Pandora: Soul singer proves she is in Vogue

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The Independent Online

V V Brown's fledgling career is coming along nicely. The edgy soul singer, 24, released her debut single "Crying Blood" two months ago and has now been invited to appear in a photoshoot for Vogue. "I've got three pages," she said at the launch of the Elle Style Awards. "It's such an honour. Until then I'll be doing plenty of sit-ups."

Tarrant tipped for Taverners post

A signal honour is in the pipeline for Chris Tarrant, the jovial television presenter and lifelong cricketing enthusiast.

Tarrant is thought to be being lined up to be the next President of the Lord's Taverners, the cricketing charity which aims to promote the sport among young people.

The current incumbent, the veteran Fleet Street cartoonist Bill Tidy, is due to relinquish his two-year presidency later this year.

The club, formed in 1950, was originally set up by a bunch of cricket-loving actors who would meet for games at the Tavern pub outside Lord's. Since then, it has become part of the country's cricketing fabric and regularly turns out sides strewn with celebrities, including Tarrant, for charity matches.

If appointed, Tarrant will be following in distinguished footsteps. Previous presidents have included Sir David Frost, Sir John Mills and the Duke of Edinburgh, who remains the charity's patron.

The Taverners, however, are playing their cards close to their chest about whether Tarrant's appointment is imminent. Yesterday, they did not return calls on the matter.

Porter is the people's critic

Surprising to run into Gail Porter at the Costa Book Awards on Tuesday night. After all, her only link to the literary world is her 2007 memoir about her battle with alopecia. As it transpired, the event's organisers had a strong motive for inviting the bubbly former Blue Peter presenter. "I didn't understand why they invited me, but when I asked they told me that they wanted me to be a judge next year." she told Pandora. "Of course I said yes. It's just so exciting to be asked. Everyone's got an opinion; I guess I'm representing the common girl."

Storm in a Costa coffee cup

Matthew Parris's uncharitable claim that Sebastian Barry had only pipped Adam Foulds to the Costa Prize, and that his novel, The Secret Scripture, was "flawed in many ways", drew a furious reaction from fellow panel member Alexander Armstrong. The comedian stormed: "It was irresponsible to say that. I know what it's like to be criticised and even though he won, bruises like that will only just start healing when all this is over.

"It was terribly unfair for Adam to find out he lost out in that way. He was sitting near us and his face dropped. I had to go straight over and reassure him we had fought over his book for hours. I felt so bad for him."

Lammy answers Commons critics

David Lammy has responded to a recent parliamentary question from a fellow London MP, Greg Hands, which queried whether he received any help from civil servants before his woeful appearance on Celebrity Mastermind.

He didn't, since you ask, but how curious that the answer appeared on the Press Association's news wires the day before the question was actually answered – along with the all-important detail that Lammy's appearance "raised £2,750 for international development charity Action Aid".