Media Diary: Snow finds his voice; Déjà vu at the 'FT'; Mystery man at Radio 4; Don't read all about it; Lost in translation; Critic finds a new stage
Sunday 19 March 2006
*** Happy 30th anniversary at ITN to Jon Snow, the Channel 4 newsreader. In his regular Snowmail email missive, he recalls that, at his screen test, he appeared as "a long and floppy- haired man with a purple shirt with collars that dip down below his chest and a voice that seems to have just stepped out of Eton (I went to Scarborough Polytechnic)". In his Who's Who entry, he makes no mention of Scarborough but boasts "Liverpool University (no degree, sent down following political disturbances)". His professed surprise at the poshness of his voice is also odd. True, Snow didn't go to Eton but he did go to another public school, St Edward's in Oxford, whose other old boys included Laurence Olivier. Hats off to Comrade Snow for his efforts in adopting a proletarian accent in later years.
Déjà vu at the 'FT'
Following a running story can be tricky - especially when nothing is really happening. Just ask the Financial Times, which is trying to keep the pot boiling on the bid battle for the London Stock Exchange. "LSE's big investors to meet Nasdaq", screamed its front page story on Tuesday, to be followed on Thursday by another scoop in exactly the same place:, "Nasdaq chief to meet LSE investors". At least the stories were consistent.
Mystery man at Radio 4
Still reeling from the imminent axing of Spiegl's early- morning medley, Radio 4 listeners have another grievance. A new continuity announcer has hit the airwaves. "He's incomprehensible," says one listener. "He made a complete hash of the shipping forecast." On his identity, the BBC helpfully says: "We're not allowed to say. He is on probation until at least next month and he's quite shy and doesn't want much known about him." A bottle of champagne to the first reader who identifies him correctly.
Don't read all about it
Bert Hardy has begun making enemies at the Evening Standard. Since being installed as managing director in October, he has been keeping a low profile, but he has now decided to swing the axe. He has ordered a cutback on free Evening Standards in the office. As of now, only 50 copies are to be shared by the entire office, as opposed to 200 in days gone by. Last year, Associated Newspapers stopped stocking all the group's other publications in the building's main atrium.
Lost in translation
Comments by the Prime Minister at his last press conference are curiously missing from the transcript on the Number 10 website. "To my surprise, the line I was looking for wasn't there," says the BBC's political editor, Nick Robinson (right). The comments missing include a reference to the Education Bill being "a very, very critical issue for the Labour Party, for its instincts, for what it's about, for what it is trying to do". The explanation Robinson obtained was that "they always exclude references to party politics on what is, after all, a government website". Robinson isn't convinced: "Shame they don't make that clear on the transcript or website."
Critic finds a new stage
Spiky theatre critic Michael Coveney has a new billet, after a long stint without a regular position. Coveney, once of the Financial Times, is joining Whatonstage.com as its chief reviewer. The website hails him as "Daily Mail critic Coveney", although he hasn't been that for two years.
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