Pandora: He's back: Davis joins the after-dinner circuit

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The Independent Online

It's been just over a year since David Davis resigned his Shadow Cabinet post in protest against the detention of terror suspects for more than 28 days – and, so far, he has kept a relatively low profile.

Indeed – barring a few panel show appearances – DD has largely remained out of the limelight, resisting the possibility of becoming a thorn in the party leadership's side.

Not, it would seem, for much longer. We're told the Tory bruiser is soon to make his comeback on the after-dinner speaking circuit, having been recruited by theatre impresario Clive Conway to join his glitzy agency, Clive Conway Celebrity Productions.

Davis is to give his debut performance alongside Tory blogger Iain Dale at the end of next month, in the cosy confines of the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford.

"He will be starting out at Guildford first, since it is close to London," explains our source. "He's going to get a feel for it and see if it is something he enjoys and can fit in. Then, time allowing, he will hopefully start making more appearances."

Big in Japan: Stoppard heads East

A journey to the Far East, now, for Tom Stoppard. The urbane playwright tells us he is about to head off to Japan to watch a special production of his Coast Of Utopia trilogy, which is being performed at the Tokyo Bunkamura theatre to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The trip is of particular

significance to Stoppard who, as a child, was forced to flee Singapore for India to escape the Japanese invasion during the Second World War, and whose father died aboard a ship sunk by the Japanese military.

Labour touts tickets to Brighton

What's this? Labour Party conference tickets, free of charge? Seemingly short of takers, the party is offering Brighton residents the chance to spend Thursday 1 October – the closing day – at the conference without the hefty entry fee.

Of course, a less charitable soul than Pandora might suggest that the shortage of visitors is a sure sign that the smart money has moved elsewhere – though, no doubt in this instance, it's just a case of end-of- conference fatigue.

Ken calls in the slebs

Following in the footsteps of Alastair Campbell, Ken Livingstone has edited this week's New Statesman. And what a glamorous collection of writers he's got too: Jarvis Cocker, Vivienne Westwood and Fatboy Slim. None of which, naturally, bears any relation to the fact that, earlier this month, Boris Johnson guest-edited glossy fashion rag Elle.

Family (Guy) politics

A lesson in fail-safe election strategy from the Ulster Unionists. One Omagh councillor plans to capitalise on his likeness to Peter Griffin, the boorish hero of Family Guy. He hopes to use the cartoon likeness on election posters. It looks like a winning plan: in the programme, Griffin successfully runs for office (well, school-board president).