Pandora: To Paris with love - all aboard for Fiona's 50th
Thursday 10 January 2008
Tony Blair's former foulmouthpiece Alastair Campbell recently held a 50th birthday soirée for his partner, Fiona Millar, at a restaurant in the fashionable Marais district of Paris. It warms the cockles to hear that John Prescott was there with his wife Pauline.
Even more soothing to the spirit are the reports that members of another New Labour twosome – a pairing not without their difficulties – jumped aboard the Eurostar, too.
Tessa Jowell and her estranged husband, David Mills, also attended the bash, together with their children. According to reports, everyone got on "like a mortgaged house on fire".The couple separated not long after Jowell became embroiled in allegations against Mills in 2006 which at the time threatened to destroy her political career.
But let's not dwell on some of the more unsavoury aspects of the tail-end of the Blair era. This was a night of joy unbridled, only slightly ruined when Mr Campbell, together with his brother, "entertained" the 80 or so guests with a bagpipe recital. Thankfully, all had finished the lavish cold buffet by this time.
As well as Jowell and the Prescotts, New Labour strategist Philip Gould and his wife, publishing maven Gail Rebuck, were there at the bash. But there was no sign of dear old Tone, or the woman whom Fiona used to serve, Cherie.
Surely, they would love to have been at such a jolly affair. Alastair Campbell told Pandora last night: "I have got nothing to say to you whatsoever."
What party girl Kate did next on her birthday
On the day it was reported that Scotland Yard is to provide Kate Middleton with round-the-clock protection, Prince William's jolly jodphurs belle made a return to the London party circuit.
Last night, Middleton celebrated her 26th birthday with a cocktail party for close pals at her Chelsea flat.
Later, her posse went to Kitts, the popular Sloane Square nightclub previously frequented by the likes of Orlando Bloom and Daniel Craig.
It's not Middleton's first visit to the Chelsea boite. Last summer, she popped in after her break-up with Wills to attend a party held for the British film Rabbit Fever. Female guests were given goodie bags containing a "Rampant Rabbit" bedroom aid.
The last time Pandora ran into the lovely Kate, she pushed in front of me in the buffet queue and was asked in no uncertain terms, "D'ya want a plate, love?"
I'm dreaming of wedding breakfasts.
Beware the 'tache
Presidential hopeful and peculiar southern Baptist minister Mike Huckabee might want to avoid the warmongering walrus impersonator John Bolton, formerly George Dubya's gung-ho ambassador to the UN.
Huckabee, the surprise package on the Republican ticket, attempted to prop up his inexperience on the international stage by claiming he had enlisted Bolton's services as an adviser.
"I've corresponded with John Bolton, who's agreed to work with us on developing foreign policy," Huck said.
Bolton, not one to suffer fools, expressed surprise at this on Monday, when he arrived in London to address the economic think-tank, Global Vision.
"He tried to make out that I was part of his backroom staff," said Bolton. "I can tell you that's news to me."
"Hello? Hello? Can I speak to Pandora?" Hooray! He's not been knocked off! I was relieved to receive a crackly transatlantic call last night from the top spin doctor to our bum-fluffed Foreign Sec, David Miliband.
Yesterday Pandora reported that Seventies hairdo man Lucian Hudson had been disappeared after just 14 months. Appointed by Mili's predecessor Margaret Beckett, Hudson was the last of the old guard to be swept out.
His contract as strategic communications director will end in May. He is "considering various options" but does not have a job lined up.
What about the friction with David's shimmering special adviser Sarah Schaefer. "Noooooooooooo... [long diversion]... For me there have been no issues with colleagues." Safe trip!
A smart new look for Luntz
A smart new look for Luntz
Newsnight is employing the services of the leading American pollster Frank Luntz for its coverage of the sizzling scrap for the White House.
Much to the surprise of his London chums – he was a contemporary of Boris Johnson and Nick Robinson at Oxford in the early 1980s – he has shorn off his grizzly facial hair (think Eddie Izzard) and adopted a tie and neatly cut suit.
A pal of Mr Luntz, 45, says that the political brainbox spent nearly £4,000 over the holidays on a new wardrobe to look his best for the cameras in the coming months.
"This is massive progress, although there's a sweepstake on when Frank will return to baggy slacks and sneakers."
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