The knack How to kiss and tell, by Max Clifford

"Think carefully before you do anything. There can be a lot of minuses: you're washing your dirty laundry in public, everybody will know your business, the other person will come back with all kinds of accusations about you, you'll cause embarrassment to your relations, and it could spoil your career because people will think you can't be trusted. You can't ensure that once you've told you'll be perceived in a positive light because, generally speaking, there's not a lot of sympathy for people who kiss and tell. Some people try and kickstart a career this way, but I would say nine times out of 10 it's a bad move.

If you decide to go ahead, contact the paper and pitch the story. Remember that you're not dealing with people who've got your interests at heart so make sure you get a written agreement that they won't publish until a financial agreement and contract have been made. It's not easy money - unless someone represents you, the chances are you'll make very little, because the papers will turn you over. It's a bit like going into a minefield - you need a mine-detector, a professional to help you (the problem is, there's only one person who people know - me - and I'm not looking for business). With a professional you get protection, maximum returns for minimum aggravation and the biggest fee. It can be hugely satisfying, it can be justice, and there can be huge sums of money to be made. Just don't go into it thinking that you will have your say and that's an end to it - that's the start of it." Interview by Fiona McClymont

Max Clifford is PR consultant to the famous and infamous

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