SPRING must finally be here: Captain Moonlight's chum, the Marquesa de Varela, the fragrant Uruguayan fixer for Hello] magazine, is back in town. The Marquesa, who is far more startling than the column mockingly attributed to her in Private Eye, is currently featured unclothed, but terribly tastefully, in a Vanity Fair article about Hello]. Something of a stir, she tells me, has greeted this unveiling of her mature charms: the National Enquirer, no less, now wants her to pose exposed for them. Naturally, she has turned the offer down, but fears that the newspaper's intrepid investigators might not be prepared to take no for an answer. What exciting lives we media types lead] The Marquesa is equally dismissive of claims that British readers are getting just a teensy bit exhausted by the enticing Hello] formula of celebrities showing off their smiles, brightly coloured carpets, vibrant porcelain and intrinsic niceness. Besides, she stands, perfectly poised, on the portico of a notable coup: Raisa Gorbachev is ready to tell Hello] all. Who could have predicted, all those years ago, where glasnost would eventually lead us? The Marquesa, meanwhile, remains admirably loyal to the Duchess of York, whose invitation into her lovely new home near Windsor (you remember 'Southyork') and acceptance of a large Hello] cheque gave the magazine such a fillip in its early days. 'It was the only way she could afford to furnish it,' explains the Marquesa, sympathetically.

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