The free rein that the Today programme gave Norman Tebbit on Friday to ponder the IRA's surrendering of arms was a strange business. The item ran just before Thought for the Day, and the Bishop of Oxford, Richard Harries, scrambled to adjust his script to take account of what Tebbit had said. Tebbit has a history of criticising the Beeb and its reporting of terrorism. Did someone think it was a clever ploy to give him a platform, especially as Harries could be construed as soft? It's well known that there are many on Today who can't stand TFTD. Seeing it upstaged would gladden their hearts.
Time to move on?
Nearly one year on, there is still no end in sight to the saga of Express proprietor Richard Desmond (pictured) and his Oxford-educated former head of production, Ted Young, who is now working at the Evening Standard. Young, you may recall, failed to grasp the importance of the death of the Sixties pop star Carl Wayne, lead singer of the Move and a friend of Desmond. The precise reaction of the outraged proprietor to mild-mannered Young's downplaying of the story is unclear, but colleagues have said it was completely over the top "even by Desmond's standards". Young left the company and has consulted his learned friends. I'm told Desmond recently offered him a handsome five-figure sum, but Young is disinclined to settle.
Ken's not so peaceable
So much for the truce between the editor of the Evening Standard, Veronica Wadley, and the London Mayor, Ken Livingstone. Red Ken's propaganda sheet, The Londoner, takes a swipe at the Standard in its August issue, claiming that the paper has been peddling a "myth" about child ritual murders among the African community in London. "Lee Jasper, the Mayor's adviser on equalities and policing has called the newspaper stories 'preposterous'," rants the piece. It goes on to call one Standard splash on 16 June "a pure media invention". Some wags can't wait to see how Wadley responds.
Up in smoke
One reason Radio 5 Live has proved so successful is the network of high-quality audio links across the UK and the world. When, as happened on Tuesday, a low-cost airline goes bust, it should prove easy to get an expert on the case. The Independent's Simon Calder was at Manchester airport working on BBC 1's Departure Lounge when EUjet closed down. He quickly got connected to the studio in London, but a fire alarm went off and Calder ended up filing from a mobile phone as firefighters swarmed in. The cause? On the set of Departure Lounge, a ladder had made unexpected contact with a smoke detector.
Walker by name ...
From the Sunday Telegraph to the News of the World? It doesn't seem likely, but last week new ST editor Sarah Sands (pictured), took a call from the NoW's Clive Goodman who said that Tim Walker, the ST's Mandrake diarist, was about to take over Goodman's Blackadder column. Walker claims to know nothing about it.Reuse content