Media: The Word on the Street

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THE PEOPLE'S editor, Neil Wallis, suffered a sense of humour failure last week after a news item entitled "Hunt on for the Chiswick flasher" appeared on The People's news list. The story appeared on the list after two reporters, one from The Sun and one from The Mirror, were going to their weekly tennis match in Chiswick. As they passed the home of Mr Wallis, he opened the curtains to his bedroom in his birthday suit, providing a full view of his editorial assets. He recognised the reporters, who recognised him, but is more unhappy with the news desk wit who put him on the editorial list.

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MILLIONAIRES WERE made by the purchase of the ad agency Abbott Mead Vickers by the giant American agency Omnicom last week, but AMV had already made many people rich. One person it made pounds 5m better off a few years ago was Matthew Freud, whose PR agency the ad agency bought. Shortly after the deal, presumably to show his gratitude, Freud arrived at a business meeting in a brand-new Aston Martin which carried the licence plate H1 AMV.

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IT WAS all go at The Sun last week as staff prepared for the annual Christmas bash. It was a big news day, with General Pinochet dominating a list of good stories. More pressing for the picture desk, however, was the constant stream of requests from the deputy editor, Rebekah Wade, for a photograph of children's television characters Crystal Tips and Alastair. She needed to know what they looked like for her costume.

But Ms Wade's bit of bother is nothing compared to that of her boss, David Yelland. He has had to change his home telephone number because of its similarity to that of a local pizza restaurant. At least he thinks those late-night calls from a swearing Australian are orders for pizza.

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IT SEEMS that the producers of Mersey Blues, the upcoming fly-on-the- wall documentary about Liverpool policemen, had a fame-hungry detective on their side. The film crew spent four years following a team of coppers, which included one Elmore Davies, a policeman who was sentenced earlier this year on corruption charges. When the crew started, five people at the top of Liverpool police knew there was an investigation going on into Davies. One of these was sent to see his team of detectives with the suggestion that perhaps they had enough on their plate investigating a murder without the bother of a film crew following them around. "Not at all", said one detective, who clearly cannot take a hint. "They're no trouble," and so the film crew stayed with Davies. All the way to court.

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THE BEST "top" things lists of the year are always in The Face. This year, the magazine provides us with The Ten Stupidest Things Said on the Jo Wiley Show. For example, there's Bjork on fame: "Before you get famous, you've got hair, right, and it grows a bit. Then it grew a bit. People come up to me now and say: `You've got a new image!' 'Cause of the hair."

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THE FACE'S editor, Adam Higginbotham, was one of those approached by Time Out in its current search for a new editor. He turned them down, as did Tom Hodgkinson, editor of the innovative and frankly silly magazine for loafers, The Idler. So up steps Vicky Mayer, launch editor of Inside Soap magazine and former features editor of the TV Times.

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