Fresh underpants, please

Tom Jones likes his panties still warm; Salman finds replacements for Padma while she treks the stars; and Matt LeBlanc yearns to strap on his tool belt.

By Amy Reiter

Published October 25, 2002 4:19PM (EDT)

Tom Jones has his knickers in a twist about panties in plastic bags.

They are not, he mourns, the same as undies still fresh from his fans' nether regions.

Back in the '60s, when women first began to chuck their underpants at him as he crooned and bucked onstage, Jones tells the German magazine Bunte, "the whole thing was authentic."

But now the ritual lacks a certain warmth.

"Nowadays they bring along a plastic bag with their underwear in it," he gripes. "It has nothing to do with enthusiasm anymore."

And it pisses him off.

"I actually take it as an insult," he says. "I give it my all onstage because I want to fill the crowd with enthusiasm -- but that which comes from the heart and not out of a plastic bag."

Well, maybe not exactly the heart ...

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What exit?

"Hopefully nothing nefarious will happen on Kevin Smith Way, but if it does, call my lawyers."

-- Director Kevin Smith on having a street named after him in Paulsboro, N.J., where he filmed "Jersey Girl" with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.

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If he had a hammer

Jennifer Aniston may be the cast member who's acting the most cagey about signing up for another season of "Friends," but Matt LeBlanc's upfront with his backup plan.

He's ready to take up his tools and resume the life of a humble carpenter, which is what he did before making it big on a certain must-see TV show.

"I'm very blue collar. For me this whole acting thing was just a shot in the dark, and if it didn't work out I'd have my hammer and my tool belt, and I'd be banging nails again tomorrow if I had to," LeBlanc recently told BBC Radio 1. "I was a carpentry major in high school. That's what I did, that's what I was going to do, but then this kind of panned out OK."

All he needs now is a contractor willing to pay $1.3 million a day for his nail-banging services.

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Muggle cooties

"I hope they don't fall for each other!"

-- Rupert Grint, who plays Ron in the Harry Potter movies, on speculation that his character will end up in the arms of his friend Hermione, on

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God save the Space Queen

In case you were wondering, Salman Rushdie would like to assure you that he and his lady love, Padma Lakshmi, are still very much an item, even though he has lately been stepping out with a string of other women.

"For the last few weeks, I have been squiring around various lovelies, which has been giving rise to rumors that I'm not seeing Padma Lakshmi anymore," the controversial author told celebrity researcher Baird Jones at the premiere party for "Frida" the other night. "Nothing could be further from the truth. I miss her terribly. Padma's been out in L.A. shooting a 'Star Trek' movie. She plays one of those space queens. She should be back next week."

I'm sure you're all tremendously relieved to hear it.

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Juicy bits

The substance that made Nick Nolte drool and weave while driving last month? "Date rape" drug GHB, according to prosecutors who filed a complaint against the actor yesterday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the AP reports. Nolte is charged with driving under the influence and using a controlled substance. Alarmingly, though, he's not being charged with disturbing the peace for wearing that incredibly loud Hawaiian shirt on the day of his arrest.

Make that diet pickles and ice cream ... She may be knocked up again, but Catherine Zeta-Jones apparently has no intention of packing on the pounds as she did while carrying her first son, Dylan. "Catherine hates looking at pictures of herself when she was pregnant with Dylan," a friend tells the World Entertainment News Network. "She calls herself the giant beach ball." This time, however, she's planning to eat less and emulate Liz Hurley, Kate Moss and Sarah Jessica Parker, who stayed relatively slim during their pregnancies. Nice to know her priorities are in the right place, isn't it?

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Miss something? Read yesterday's Nothing Personal.

Amy Reiter

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