The feral beast: Curtain call for 'Sun' critic Hagerty

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The Independent Online

It's exit stage left for The Sun's theatre critic, Bill Hagerty. The veteran former Mirror hack has been let go in a round of cuts, even though his son, Will, is a senior executive at the paper. It is unclear whether a replacement will be appointed, although given the Sun's interest in TV talent show stars who end up in the West End, it's not such a daft idea. But Hagerty will probably still be seen in theatreland: his wife, Liz Vercoe, is also a critic, so no doubt he can still go – on her arm.

Piers Morgan uncovered

Piers Morgan's journalistic career ended in ignominy, but he got away with a lot more in his early days, according to rock journalist Chris Welch. While following a Genesis tour with a young Morgan, Welch recalls: "Having consumed rather too many bottles of cold Budweiser, he had fallen asleep on my shoulder and missed most of the two-hour set. 'Great show – what did they play?' he demanded suddenly. So I dutifully gave him a list of all the songs, and he was able to file his copy." Morgan, writes Welch, was also more interested in the impending bust-up between Phil Collins and his second wife, Jill, than the nuances of his lyrics. We are surprised.

Farewell to cream of Manchester

Sad news about Ian Craig, veteran Westminster correspondent for the Manchester Evening News, who has died suddenly. Aged only 64, Craig was found in his London flat last week. In his 45-year career he interviewed five prime ministers and was a popular figure among politicians and lobby hacks alike, and was often found nursing an early glass of white wine at Moncrieff's. 'It is truly shocking to hear this news," said Tony Blair when told by the News. "Ian interviewed me on a number of occasions and always struck me as a very talented journalist and a true gentleman."

Dougherty in premier league

Hugh Dougherty was given a warm send-off from the Evening Standard, which he has left as news editor to join the Daily Mail. But he must have thought he had had one shandy too many on returning home to find his flat completely empty – ransacked by professional burglars. Wee Hugh was due to go on holiday to Australia between jobs, but even his tickets had gone. This sort of thing normally only happens to Liverpool footballers. Could someone have mistaken Hughie for Stevie ?

'Guardian' staff told to use email

Cost-cutting at The Guardian has meant the age-old luxury of 24-hour copy-takers on standby has come under scrutiny. A new contract with the Press Association means the paper will pay per story rather than a flat fee. Staff have been told to use the service only "in emergencies, when no alternative means of filing a story is available". It makes one wonder how they've been using it until now. Do they usually loll back on chaises longues speaking their copy into Bakelite telephones?