Now Tony has the chance to give equal pay to Meg

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The Independent Online

Yesterday, Downing Street e-mailed Labour Party workers and special advisers, saying that Number 10 would be giving important briefings on: "the future of the Ducky (sic) of Lancaster".

It later emerged that the centuries-old cabinet post - properly spelled "Duchy" of Lancaster - may now be scrapped. Although it's been unfilled since early November, there's been almost no impact on public services.

If the off-the-record briefing is to be believed, Munn will be a shoo-in for the newly vacant cabinet position, together with a portion of the £133,997 salary that it commands.

When she was appointed last year, Munn found herself in the embarrassing position of being paid £59,095, the standard backbencher's salary, after Tony Blair forgot to include her on the list of paid ministers and junior ministers.

It was a particular oversight, since her initial duties included piloting a raft of equal pay legislation through the House of Commons. However, the abolition of the Duchy of Lancaster would leave the Government with one more salaried position to throw around.

Her office were certainly hopeful last night. "As yet we've not had a decision on this, so like you we'll just keep rolling along on the crest of the wave," said a spokesman.

* Kim Cattrall's alter ego, the Sex and the City super-slapper, Samantha, isn't exactly a role-model for frisky adolescents.

Strange, then, to discover that the Liverpool-born actress is in the middle of writing a sexual advice manual for teenage girls.

According to the publisher, Piccadilly Press, Everything I Ever Learned About Being a Girl will be based upon Cattrall's "real life" experiences, as opposed to than her colourful on-screen adventures.

"It will be like the advice of an older sister," they say. "Will it encourage promiscuity? Actually, no. The idea is that Kim will advise teenagers to be cautious, so that they learn from her mistakes."

Either way, Cattrall's forays into publishing haven't always ended happily. In 2002, she published a celebration of her marital love life called Satisfaction - only to split from husband Mark Levinson a few weeks later.

* Here's a job that promises a laugh a minute: David Blunkett is advertising for a new intern.

The fallen cabinet minister requires someone with "good communication skills" and "computer literacy" to toil in his Westminster office.

He won't actually pay you, but the lucky applicant will receive travel expenses and a lunch allowance.

"Since leaving the DWP, he no longer has the support and special advisers he had before," explains a spokesman. "The job will involve dealing with his papers."

It might also require help with a spot of house-hunting: despite assurances to the contrary, Blunkett still hasn't managed to leave his "grace and favour" pad in Belgravia.

* Charlotte Church announced last week that she'd signed a "high six-figure" deal to write her autobiography.

Fans of the Welsh icon, left, reckoned that news of this literary project provided evidence that she possesses brains as well as beauty.

Sadly, they look to have been mistaken. For I gather that Church won't spend so much as a minute tapping away at her typewriter on the project.

Instead, her publisher, Orion, will employ a team of ghostwriters to compile the memoir for her. It's a tried and tested formula: Church employed a team of writers on her last memoir, Voice of an Angel, completed when she was just 14.

However, Orion insists she'll take a hands-on role. "There will be more direct creative input from Charlotte for this book than the last," they say.

"She does have many commitments, so she'll be working on the project with a team. But Charlotte takes a great deal of pride in anything she puts her name to these days, and this won't be any different."

* Karl Lagerfeld is making strenuous efforts to suck up to one of Britain's best-preserved fashion icons, Camilla Parker Bowles.

In an interview with New York magazine, the flamboyant Danish designer is asked about his friendship with the Prince of Wales's bride.

"The public does not know who Camilla is, but she's the life of the party," reads his sober assessment. "She's sparkling, she's witty, she's ready for anything and not pretentious. Not one bit. In fact, if you had to make a choice to live with somebody, this is the one."

It's saccharine stuff. But don't go thinking that Lagerfeld is quite so complimentary about all of his royal clients.

Apropos of Diana, Princess of Wales, he declares: "She was pretty and she was sweet, but she was also stupid."

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