The Feral Beast


Dr Phil misses the symptoms of anonymity

Stethoscopes at dawn. An awkward moment on Channel 4's 'Richard and Judy' when Dr Phil Hammond (pictured) tried to "out" rival media doctor Max Pemberton as a fraud. "Who are you anyway?" he suddenly asked. "I've looked you up and you're not listed on the GMC website." Pemberton is known for his 'Telegraph' column "Trust me I'm a junior doctor", but as everyone in the media knows, Max Pemberton is a pen name. "It was a bit surprising when Phil deviated from the script," says 'Pemberton'. "It was nice that he had looked me up before the programme, but everyone knows Max is not my real name. It's not a massive secret."

Water way to run a paper

In a week when everyone, from ministers to the BBC, piled into the bottled water debate, calling the £2bn industry an "ecological nightmare", how outré of 'The Daily Telegraph' to run a promotion for free bottles of, er, water, while also printing articles calling for readers to switch to the tap. Fortunately, Julia Hailes, author of one, has an explanation. "This sort of thing happens all the time, not least in government. One minute they're signing Kyoto, the next they are planning a fifth runway at Heathrow. This is a small example of a wider problem."

Ed avoids rubber cheque

Still no white smoke at the 'New Statesman' on who will succeed John Kampfner as editor. Rumour has it his departure was scheduled for a month ago, but was postponed after talks with proprietor Geoffrey Robinson. The good news is that Kampfner has secured himself a decent payout, to be paid directly into his bank. When Peter Wilby left, his farewell cheque bounced.

Not Business as usual

A sad farewell to 'Spectator' deputy editor Stuart Reid, who stood down after this week's edition had gone to bed on Wednesday. Reid, who joined the Speccy from 'The Sunday Telegraph' in 1999, will now rejoin the 'Telegraph' comment desk. A farewell tea was laid on, where Reid paid tributes to colleagues, including those leaving the company now that 'The Business' has folded. "There's no business like no business," quipped Reid.

Cycle rage at ‘Guardian’

The relocation of 'The Guardian' later this year to swanky new premises in King's Cross will shorten the commute for staffers from north London. But an outcry has arisen as the new site has rack space for only 200 bikes, and pedestrians have been up in arms over the closure of the pavement while the new building is being constructed, which has forced them on to a road thundering with lorries. It's not easy being green.

‘Flat Earth’ sells mountains of copies

Nick Davies's book 'Flat Earth News' has been selling like proverbial toasted teacakes despite hostile reviews. It is about to enter its fourth print run after online booksellers sold out within days of its launch on Thursday 7 February. A particularly scathing review by Peter Preston appeared in that Saturday's 'Guardian', and by the afternoon the paper's online bookshop had sold out. "It has been moving very fast," says Davies, "despite a campaign to pour scorn on the book." A more effective campaign might have prevented reviews appearing at all.

Seasoned journalist Boris Johnson had no trouble handling the feral beasts of the Commons press gallery over lunch. "How are you going to address the fact that a lot of voters will worry that a man who lies to his wife will lie to voters?" asked one female beastie. A good call perhaps. "I don't think that voters really worry about these things in the way the media do." One nil to Boris. But a question from Kevin Maguire of the 'Daily Mirror' sent Bozza into orbit. "The Mirror!" he cried. "I refuse to answer any questions until you apologise for that front- page story you wrote about me." When asked what story he meant, Boris faltered: "Er, I can't actually remember." Alas, he was thinking of 'The Guardian'. Too much politics can do odd things to the brain.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This publishing company based i...

Ashdown Group: Content Manager - Publishing

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Guru Careers: Report Writer / Reporting Analyst

£25 - 30k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Report Writer / Reporting Analyst is nee...

Guru Careers: German Speaking Account Manager / Account Executive

£24-30K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A German speaking Account Manager ...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...