CAN'T BUY ME LOVE: Big news this week was that the late Linda McCartney left an estimated $466.2 million in a trust which will make four, lump-sum, tax-free payments a year to her husband, Sir Paul. Oddly enough, she left not a sausage to the vegetarian causes she espoused all her life. Sir Paul was formerly in the Beatles pop group, a band of musicians popular some 30 years ago and from which, we are reliably informed, he earned "a tidy sum." The Linda bequest now officially makes Sir Paul the second-richest man in the universe after God (whose assets are largely tied up in real estate).
ALL THE PRESIDENTIAL MEN: Was it life imitating art, or art anticipating life? Michael Douglas - who has played the US President on screen, we must remember - this week addressed the House of Commons and met British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook to advocate nuclear disarmament. Douglas, a man who has been a UN ambassador since 1998 and who wears an expensive suit extremely well, has often toyed with the idea of running for public office but, like will-he-won't-he?/can-he-actually-act? colleague Warren Beatty, Douglas seems happy at the moment to play presidential on screen. If Douglas ran and won, the First Lady-to-be would be Catherine Zeta Jones. If Beatty ran and won, the world would have the radiant Annette Bening as First Lady (oddly enough, she played First Girlfriend opposite Douglas in The American President). Tough choice for the women's magazines.
Incidentally, Beatty's sister is Shirley MacLaine who had connections to the Rat Pack who had connections to the Mob who had connections to the Kennedys and so on. Talk about your six degrees of separation.
AND THE WINNER IS ... In the Oscars, hands-down winner so far is 61-year-old Willie Fulgear, described as "a skip scavenger." Willie is the man who discovered the missing Oscars in a rubbish skip and, being the great American he is, immediately put them in his car and called the ... well, not the police actually, but a television station. He has received a $100,000 reward, apparently - but we expect his agent to take 10 per cent.
WHAT'S THE STORY (MAULING GLORY)? We promised you a couple of weeks ago that we'd bring you further news on this as it came to hand ... er, fist, so: Oasis' Noel Gallagher (brother of aspiring middleweight Liam) called Robbie Williams a "fat dancer," so Robbie promptly sent Noel an RIP wreath. Liam - not 'avin' it, mate - threatened to break Robbie's nose. Robbie, with admirably fancy footwork, challenged Liam to a few rounds, with the loser giving $300,000 to charity. Liam has announced the feud is "childish and pathetic" and - astonishingly from this otherwise mouthy, stewardess-abusing, hard man of the cocaine-tasting set - says it would set a bad example to fans. We conclude none of this would have happened if Oasis didn't have an album to sell.
NO SLEEP TILL ... In what we here consider cruel and unusual punishment, campus police at the University of Toronto have been playing music by the Backstreet Boys to flush out students who have, for a week, occupied the university president's office, demanding a campus-wide ban on the sale of clothing from Third World sweat shops. The UN is investigating - not the sweatshop stuff but the use of torture against these students. Backstreet Boys? Say it isn't so!
HIGHWAY TO HELL? Aussie rock legends AC/DC have had a street named after them in Madrid. True. The imaginatively named Calle de AC/DC is in the suburb of Leganes and brothers Angus and Malcolm Young were in attendance, as were 300 fans. "It's a great idea - there should be others. All of the streets should be named for rock groups," said 43-year-old Javier Redondo. Senor Redondo is ... a stereo repairman.
IF HE WERE ALIVE TODAY, HE'D JUST DIE: Inxs, the band which Michael Hutchence used to front before circumstances beyond his control got in the way, are scheduled to undertake a short Australian tour next month. But wait, it gets worse. They will be fronted by former pop star and now fiftysomething David Essex (Rock On). No, there's worse. They will be doing a musical revue of the show tunes of Tim Rice, who inflicted Chess, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and other such atrocities on popular music. Table-tappers say Mr Hutchence is unimpressed (although he quite liked bits of Jesus Christ Superstar).
STANDING ON THE SHOULDER AGAIN: Oasis' new single, Who Feels Love? comes with a version of the Beatles' Helter Skelter. Which seems a nice circular place to end this. Yawn.