On Monday O J Simpson gave his first interview on British television since his acquittal of the murders of his wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman.
"Richard and Judy put O J on trial by sofa", chortled the Guardian. "O J is reprieved by no punch and Judy show", sighed an unsurprised Telegraph. The Times reminded us of Simpson's now long-forgotten past as a footballer with "O J rides tackles from doyens of daytime TV".
O J, and his genial hosts, Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan. Part of a UK publicity tour, the Granada TV appearance is thought to have netted Simpson pounds 100,000, and gave the darlings of the daytime schedules a go at prime-time. They introduced him as "the most controversial person we've ever interviewed", but the time allotted was never going to be enough for them to really get to grips with their subject. Judy wrapped it all up with the usual "That's all we've got time for", before pursuing an altogether less worrying line of inquiry with singer Neil Diamond.
"This stunt serves no respectable purpose", raged the Evening Standard. "It is arranged merely to publicise an already moronic chat-show duo." Richard and Judy "were more like Eeyore and Piglet than Paxman and Humphreys", scoffed the Telegraph, while the Independent observed that "Judy Finnigan's hands were shaking, the tremor of someone clutching at a cliff with no handholes". A more generous Times felt that the Madeleys "did their damnedest, but a man who has survived a year-long trial is unlikely to offer anything sensational in a brief television interview".
"Whatever my prejudices, justice was served, the man was acquitted and he is free to meet as many mediocre TV interviewers as he likes."
What you shouldn't say:
"So, that makes three killings, then."
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