Amanda Platell notes Piers Morgan's two left feet

Piers Morgan's two left feet, and why I'll never agree to a make-over by Trinny and Susannah

For those of you who have not become enthralled with Strictly Come Dancing or The X-Factor on Saturday evenings, Piers Morgan and I are launching a political TV show on Channel 4 on 6 November. In Morgan and Platell, I interrogate from the right, Piers from the left. It will not be dull.

Given the competition, we did consider wearing skin-tight sequins, but I told Piers they wouldn't look good on a bloke. A quickstep around the studio was ruled out on the grounds that Piers has two left feet. Some say that's the only lefty thing about him, but they're wrong.

And while we're on the subject of fast footwork, the TV gardener Diarmuid Gavin scored the lowest points with the judges on BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing, yet was voted to stay in by the public. Like Piers, he has also been accused of having two left feet. This is not accurate. He dances as though he has no feet. He is, in fact, the Douglas Bader of ballroom.

I read that Trinny and Susannah - those TV toffs who beat up on ordinary women, tell them they look ugly and fat, grope their breasts, then give them a cheap make-over guaranteed to last about as long as one of Tony Blair's promises on, well, anything - now charge £30,000 for a private session. Imagine that, £30,000 to look as if you've just run amok in a Topshop sale.

Occasionally, very, very occasionally I am approached by a "fan". It happened the other day in Cafe Rouge, where I was lunching alone, as is my wont. The woman next to me leaned across and said: "You're Amanda Platell, aren't you?" I smiled. "You write for the Daily Mail, don't you?" She was clearly not a New Statesman reader, but none the less I rose to my full sitting height, anticipating a compliment. "So you must know that lovely Quentin Letts. Isn't he wonderful?" I was then subjected to a ten-minute Letts love-in. I didn't really mind: after reading his sketch on Tessa Jowell's parliamentary performance during the debate about her gambling bill - "Here was a trainee croupier, blushing before hardened card sharks" - I had to agree with my fellow diner.

It comes to us all: the moment we Join A Local Campaign. Yes, the sight of one of Ken Livingstone's buses parked at South End Green with its engine on, pumping out pollution over those of us who still sit outside with the kids in the roadside cafes, has moved me to action. I have joined Hampstead's Save Our Green campaign, to stop even more buses being parked there. It's not a pretty green, but it is ours, and is home to a very nice group of permanent drinkers. For all of us, it's worth saving. If you feel moved to join, contact:

With 180,000 of its 660,906 readers having hitherto insisted on taking the broadsheet, myself among them, this has been an anxious period for the Times. It converted solely to a tabloid on 1 November. (I still refuse to submit to the broadsheet snobbery of calling it a compact.) I hope my anxiety over the success of this format is as misplaced as it was in the case of the Independent. The difference is that the Times is a paper of record, it has a magnificent history, and somehow it loses gravitas in the smaller size. Having known the editor, Robert Thomson, since we met as cadets on the Sydney Morning Herald, I really do wish him well. Perhaps the stacks of papers left in newsagents around north London on Saturday - stacks of the final broadsheet, the collector's item - are a sign that size doesn't matter any more.

This article first appeared in the 08 November 2004 issue of the New Statesman, Bleak morning in America