Pandora: I'm just too busy for all this, declares Peston

While Nick Robinson enjoyed a successful stint as guest host on Newsnight this week, his high-profile colleague and rival Robert Peston – the BBC Business Editor who is said to covet Robinson's gig as the corporation's political supremo – announces that he is far too busy for similar undertakings.

Peston was in a dismissive mood when asked if he might have ambitions to follow Robinson's example and stand in for Jeremy Paxman on the flagship current affairs show.

"I haven't given a moment's thought to guest presenting," he proclaimed yesterday. "Probably because I am snowed under making a Radio 4 series of four half-hour programmes that fill the Start The Week slot from mid-August on the causes and consequences of the financial and economic mess we're in. The working title is Peston And The Money Men."

And don't think it stops there. The good-humoured (?) Pesto quickly adds: "And a BBC News eight-part series of half-hour business interviews and a film for Newsnight to mark the anniversary of Lehman Brothers collapse."

So the message for BBC execs is clear: you can keep your prestigious guest presenting slots for those with nothing better to do with their time! When asked yesterday about whether he might fill Robinson's shoes and become BBC political editor, Peston was unusually quiet.

Wiping McBride's slate clean

Damian McBride's feet barely touched the ground when he was memorably sent packing from No 10 in the wake of the Smeargate scandal. So, curious to see that some in the Cabinet now seem to be attempting a gentler recollection of events, three months after the portly henchman was forced to fall on his dagger. Following a Tory question about when Alistair Darling last saw the PM's former aide, a response states that the Chancellor has not met him since McBride "retired" as a special adviser. Not quite how we remember it.

Fry's BBC trust training

It seems that even Stephen Fry is occasionally thrown by the BBC's anxiety to tick the boxes.

The ever-multi-tasking Fry, part of the corporation's furniture for many a year, has on his recent assignments travelled across America and fronted a show about bipolar disorder, from which he suffers.

He brings us up to date with the latest demands placed on him and his small screen contemporaries. "Blimey," remarks the newly svelte star. "Even to be a presenter on a BBC documentary, you now have to complete an online ethical training module called 'safeguarding trust'."

'What's better? Dukes or A-Team?'

Clearly buoyed by the considerable publicity generated by David Cameron's expletives on his breakfast show this week, the Absolute Radio DJ Christian O'Connell has his sights fixed on Gordon Brown. In order to avoid any charges of political bias, the DJ will again ask Downing Street for an audience with the PM. O'Connell tells me: "We're not Paxman, but we ask all the important questions, like 'What was better? The A-Team or The Dukes of Hazzard?'"

How could Gordon refuse?

Amber set for a sparkling future

She may be following parental footsteps on the catwalk, but Amber Le Bon assures us it is not her true vocation. She has already been snapped up by the agency Models One, which has also employed her mother Yasmin Le Bon for these past 18 years. Yet Amber insists her main passion lies elsewhere: "I am much more visually creative," she declared at Esquire's Singular Suit bash. "I'm obsessed with Victorian and Indian-style jewellery. A jewellery line would be very exciting, if anyone will have me design them?"

pandora@independent.co.uk

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