Pandora: Don’t play the PR game with Tebbit

Tebbit, recently reinvented himself as something of a domestic god, releasing
an anthology of game recipes and appearing on the BBC’s Today programme to
offer a demonstration of how to make them. The response has been a general
clamour from all quarters ? including a request from the acclaimed West
Sussex eatery Jeremy’s Restaurant, of which, apparently, Lord Tebbit is
something of a fan, for him to make a personal appearance. In the event, he
was unavailable and staff notified the restaurant’s PR team to let them
know.

Since then, however, Jeremy’s has continued to claim that Tebbit agreed to
their offer ? insisting that his decision not to attend represents a
last-minute U-Turn, and announcing it via a press release headlined “Norman
Tebbit not fair game.”

Naturally, Tebbit’s parliamentary staff are indignant at what they see as an
out-and-out attempt to use a retired minister’s name. “It’s an absolute
untruth,” fumed one spokesman. “They were very pushy with the
offer ? they obviously knew it would do them good. But we told them from the
off that he wouldn’t make it. He lives miles away and by the time he got
home it would be well past midnight. It just wasn’t practical.”

I’m Derek Draper, get me out of here

*Reformed attention-seeker Derek Draper continues to resist the spotlight. The
former spinner has, apparently, been asked to appear on life-sapping reality
show, I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! and ? would you believe, it ?
has turned down the offer. “I’m not sure he’s cut out for jungle life,”
giggles wife Kate Garraway in her weekly column for New magazine. “He
hates insects and whenever we go on holiday, the last thing he wants is to
rough it. He can’t cope without his usual yoghurt and croissants for
breakfast!”

Tom’s wife has high hopes for climb

*Time to reach into your pockets: news of further cash-flow problems chez
Aikens.

Last year the heart-throb chef Tom was forced to place his group of London
restaurants into administration following debts to suppliers and
environmental health problems.

This time around it’s Tom’s elegant wife, Amber who’s having difficulty. She
has just climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Film Aid charity.
After setting herself a target of £10,000 she has so far only raised £430.

“She got to the summit yesterday and now she’s coming back down,”
Tom, pictured, tells us. “It’s things like that which teach you what is
really important in life. She has a JustGiving page ? sponsor her!”

No skeletons under Marr’s watch

*Andrew Marr spent much of yesterday being berated and heckled at the Labour
Party conference for daring to quiz Gordon Brown on whether or not he took
prescription painkillers.

But surely we should be praising Marr’s bravery? He obviously believes that
the personal lives of the British political elite are fair game and will
defend that principle whatever the cost. Clearly, those in the public eye
with skeletons in their closet should tread carefully.

Kaplinsky seeks out Diversity

*What’s this? The normally butter-wouldn’t-melt newsreader Natasha Kaplinksy
appears to have developed a soft spot for Ashley Banjo, chiselled frontman
of dance troupe Diversity.

“I met them all when they came into Five news,” Kaplinsky tells us. “I
get to meet lots of people doing the show, but they were one of the few I
actively sought out in the green room. I wanted to meet the handsome one,
Ashley, but he was in the toilet when I got to the green room so I had to
sit around and wait. He is gorgeous though!”

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