The feral beast: Lord of the dance

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The Independent Online

The 'Evening Standard' has been making hay suggesting candidates for 'Strictly Come Dancing', variously calling for Hazel Blears, Lord Mandelson and David Dimbleby to take to the floor.

But there's one mover-and-shaker they have so far overlooked – the paper's very own nimble-toed executive editor, Anne McElvoy, above, a trained gymnast. Indeed McElvoy once wrote about dancing with Mandelson in a Prague disco: "The member for Hartlepool's taut thigh muscles were locked behind mine as we flung this way and that," she wrote. Over to McElvoy: "It is true, we hit the dance floor some years ago. We were the Olivia Newton John and John Travolta of the Czech Republic: for one night only." So would she consider it? "I fancy the silver mini-dresses," she concedes. Cha cha cha!

Mandrake reporter uprooted

That door just won't stop revolving at the 'Telegraph'. Mandrake reporter Christopher Lamb is leaving after two and a half years to join 'The Tablet'. "The decision hasn't been made without some soul searching," Lamb tells the Beast. Filling his shoes on the canapé circuit will be Keeley Walker, no relation to diary editor Tim Walker.

It's a family affair

'Standpoint' magazine has put the family at the heart of its Christmas issue. The editor's family, to be precise. Daniel Johnson's father Paul has penned a book review, and there's an interview with his brother, Luke, on terrorism. Even his wife Sarah sings the praises of hypnotherapy in the letters page. Festive cheer all round.

Poor relations of 'The Guardian'

Not all Guardian News and Media staff are moving to spanking new offices in King's Place. The old 'Observer' offices at Herbal Hill are being kept on for some. But those staying behind feel they've got a raw deal, not least as the canteen is to be closed, and they are being told to make do with "vending machines" and a "sandwich delivery service". King's Place has two bars, a cafe and a white-tablecloth restaurant.

Chrissy's 'Basic Instincts'

She was named Interviewer of the Year, but is the accolade going to Chrissy Iley's head? At the end of an interview with Helen Mirren in last week's 'Sunday Times' mag, Iley revealed she had not been wearing any knickers: "As I get up to go, [Mirren] stops me and says, "And thank you for the view." I blush. I was jet-lagged, I had no clean underwear, so I'd gone without. I didn't think she'd notice. But she did. And she laughs, the minx." TMI anyone?

Bye bye to by-lines

Book reviewers at 'The Oldie' will no longer get a by-line. The decision was taken after one contributor, Christopher Silvester, formerly of this parish, who also reviews elsewhere, formed the habit of quoting his own reviews from other papers. "It's true," confirms an 'Oldie' insider, "It was rather embarrassing, but he's very good for reviewing history books."

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