William under fire from Welsh fans after no-show

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The Independent Online

Just days into his new post of Vice Royal Patron for Welsh Rugby, Prince William already finds himself under attack from the nation's hymn-warbling supporters.

Over the weekend, the Welsh Rugby Union's (WRU) official fans' message board was inundated with angry messages from fans claiming the sport-loving Prince was lacking the credentials for the job.

They were unhappy that after William's appearance in Cardiff for the game against Ireland two weeks ago, he then decided to snub Wales' game against Scotland last Saturday.

Instead, he chose to watch England's game against Italy in the company of his girlfriend, Kate Middleton. The comments have obviously proved an embarrassment to the WRU. Despite being written in (largely) civil language, the postings have since been removed from the site.

While no one from the WRU denied the comments had been taken down, a spokesman insisted it "welcomes robust debate on its message web board."

"We are delighted that Prince William agreed to become our Vice Royal Patron and will happily defend the decision to invite him to accept the role. We fully understand some people may disagree with that and they have the right to air their views," I'm told.

Interestingly, whilst the anti-royal postings have been airbrushed from history, those calling for the head of the team's coach Gareth Jenkins - whose side have lost their two opening Six Nations fixtures - have been allowed to remain.

Ready to work his magic with the ladies

Daniel Radcliffe will soon be appearing on the London stage in the buff when he stars in Peter Schaffer's Equus.

Radcliffe hopes that the play, a disturbing tale about a boy who blinds horses, will prove there's more to his acting than playing a snotty young magician.

As a result, the Harry Potter star seems to have undertaken several promotional interviews painting himself as a sex-charged teenager. He told one interviewer about a time he was confronted by a female fan dressed only in a towel.

"I was about 11 when that happened," he says. "That was really cool, actually I wish that would happen again. As I remember, she was very attractive. I'd be up for something now."

Nowadays it's hard to imagine Radcliffe encounters too many objectors when out "on the pull". At last count, his fortune was conservatively estimated to be around £20m.

Michael resigned to razzies

Oscar time is upon us again which means it's also time for the Golden Raspberries - "awards" which honour the past year's biggest Hollywood stinkers.

Hot favourite at this year's Razzies is the prize turkey Basic Instinct 2, starring Sharon Stone, which is up for no less than four gongs.

Admirably, the film's British director Michael Caton-Jones is taking the inclusion in good humour. "I think we'll get the clean sweep of awards," he tells me. "You don't set out to make a crock of shit, but sometimes, unfortunately, that's what you end up with."

When it comes to dubious honours, Caton-Jones has form. Whilst shooting BI2 in London, he resided at a property in Connaught Square as tenant to a Mr and Mrs A Blair.

Vote hotties

For the second successive year, Sky News's political editor Adam Boulton is holding an online vote to find out who you think is your most fanciable MP.

Those making Boulton' short-list currently include Alan Milburn, groovy Defra minister Ben Bradshaw and Tory smoothie Adam Afriyie.

Surprisingly, he makes no mention of Julia Goldsworthy, despite the Lib Dem upstart's spandex-clad heroics on last year's ropey Channel 4 reality TV prog The Games.

The winning member is announced tomorrow - Valentine's Day. I'm reliably informed that the strong favourite for the second year running is New Labour hottie, and aptly monikered "Minister for Fitness", Caroline Flint.

Townshend sniffy over bank manager jibe

As the owner of one of the largest conks in the history of rock 'n' roll, you'd think Pete Townshend would happily swat off disparaging remarks about his appearance. But at a recent awards ceremony, the Who guitarist became embroiled in a delightful exchange of words with the baffling performance art duo, Gilbert and George.

"Oh, you really were a handsome thing, weren't you? But look at you now, you look like a vicar or a bank manager," George told him. To which a slightly peeved looking Townshend angrily shot back: "Fuck off, so do you. We all do."

Some might say George got off lightly. During Townshend's hedonistic days in the 1970s, he was reportedly not averse to reminding his bandmates' heads what the back end of his Rickenbacker guitar felt like.

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