Pandora: Black memoir put on the back burner

Pandora very much hopes we won't have to wait too much longer to get our hands on Conrad Black's next volume of memoirs.

The incarcerated former Telegraph proprietor was due to publish The Fight of My Life – which picks up where his previous offering, A Life in Progress, left off and chronicles his journey from Telegraph ownership to a Florida jail – this autumn but has, we hear, been forced to put the project on hold. Since Black is appealing against his conviction at the US Supreme Court, there is a risk the book could interfere with the fairness of the case. "We've gone through final edits, it's been legally vetted and was set to go into production," explains Douglas Pepper, president of Black's Toronto-based publishing house. "Conrad is very anxious to get his book published, but a great deal of it revolves around this particular case and you can't go any further than the Supreme Court."

The delay is the latest in a string of setbacks to beset the tome, which was supposed to be published last spring. Given that the Supreme Court isn't expected to reach a verdict until 2010, the work seems unlikely to see the light of day until 2011.

Nesbitt may be going Stateside

*Dear, dear. A week to the day after we hear of Ross Kemp's employment problems (Pandora's favourite tough guy claims he's struggling to find work), news of another small-screen star feeling the pinch.

"The British television industry is in a desperate state, not creatively, but financially," laments James Nesbitt in the Radio Times. So I've gone with an American agent and, well, we'll see what happens. I really don't want to leave [my daughters] – it'd be hard, but there's so little work happening here."

MPs put the champagne on hold

*Disappointment among MPs yesterday, as another Westminster heavyweight fell victim to the expenses scandal.

The House Magazine Awards – an annual affair designed to give members the chance to slap one another on the back while enjoying a few self-congratulatory glasses of champagne – was cancelled at the 11th hour.

Apparently, organisers felt such overt displays of self-satisfaction would be "inappropriate" given the current climate. A wise call, we would say.

Darcey and Katherine part ways

*Yet another victim of the straightened times – or possibly artistic differences? – in the form of Katherine Jenkins and Darcey Bussell's photogenic double-act, Viva La Diva.

The pair tell us that they won't be resuming their big-budget show any time this year.

"I can't imagine doing all the work again," explains Bussell. "For now, I'm concentrating on bringing out my books, I think."

Jenkins, meanwhile, is most likely to be found mid-way across the Atlantic: "I'm flying back and forth to the US from this autumn, but maybe we can come up with a new concept for 2010."

Exotic bread for Cherie's larder

*Some cheering news, at least, for Cherie Blair. The wife of the former PM (and distinguished memoirist) is soon to have a trendy – if rather unusual – new bakery sharing Connaught Village with her.

Owned and run by Serena Rees, the ingenious woman behind the racy lingerie label Agent Provocateur, it promises to be a rather a-traditional offering. No doubt the Blairs will be picking up their creatively shaped croissants daily.

Comments