Pandora: Cover star Campbell calls in the favours

Alastair Campbell appears as guest editor of the New Statesman today – and quite the leather-bound address book of names he has commissioned, too.

The spin maestro's former boss Tony Blair has been roped in to write a piece about God (a subject that he famously didn't "do" under Campbell's watch). Meanwhile Campbell's other half, Fiona Millar, shares a byline with Melissa Benn, and Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail, contributes a surprising piece about his "inordinate gratitude" to the NHS.

Of course, relations with Dacre haven't always been so rosy; Campbell has previously described him as "one of the most poisonous men in public life".

Naturally, the guest editor is also the cover star (accompanied by someone or other who goes by the name of Sir Alex Ferguson) – though I am assured that this decision, at least, wasn't Alastair's own.

"That was definitely someone here," comments one Staggers staffer. "Actually he surprised us all by coming in every day all day this week and taking it very seriously: chivvying, editing, bantering with the staff. As you can imagine he could have just written a few token emails but he did it properly."

Saint Lucia is so Amycable

Just a few weeks after returning to England's smoggy shores, it seems that Amy Winehouse is planning a second voyage to the Caribbean.

The toothpick-thin soul singer has been announced as the headline act at this year's Saint Lucia Jazz Festival.

"It's a thank-you for all the kind hospitality she has received on the island," explains a spokesperson. "She's expected to appear on the final weekend with KC and the Sunshine Band."

Let's hope her impending trial – she is facing a charge of assualt – doesn't cause any scheduling problems.

Prescott makes an unlikely cameo

There was a surprise guest at yesterday's Phones 4u "Girls Only Day" – in the unlikely form of John Prescott.

Apparently, the well-upholstered former deputy PM – who didn't quite fit the demographic of those who had come for "a tailor-made experience, specifically for women who find mobile phone shopping intimidating" – was almost as bemused by his attendance as the other guests.

Still, I'm told Prezza was all charm, obligingly posing for photographers and even – briefly – manning the Soho store's DJ decks. Though there's no word, as yet, on whether he took advantage of the "free hair, make-up and manicures" on offer.

Carine won't be taking Manhattan

Carine Roitfeld, the formidable editor of French Vogue, has ruffled a few custom-made feathers by ruling herself out of the running as a successor to her American counterpart, Anna Wintour.

Asked about the possibility during a live interview with the American news channel CNN, Roitfeld claimed she would prefer to stay in Paris. "It would be too political at American Vogue for me," she insisted.

"And I'm not sure I talk enough good English to work there.

"It's a bit like for an actor. Do you want to go to Hollywood or do you want to stay here in Paris and do the cinema I like to do? I think I prefer to stay here."

No doubt her announcement will come as some relief to Wintour, who has been dogged by rumours of retirement for the past six months.

Roitfeld, generally seen as a younger, edgier alternative, was the pundits' favourite to take her place.

Henman's bidding war

Tim "not-so tiger" Henman appears to have found new pulling power since his retirement two years ago.

In May he will participate in a one-off match at Wimbledon to break in the new Centre Court roof ahead of this summer's tournament.

Priced at a modest £35, all 15,000 tickets sold out in five minutes.

Now, however, those very same tickets are commanding up to £500 per pair on eBay. Who knew he had such a devoted fanbase?

pandora@independent.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: Human Resources Manager

£28000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: A successful organisation...

Recruitment Genius: Internal Recruiter - Manufacturing

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Internal Recruiter (manufact...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager (CIPD) - Barking / East Ham - £50-55K

£50000 - £55000 per annum + 25 days holidays & benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Man...

Recruitment Genius: Operations / Project Manager

£40000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea