Welcome to dress-down Friday. Here we are in our casual gear at the end of a week in which Rupert Murdoch went from an all-powerful billionaire to a loser in a tracksuit, in which there was at last good news from the eurozone – someone from Britain won £161m on the Euromillions lottery – and in which we were told that, contrary to established medical opinion, drinking eight glasses of water can be bad for you, or at least doesn't do you any good (but don't yet substitute it with wine).
It's been hard to turn on the telly without seeing Hugh Grant (and not because there's a Channel 4 rom-com season), nor was it an easy task to switch off the TV or the radio, as developments in the phone-hacking scandal came so thick and fast that it felt like the Arab Spring all over again, with a tyrannical regime about to fall at any time. By the middle of the week, it was a problem to remember whether it was Kirsty or Emily, or Justin or Evan we were hearing from. I mean that literally. Twice in the past seven days I have incorrectly identified a BBC presenter, as a number of our more attentive readers have pointed out. Apologies. We don't have to have a judicial inquiry to discover that I misled the public. It's a fair cop.
Talking of which, did you hear Sir Hugh Orde on the Today programme on Thursday morning? He's effectively Britain's No 1 bobby, representing all 44 forces, and should I ever want someone to put my case, Sir Hugh's the man I'd choose. He was loyal, articulate, resolute and open, and given that he was on to speak for the police action (or, rather, lack of it) regarding News International, it was a pretty remarkable effort.
Hearing Sir Hugh on the wireless reminded me of a story, which may be apochryphal, of a former Met commissioner, Sir Robert Mark, on a radio phone-in. He dealt with all the listeners' questions firmly and efficiently and then it was over to Peter in Rochester. "Morning, Peter," said the host. "What's your question for the Metropolitan Police Commissioner?" "Morning, Sir Robert," said Peter. "Could you please tell me what the time is." Priceless. See you on Monday for some more old stories.Reuse content