Pandora: Labour promises an 'A-list' conference act

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The Independent Online

The Conservatives are to offer more energetic party members the opportunity to rave on to early-Nineties club sensation Angie Brown (last year's star, Tony Hadley, was, we're told, "too busy with Spandau Ballet" to make a second appearance), while the Lib Dems decided not to book anyone – but what of Labour's plans for their conference entertainment?

Party representatives insist that they have lined up an "A-list" act to accompany Gordon Brown's keynote speech at the official conference dinner, though they are playing their cards curiously close to their chests as to the chosen star's identity.

Eddie Izzard, one of the party's few remaining big-name cheerleaders, insists he won't be convinced to take to the stage, though he plans to attend. Billy Bragg, on the other hand – usually a regular face around the party's annual love-in – turned out last night at a fringe Lib Dem event to discuss the role of the arts in prison.

As for the rest of the party's cast of celebrity supporters, the signs aren't promising. Beverley Knight and Geri Halliwell have both issued stern denials of any involvement which leaves... Mick Hucknall? Tragically, he didn't return Pandora's call.

Nuclear Wintour coming through

A clash of the front-row titans at London Fashion Week yesterday. We're told that Anna Wintour's entourage of bodyguards surprised onlookers at the Peter Pilotto show by barging straight past the International Herald Tribune's fearsome fashion editor, Suzy Menkes, who was almost knocked right off her expensively shod toes, according to reports from witnesses. Apparently Wintour, the icy editor of American Vogue, was in a hurry to move on to the next catwalk in her itinerary. No wonder she's always so punctual.

Alex talks catwalks and belly flab

Alex Kapranos, the wiry frontman of Franz Ferdinand, confesses bemusement at the storm generated by some designers' decision to use "normal" sized models on the catwalk. "I don't think using real-size girls is anything radical," Alex told Pandora at the Paul Smith for Evian party.

"I mean, really, is it such a big deal? I read that article about the model who posed leaning over and there was all this nonsense about her being fat, and I just thought, 'how crazy'. Doesn't everyone have a bit of belly flab? I mean, I do."

We're not sure about that, Alex.

Branson celebrates PM's Virgin voyage

Richard Branson went to town celebrating the Prime Minister's inaugural voyage aboard a Virgin plane, decking out the wings of the plane in Union Jacks and adopting the slogan "Britain's Flag Carrier".

No doubt the occasion provided some catharsis for the shaggy-haired tycoon. After all, it was only a few months ago that he was forced to grin and bear the trauma of being aboard a British Airway flight, while accompanying Gordon on a business tour of India and China.

Don't mention the high street!

If there's one thing an Alice Temperley dress is not, it's cheap and cheerful. Purchasing one of the genteel designer's gowns, as displayed on Monday's catwalk, is likely to set one back a good four figures. No wonder then that she's so indignant at the idea of high-street rip-offs.

"I loved the show," Pandora overheard one kind soul enthusing. "It's all so wearable. I'm sure the high street will pick up on a lot of it."

"I hope not," cried a distressed Alice. "The fabric... the cut... it wouldn't be the same!"