The feral beast: Hello! says goodbye to princes

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The Independent Online

A new biography of Princes William and Harry would, ordinarily, be just the sort of material Hello! magazine's serialisation department would lust after.

But the glossy has kept its distance from Katie Nicholl's new book, which has instead been serialised in The Mail on Sunday, where Nicholl is royal correspondent. Apparently Hello! is keen to preserve good relations with Clarence House, and since the book is unauthorised, it is playing safe, and not even covering the launch party. The hope is that palace officials will take note of Hello!'s restraint, and reward it with an exclusive whenever Will pops the question to Kate.

A spanking good read

It's lucky for Paul Johnson so many of his acquaintances are dead, allowing him to trample through their sex lives in his memoirs. But he knows of what he speaks, having had his own penchant for spanking revealed, a detail he omits in the book. Lucky, too, that the Daily Mail has forgiven him for saying of it "that that kind of journalism is bad for the country, bad for society, bad for the newspaper". The Mail has duly serialised his book, plucking all the raciest passages about kinky sex, spanking and cottaging. That kind of journalism is, of course, not bad at all.

All the news that fits

A wail by The Guardian's Hadley Freeman on how the Sex and the City films betray the spirit of the original series caught the eye of Daily Mail executives who promptly whipped out a chequebook and plonked the whole thing in their paper. Well, not quite the whole thing. After her rant about Sarah Jessica Parker and pals, Hadley had originally concluded: "The death of Sex and the City is not just a shame for fans, but for all women with higher expectations of movies about women than a compendium of clichés from the Daily Mail". This last bit didn't make it into the Mail – for reasons of space, no doubt.

No more papers for Walker

The Telegraph's ever-chirpy diarist, Tim Walker, has been axed as a newspaper reviewer on the BBC after 10 years' service, apparently for being too upbeat. "I know I would get on Newsnight if I were prepared to praise suicide bombers and dress up in women's clothes," he tells me, when I call. "You have got to be a moaner or possess freaky views to make a halfway decent income out of television." Keep up the moaning and they'll soon snap you up again, Tim.

Parsons's purple prose

British Airways strikers may have a new enemy in Tony Parsons (interviewed in The New Review this week), who says working for its magazine is "the most pleasurable assignment I've had all year". He's written a short story in the latest High Life. "Short fiction and flying high have a long and proud tradition," he says, "Bringing the tradition back to life in the 21st century is a wonderful idea. Settle back at 35,000 feet, order a drink and drift away into other worlds – even before you arrive." Give that man a job in PR.