Pandora: Labour wants you (to design its posters)

By Alice-Azania Jarvis
Sunday 23 October 2011 06:43

After, we assume, several long hours in the Downing Street bunker discussing the Conservatives' latest less-than-flattering M&C Saatchi designed campaign advert, Labour party officials appear to have found a new strategy. Namely, DIY.

We're told that Douglas Alexander, party election coordinator, has sent an email to all MPs and supporters asking them to submit their suggestions online in the (some might say improbable) hope that they can do better.

"Our ad agency, Saatchi & Saatchi [no relation], have produced some great work for us," he writes. "And unlike the Tories, we'll be sticking with our agency – but we want to see if you can do better."

Philip Gould, meanwhile, has offered his "top tips" for making the volunteers' efforts effective ("keep the message simple, include strong images, try to weave in humour wherever possible"). Winning propositions will be aired online over Easter weekend.

Naturally, party officials insist the idea has everything to do with participation. And nothing whatsoever to do with Labour's shoestring budget.

Plenty of fashion vim in Vivienne

*Those fearing an imminent career change from Dame Vivienne Westwood: time to breathe a sigh of relief. The design doyenne assures Pandora that, contrary to speculation, she has no plans to abandon the catwalk ahead of filming Get A Life, her forthcoming pilot for a television show about "climate change and culture". "I was bored by fashion for 15 years," she explains. "I just did it because I was good at it. But I quite like it now – and it gives me a mouthpiece." Lovers of tartan and tailoring can relax once again.

MP4 issue a Cross Party release

*Hark! Word reaches us of the most exciting event in recent muso-political history. Yes! It's the release of MP4's long-anticipated debut album on Revolver Records. Produced by Sade collaborator Robin Millar, Cross Party went on sale yesterday, complete with Pete Waterman-remixed bonus track. The House of Commons' premier (albeit only) rock band will promote it this afternoon with a, ahem, guerilla gig in the Commons. Lucky fans may even be in with a chance of getting a signed copy. Cue Beatlemania levels of excitement.

Shilton is waiting in the wings

A less than subtle hint, now, for those BBC bigwigs plotting the line-up of next season's Strictly Come Dancing.

Should they find themselves a man down on their sports star quota, there's a certain goalkeeper waiting in the tunnel for a turn.

"Bring it on!" enthuses Peter Shilton of the prospect. "I did ballroom dancing lessons when I was a youngster. I could actually do the steps."

Let's hope the challenge doesn't take its toll. Shilton recently took part in Let's Dance for Sport Relief. "It was absolutely nerve-wracking. I didn't sleep for three nights before. It was like being in the dressing room on a delayed kick-off."

Flying solo

*News that Nick Clegg is to fly, Obama-style, in a private plane accompanied by members of the media throughout the general election campaign has elicited but muted enthusiasm from Lembit Opik. The lothario of Montgomeryshire had, after all, once offered his own piloting services to Clegg, only to be met with a rebuff. "It's not going to be me," Opik reflects. "But as Parliament's best-known pilot, I'm pleased my leader is supporting aviation in this way. I'm still considering getting my hands on a second-hand jumbo jet myself." So kind!

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