The edge - Amanda Platell prepares for a post-Cherie future

No more sex exercises, no more crystals, no more abuse of office - what on earth are we going to wri

Oh, the perils of TV coupling, a subject close to my art. First we hear that former new Labour spin-doctor Derek Draper and his new wife, sofa sweetheart Kate Garraway, are in the frame to work alongside Jonathan Dimbleby on his Sunday political show. Given the Drapers are still in their honeymoon period, this should pose few problems.

The same cannot be said of that other popular pairing, BBC News 24's Kate Silverton and Philip Hayton. Phil flounced off and left the BBC citing irreconcilable differences with co-presenter Kate, while insiders briefed she was too "light entertainment" for the former heavyweight veteran foreign correspondent - despite a psychology degree, a year reading Arabic and Middle Eastern history and politics, and a former career in corporate finance. For the record, I have had the pleasure of working with Kate on several occasions and she is all things bright (I mean intellectually) and beautiful. She is also easy to work with and a real professional.

Let's face it Phil, the BBC is so ageist these days, a veteran like you doesn't stand a fighting chance. The wonderful and still-youthful looking Bill Turnbull has had to resort to taking a turn on Strictly Come Dancing to stay in the frame.

The rumours at Brighton this week suggested the real reason behind the falling out was that Kate allowed her papers to stray on to Phil's side of the desk. Unforgivable! Co-presenting the Morgan & Platell show, as I do, my sympathies are all with you Kate. Piers Morgan's ego strays over to my side of the desk the whole time.

Poor old David Blunkett, he can't even venture out these days for a few dinners with a gorgeous blonde young enough to be his daughter without the media jumping all over his private life. First the American socialite Kimberley Quinn, mother of his two-year-old son, now his friendship with the well-heeled Ms Anderson, whom he met at the high society nightclub Annabel's. Which leaves the casual observer wondering - what is this man's obsession with Toff Totty?

The things some women will do to flog a book. Multimillionaire Sharon Osbourne is obviously feeling the pinch as she confessed to "still fighting a 35-year battle against bulimia" to coincide with the publication of her autobiography, Extreme, cataloguing the affairs and violence in her marriage to Ozzy.

Like all modern eating disorders, bulimia is a nightmare, often a deadly one. The result is a terrifying weight loss, as we so frighteningly saw in Princess Diana all those years ago. Mrs Osbourne is a healthy size 14 these days. She's no more a bulimic than Fern Britton.

And then we have the Dumb and Dumber of the fashion world, toffs Trinny and Susannah trying to flog their latest makeover book to "real" women - yes, they've sold the serialisation to the Sun. "It doesn't matter if you live in a council house in Birmingham or a grand mansion," trills the ridiculous Trinny.

And what does she dredge up to bond with her new readership - her 10-year battle with alcoholism, for the ten-thousandth time. Just reading it is enough to drive a girl to drink.

From a baying mob, the only thing the Prime Minister heard from this conference was: get out quick - out of Iraq, out of Downing Street. One thing that has been overlooked in the much-anticipated departure of our leader is the loss of our first lady, Cherie Booth.

Watching a dignified and delightful Sarah Brown in the audience during her husband's main speech and later with their son, I could not help but think what a refreshing change she will be. No more sex exercises, no more healing crystals, no more supermarket sweeps, no more abuse of office - what on earth are we going to write about?

Tory chairman Frances Maude appears on TV moments after the party rejects his cherished reforms for the leadership. Given he was the only politician on the box without a tie, some joked it was not a style statement - he had taken it off to hang himself with.

This article first appeared in the 03 October 2005 issue of the New Statesman, Iraq: our fatal blunder