Pandora: Charles holds his tongue over Scottish hacker

Author: By Alice-Azania Jarvis

McKinnon’s defence campaign has attracted support from such a diverse sprinkling of stars as Boris Johnson, Trudy Styler and Lord Carlile. We’re told that the Prince himself has been facing entreaties to join from none other than Duane Jackson, the drug dealer-turned-successful businessman and poster boy for the Prince’s Trust. Jackson, who set up his business KashFlow with the help of Prince’s Trust funds, has taken a close interest in the case since he faced a similarly close encounter with American authorities after being arrested for possessing drugs at a US airport.

“He’s been writing a lot on the topic and appealed to the Prince to come out in support of Gary,” explains our source. Clarence House, however, insists Charles will continue to remain aloof from the debate. “He won’t want to get involved in anything that political,” confirmed a spokesman.

Opik cracks Brown’s sullen scowl

Congratulations to Lembit Opik for accomplishing a rare feat in these straitened times ? making Gordon Brown laugh. “Like a happy lion!” exclaims Opik. “It’s probably the greatest achievement of my political career.” The oddball Lib Dem was introducing the Prime Minister to a group of Iranian activists at the time. Apparently, he was surprised at how many there were. “I’m a big admirer of him,” adds Opik. “We have different parties but a common interest in doing the right thing for the country. I’m affected by his warmth.” Mm.

Planer feels the pinch at the Fringe

Spare a thought for Nigel Planer, who hosted a gala on Wednesday night to celebrate his new fringe theatre play, Death Of Long Pig.

Planer, who is more used to the four-figure budgets of West End parties, complains to Pandora that he had to grapple with rather tighter purse strings at the Finborough Theatre this time around. “I opened a £150 tab at the bar downstairs and that was it I’m afraid,” says the actor and playwright, best known for his role as the lovable hippie Neil in the cult comedy The Young Ones.

Let’s hope his financial contribution stretched around. Given the show’s rather mixed reviews, Pandora wouldn’t blame the cast for reaching straight for the refills. Waiter!

Prezza lands in the thick of it on hols

What are the odds? Of all the people that Armando Ianucci could run into on holiday, it was Pandora favourite John Prescott. “Bumped into John Prescott in my hotel,” tweeted the creator of The Thick Of It. “He watched In The Loop on his flight.” Prezza’s verdict? “That was Alastair, that was. That was Alastair.” We can only assume he is referring to Malcolm Tucker, the political film’s foul-mouthed spin-doctor, said to be based on Alastair Campbell. We’re not sure Campbell would agree, however.

Egerton keeps new beau under wraps

Tamsin Egerton keeps people guessing. The long-limbed actress, whose split from her previous boyfriend (the actor Andy Jones) had the press pack excited last year, let slip she has been dating a mystery man for more than a year, without a peep from the papers. “I’m seeing this guy,” she told one partygoer, explaining that her beau was an actor and quite a bit older. But, she urged, don’t tell the press who it is! (she finds the attention awkward) Little did she realise her fellow guest was a hack. Don’t worry, your secret’s safe…

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