Reassured by Rachel's quest for editorial balance

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The Independent Online

For reasons delayed until the final item (no peeping), I nipped into the local newsagent on Saturday to ask if he had a copy of a magazine called The Lady. "Everything we have like that," said the Sri Lankan guy, waving towards the top shelf, "is up there." I hereby apologise to him for cackling, because if Rachel Johnson remains its Editor for much longer he will look admirably prescient.

Rachel's intricate account of her Brazilian, as confided to Vogue, will come as a tremendous relief to proprietor Julia Budworth, who expressed outrage at her publicity-shy editor's penis-obsession.

Rachel's new fixation with female genitalia shows reassuring grasp of the need for editorial balance. Of her trip to a Mayfair waxing salon, Rachel confided: "I went from Mama Grizzly to porn star in 20 painless minutes." And just in time. The press office hasn't confirmed this, but the mag's first sortie into Mayfair territory of another kind is scheduled for April. Rachel will join Sally Bercow in a centre spread modelled (in the best possible taste) on the oeuvre of Radclyffe Hall. Rebranding an organ with a fusty, antiquated image is a huge challenge, but Rachel makes it look easy. Whether the mooted name change will work I'm not sure, but Some Lady! may have a certain recherche appeal to top shelf fans.

* Moving seamfully from Brazilians, we come to Mexicans, and the comedy stylings of the Top Gear duncerati. Though I enjoyed Steve Coogan's dismantling of Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond's drolleries about flatulence and lethargy, I was disappointed by The Observer's refusal to project the piece. It could only find space for photos of Mr Coogan on pages 1, 3, 25, and – beside the article – 27. When you have a hot property, flaunt it. Don't throw it away.

* Troublesome times for Julian Assange as he awaits today's court appearance to fight his extradition. The WikiLeaks narcissist is not only threatening a libel suit over a book by two journalists from former friend The Guardian, in which he is portrayed as a shouty control freak on permanent non-speakers with Mr Soap. He is also making a complaint about the leaking to media outlets of electronic data (concerning those Swedish rape claims).

Let's leave it to Top Gear to join up the side-splitting dots on the Australians-don't-necessarily-make-gifted-self-ironists front.

* Returning to the Bercows, what a chance for John to redeem himself over the Labour MPs who found seemly cause for taunting in the Tory Paul Maynard's cerebral palsy. Who guessed the Parliament Channel would trump Sky Sports' retro-sexists and BBC1's sombrero-satirists in the TV repugnance stakes? It can't be difficult for the Speaker to identify these charmers publicly and suspend them from the Commons for a fitting period (life). Apart from the minor considerations, such as it being the right thing to do, this might help disabuse the Tory benches of the fanciful notion that the Speaker favours the Labour MPs who put him on his booster seat in the first place.

* We end, as trailed, with the reason for that trip to the newsagent. "Couple required, £750 / £775 per week + long term bonus plus two-bedroom self-contained flat, plus sole use of own car," begins an advert in The Lady. "I like my house to be run like and look like a 5 star hotel but in an informal way," goes the next paragraph, which is underlined." Who can this prospective employer be? "I am the Publisher of Sport Newspapers, as well as current Chairman of West Ham Football Club ... Please send CV to Mr David Sullivan, Birch Hall, Theydon Bois, Essex CM6 7DR." With one of our top pornographers seeking staff in The Lady, who will dare whinge about the death of social mobility? Or blithely dismiss the possibility that (if only for cut-price ad rates) Mr Sullivan will buy out Mrs Burdworth in good time to oversee that ground-breaking centre spread?