volcano deny F1 fans Eddie Jordan?

Among those affected by the Great Volcano Crisis is the bespectacled BBC motor racing pundit, Eddie Jordan.

The former tycoon and sometime punk rocker was scheduled to fly out to Shanghai on Thursday to take part in the Corporation's coverage of the Chinese Grand Prix. His colleague Jake Humphry is already there.

Perhaps Jordan can find alternative travel; back in 2007 he commissioned the design of his own yacht, the Snapper Sunseeker, complete with three decks, eight TVs, and a sun deck with bar. Sounds okay.

A novel choice of words? Yes and no

The Lib Dems' party political broadcast sounds familiar. As Nick Clegg strides purposefully through a litter-strewn landscape, he chants: "Choose fairness. Choose real change that works for you. Choose the Liberal Democrats." An eagle-eyed reader observes: "It's just like the famous tag line spoken in Trainspotting by heroin addict Renton. Of course, that concludes, "But why would anyone want to do a thing like that?" Just don't tell Clegg.

pandora@independent.co.uk

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