Pandora: Vauxhall's dancing queen
Wednesday 18 June 2008
Morris dancers of Vauxhall exhale now – your local MP is fighting for you. Kate Hoey has never been the most conventional of Labour MPs, what with her pro-hunting credentials and now a City Hall job alongside Boris Johnson. Still, her latest move is a curious one even by those standards.
Concerned by the pressing matter of Knife Crime And Our Morris Dancers, she's written to the Home Secretary enquiring of the effect that crime legislation is having on "the ability of traditional folk dancers to a) buy and b) use swords as part of their dances". It will, no doubt, please all to discover that said dancers are well-protected. Says the Home Office: swords "for use in performance" will continue to be legal.
Gardner dodges cops in Television Centre chase
Frank Gardner has braved many perilous scenarios as the BBC's security correspondent. Still, I can't help but wonder if any has proven quite so unusual as his pursuit last week by the good men of Scotland Yard.
The acclaimed journalist and Officer of The British Empire, pictured, was subject to the long arm of the law as police strove determinedly – but ultimately unsuccessfully – to prevent him brandishing potentially embarrassing documents on live television.
The briefs, one of a series of security breaches from Whitehall, were found last Wednesday on a commuter train, having been mislaid by a senior civil servant. They were promptly handed to the BBC.
No sooner had Gardner arrived, briefs in hand, at Television Centre, than a team of Scotland Yard's finest followed in hot pursuit, frantically pounding the corridors in search of the man himself. Thankfully Gardner managed to out-race (and outwit) his unchivalrous pursuers, in spite of his having to manoeuvre a wheelchair through the building – an accessory he acquired after being repeatedly shot by Saudi militants in 2004.
Gardner found shelter in the form of a trusty BBC World studio, where he was granted sufficient respite to study the reports in detail.
All, I'm happy to say, ended well: the police reclaimed their files, the Beeb got their story, and all parties left unscathed. Bar one staff member, that is, who complained of a run-over toe.
An arresting act? Not for fans at the Isle of Wight
The Police reunion may have caused a frenzy amongst fans but VIP guests at this weekend's Isle of Wight festival were somewhat less enthusiastic.
While James' front man Tim Booth distracted himself with health and safety procedure ("Festivals in Britain are too safe. What the fuck can you even do here?"), others simply turned up their noses.
Asked if he was looking forward to the Police performance, Cribs front man Gary Jarman responded with a terse "not really."
Equally unimpressed was Celia Imrie who offered a less-than enthusiastic "I'm not really looking forward to it but I suppose I'll watch them." In the event she didn't even do that, leaving straight after the supporting act. She did seem to enjoy the Kooks, however, describing the lead singer as "cute" and dancing with friends.
A word of consolation, though, from soul diva Beverly Knight. Speaking to Pandora at a recent fund-raiser she gushed about the ageing rockers' charms: "I'd pay tens of thousands to see them in concert. Definitely."
Agyness Deyn may have the fashion world swooning at her every move, but Alex Turner appears to be unimpressed.
Never known for his personal vivacity, the Arctic Monkey looked outright bored on Friday night as he watched the Mancunian supermodel perform her new single with the New York rockers The Five O'Clock Heroes.
Much to the chagrin of fellow concert-goers, Turner chatted to friends throughout the entire show, giving the distinct impression that he was only there for his girlfriend – who, lest we forget, is one Ms Alexa Chung, of T4 and widespread social-page ubiquity.
Chung, on the other hand, spent the night dancing happily with fellow It-kids Pixie Geldof, Nick Grimshaw and Henry Holland, leaving onlookers to ponder a case of opposites attract.
One might assume that Labour's inquiry into the Crewe and Nantwich by-election defeat was a simple matter of stating the obvious. Alas nothing could be further from the truth as party officials begin to point the finger of blame towards London, in the unlikely direction of the deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman. "Campaign staff found her hugely patronising," complains one official. "Her style involved hectoring us at every opportunity. By comparison John Prescott was a joy to work with."
* When Gordon Ramsay handed control of one of his restaurants over to – brace yourselves, reader – a woman last year, diners were enchanted. Unfortunately Clare Smyth, the chef-ette in question, rather let the side down, snidely commenting that her former colleague Angela Hartnett was but a "one-star Michelin chef" while she had three. Hartnett gives her riposte in this month's Square Meal, haughtily noting that Smyth has "learned to watch what she says".
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