Gordon gets ready to elbow Tony off the chat-show sofa

In what will, amazingly, mark his first studio audience show since 1997, Brown has agreed to headline ITV's G8 special tomorrow night.

The broadcaster says that, in an "exclusive and rare format," he'll chat to Jonathan Dimbleby, Kofi Annan, Sir Elton John, and 200 members of the public.

The move is seen as hugely significant, because (until now) Brown has only ever done formal, one-on-one interviews. Questions from the floor after televised speeches have been about as racy as he gets.

In order to become Prime Minister, he'll need to crack the chat-show circuit, though, and tomorrow's show marks a tentative first step down that road.

Supporters blame Brown's previous absence from such programmes on the demands of the Chancellor's job, in which a few loose words could spell economic disaster.

They say he's happy to address the G8 agenda in public, since it applies mostly to an area of foreign policy he feels "on top of".

Blairites, on the other hand, reckon the Chancellor avoids live TV debates because he's at best awkward - and at worst downright inept - during spontaneous public appearances.

The Treasury merely tells me he's taking part "as a government voice". We'll have to wait until tomorrow to see if Gordon cuts it.

* The next time Brad Pitt hits the screen, he might not be saving the world or getting a girl. Instead, the Hollywood mega-star is liable to end up talking about a leisure centre near Brighton.

Pitt, recently took a year out from acting to work for Frank Gehry, the Canadian architect best known for the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

Now he's hoping to make a documentary charting the progress of Gehry's latest project, a £250m development on the King Alfred site in Hove.

The developers, Karis, say filming will commence this autumn when Gehry unveils his design to the local council.

"Brad's been involved in the project for nearly two years," says their spokesman. "We're in discussions with the BBC and with Brad's production company Plan B about a documentary."

Pitt, by the by, is a regular visitor to the UK these days. His new flame, Angelina Jolie, owns a pad in Buckinghamshire.

* There are the makings of a nasty catfight between Ulrika Jonsson and another well-appointed TV hostess, Carol Vorderman, right. Untroubled by the saccharine conventions of celebrity columns, Jonsson, below right, used her page in Sunday's News of the World to discuss the death of Vorderman's Countdown co-star Richard Whiteley.

"His premature death was sad and shocking. But I can't be the only one sick of the sight of Carol Vorderman moping tearfully about in a slinky black dress, crucifix and glam make-up," she wrote. "I realise her grief must run deep. But you could be forgiven for thinking she was bereaved, not Richard's private and dignified partner Kathryn Apanowicz."

Vorderman - Whiteley's loyal colleague for 23 years - won't dignify Jonsson's unprovoked attack with a response. But a friend tells me: "You haven't heard the last of this."

* And so farewell, Maria Sharapova, who - now Wimbledon fortnight is over - will disappear from British newspapers for another long year.

Goodness knows how Fleet Street will do without her, either. For (although she was knocked out at the semi-final stage) Sharapova's picture was featured in the nationals a staggering 225 times during the tournament.

All of which means that lucky reader Courtney Clarke wins my competition to guess how many times Sharapova would pop up in print.

Ms Clarke gets a bottle of Dom Perignon 1996, together with a £180 donation to the charity of her choice from the bookmaker Bethilo. They gamely offered me a spread bet on this important matter.

* The two Sirs - Bob Geldof, and Paul McCartney - were joined by several dozen of the world's most famous musicians for a rendition of "Hey Jude" at the end of Saturday's Live8 concert in Hyde Park.

Pictures of the sing-along also show a mystery guest on stage. He's a ginger fellow, with heavy, black rimmed spectacles and a disbelieving grin, yodelling in a microphone a few yards to the left of George Michael.

Yesterday, one Daniel Martin - a reporter from NME - admitted to being the man in question. He sneaked on stage by claiming to be Snow Patrol's official "hair-straightener" and ended-up with one arm round Geldof, the other shaking Macca's hand.

Other hacks weren't so lucky. Kadaria Ahmed, of the Abuja Enquirer (one of Nigeria's biggest weeklies) was barred from the event, and told: "papers from G8 nations get priority" for press accreditation. Ah, the irony!

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