The feral beast: Pearson's Telegraph return?

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The Independent Online

She came from the Daily Telegraph: could Allison Pearson now be going back? Excited chatter reaches me that the Daily Mail columnist may be leaving after four and a half years.

It would certainly suit theTelegraph, which has long been looking for a strong female voice, and the teaming up of Pearson and the Mail is not thought to have been an undiluted success for either side. But in response to my call, a Telegraph spokesperson tells me: "No, she hasn't been hired", choosing not to elaborate. Calls to the Mail and La Pearson have not been returned.

Mail on Sunday picks David's side

Lest there be any doubt which party the Mail on Sunday will support, editor Peter Wright is preparing for some vigorous Dave-backing. Ahead of the coming campaign he has been holidaying in Darjeeling, India, where he told fellow diners he was ready to go into battle with "David" against Brown and Darling who, he said, "just wants all our money". And what of Paul Dacre? His paper was one of several to be banned from Tony Blair's return speech in Trimdon.

Needled by Neptune jibes

Today editor Ceri Thomas says most women aren't thick-skinned enough for the show's "incredibly difficult" environment. Thomas is a bit of an expert on skin thickness: when a photo of him dressed as a merman, complete with whispy blonde wig, was circulated among BBC staff, he testily insisted it was a "King Neptune" costume, which is quite different. Here's the picture so you can decide for yourself.

Liddle tries to fill Taki's bad boy role

Once Taki was The Spectator's resident bad boy, now Rod Liddle provides the ordure. As if to confirm Taki's elevation to benign uncle status, a book of his columns is being published next month. A spokesman for his publisher gives a cryptic response when asked if this means the 73-year-old is giving up the column, but a Speccy source scotches the suggestion. Meanwhile, Liddle has become the first blogger to be forced by the PCC to apologise for an inaccuracy. No news of a Liddle anthology any time soon.

Political heavyweight spat

The Guardian's political veteran Michael White felt obliged to reprimand Craig Brown for his devastating parody of Andrew Rawnsley when he ran into him at the preview of Robert Harris's The Ghost Writer. White and Rawnsley are ostensibly colleagues. But White was not entirely serious: "I'm half-way through reviewing it," he was heard to whisper, "and your piece was a blessed relief." We promise not to tell.

IoS takes quiz laurels

In the interests of impartial reporting we feel obliged to report that The Independent on Sunday trounced 11 teams to win last week's Sports Aid quiz for journalists. Host Jack Dee opened by doubting the Sunday Express's chances, suggesting they spend the night colouring in the question paper, but they came 3rd. Can't wait for their review of his next show.