Escape Is Impossible

Among Julia Allison's many achievements, one stands out: the dating columnist landed a gig as editor-at-large of Star magazine, which consisted of reading the gossip blogs and then opining on television as if she knew the celebrities at the center of the week's scandal-and as if she had a job at Star. Her lucky successor-Allison's contract having expired after her sponsor Bonnie Fuller lost power at the celebrity gossip magazine-is charming Aussie Ben Widdicombe (left, with Horacio Silva of the Times.)

When he quit as editor of the Gatecrasher column in the Daily News and left on an extended vacation, Widdicombe said he had burned out after a decade on the party circuit. He wrote: "Also lately I've developed a peculiar attitude towards scandal-with some of the items that have crossed my desk I've thought, this really isn't any of my business. Which is problematic for a professional gossip columnist." But not as problematic as a pile of bills on Widdicombe's return from his soul-searching vacation, presumably.