The Feral Beast: Friends keep 'Lady' Hardup going

Rachel Johnson has written to contributors of The Lady, apologising for a "payment drought". "I just wanted to say how sorry I am that it's taken The Lady so long to stump up all this year, and how grateful I am that you have continued to file .... Many of you have kindly avoided pestering me with your plaints for which I am, I admit, grateful.

I knew that payments were slow but I had no idea they had apparently stopped altogether." Happily the money is flowing once again, though future payments will take 90 days. "Keep the faith," says Johnson. "We need you."





Hill's Euro conversion



As editor of the Express, Peter Hill may have given the appearance of being a Eurosceptic. But it wasn't ever thus, according to Lord Stevens of Ludgate. "When I was chairman of the Daily Express, the editor of the Daily Star [Hill] was a somewhat misguided individual who supported the European Union," he told the House of Lords last week. "I tried to persuade him of the error of his ways, but it was not until he became editor of the Daily Express under Mr Richard Desmond that he decided it might be wise to change his views."

Cox's relatively scared



Marmite science presenter Brian Cox – we love him, though many don't – has admitted that the camera isn't his natural home. "I am not really a natural in front of the camera," he told the Beast at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on Friday. "I see it as my side show but I am keen on evangelising science. To tell the truth I am quite scared in front of the camera." However he does plan to follow up his award-winning series with another, but it won't be until next year. The Wonders of Life (about the physics of the natural world) is penciled in for autumn 2012 because Cox says he needs to get back to science – he's writing a textbook on relativity.

Politics is a young man's game



With Isabel Oakshott on maternity leave, The Sunday Times has been in need of a temporary political editor. Who better than George Jones? I'm told the amiable former political editor of the Daily Telegraph, who retired after 20 years at the paper in 2007, was approached for the post. This despite the fact he turns 67 this year. Flattered though he was, he politely declined.

Cowley sparks 'terror' in protégé



Mehdi Hasan, the political editor at New Statesman, has a burgeoning media profile, popping up on TV, and on the Today programme on Wednesday. But is he in danger of eclipsing his master, Jason Cowley? A Statesman mole reports that after one of his protégé's fluent turns, Cowley summoned him into his office. As Hasan followed him towards his office he did a silent mock "walk of shame", dropping his knuckles towards the floor and assuming a look of satirical terror, to the gaiety of onlooking toilers.

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