The feral beast: Wake worries pass

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The Independent Online

It would have tickled the late Keith Waterhouse to learn of the delicate wranglings that have preceded his memorial service at St Paul's Covent Garden on Tuesday.

Tension has arisen over who should pay for the wake: Associated, while happy to honour The Daily Mail's star columnist of 21 years, felt that Trinity Mirror, where the great man made his name from 1970-1988, should share what will doubtless be a hefty bar bill. After a lot of shilly-shallying they have come to an agreement and both papers appear as hosts on the invitation.

Murray's mission

Renegade former ambassador Craig Murray claims he has been blackballed by The Guardian's Comment is Free site's "Jack Straw fan club". But CiF editor Matt Seaton says he is welcome to write "as and when". It seems unlikely now, as Murray says he is toying with suing The Guardian's trustees. "The trust stipulates that The Guardian must support liberal values. But New Labour have been the most illiberal government since Castlereagh, and The Guardian has cheerled for them. It would be a wonderful opportunity for a discussion in a court of law of New Labour's attacks on civil liberties and the legality of New Labour's wars." Deep waters.

Hunt's in two minds

Shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt raised the spectre of abolishing BBC Three and BBC Four in an interview with The Independent, pointing out they cost nearly £200m to run but have small audiences. That's odd because only five days earlier he appeared on BBC Three to say: "I step back from saying BBC do this, BBC don't do that because I think the worst thing would be if a politician tried to get himself into the driving seat." He's almost as consistent as Ed Vaizey.

Easy life for Grade

A new biog of Brass Eye comic Chris Morris recalls how he fell out with C4 boss Michael Grade, who insisted on editing his Ali G-style interviews. "Grade was looking for an easy life and a knighthood," claims Morris, "He didn't want to have the cigar swatted from his mouth by some blowsy celeb."

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