The feral beast: Smokin! Eaglesham quits for NY

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The Independent Online

Westminster lost one top female journalist when our star political editor, Jane Merrick, went on maternity leave last month.

Now the lobby is losing another, as the FT's Jean Eaglesham is off to become New York correspondent in August. Pinstriped and crop-haired, Eaglesham is a favourite of David Cameron, and was frequently the first to be invited to ask a question at press conferences. It's thought the move could benefit her health – a dedicated smoker, she may find NYC's strict anti-smoking laws help her kick the habit.

Rusbridger speaks, and all that jazz

Posters have gone up for the Kings Place Festival, a fledgling jazz event at the Guardian's headquarters. But what's this? Among the mug shots of musicians is "pioneering" editor Alan Rusbridger, who fancies himself as a bit of a pianist. Will punters pay to watch him play? Alas, no. It turns out this year's festival includes comedy and spoken word, and for £4.50 you can hear him speak about his 15-year editorship. Perhaps we'd prefer the piano-playing after all.

Shaggy cat stories

Sunday Mirror hack Simon Wright is stuck in South Africa after being charged with aiding the fan who got into the England changing room. Trinity Mirror vigorously denies that the break-in was cooked up by their man. Still, it would not be the dodgiest story Wright has been credited with – in an earlier life he was pets correspondent for The People, where his byline graced such memorable scoops as "Spooky, the cat who came back to life", and tales of Pepper and Spice, the cats who saw a ghost.

Takes one to know one

Grandfather of diarists Ephraim Hardcastle never can resist a chance to poke fun at those who abuse their position. So fancy seeing a plug in Wednesday's column for a new book by Sinclair McKay. He happens to be the son of Peter McKay – better known to his readers as Ephraim Hardcastle.

Who can pick up Waller's pen?

Times City diarist Martin Waller has packed up his grenades after 13 years to become the Tempus columnist, leaving a vacancy. Editor James Harding killed off the paper's main diary last year, though it's thought the City diary will be safe provided a suitable replacement can be found internally, as the Times continues to cut staff numbers. Waller once said: "It is a lot more difficult than it looks. You need a certain sort of journalist to do that and I don't think there are that many of them around. A bad diary is a horror." A tough act to follow then.

Oops. We were wrong about Wright

Peter Wright, the editor of The Mail on Sunday, points out that, contrary to an item in last week's column, he did not watch an afternoon England World Cup football match in a pub; he was at his desk all day. Apologies to Mr Wright.

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