The Feral Beast: Merry Morgan reveals all?

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The Independent Online


Piers Morgan is to deliver a seminar on "How to be successful and happy". Bookings for the one-day event in London on 15 October are being invited by something called The Unlimited Knowledge Company for a mere £250. Surely Morgan's greatest success recently has been keeping the fragrant Celia Walden as his girlfriend. Now that's a secret worth £250.

No wrath like a paper scorned

Alan Duncan has come under fire for joking that MPs live on "rations" – especially from The Daily Telegraph. The story dominated Thursday's front page, and in Friday's paper merited extensive further coverage, including a photoshopped picture of him as Oliver proferring a porridge bowl, a vicious cartoon, and a savage comment piece by Andrew Pierce headlined: "Time up for the court jester?" Why such venom? Senior Telegraph hacks have had it in for him ever since learning he told a constituent to switch to The Times. Now they want blood.

Daniel rests easy in his den

Tory MEP Daniel Hannan, whose mouth is no stranger to his foot, made the lead item on the BBC News with his remark that he "wouldn't wish the NHS on anybody". The comment is deeply embarrassing for David Cameron, who has vigorously defended the NHS from criticism. Yet the Telegraph only found space for it buried deep on the last of its news pages. Could this have anything to do with Hannan's second career as a writer – for The Daily Telegraph?

Of that colossal Kings Place wreck

Visitors to The Guardian's swanky new offices in Kings Place are greeted by a giant sculpture of Ozymandias. As the poem goes: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings,/Look on my works ye Mighty, and despair!/Nothing beside remains. Round the decay/Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare/The lone and level sands stretch far away." Cheering words for Observer hacks on their way in, or indeed, out.

Pushing the titular envelope

Roadie-turned-music-journalist John Niven was hailed for his novel Kill Your Friends last year. Called "grotesque" and "filthy", the book could be said to have pushed some boundaries. But news reaches me that his latest efforts go a step too far. Apparently, publishers have declined to publish his manuscript called Short Stories, All About Rape. Can't think why.

Unauthorised, but ever so ardent

Chas Newkey-Burden's unauthorised biography of Simon Cowell, out next month, will, says Amazon, "lift the lid on the professional and private life of one of Britain's most eligible bachelors". Presumably Cowell should be quaking in his Gucci loafers. Or maybe not. On his blog, Newkey-Burden admits to being a fan of the high-trousered one, describing him as "wonderful", panting about how he admires his attitude to fame. No hatchet jobs here, then.

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