Hush, hush, whisper who dares…Christopher Robin is being replaced by a girl after 80 years.Pardon my cynicism, but why do I suspect that the message is that to a certain mindset only tomboyish girls are accedptable - real boys represent the male oppressor and girly-girls perpetuate out-dated gender roles. (I know, I may be reading too much into this...)
Robin, everyone's friend in the Hundred Acre Wood, is being written out of a new Walt Disney animated series.
Instead, the studio is creating a new playmate for the "bear of little brain" - a six-year-old tomboy who is to emerge in a clearing, with a back-pack and a plastic helmet.
Studio executives, mindful of the fact that Pooh is their biggest franchise after Mickey Mouse, were quick yesterday to point out that "Christopher Robin is still out there in the woods, playing".
They said that he might even be given a cameo role, walking along a path to meet the new girl.
Nancy Kanter, of the Disney Channel, said: "We hope people will fall for this tomboyish girl. We got raised eyebrows, even in-house, at first.
"But the feeling was that these timeless characters needed a breath of fresh air that only the introduction of someone new could provide."
The cartoon is still being written, so no name has been found for the girl.
Berlusconi's mother shows why one should never let one's mum talk to the press:
No matter how old, rich or powerful an Italian man is - his mamma will always worry about him.
Rosa Berlusconi, the 90-something mother of Silvio, Italy's prime minister, is no exception. And she will not keep "mum" about her fears even in the run-up to a general election.
"My son is so tired, so down - he doesn't know what else he can do for our Italy," said "Mamma Rosa" after the glitzy opening of La Scala's new opera season. The former tyre-factory secretary told reporters that even the Milanese glamour and Mozart could not stop her fretting about her 69-year-old son.
"I asked him, 'Silvio, why bother?' " she said. "And he replied that it wasn't right to talk about the good things you do. But when I see people insulting him, I get so angry. Anybody else would tell them all to go to hell.
Despite Mr Berlusconi's busy schedule, like every good Italian son, the billionaire media tycoon and politician is said to call his mother every day to listen to her advice.
The Corriere della Sera (Italian article) reports on an English couple who have been married for 38 years. The husband underwent a 'sex change' operation in 1991 and they continued to live 'as sisters' since then. Now with the new 'civil partnership' legislation in the UK they plan to divorce and 'remarry' as two female 'civil partners'. What can one say?