The Feral Beast

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The Independent Online

Tips for the top: get someone else to do the work

Socialite turned journalist Kate Reardon's new column in the 'Daily Mail', "Top Tips for Girls", offers nuggets of invaluable advice such as "how to appeal to men". It follows a book of the same title published earlier this year. But the column is written entirely by readers, who are invited to "give us your Top Tips for next week's column" and directed to a website owned by Kate Reardon. Clearly Reardon has taken the best tip for herself – how to get rich by doing a minimal amount of work. Step one: land a lucrative column. Step two: get the readers to supply the copy by directing them to your private website. Step three: compile a book of the best tips at the end of the year and sell it back to the readers. Genius!

Prezza's pulling no punters

Disappointing sales figures for 'Prezza: Pulling No Punches', after only just over 1,000 copies were shifted in its first week despite a much-hyped serialisation in 'The Sunday Times'. So will the publishers rue their choice of paper? I'm told the 'Daily Mail' and 'Mail on Sunday' were not offered the book, despite usually being the most generous bidders and having an enviable circulation. "It is normal practice for the publishers to decide who to send a manuscript to," says a Hodder spokesman. But surely Prescott's animosity towards the 'Mail' had something to do with it?

Who's the real catch here?

When will 'Telegraph' siren Celia Walden make an honest man of Piers Morgan? The couple have been an item for a couple of years, much to the concern of Walden's father, ex-Tory minister George. Celia is too good a catch for Morgan, her family feels, despite the former editor's stellar success since leaving the 'Mirror'. But Morgan's friends are urging him to put it about that it would be he marrying beneath himself.

Culture shock at 'Journal'

Staff at Rupert Murdoch's new toy, 'The Wall Street Journal', don't seem to have got the hang of News Corp corporate synergy yet. In an interview with former Tory leader and 'News of the World' columnist William Hague, hapless 'Journal' hack Tunku Varadarajan described that paper as "arguably Britain's lowest-brow tabloid". What would Les Hinton – Murdoch's man in Manhattan – have made of that?

Nasty party, nice plug

A prominent plug in last week's 'Observer' for a poll which found that Labour is now the "nasty party". The article, by chief political commentator Andrew Rawnsley, was based on research conducted by new website PoliticsHome.com. It must have been a lack of space that prevented the paper from mentioning that Rawnsley also happens to be editor-in-chief of PoliticsHome – and has more than a passing interest in the site.

Mears makes sweet music

Fans of survival expert Ray Mears will have been surprised to see the latest episode of his outback travails given a homoerotic undercurrent. Scenes of Mears sitting by a camp fire with butch Australian Les Hiddins were accompanied by distinctive music from gay cowboy film 'Brokeback Mountain'. "The music was used for no other reason than that it is great music," explains a BBC spokesman. Fancy!

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