The feral beast: Lineker to write for the Screws

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The Independent Online

Gary Lineker is poised to become a columnist on the News of the World in time for the new football season.

The ex-England striker quit The Mail on Sunday over the Lord Triesman sting, which he reckoned undermined England's bid for the 2018 World Cup. He's taking a more lenient approach to the Screws as the terms of a lucrative new contract are thrashed out: clearly he's happy to overlook its habit of calling him jug-ears and religiously chronicling his roller-coaster romantic history.

A Hefferlump never forgets

Simon Heffer's year in Cambridge continues, but what will he do on his return to The Daily Telegraph? He's due back in January in an "enhanced role", and talks will soon begin over what exactly that will be. He was overlooked for the post of deputy editor of the daily last year, and it's said he has made his desires for an editorship known to Murdoch MacLennan. "I have told Mr MacLennan nothing of the sort," says Heffer. I'm not due to discuss anything like this until the autumn."

Platell Amanda's mix-up

What is it about Andrew Marr's good friend Amanda Platell that makes her such a popular choice to review the newspapers on his Sunday morning show? Last week she picked up the News of the World and quoted a piece by "Nelson Fraser". Shouldn't a paid media monitor know that the Screws' star political columnist is called Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator and ranked 74 on this year's list of the top 100 people in the media? And shouldn't Marr have corrected her? Neither Marr nor Platell was on the list.

A N Wilson's 'monster' row

A rare moment of excitement in last week's Observer was a letter attacking A N Wilson's obituary of Beryl Bainbridge, in which he had called her publisher friends Colin and Anna Haycraft "monsters". "In common with most of the population, I am not a reader of your newspaper," began the spicy missive from William Haycraft, their son. He went on to attack Wilson's "egocentric witterings" and his merits as a novelist: "I can only assume that his jealous outburst stems from being the recipient of that most useful weapon in the publisher's arsenal – the rejection letter."

Clearing up the confusion

In an item about staff changes at the Mail titles last week, we said that Ted Verity is returning from the group's operations in Ireland to become number two on The Mail on Sunday. In fact, it is Paul Field who is returning from Ireland to become joint associate editor on the Daily Mail. Ted Verity is moving from that position, which he has held for 18 months, to become deputy editor of The Mail on Sunday. We also stated that Paul Field – who was associate editor rather than news editor when he was at The Sun – "rose" to become editor of the National Enquirer, when in fact he was editor-in-chief throughout his 18-month stint there. Our apologies to Mr Field and Mr Verity.

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