The feral beast: Oborne in Telegraph puzzler

The Daily Mail's Peter Oborne is said to be wanted by the Telegraph.

The thundering columnist enjoys good relations with Mail editor Paul Dacre, but the Telegraph's Ben Brogan is believed by some to be thinking of joining Team Cameron if he makes it to Downing Street. The Tel would doubtless be keen to hire another big name - though of a slightly different sort - on the politics team. When The Beast asked Oborne, he did not return my call.

A strange tale for a republican

Ex-News of the World editor Phil Hall says in an interview that Rupert Murdoch once told him not to run a big Royal scoop. "Murdoch rang up and said: 'Look, if you do that, there's nothing left. You're going to bring down every single institution in Britain and that's not what newspapers are for.' Apart from wondering what the scoop could have been, presumably yet to see the light of day, we find Hall's anecdote hard to compute, given that Murdoch is a fervent republican and loves a scandal, especially when it sells papers. Still, Hall's tale shows him and Murdoch in a positive glow, which is handy for a celebrity PR handler needing good relations with Murdoch's papers.

Guardian's gushing about the iPad

Why are The Guardian and Observer running so many gushing articles about the new Apple iPad, most of them by editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger? Some online readers suspect ulterior motives to these "padvertorials". "If you wish to close down the print versions, stop playing around and get on with it," posts one reader. "The most significant revolutionary aspect of the iPad for the newspaper industry is the desperate scrabble for Apple advertising revenue by articles like these," says another. No wonder moderators promptly stopped any further comments.

Chronicles of a Mili-crush

Telegraph columnist Bryony Gordon is now also enlightening readers of The Jewish Chronicle with her musings: a piece headlined "David Miliband is my political porn star" witters on at length about her embarrassing "confession". The Telegraph has been pilloried for running even her most banal opinions, but presumably someone put their foot down this time.

Max Clifford's lack of action

It was all gong and no dinner from the NoTW and Max Clifford, who threatened film-maker Chris Atkins with legal action if he broadcast his exposé of tabloid practices, Starsuckers. Unabashed, Atkins did, and has yet to hear back. Meanwhile, he tells me that the UK Film Council did not award him the £5,000 distribution grant given to almost every British film released theatrically. "The majority of their grants go on foreign films, or films that the UKFC has itself funded," he says. "Genuinely British films rarely get a piece of the action, but are given this £5,000 award as a gesture – so it's known by indie film makers as the "fuck off five grand".

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