For the record: 20/07/2009

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The Independent Online

"Senior leaders will inevitably incur expenses," BBC chief Caroline Thomson reveals colleagues made single claims of up to £3,213 for entertaining

New role for Nick?

As we await Andy Coulson's appearance before the Culture select committee's reconvened phone-hacking inquiry on Tuesday, the BBC, which went into a frenzy over the Guardian's recent attempts to embarrass the Tory comms chief, is in a delicate position. Not only has it had to scale back coverage after Scotland Yard and then the Director of Public Prosecutions rejected calls for a fresh investigation, but its political editor Nick Robinson (pictured right) has emerged as a 10-1 shot to be Coulson's successor. I didn't realise there was a vacancy.

Tasty selection

Style commentator Peter York is to present the inaugural Comment Awards in October, the latest media gong fest being set up by Julia Hobsbawm's editorial intelligence and aimed at the "commentariat" in print and online. Categories include the Poison Pen, which will go to the Polemicist of the Year. In a breathless appeal for entries, chairman of the judges Sir Christopher Meyer (ex chair of the Press Complaints Commission) says the commentariat is "like arriving at a banquet, there's this great groaning table with wonderful succulent dishes and you can't make up your mind what one you want". Not sure the political classes would agree on that.

Name game

Best media name I've come across this week has to be the National Union of Journalists rep for the BBC World Service. One Tory Blair, no less. Isn't that a nickname for David Cameron?

Gifts galore

Among the treasure trove of information in the BBC executive expenses claims, released on Friday, was an insight into how the bosses like to reward favoured colleagues. For BBC 2 Controller Janice Hadlow it's invariably a "champagne gift set from M&S", whereas Jana Bennett, head of BBC Vision, prefers to send "flowers from Auntie Blooms". Jay Hunt (pictured right) of BBC1 hands out "Molton Brown gift sets", worth £47 each, or Liberty vouchers and Danny Cohen, controller of BBC3, rewards colleagues with boxes of "specialty chocolates". Pleased to hear that everyone's doing so very well.