Pandora: Paxman's peaceful dinner with Howard

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The Independent Online

Could Jeremy Paxman be softening in his latest incarnation as housework-loving champion of supportive underwear?

At the end of last week, Newsnight's tooth-baring interrogator was honoured with a Media Society award "for his distinguished career in broadcasting and journalism", presented by none other than his one-time duelling partner Michael Howard (the then home secretary Howard avoided Paxman's question; Paxman reacted by then repeating it 11 times). This time though we're told that the pair got along famously at the awards ceremony, exchanging pleasantries as they ate dinner side-by-side.

"They rubbed along all night," observes a fellow guest. "Howard even spoke in praise of Paxo – though Jeremy did let his mask slip once or twice and looked gobsmacked to be next to Howard."

Continuing to keep his distance, however, was the Prime Minister, who offered his tribute by video. Much safer, that.

Cocker's Labour of love is no more

News of David Cameron's least-likely cheerleader yet, in the foppish form of musician Jarvis Cocker. The famously liberal Pulp frontman claims to have become disillusioned with Gordon Brown's government in the wake of the banking bailout.

"I think his behaviour just makes a mockery of the whole system," he insists during an interview with next month's GQ. "A Conservative government is necessary. There is no credible alternative. You can sense an era passing."

Boris goes Loopy: no comment

Alastair Campbell's sour-faced critique of In The Loop doesn't seem to have deterred the Westminster brigade from taking a look for themselves. Hot on the heels of Peter Mandelson, Boris Johnson became the latest politician to be spied, by a Pandora mole, heading into a screening over the weekend accompanied by his wife Marina. Sadly, we were unable to convince the Mayor or any of his team to offer a verdict on the film. Not even a mark out of 10? "I'm afraid he doesn't tend to talk about his private life," said a spokesman. Tsk.

High praise indeed for Aisleyne's book

Not a moment too soon, the must-have tome for Pandora's holiday has arrived: Surviving Guns, Gangs And Glamour, the remarkable story of one-time Big Brother contestant Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace's life (so far; she's only 30 after all).

Sceptical? Let the stellar array of endorsements convince you. They come courtesy of chanteuse Amy Winehouse ("She's a lioness"), American heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson ("Well done") and satirist Charlie Brooker, who, unlikely as it may seem, is a good friend, ("an excellent way to experience Aisleyne's life without having to live it yourself").

No doubt all three were offered in the fullest sincerity.

Imposter is Bob's mirror image

Adventures in cyberspace now – or at least on the Number 10 website, which has been abuzz with activity ever since a petition was posted calling on the Prime Minister to resign. Perusing the signatures, Pandora's eye chanced upon another offering, demanding the PM "carry on leading this great country". Amusingly, it has but one signature – that, supposedly, of Bob Roberts, political editor of the Mirror. Roberts's colleagues, however, assure Pandora that it isn't possible; Bob's in Afghanistan. "It's a wind up," says one. But by whom?