Pandora: Will battle-hardened Prezza become a Lord?

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Once his (almost) legendary battle bus is relegated to the great, post-election garage in the sky, how long can it be until John Prescott is awarded a peerage?

Gordon Brown has yet to announce a Dissolution Honours List – though Prezza, having been deputy leader and deputy prime minister, would be more than qualified for a spot.

Asked about the prospect during a late-night appearance on the BBC, Prescott appeared equivocal, chuckling when the possibility that his wife might not be disinclined to enjoy the title "Lady Prescott".

Of course, the title may well be fleeting; Gordon Brown has made his intention to make the Lords fully elected clear, which raises the prospect of the Prescott campaign bus being brought back into action once more, this time being driven straight to the House of Lords.

Curiously, no one from Prezza's camp was keen to comment on the possibility last night. "We're just concentrating on getting the bus around this time," insisted the Labour veteran's son, David.

Elocution, elocution, elocution

Repeat after us: the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain. Despite having a string of period pieces to her name, the actress Gemma Arterton's Gravesend vowels still proved too much for director Stephen Frears, who cast Arterton in his forthcoming adaptation of the Posy Simmonds comic strip. "I went into this 'meeting and he went: 'Oh dear, oh dear. Why do you speak like that?'" says Arterton. "That's where I'm from! He said: 'Well you're going to have to sort that out.'" What a charmer.

Brown ready to swap bananas for kiwi

Time for the nation's nutritionists to breathe a sigh of relief. Reports that Gordon Brown was consuming "up to nine" bananas a day were met with dismay by dieticians, who cited the fruit's "bloating" properties. During yesterday's trip to the Innocent Smoothie factory, however, a quip from LBC 97.3 that Brown might want to "swap his bananas" for one of the drinks was – we're told – met with prime ministerial praise for the kiwi and mango options on offer. No 10 catering department, take note.

In Dave's pocket?

Given David Cameron's fondness for Boden shorts, surely it won't be long before Middle England's mail order catalogue of choice announces its electoral endorsement. "Johnnie Boden did once send me some vouchers," confesses the Tory leader to Red magazine. "I sent them straight back! I paid for my own shorts." Perks, eh?

*Plaudits to shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox, who displayed impressive hand-to-eye co-ordination while waiting for an interview with Kay Burley yesterday. A sudden gust of wind threatened to blow away the Sky News gazebo, only for Dr Fox to leap into action to save it. "Everyone else rather panicked," we're told.