Pandora: Who ate all the pies? Not Eamonn...

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Eamonn Holmes is making tentative steps to avoid being known as the Sky News presenter who has eaten all the pies.

"I've spent years being in a bad place about my weight, but I'm determined to lose 20lbs over the next three months. I want to show people that by making small changes to your lifestyle, you can change your body," he says.

"I won't use a personal trainer or diet pills. It'll be through physical exercise and cutting the calories."

Holmes was speaking to Closer magazine. As part of his healthy new regime, his wife Ruth has very sweetly agreed to make him a packed lunch every day.

Emma at a loose end

Emma Watson's plans for higher education appear to be up in the air.

The dainty Harry Potter star was recently rumoured to have accepted an offer to read English at Cambridge. But, as noted in this column last summer, she had been thinking of studying in the States.

"I am sitting my SATS so that I can apply to some American universities, which is a little bit nerve racking," she writes on her blog. "My maths is VERY dodgy."

Says a spokesman: "Emma is keeping her options open. It could yet be that she ends up going to America."

Giles joins the Venetian jet set

For a mere humble hack, Giles Coren certainly moves in lofty circles. The Times humourist penned a piece in last Saturday's paper, in which he mentioned the time he met the Evening Standard's new Russian owner, Alexander Lebedev.

"Lebedev is no murderous Kremlin loyalist with a poisoned spear in his shoe," he wrote. "At least, I don't think he is. I met him once."

Far from being a random encounter, I'm told Coren was recently a guest of the billionaire financier in Venice. Apparently, he reached the party by catching a lift on board a private jet belonging to the noted PR fixer Matthew Freud. Ain't life grand?

BBC boss's 'bridge building' in Israel

The Palestinian lobby is up in arms over the BBC's decision not to broadcast the DEC's humanitarian appeal for aid to Gaza – but should they not have seen the writing on the wall some time ago?

In the autumn of 2005, as reported in this column, the corporation's director general, Mark Thompson, travelled to Jerusalem for talks with the (then) Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. It was the first such trip by any director general, and was immediately seized upon by Israel as an attempt to build bridges with the government. Similarly, insiders at the BBC also expected the low-key visit to mark a softening in the Beeb's unofficial editorial line on the Middle East.

Although the BBC was quick to point out that Thompson also met the PLO chairman and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the meeting with Sharon took place just weeks after its governors had upheld a complaint about its reporter Barbara Plett, for saying she had "started to cry" when Yasser Arafat left Palestine shortly before his death.

A Penny for your job?

Yesterday's Media Diary carried an item concerning the recent sacking of the Telegraph's literary editor, Sam Leith. So furious was Leith's mother, the writer Penny Junor, she wrote a note to the paper's chief executive, Murdoch McLennan. The story, I'm told, was only half complete. "Penny ran in to Murdoch at a drinks party not long after she wrote to him," I'm told. "He was a bit startled, though graciously told her he would offer the paper his resignation, "if you think it might help."