Pandora: Revenge is sweet as Peston feels the heat

At last! The moment we have all been waiting for – or, at least, the moment many a Treasury minister would have given their eye-teeth for: the chance to see Robert Peston squirm. In public.

Next month sees Cancer Research UK hold its annual "Turn The Tables" event, which gives politicians the chance to grill leading journalists in front of several hundred paying guests (not to mention the TV cameras). And who should be top of the list, but the BBC's omnipresent business editor?

We're told that Peston will come up against the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable who, along with selected members of the audience, will be given free reign to ask whatever he chooses. But be warned, the remit is broad.

Last year's event saw Ken Livingstone ask the Sky News political editor Adam Boulton whether or not he had "ever had sex with an animal". Boulton declined to comment.

Also in the hot seat this year will be Five's well-groomed news anchorwoman, Natasha Kaplinsky. The lucky soul interrogating her? The shadow Foreign Secretary, William Hague. "He is very much looking forward to it," confirms a spokesman.

No conference RSVP from Suralan

With the options dwindling as to who will provide the promised "A-list entertainment" at next week's Labour Party conference (Eddie Izzard will not be taking to the stage, and Billy Bragg is giving it a miss), news of another big-name bailout. We are told that the Government's latest celebrity appointment, Lord Sugar, is still undecided as to whether or not to turn up in Brighton. The Enterprise Tsar will not, apparently, be able to confirm until the last minute thanks to his jam-packed schedule. Time to wash your hair, Suralan?

Fashion week takes its toll on Hoppen

Running from show to show in heels at London Fashion Week can be tough work – just ask Kelly Hoppen.

"I'm exhausted!" the glossy interior designer exclaimed at the launch of her new Wowbow range of luxury pet accessories at her store in Notting Hill yesterday. "I'm off to my house in the countryside to relax now."

Of course, Hoppen had particular reason to feel drained – she had to hold out for the catwalk show by Twenty8Twelve, the clothing range owned by her stepdaughters Sienna and Savannah Miller.

Happily, all went according to plan.

"That was the high point," added Hoppen.

Your suggestions can only get better

While Suralan Sugar ponders his schedule, Pandora would like to turn readers' attention to the small matter of the Labour conference anthem. It seems unlikely that "Things Can Only Get Better", so what should be chosen instead? No prizes for submitting the best – just a mention in this humble column. A few early suggestions: "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now", "The Road to Hell" or, erm, "The Only Way Is Up". That last one, by the way, comes from Labour MP Andrew Gwynne. Top marks for toeing the party line!

Verdict's still out on live 'X-Factor'

The recent decision by ITV bosses to bring a Britain's Got Talent-style live audience in to watch X-Factor hopefuls perform their auditions has not, it seems, convinced all who are involved in the show. Girls Aloud's Kimberley Walsh, who was invited by her fellow band member Cheryl Cole on to last year's programme to help with the judging is, apparently, unconverted. "It makes it a lot harder for those auditioning," Walsh explained to Pandora at a recent party. "I'm not sure. It has become a tougher job for everyone."

pandora@independent.co.uk

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