Former Labour spin supremo Alastair Campbell to join GQ as chief interviewer
Tony Blair's one-time director of communications hopes to bring "a bit of lefty influence" to the magazine
Ian Burrell is Assistant Editor and Media Editor at The Independent, i paper and Independent on Sunday. He covers news from the whole media sector from television, press, radio and advertising to technology. His weekly column on the media appears every Monday in The Independent and i paper. He also writes on media, music and culture, including long-form pieces for The Independent’s Saturday magazine and the Independent on Sunday’s magazine, New Review. He is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s What The Papers Say and a specialist commentator to Monocle 24 radio. He has contributed to most major broadcast outlets including BBC television and radio, CNN, Sky News, Al Jazeera and LBC. He has also written on media for GQ magazine. Ian has been reporting on the media industry for The Independent for more than a decade. Previously he was the newspaper’s Home Affairs Editor. He worked at The Sunday Times for five years, including as a member of the investigative Insight team, covering stories on political funding, industrial espionage and the arms industry. Previously he worked in ITV for London Weekend Television, on a weekly current affairs programme presented by Danny Baker. Ian trained at the Birmingham Post & Mail and was Regional Reporter of the Year in Press Gazette’s national awards.
Monday 13 January 2014
Tony Blair’s former director of communications and strategy, Alastair Campbell, has been recruited by GQ magazine as its star interviewer.
The appointment unites the former Labour spin doctor with GQ editor Dylan Jones, author of a sympathetic book on the Prime Minister called Cameron on Cameron, a series of interviews with the Conservative leader before the last election.
Mr Jones praised Mr Blair’s former spokesman as a “brilliant, opinionated and compelling writer who has the ability to get straight to the heart of what matters”.
The role was previously held by Piers Morgan, although Mr Campbell, a former Daily Mirror journalist, insisted that he did not want to be known as “Piers Morgan’s successor”.
Acrimony between the pair dates back to the Iraq war, which The Daily Mirror, under Mr Morgan’s editorship, vehemently opposed.
“When I was a full-time journalist I always enjoyed big interviews and I am pleased GQ want me not just to do politics but figures from sport, business, culture, other aspects of life that I find interesting,” he said.
After leaving Downing Street, Mr Campbell wrote for The Times. His first interview in GQ will appear in the May issue. He said he was planning to alter the political balance in the publication. “I…hope I can bring a bit of lefty influence to the magazine. There is something not quite right about having an editor who slopes off to write sympathetic books about David Cameron, and makes Benedict Cumberbatch the GQ man of the year. GQ should be the magazine for State schools, not Eton and Harrow.”
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