The Feral Beast: Dacre and the unseen guest

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The Independent Online

When it comes to facing up to mortality, Paul Dacre would rather stick his fingers in his ears and sing "la, la, la". So it's just as well he was on holiday last week, when the Daily Mail's top bods turned out to bid farewell to star columnist Keith Waterhouse at a memorial service at which Lord Rothermere gave a reading. The Daily Telegraph assiduously listed all the Fleet Street grandees present, including, bizarrely, one Keith Waterhouse. The Telegraph's subbing is now outsourced to Australia, where the Waterhouse liquid lunch clearly lives on.

Connected hooks

If John Higginson, the political editor of Metro, was sporting a black eye last week it wasn't because of something he wrote. He has taken up chess-boxing, where contestants test their brains and brawn in alternate rounds. Commons press gallery colleagues were worried not to see him on Monday after the Saturday night fight, though I can report he emerged victorious, winning his bouts and checkmating his opponent.

Kohli for Newsnight?

A whisper has gone round Newsnight that Hardeep Singh Kohli may be joining as a reporter. Brightly turbanned Kohli was suspended from The One Show last summer for pestering a female colleague, and some female staff are anxious about his arrival, while others are questioning the reasoning behind such an appointment in the wake of recent cuts. But a BBC spokesmen says there is no truth in the rumour. Kohli continues to work elsewhere at the Beeb, but others haven't been so lucky: Carol Thatcher has not been seen on TV since she referred to a tennis player looking like a "golliwog" backstage after an episode of The One Show last year.

Us Americans can take a joke

Those who say American newspapers have no sense of humour have been proven wrong: a report in Monday's New York Times of a rock'n' roll ceremony featuring Iggy Pop and Wyclef Jean referred to them throughout as Mr Pop and Mr Jean. Even the po-faced NYT must have been having a laugh. Surely?

'Media expert' falls short

Staff at The Independent on Sunday were a little bemused last week to hear a "media expert" claiming that it is a major loss-maker. Sadly for the Today programme, this is untrue, as the IoS makes a profit, unlike most of its competitors. But who was this sage? Step forward Roger Parry, the former chairman of Johnston Press, who quit last year after presiding over a hefty drop in share value and steering the once-mighty regional publisher into chronic losses. Now working for YouGov, Parry is also remembered as the man to whom Peter Mandelson would complain when The Hartlepool Mail editor had the temerity to adopt a less than supportive attitude towards the then local MP, one P Mandelson. Best off outside journalism, maybe.