THE MORE THINGS CHANGE...Sorrow reigns in Britain these days, and for good reason. Koo Stark, former soft-porn actress and lady friend of Prince Andrew, is back in the headlines. Not only has she separated from Tim Jeffries, heir to the Green Shield trading stamp fortune, but she's said to be back in touch with Andy. Stark's August 1984 marriage caused a rift in Jeffries' family (her mother-in-law called her "shop-soiled goods"), and according to a published report, Koo and Tim "haven't slept together in ages." So what's Koo been doing? Reportedly dining with Andrew and calling him on his private line, using a code name.

GENTLEMEN, DRAW YOUR SWORD-FISH: Sen. Ted Kennedy has been called many things, but now he's being called—and called and called—the Red Lobster. The phone number of his Capitol Hill office is the same as that of the Red Lobster restaurant in Annapolis—minus the Maryland area code—and Kennedy is fed up with fielding misdialed calls. As he told Chicago columnist Mike Royko, "If they ask, 'How's the food?' I say, 'Well, I'm not supposed to talk, but we haven't had fresh lobster in a month.' If the callers are looking for a Saturday reservation, I go a little further. 'I'm sorry, but we're only taking reservations through Friday, until the health commissioner decides whether to close us down." Now the Red Losbter has started clawing back. Robert Bird, a spokesman for the restaurant, which is likewise burdened with wrong numbers, wants Kennedy to send some of his staff over "to help with all the casework calls we've been receiving." The Red Lobster also plans to ship some shellfish to Kennedy's office. That way, carps Bird, "when someone calls for a reservation, he can tell them to come right over."

WHERE THERE'S SMOKE, THERE'S IRE: Philip Michael Thomas was invited to Pittsburgh's "Heart-Throb '86," a mammoth February fund raiser sponsored by the Allegheny County chapter of the American Heart Association, but not so his Miami Vice co-star Don Johnson. Naturally one of Don's publicists asked why. "Johnson wasn't invited because he was a chain-smoker," explained organizer Denise Neal-Higgins. "He had the wrong image. We'd been told he couldn't stop smoking for 10 minutes. We were afraid he might blow the whole thing for us." But, the publicist pointed out, Johnson quit smoking in November. In fact, a future Miami Vice episode might chronicle his kicking-the-habit efforts. Hearing that, Neal-Higgins had a change of heart and invited Johnson to the benefit. "He's great and gorgeous," she says. "People will kill to see him."

PAST-LIFE-STYLES OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS: At the 1985 Awards for Cable Excellence ceremony Weird Al Yankovic was asked about Shirley MacLaine's latest book, Dancing in the Light, in which she claims to have been a princess and a Roman soldier in previous incarnations. Yankovic admitted he also had some past-life experience, though nothing that compared with MacLaine's. "I was only here once before, as a janitor in Iowa," he claimed. "I can't prove it, but every time I walk through a building I get the urge to clean it."

SIC TRANSIT: After he learned he had cancer last September, Hamilton Jordan wrote a 20-page letter to his friends, describing his illness, treatment and prognosis in intensely personal terms. More recently, after he decided to run for a Senate seat from Georgia, Jordan (who now says his disease is in remission) sent an eight-page letter to a large number of supporters, chronicling his career, achievements and political aspirations. Somehow, throughout these 28 pages, Jordan never once mentioned the name of Jimmy Carter.