Pandora

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Badgering on

"Norman Lamont is after my job," according to Tory Euro leader Edward McMillan-Scott, as reported in Wednesday's Daily Telegraph. "Not helpful," was the Boy Wonder's response to this accusation. "Not true," was former Tory MP Lamont's riposte.

But what is true is that Lamont would like to become a leading Eurosceptic MP in Strasbourg. The problem is finding somewhere in this country that will elect to send him off to the land of champagne and odd cigarettes.

Pandora has learned that Lamont, whose former seat was Harrogate and Knaresborough in Yorkshire and who claims northern roots, believes the North East is his best bet. A call to the Tory campaign office in the Yorkshire region produced the news that six out of seven of the Conservative prospective candidates have now been selected. Pandora was told that the candidate in the seventh slot "has little chance of succeeding" in an election that will be based on Proportional Representation. Sounds perfect for Norman.

Pecking order

At the Opera Terrace restaurant in Covent Garden earlier this week, Labour's "New Deal" employment scheme was on proud show. Kim Howells, Under Secretary of State for Education & Employment, shook hands with the fledgling chefs whose jobs have been underwritten by the scheme. The mood of genial egalitarianism only lasted until lunch began. At that point, "big fish" and "little" fish were separated, with the Government VIPS sitting down to three courses while the lowly trainees tucked into just one plate. New Deal? Big deal.

Stop action

The BBC's fly-on-the-wall series The Human Body looks sure to stimulate at least one part of its audience's anatomy: lots of eyebrows will be raised. The climactic episode won't be screened until later in June when the cameras record a dying man's last moments. Pandora was intrigued by the inherent production scheduling problems. How could the camera crew be sure that they would not miss some of the most controversial footage ever screened on British TV? BBC press officer Susanna Frayn was suspicious when asked to explain. "As if we needed any more publicity," she complained. But she did reveal that the corpse in question, Herbert Mowes, had been a particularly co-operative subject. On the fatal morning, he told his wife that that he believed his time had come. The crew were summoned, set up their equipment around his bed and departed, leaving the cameras rolling. Thus was death demystified and with some degree of privacy.

Presley lives

Lisa Marie Presley has just signed a deal to record her first album of songs. The record company is Java Records, in a co-production with Capitol, and is owned by a man, Glen Ballard, who has in the past produced angst queen Alanis Morrisette and co-wrote Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror".

"Lisa will make an artistic statement that is unique and compelling," Ballard said in a statement announcing the deal. He must see something everyone else has heretofore missed, for Lisa Marie's former husband, Jacko, pulled every string in his professional quiver trying to obtain a recording contract for her.

When you consider a record by Elvis's daughter is sure to sell to fans on novelty value alone, it seems bizzare that her debut has been so long in coming. Can't wait to hear it.

Pandora is sure The King would be proud of his princess.

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