Pandora: Zephaniah unmoved by appeal of Cowell

Can Simon Cowell do no right? The squillionaire music magnate recently organised the recording of a star-studded charity single to raise money for Haiti at the behest of Gordon Brown, though the move has failed to win over everyone within the charity world.

Dub poet and animal-rights activist Benjamin Zephaniah – who appeared at Wednesday's TUC concert to raise funds for the earthquake-stricken nation – is one person who's still sceptical of Cowell's capacity to become the new Bob Geldof.

"You know, a lot of these people talk to their managers and they say, 'Is it worthwhile, is it a good career move for me?'" he reflects. "They obviously raise money, so they do a bit of good – and you can't ignore the bit of good that it does – but why didn't they do one for China?"

Fair point. Zephaniah, in the meantime, sounds like he is some way off his next release. "I spend most of my time running an office. A poet should go through life, be inspired and just write poetry, but I'm always talking to agents, doing interviews.

"When a young writer comes to me and they ask for some tips on what to do, I say, 'enjoy yourself now'. I hardly ever get any free time."

Breaking news! Burley apologises

*Kay Burley appears to be regretting her encounter with Peter Andre. Sky's most hard-hitting newsreader (literally: she once grasped the throat of a photographer who accidentally bumped her with a camera) has posted an unusually contrite blog on the channel's website. "[Peter] sobbed on my shoulder in the Green Room," Burley writes. "I was mortified at having upset such an obviously doting family man. He said he was relieved he'd finally vented some of the pent-up tension he'd been feeling and I sympathised." The violins, please.

Naomi's such a nice girl ...

Are Naomi Campbell's phone-throwing days long behind her? Pandora can't help noticing that the fiery supermodel has been experiencing something of a renaissance; Sarah Brown rarely appears without her (or so it seems).

Now Erin O'Connor, sensible voice of the fashion world, has come out as La Campbell's cheerleader. "She's one of the people I most admire in the world," she gushed at the 10th anniversary party of the charity TRAID at the Richard Young Gallery. "I watch her operate and it's a sight to behold. She just gets things done. She never delegates. She picks up the phone and organises things herself."

Kids Company boss reserves her vote

*Given her enduring work helping marginalised children, one would think that Camila Batmanghelidjh's electoral endorsement would translate into political gold dust.

Alas, the colourful founder of the London charity Kids Company tells us that no such support will be forthcoming this May.

"I won't be voting in the general election," she tells Pandora. "I'll work with any party which will help the needs of the children, but if they don't then God help them. I will be shouting it." Watch out!

Bacchanalian festivities?

*Nice to see that the generous souls at the Greek Tourist Office aren't letting the odd planet-sized deficit get in the way of festivities. We hear that they have just agreed to fly two of their country's most famous chefs, Christophoros Peskias and Stelios Parliaros, as well as "the world's best barman" Aristotelis Papadopoulos into London next week for the launch of their "A taste of Greece" festival. Lucky guests will even get the chance to enter a draw for an expenses-paid trip to Greece. Cheers!

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?