Pandora: Wanted... America's very own Hislop and Merton

Click to follow
The Independent Online

First The Office, then Little Britain – now another British comedy is to make the perilous leap across the Atlantic.

We hear that the old stalwart of Friday night television, current affairs game show Have I Got News For You, is soon to be tested on audiences in the United States.

Indeed over the weekend Jimmy Mulville, the managing director of the programme's makers, Hat Trick Productions, flew to New York to begin casting comedians in a pilot episode.

Disappointingly, it would appear that the British hosts Ian Hislop and Paul Merton won't be involved with the new venture.

Mulville, who has been soliciting suggestions for the pair's American equivalents online, is thought to want a woman to make up one half of the double act.

If all goes according to plan, it will be the London company's second successful export to the US. In the late 1990s, ABC adapted Hat Trick's Channel 4 programme, Whose Line Is It Anyway? to America – where it went on to become more popular than the original.

Conway tries his hand at Choos

*It brings a tear to Pandora's eye. Henry Conway, the flamboyant son of MP Derek, is to graduate from dandyish layabout to high fashion debutant. Indeed, having only recently launched his own knitwear range, he tells us he is soon to collaborate with high-end cobbler, Jimmy Choo. "Our stores are practically neighbours, so we are designing knitted boots together. It's an unusual idea but should work. It is a meeting of minds. The boots will be very sexy with stretch lurex so you can pull them over your knees."

Twinkle-toes Cable backs Alesha

Arlene won't be happy. Ballroom dancing's official ambassador to Westminster (also known as the Liberal Democrats' irreproachable treasury spokesman Vince Cable) has thrown his weight behind the increasingly unpopular Strictly judge, Alesha Dixon. Since her debut over the weekend, the pop star – a one-time winner of the show – has faced calls to step down in favour of Arlene Phillips. But Cable is having none of it. "She is so outstandingly capable and glamorous," he argues. "I certainly don't have any objection."

Video: Gervais' weightloss secret

Robinson set to rock out at conference

Quick, fetch the herbal ecstasy – it's conference time.

The BBC's political editor, Nick Robinson, makes a valiant (though, we suspect, vain) attempt to give party conference season some street cred in this week's Radio Times magazine.

"Think Glastonbury for politicos," he enthuses. "Vast numbers of people trapped uncomfortably close to one another as they wonder which political act to go and see on which stage. 'Will it be Miliband in the main hall or Tony Benn on the fringe?'."

Golly, how rock 'n' roll. Ah well, you know what they say: if you can remember Conference, you weren't there. Or was that Woodstock?

A long way from Albert Square

*Ever wondered what happened to Bepe from EastEnders? No, us neither – well not, that is, until we spotted Albert Square's most distinctive goatee-wearer at a professional poker tournament. It seems Bepe (real name Michael Greco) has packed in life as a thespian and turned pro. "After being in EastEnders, it was either do this or take part in one of those awful celebrity reality television series – I would never do that," he explains. "The worst thing they asked me to do was to train greyhounds for a race."