Pandora: Where is thy Sting?

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The Independent Online

Momentous news from Capitol Hill. As luminaries and their guests prepare to gather at this year's White House Correspondents Dinner, one couple will be conspicuous by their absence. To wit: Sting and Trudie Styler, first lord and lady of M-O-R and, inexplicably, regulars at the event, have decided to stay at home.

It's sad news for those already salivating at the prospect of a post-event dissection; last year the pair managed to clock up an eye-watering number of headlines with their – ahem – complex travel arrangements (while her husband caught a scheduled flight, self-styled green activist Styler hired a private jet to pick up her eight-strong entourage, including the Manhattan-based hair and make-up man Antonio Prieto). Whether or not their decision to stay away has anything to do with the fuss is unclear. Neither, I'm told will Gordon and Tana Ramsay attend. Alexa Chung will be heartbroken.

Chung checks out some Scottish beef

It's been a few years since the minxish presenter Alexa Chung nabbed herself Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys (she introduced him to organic shopping; he took her to Tesco). Let's hope her eye isn't straying. "I saw Gordon Ramsay the other day," she reflects in this week's Radio Times. "He's sort of sexy in person." We have a feeling he's a Waitrose man.

Eddie looks on the bright side

"What's a bigger challenge," called one heckler as Eddie Izzard visited Cambridge University's student paper, The Tab. "Running 40 marathons or getting Labour elected?" "Well, they are both... Er, they are both hard. But that's a good thing!" Izzard replied. One way of looking at it.

From middle Earth to middle England

Generously, lembit opik offers us his interpretation of Nick Clegg's messianic rise in the polls. "He's like Frodo," offers the Liberal Democrat of his leader. "He arrived in Middle Earth all innocent, but ready to take on the forces of evil. He is the only one capable of wearing the ring of power without being corrupted. Vince Cable is our very own Gandalf." Naturally.

Turning wheels of diplomacy

Turning wheels of diplomacy the sale of a plot of land next-door to the British embassy in Bangkok several years ago prompted little immediate development. Now the owners have leased the idle acres to a noisy funfair, dubbed "Embassy Land" by embarrassed diplomats. A ride on the Ferris wheel affords a good view of ambassador Quinton Quayle's residence. If you're lucky, you might catch sight of him in his beloved West Bromwich Albion strip.