Funny, lots of specifics for such a nonwedding

Despite Madonna’s recent denials of talk that she’ll wed Guy Ritchie this Christmas, the U.K. tabloids Sun and Star reported Wednesday that the $1.4 million nups are a done deal set for Dec. 22 at Dornoch Cathedral in northwest Scotland.

Church of Scotland minister Susan Brown was identified as the marrying official. “There is an element of confidentiality,” she said. “It’s not going to come from me.” But added: “Legally, the banns have to be posted 15 days before the wedding.”

The couple’s reception will be at Skibo Castle, a Hollywood fave.

The intendeds are said to be in receipt of matching $15,000 diamond and platinum wedding bands from a Beverly Hills jeweler, and both tabs say their infant, Rocco, will be christened at the wedding ceremony.

Madonna’s spokeswoman refused to discuss the matter, but admitted that the pop diva and Ritchie will be in Scotland over Christmas with Rocco who will get a $45,000 christening gown by Donatella Versace and Lourdes, an expected bridesmaid. The Sun says Stella McCartney, Paul’s girl, will design the bridal gown, and Ritchie, whose folks are Scots, has been fitted for kilts.

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE DOPE SHOW: Maybe when Marilyn Manson comes to the Event Center in San Jose Jan. 8, some kind audience member should bring some padded mats for drummer Kenny Frank Wilson, aka Ginger Fish.

The drummer ended up with a broken collarbone Saturday night at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, according to the New York Post. Witnesses say he fell off his 5-foot-high perch when Manson tried to wreck his drum kit at the concert’s violent finale. He was flipped over his drum kit, crashed to the floor and lay motionless for nearly a half hour while the crowd left the venue and the band left the stage until he was discovered and rushed out of the club on a stretcher.

Wilson has been a target for his boss’ onstage outbursts. A 1996 concert at Irving Plaza was halted after four songs, when Manson smashed him in the head with the weighted base of a mike stand, sending him to the hospital. Techno musician Moby, who attended that show, told a reporter, “It was disgusting. I’m waiting to see if the police want witnesses. That kind of violence is totally unnecessary onstage.”

A CHILLY RECEPTION: David Blaine stood in a six-ton block of ice for 61 hours recently, wearing only khakis, a shirt, boots and a catheter all the accessories of the well-dressed man. However, neither his fashion sense nor his legerdemain impressed his fellow magicians.

“He’s going to be very comfortable in there,” said Penn Jillette, who finishes up the San Francisco leg of his 25th anniversary tour this weekend. “Pumping hot air into a phone booth and putting ice around it and standing around without a thought in your head isn’t a trick. Give me “Moby Dick” and an easy chair, and I’ll be in there forever.” Jillette says the same crew that constructs his shows built the iceberg, and he knows “the ice isn’t touching him. He’s not against ice he’s near ice. Are you really going to do a headline that he’s near ice?”

Phil Lobel, a spokesman for David Copperfield who will be making his way to Cupertino’s Flint Center Dec. 8-10 didn’t exactly preserve Blaine’s icy facade. “If you look at the physics of it, it’s going to be warmer than a down-filled sleeping bag in there,” Lobel sniffed.

NPR REPORTER INJURED ON HONEYMOON: A fishing boat propeller mangled NPR reporter Nina Totenberg’s face last week, but she isn’t letting it get her down, reports the Washington Post. The public broadcaster and her new husband, David Reines, were snorkeling during their honeymoon in the Caribbean last week when a boat came out of nowhere and nearly slashed her.

Reines says, It was a bright blue boat with yellow trim, doing 15 to 20 knots. It headed directly for Nina and then I heard a horrible thwack.” After the boat sped away, Reines, a Boston physician, described his wife’s face as “a mass of blood with two eyes poking out. I clicked from panicked-husband mode to trauma-surgeon mode.” Totenberg received extensive” surgery after the accident. The journalist has no plans to sue the boat operator, and in fact has another goal: I plan to be at the Supreme Court for the oral arguments on Friday.”

Today’s People Column was compiled by Vera H-C Chan from staff and wire reports. Comments? Write to us c/o the Times, P.O. Box 8099, Walnut Creek, CA 94596-8099. Or call 925-943-8262, fax 925-943-8362, or e-mail


Posthumous book published: By Mario Puzo. ReganBooks will pay in the high six figures for a novel about the Borgia family. “The Godfather” author died last year at age 78, but his longtime companion and assistant, Carol Gino, will be finishing the still-untitled book, due out fall 2001.

Birthdays: Movie director Gordon Parks (88), actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (82), actress Virginia Mayo (80), former New York Rep. Shirley Chisholm (76), actor Richard Crenna (73), actor Robert Guillaume (73), TV personality Dick Clark (71), radio talk show host G. Gordon Liddy (70), country singer Teddy Wilburn (69), country singer-recording executive Jimmy Bowen (63), singer Luther Ingram (56), singer Rob Grill of the Grassroots (56), rock musician Roger Glover of Deep Purple (55), playwright David Mamet (53), actress Margaret Whitton (50), actor Mandy Patinkin (48), musician Shuggie Otis (47), singer June Pointer (46), country singer Jeannie Kendall (46), singer Billy Idol (45), rock musician John Ashton of the Psychedelic Furs (43), football and baseball player Bo Jackson (38), rapper Jalil of Whodini (37), actor-director Ben Stiller (35), country singer Mindy McCready (25).