The Feral Beast

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The Independent Online

Patricia keeps her feathers

As publisher of 'Tatler', Patricia Stevenson is no stranger to the stylised world of fashion photography. But in an intriguing break from the day job I hear she has been working on the other side of the camera, and will appear on our screens in an advert for a new Dove moisturising cream. The buzz in Hanover Square has been that she is appearing naked in one of the "campaign for natural beauty" ads. So it is with a heavy heart that I must dispel that rumour, as a Condé Nast spokesman tells me she will definitely be keeping all her clothes on.

Does Murdoch want Lewis?

Rumours surround the future of 'Daily Telegraph' editor Will Lewis. Gossips say he is being lined up as editor of 'The Sunday Times' should John Witherow move on to run News International. But will Witherow get the job? Or will Murdoch appoint his favourite, Rebekah Wade, who was spotted at 'The Wall Street Journal' last week. 'Telegraph' boss Murdoch MacLennan might not be too despondent if Lewis left. Relations are said to have cooled, culminating on Thursday with Lewis being Awol when MacLennan wanted a word.

Testing times for car maker as Boycott goes for a spin

In theory it's a PR man's wet dream – on Friday the 'Daily Mail' ran a full right-hand-page op-ed article singing the praises of eco sports car manufacturer Tesla. But the puff will have come at a price. Tesla executives must have had their hearts in their mouths as they handed over the keys of the £78k car to Rosie Boycott, whom the 'Mail' had sent out for the "exclusive test drive". Rosie has a chequered motoring history, having been banned from driving for three years in 2003 after crashing on the A303, injuring another driver. The previous day she had been stopped for drink-driving. Luckily her battle with the bottle is over, but insuring the old gal can't have been cheap.

Smile, please – and don’t say you weren’t warned

Caroline Flint's gaffe, allowing her cabinet briefing notes to be snapped in Downing Street by freelance lensman Steve Back, was even more cack-handed than it looked. Back noticed some months ago that ministers were becoming lax about covering up their notes in proper folders. The Justice Minister, Jack Straw, was particularly sloppy about hiding his papers from public view, and Back, who happens to be a magistrate, was concerned about the security implications. Very decently, he rang the Downing Street press office and told them to advise ministers to beware of snooping paparazzi. The message was not passed on, clearly, and La Flint was duly made to look a fool.

Les still has the answers

That Les Dennis never gives up. The former game-show host has signed up for a pilot of a television quiz, 'Your Number's Up', later this month. The last project he was involved in, a sitcom called 'Here Comes the Queen', flopped spectacularly when not a single channel bid for it.

All change at ‘Statesman’?

Without a captain for three months, the good ship 'New Statesman' has finally got its man: Jason Cowley, the editor of literary magazine 'Granta', is to succeed John Kampfner. Expectations are high: within three hours of the news breaking, an insider was overheard exclaiming: "Isn't it wonderful? I'm floating on air!" But having worked in the literary world and as editor of 'Observer Sport Monthly', is he really newsy enough to navigate the choppy waters of the weekly political world?

Shakespeare as performed by Mr Bean

A month ago he had a vat of manure dumped on his head by a disgruntled reader. Now Sebastian Shakespeare, editor of the Londoner's Diary in the 'Evening Standard', has found himself in another pickle. Heading for a New York holiday last week he was told his passport was invalid for entry into the US – something to do with it having been issued in Singapore. Shakey has form on such Beanish blunders, setting off on honeymoon in 2002 with an out-of-date passport. Luckily, on that occasion, it was sorted. This time he had to stay behind, while Mrs Shakespeare flew on alone.