Pandora: Worrall Thompson lands in the soup (again)

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The Independent Online

Residents of Peppard, Oxfordshire, were yesterday treated to the sight of chefs Antony Worrall Thompson and Ainsley Harriott celebrating the relaunch of Worrall Thompson's Greyhound pub, which was closed last year after the administrators were called in.

Over at another Worrall Thompson outpost, however, things were less cheerful. We're told that the rotund chef faces the prospect of an embarrassing legal battle over the salaries of two former employees at his Windsor Grill.

Richard de Wet, who helped found the fashionable eatery, claims he and his wife are owed at least £5,000 of holiday pay after they were made redundant hours before boarding a plane to Thailand.

"He told us on the day we were flying off that we were going to get all our payments," complains an angry de Wet. "This isn't about bad-mouthing Antony. I had a good time with him and I learned a lot. However, I think what he is doing is totally wrong. He said he treated the business like a big family. I think he was taking the piss."

Fergie's keen to vamp it up like Madge

"I've decided to spend four hours a day, five days a week, getting into shape," announced Sarah Ferguson during a suitably glossy photo shoot for Paris Match. "I want to have a body like Madonna in that Louis Vuitton advert." Of course, that would be the advert in which Madonna dangles her LV handbag from one ankle, legs akimbo, crotch front and centre. We think (hope?) she's joking.

Mandy finds the law on his side

*When Peter Mandelson was asked at last week's House of Lords Press Gallery lunch whether he wanted to become Labour leader, he replied that he couldn't because he was now a peer, and didn't have the power to remove the title. "Of course, you could always change the law," he joked. How marvellous of Jack Straw to oblige. The Justice Secretary yesterday announced legislation allowing peers to give up their titles. No wonder Mandy looks so chipper.

Too dull for the Beeb? Parky misses out

Oh, the sting of rejection. Michael Parkinson bore the brunt after being approached by the BBC about appearing in the TV series Who Do You Think You Are?

"My story was so boring they had to cancel the entire project," complains Parky in this week's Radio Times. "I warned that my own research had unearthed nothing of note. 'Oh, they all say that. But we always find something,' they said. Six weeks later they phoned to apologise. I was gutted."

Sir Nick gets his likeness online

*Sir Nicholas Serota is the latest public figure to fall victim to an online impersonator, thanks to a newly created Facebook account.

Not that its falsity appears to have put off any of his famous acquaintances. As well as a sprinkling of movers and shakers from the art world, the Tate's high-minded director has been befriended by Alastair Campbell and Charles Thomson, the leader of the Stuckist movement. Can't they tell the difference?