Prince hunts out loopholes to spend more time in the saddle

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* In a move that will keep him at the top of the news agenda, the Prince of Wales has decided to continue riding to hounds after hunting is banned on 18 February.

* In a move that will keep him at the top of the news agenda, the Prince of Wales has decided to continue riding to hounds after hunting is banned on 18 February.

Although he is not prepared to break the law, the Prince is looking at two separate options, Pandora gathers, that will allow him to continue with the sport.

The first will be to start hunting in another country, with Ireland the most likely choice. The second, more controversial, move involves using a loophole in the Government's legislation to continue the sport in the UK.

His intentions are hinted at in a letter sent last week to Captain Ian Farquhar, the Master of the Beaufort Hunt in Gloucestershire, which he regularly follows.

In it, the Prince - who has hardly hunted in the opening three weeks of the season - said he planned to spend more time in the saddle next year.

"In fact, it gave the impression that we'll see more of him after mid-February than we will before," I'm told.

Captain Farquhar is currently looking at how exemptions listed in section one of the Hunting Bill might be exploited.

This section allows for hunting to continue, so long as no more than two hounds are used and the fox is shot. It may provide the basis for a form of legal hunting.

* SPEAKING TO this column last week, Janet Street-Porter questioned the intelligence of Sophie Anderton, a fellow contestant on I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here!

Speaking before she left the country, my outspoken colleague wondered if the underwear model had "ever read a book".

With Anderton now in the Australian bush, it is left to her nightclub-owning boyfriend Mark Alexiou to conduct the case for the defence.

"I'm sitting on my bed, arranging my washing for when I go out to Australia at the end of the week," he tells me.

"Looking at the empty side of the bed, I can see Sophie's bedside table. There's a scented candle, a wild orchid, and 17 books.

"There is everything from classic chick lit, like Bridget Jones, to Papillon . Sophie reads plenty. I saw her on TV last night and was very proud."

* JERRY HALL was recently made the "face" of the high street jewellers Goldsmiths, and stars in its Christmas ad campaign shot by David Bailey.

It's a canny move for the former Mrs Mick Jagger: not only did she trouser a fee of several hundred thousand pounds, she also acquired a free wardrobe.

"Jerry received £300,000 and was allowed to keep whatever she wore during the shoot as an early Christmas present from Goldsmiths," says the company. "This includes items from our Millennium Diamond range."

Everyone stands to gain, though: Hall's endorsement will hopefully allow the glitzy emporium to shake off its unfair association with the so-called "chav" culture.

* MARGARET HODGE'S run in with Fathers 4 Justice - on Friday, the Children's minister spent 40 minutes handcuffed to one of the group's team of activists - was virtually ignored by the BBC.

The incident made every national newspaper and most commercial TV bulletins, but the national broadcaster spiked it from both its six o'clock and 10 o'clock news programmes. F4J blames a feminist conspiracy, but the BBC insists otherwise.

"We covered the protest when it happened on News 24, and briefly on the one o'clock news," says a spokesman. "That felt proportionate for the importance of the story. We will obviously be sparing in our coverage of publicity stunts as opposed to genuine news developments."

* JANET WATCH: And so to a new daily feature, following The Independent on Sunday's Editor at Large - and Independent columnist - on her televised charm offensive in the Australian jungle.

Yesterday, JS-P was upset by the arrival of a pair of four-week-old emus in the camp, where they are to act as pets.

"For God's sake! What on earth do we need pets for? I hate pets," she shouted. "I don't want pets, I loathe pets. I thought for one moment we might be eating them."

Fellow contestants also felt the lash of her acid tongue. Three Degrees singer Sheila Ferguson was accused of "issuing too many orders," while the former East 17 singer Brian Harvey, who broke wind close to the campfire, received the rapid riposte: "For fuck's sake!" Keep it up, Janet!

pandora@independent.co.uk

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