Pandora: Unhappy days for Bez
Thursday 17 April 2008
If any reader knows of a vacancy for a maracas player, please get in touch at the Pandora's email address. Bez, the Happy Mondays' "walking miracle" and "freaky dancer", a gurning Mancunian famed for his rhumba shakers, flying goggles and appetite for hardcore narcotics (Drugs? "It's my job") , has been declared bankrupt for a second time.
Born Mark Berry, he first graced the Insolvency Register back in 2004, rescued then by a £50,000 appearance fee from 2005's Celebrity Big Brother (RIP). Now 43, Bez's "Madchester" days of Caribbean crack cocaine sessions are gone. I hope his recent sniping at today's rock juveniles will not haunt him. Pete Doherty is "a lightweight", apparently, while Amy Winehouse is "a part-time rock'n'roller". Live the dream!
Room for one more? Clegg comforts under-fire candidate
Nick Clegg, fresh from the hoo-hah over his claim to have rolled about the bedclothes (or atop the car bonnet – you know these senior Lib Dems) with "no more than 30" women, yesterday stepped into the domestic arrangements of one of his parliamentary candidates.
Clegg dropped in to the north-west constituency of Pendle, a Labour marginal seat sure to be closely contested at the next general election, and saw the soggy tea biscuits fly.
His visit was timely, since the Lib Dem candidate there, a young barrister called Afzal Anwar, was this week subjected to a police investigation after the local Labour party screamed blue murder that 27 people are registered to vote at Anwar's house.
"It's despicable, they all exist," says Anwar's agent Tony Greaves, running through the identities of each one. "It's an enormous property which used to be a hotel. Four families are living there. All apart from two are British citizens and they are all entitled to vote."
He accuses Labour of dirty tricks: "This is just a diversional tactic from the Labour lot here who will stoop to nothing, I'm afraid, and there's a group of them and the only way they will stopped will be by sending them to jail." Crikey!
Clegg met Anwar yesterday to reassure him and join the outraged chorus.
"It's scurrilous muckraking," says Clegg's spokes-man. "It's a bit 'look at those Asian families living in one house'. Asian families here are upset about it.
"It's below the belt."
Not the best phrase...
Doherty signs on the dotted line
Try as Kate Moss does to settle down with her latest musical squeeze (and fiancé) Jamie Hince, the pale shadow of Peter Doherty may yet stalk her.
The scabby balladeer, once boyfriend to the enigmatic model, is currently banged up in Wormwood Scrubs for breaching bail conditions imposed to help him deal with his drug addictions. He has signed a "five-figure deal" with the publisher of coffee table tomes Cassell Illustrated to co-pen a biography of his band, Babyshambles. It will be a "classic rock biography that tells all", with the imprint promising he will write about his relationship with Moss: "She's obviously going to be in it because she's part of the story."
Alarm bell chez Moss!
Doherty released the Collected Writings of Pete Doherty last summer. The volume has sold 10,855 copies. It is not known how many purchasers subsequently turned to drugs to numb the reading experience.
Not such a bright spark
Aha! A pistachio! Let me fetch the sledgehammer...
The privacy of Damien Hirst is clearly something to be taken most seriously: an electrician working on the artist's Toddington Manor has been sacked, after appealing to locals in the Gloucestershire Echo to offer information about a mystery 19th-century plasterer, whose graffiti was discovered on a beam.
"My only intention was to find out if any of Jas Robbins' descendants could shed light on him," says Mark Curtis. "I was sacked by my site manager. I apologise to Mr Hirst if my action caused him any embarrassment."
Perhaps the wiresmith will, in years to come, consider himself lucky to not be bobbing about a tank of formaldehyde, or have his bare cranium embossed with bling.
Ripples at Sir Terence Conran's Le Pont de la Tour when a diner arrived flanked by goons. Confusion that it was Clark Gable cleared when patrons realised he was our thrusting Foreign Secretary, David Miliband. The eatery was favoured by Labour's upwardly-mobile: Ken dines there, and the Blairs broke bread with the Clintons. As for Miliboy, attention drifted towards a tribe of footballers.
* Whither City whiz kid David Pitt-Watson? Having agreed to be Labour General Secretary and sort out the finances, he had second thoughts. Labour claimed his contract obliged him to stay on for now as chairman of Hermes equity fund. Tell that to the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, where DP-W was scheduled to speak. "Please note that he may be replaced by his successor," read a note – fuelling the theory that DP-W is worried about his assets being seized were Labour to go into liquidation.
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