Pandora's column

Related Topics
Sir Elton John has a clear picture of his own style. Flashy, over the top, flamboyant: call it what you will, Sir Elton always projects a glamour all his own. You may not wish to emulate it, but you had better respect it. Photographer David LaChapelle found this out in Los Angeles recently. On a photo shoot for Citibank, the sponsors of his latest world tour, Sir Elton was asked by the snapper to push a shopping trolley containing nothing but a huge Citibank credit card. "I'll look like a big fat homeless person pushing that thing!" protested the perfectly proportioned, amazingly svelte, multi-home-owner. He immediately walked off the set and retired to his stretch limousine. When the producer tried to coax him back through a cracked window, according to the New York Post, Sir Elton told him, "You can take your $5m and stick it up your c**t!" Oh dearie.

Isn't this taking Minimalism a bit too far? The Met Bar, London's most fashionable drinking den until the Pharmacy opened last month, has removed all the loo seats in the Gents. When I asked the staff for a line of explanation, all I received was a knowing smirk. Can any readers help enlighten Pandora?

In late November, The Spectator published an article about Harry Evans, the former head of Random House in New York City and Tina Brown's husband. The article by Toby Young raised the question of Evans' sudden departure from the Newhouse empire to become editorial director of the NY Daily News. Was he pushed or did he jump? Young believed the former. Almost two months later, Evans sent The Spectator a letter - longer than Toby Young's original article - in which he demanded a "correction" and a printed apology. Frank Johnson, The Spectator's editor, told Pandora, "I think we are playing a collateral part in Evans's total campaign against Toby Young." Apparently Evans has reacted badly to a New York newspaper's report that Young is hard at work on a play about the media scene in the Big Apple, particularly the feud between the New Yorker's Tina Brown and Vanity Fair's Graydon Carter. "And he sent another legal letter to Young," Johnson reports, "which warned that he must not ridicule him `in any jurisdiction' ". Presumably that includes Off-Broadway theatres as well. Toby Young is outraged by this infringement of his First Amendment rights. Pandora's worry is that fighting for his civil liberties may prevent Toby from finishing his marvellous play.

Anxiety about Iraqi terrorism on these shores is affecting politicians as far away as Cardiff. The bomb squad was recently called out by a local councillor when he received a suspicious package in the mail. Just before they were about to conduct a controlled explosion, one of the squad detected a peculiar sloshing noise. In fact the package was a heaping load of fresh cockles, sent by a South Wales firm, Leslie Parsons Cockles, who are lobbying against change in legislation protecting their local shellfish industry.

Remember Primary Colors, the scathing political satire about the first Clinton campaign? Now it has been turned into a heartwarming comedy in which John Travolta plays a cuddly Clinton-like President. How did fictional acid rain turn into tepid drizzle? Clinton met with Travolta before shooting commenced and asked the star about his well-known Scientologist convictions. "Sounds great," Clinton said and volunteered to take up the Scientologists' defence in their current epic legal battle with the German government. I suppose we're lucky that the IRA is not bankrolling a White House satire.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page


In Sickness and in Health: 'I'm really happy to be alive and to see Rebecca'

Rebecca Armstrong
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
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