Pandora

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The Independent Online
Girl power

UNTIL yesterday, thousands of words were written about Peter Mandelson but the man himself remained worryingly enigmatic. Then four young women students from St Leonards School, St Andrews, were granted an interview with Mandy. Could he have imagined that the result would be the most chilling X-ray of his soul ever committed to paper? Published as part of the Daily Telegraph's School Newspaper Awards, future historians will surely treasure this profile of the Minister without Portfolio. At the end of their brilliant article, the students conclude: "We had heard tales of the `Prince of Darkness'. We had also read that he was `a lovely man'. Neither description seems entirely accurate." Out of the mouths of babes...

Green envy

DRINKING pink lemonade in the Pharmacy bar on Sunday afternoon, Paul Bartel, the American actor and director of such off-beat film classics as Eating Raoul and Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills, is in London on a brief visit. Having seen Enemy of the People at the National Theatre the previous evening, he was full of praise for Sir Ian McKellen's performance. But he was even more fulsome in his acclaim for the backstage facilities on offer. "We went to see Ian after the performance and he took us into the Green Room," Bartel told Pandora. "I've never seen a Green Room like that in the States. It's a real bar." Could this be the secret to attracting more Hollywood investment in British culture?

Missing!

WHERE is Charlie Sheen? Following a reported drug overdose on Wednesday, the cheeky bon vivant star of Wall Street was hospitalised in Los Angeles but checked himself out on Friday. He checked back in at 1am on Saturday morning, but walked out the door soon afterwards. He was then stopped by police and, according to them, taken to Cedars-Sinai hospital.

However, a hospital spokesperson told the Associated Press that there was no record of Sheen being on the premises. Pandora's call received the same response. Oh dearie!

Best nest

NATURE awarded its own prize at the Chelsea Flower Show last week. A pair of discerning blackbirds chose one of the Chanel garden's beech arches as an ideal place to start a family. Once the nest was spotted, the show's organisers gave permission for the Chanel planting to remain in place. Now it stands alone in the field that has been stripped of all its finery, a forlorn but highly fashionable landmark.

Nice guy

AFTER four of editor Dominic Lawson's key Sunday Telegraph staff resigned in recent weeks, it was perhaps understandable that hacks' tongues would wag. Now Pandora has been told about a meeting between Lawson and Conrad Black, his proprietor, at which Lawson apologised for the many defections. Black then recommended that he be nice to his staff. How silly! Surely there is no UK newspaper editor more patient and loving towards his minions than Lawson. Just ask them.

Political riff

IT IS no secret that, of the three largest political parties in Britain, the Liberal Democrats have the most limited resources. As a result, Lib Dems must try harder to get their message across. Now we learn that David Rendel, Liberal Democrat MP for Newbury, is actually taking trumpet lessons. Blowing your own trumpet? Taking life a bit too literally?

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