The Feral Beast: Sunshine at the 'Telegraph'

Sunday 15 March 2009 01:00 GMT

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


They've tried turning it into the Mail, now the Telegraph is going downmarket instead. Former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie was offered a lucrative contract to write for the comment pages. Sadly, he has refused as he's still tied to The Sun, where he writes a column. Next on Will Lewis's shopping list is MacKenzie's mate and former Sun colleague Nick Ferrari, who happily said yes and penned his first piece last week. Ferrari is perhaps best known for inventing topless darts.

Guardian of executive pay

Nothing is too good for the workers, at least not their bosses. At the Manchester Evening News and its sister papers, 150 jobs are to go, and another 95 will go on titles in Surrey and Berkshire, all owned by Guardian News & Media. There is talk of picketing next week, something that would once have been unthinkable at the left-of-centre daily. Mercifully, those in charge are OK. Attempts to get Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger to address the question of executive bonuses at a meeting last week were given short shrift.

Eulogy for expenses

It's not just GNM's local papers being hit – hacks on the national have been told their expense accounts are to be savagely cut. An email from executive editor Chris Elliott announced that taxis have been banned, company mobiles are not to be used for social calls, and lunches with contacts are to be capped at £20 per head. Intriguingly, he added that "we won't pay for staff entertaining colleagues and there is no change to that policy". Oh, for the days when you could expense a lunch with your mates.

Babs killed off early

An Albert Square of EastEnders stars turned out for Wendy Richard's funeral on Monday, filing into church wearing dark sunglasses. My mole behind the tombstone tells me it all went swimmingly except when Sky News reporter Simon Newton got overexcited as the hearse pulled up. "And now behind me you can see the hearse bringing Barbara Windsor," he said, before swiftly correcting himself. The cheek.

Don't give it to 'The Sun'

British Press Awards judges have been urged not to award the Campaign of the Year to The Sun for its "Justice for Baby P" petition, which drew 1.3 million names. An email from social workers' magazine Community Care claims it was more of a witch hunt: "In 27 consecutive editions of The Sun ... [it] singled out Maria Ward, the social worker allocated to Baby P's case, over and above the other professionals. She was named 55 times, in 31 articles, editorials, opinion columns and readers' letters. Editorials labelled her 'lazy' and 'useless', and one story speculated on her mental health." Put like that, you can see what they mean.

Now that's what you call a rat race

Spotted last Sunday, scuttling round the Daily Mail City desk – three large rats. We leave the jokes to you, dear reader.

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