Franc Roddam, who created him, set out to expose the news business. "I wanted to show people that the news is a commodity which is bought and sold like anything else, and is suppressed and tampered with, so that we are fed drivel and lies. I wanted to let the public in on the secret." But it is an image that news agency journalists say "just isn't how we are" - it is too horrible to be true.
Last year, by contrast, the television drama Faith portrayed a tabloid journalist with a conscience (played by John Hannah) caught up in political intrigue. More fun than rewriting hand-outs?