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All wrung out ...
Sean "P. Diddy" Combs planned to celebrate his 35th birthday Thursday with a lavish "Royal Birthday Ball" at Cipriani's restaurant with an A-list of guests including Mariah Carey, Vivica A. Fox, Spike Lee, Sarah Jessica Parker, Chris Rock and Stevie Wonder.

But Combs said the real celebration will begin when he's finally able to sleep.

"I wanna be able to lay down," the rap mogul/actor/fashion designer said. "In this one year, I've run a marathon, I did Broadway, signed on for a movie to do 'Carlito's Way: The Beginning,' won men's designer of the year, opened up a store on Fifth Avenue, got the youth vote out -- and now it's my birthday," Combs said.

"It's been a great year but it's been hard work. I'm gonna lay down for a week, watch TV, eat a turkey sandwich ... (and) watch old reruns of 'Good Times.'"

Blame it on the drummer ...
It looks like Ashlee Simpson was wrong -- her "Saturday Night Live" lip-syncing meltdown wasn't her band's fault. Actually, the downfall Simpson suffered on live TV Oct. 23 was specifically her drummer's fault, reports E!Online.

So says the drummer himself, Chris Fox, in a missive he posted on Simpson's Web site,, in which he takes the brunt of the blame for the pop tart's SNL mishap. Billing itself as "a few words from someone 'on the inside,'" Fox's mea culpa explains that he is the person "in charge of starting the songs and cueing their backing tracks (miscellaneous percussion, random sound effects, etc.). Plain and simple, I cued the wrong song."

Commander Eric ...
Rock guitarist Eric Clapton set aside his "rebellious streak" to become a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE.

The singer-songwriter described the honor -- conferred by Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, during a ceremony this week at Buckingham Palace -- as the "icing on the cake" of his career. But Clapton, 59, conceded that he would have found it hard to accept the honor, with all its establishment connections, earlier in his life. "I had a rebellious streak in me," he told reporters. "As a kid I would not have been able to accept this. I was very immature about the way I looked at that. I was against the establishment. Now I have grown up, I really think it is an important thing to be able to set an example of some kind."

Royal flap ...
Prince Charles and his companion, Camilla Parker Bowles, will not attend the wedding of his godson this weekend, sparking reports in newspapers that they refused to be seated apart.

The reports underline the continuing social awkwardness of Charles' very public liaison with a woman he says he has no plans to marry. The London Daily Mail, which played the story on its front page, said Charles pulled out because Parker Bowles had been assigned a seat in Chester Cathedral several rows behind him. The Daily Telegraph, in its front-page story, headlined: "Camilla boycotts wedding over snub."

The explanation from Charles' office was that he was passing up the wedding of godson Edward van Cutsem and Lady Tamara Grosvenor to meet with families of the Black Watch Regiment, which was recently redeployed nearer Baghdad, Iraq.

John to wed ...
Elton John is planning to become a married man.

The flamboyant performer is saying that he wants to wed his longtime companion, David Furnish, reports

"We haven't set a date and it surely won't be a big public ceremony but I would like to place my life in his hands with a wedding vow," the Rocket Man told the German weekly celebrity magazine Gala.

The 57-year-old admitted that in his boozy, druggy youth he lived "like a wild animal," but added, "I have never been so happy ... I cannot imagine a life without Furnish."

A source who knows the singer says, "I didn't hear him say those those exact words, but I know those are his sentiments."

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