The feral beast: Unknown in wings at 'Standard'

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The Independent Online

Much jostling at the Evening Standard to replace Nicholas De Jongh as theatre critic. News reaches me that the coveted post may go to Henry Hitchings, 34, an Oxford graduate not currently linked to the paper. A winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, he also has a PhD thesis on Samuel Johnson and was short listed last month as Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. No announcement has yet been made.

A change of views

In other Standard news, the comment pages are being shaken up. Columnist Will Self is putting down his pen and Anne McElvoy will now write political op-eds in rotation with guests such as John Kampfner and other high profile names. Fresh blood is being introduced elsewhere, including novelist Raffaella Barker, daughter of the late poet George Barker, and Liza Campbell, who shocked society with her memoirs of her abusive father, Title Deeds, two years ago.

Banking on a new boss

So Amelia Fawcett has replaced Paul Myners as chairman of Guardian Media Group, six months after his departure. A brassy Bostonian banker, she has had an impressive career, much of which was detailed on MediaGuardian. Intriguingly what it omitted to mention was that she was among those who decided the responsibilities of the Financial Services Authority in the early noughties, now widely blamed for failing to curb the banks' lending sprees. What will Toynbee et al make of their new leader?

New prospects for Janes

Flush with cash thanks to its three enthusiastic backers, Prospect has appointed a new executive editor. Former Times journalist Hilly Janes starts on the cerebral monthly tomorrow, overseeing the expansion of its features pages and science and health coverage. The Medical Journalist Association named her editor of the year this year. We wish her well.

Twitter freefall cut off in midair

Telegraph editors came up with a brilliant way to get up-to-the-minute reactions to the Budget – the Twitter freefall, where any "tweet" with "budget" in it went straight on to the web. Alas, readers found themselves excessively liberated without a filter. "So if I say Budget 2009 and "big shitty balls" in my tweet, I'll appear on the Telegraph website?" asked one. "You rule. Budget 2009. The Telegraph is the worst paper in the UK. I wouldn't wipe my arse on it," opined another. The freefall didn't last long.

Idle hands will find the devil's work

Leave the poor woman alone. A flutter of fashionistas, including the Daily Telegraph's fashion director Hilary Alexander, has invited Susan Boyle, the latest Britain's Got Talent sensation for "a radical make-over" at the London Clothes Show. Describing her as "tired church mouse", a press officer blathers: "There has never been a better time for Susan to have a makeover!" Apart from missing the point, it sounds like Alexander hasn't enough work at the multi-platform Telegraph.