Henry Deedes Media Diary: A Wapping drama in theatreland

The editorial merry-go- round at The Times under the (newish) charge of James Harding has reached the paper's arts department.

Preparing to leave fortress Wapping for the last time is the paper's second-string theatre editor, Sam Marlowe, who has just been informed her annual contract will not be renewed. No reasons were given for its termination, however. I don't suppose the positive review she gave last month to Michael Frayn's Afterlife will have helped her cause.

In a four-star review, she praised the "cool precision" of Michael Blakemore's directing. "Frayn's erudition sparkles and there's a buoyant sense of fun in Blakemore's production to match its braininess," Marlowe enthused.

But Harding, who fancies himself as something of an amateur theatre buff, also took himself along to the National to catch the show and so loathed it that he descended into fury when he read Marlowe's praise for the production. No word yet on Marlowe's replacement, though I suppose we shouldn't be too surprised if Harding himself decides to give it a whirl.

Given that you can barely slide a fag paper between the position that The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail occupy in the market these days, I was surprised to learn the Telegraph's resident scoopmeister Andrew Pierce was among the guests at the Mail's recent glitzy bash at Hampton Court. I can only assume he was fulfilling the obligations of his second career as "walker" to the Mail's waspish columnist Amanda Platell.

Interestingly, however, I'm told Piercey spent part of the evening sandwiched deep in conversation between Paul Dacre and his deputy, Alistair Sinclair. Now, it would be deeply mischievous to suggest this was anything more than a friendly tête-à-tête with the Mail's editorial top brass, so I won't even go there. For now, anyway.

'Tis the season, of course, for summer parties. Pierce's colleague Celia Walden held her book launch at medialand's favourite hang-out, Soho House, just recently, which attracted the likes of Newsnight hottie Emily Maitlis and Sun editor Rebekah Wade.

The most notable sight of the evening, bar the Prime Minister's wife being refused entry by the dollies on the door, was Celia's squeeze, Piers Morgan, pressing palms with her father, former Tory MP and all-round sage, George Walden. Not too exciting, you might think, but a friend reckons this marks a significant thawing in diplomatic relations between the pair. "A bit like when Gorby and Reagan shook hands in Versoix back in '85," I'm told.

Speaking of Morgan, there are choppy waters ahead for Press Gazette, the trade magazine the former Mirror editor briefly owned with PR magnate Matthew Freud before it was placed into receivership. Rumour has it the mag's owner, Wilmington, is planning to turn the weekly into a monthly title from September. At the moment, no work is being commissioned beyond PG's 15 August edition.

Belt tightening everywhere, and not only in the printed press. Staff at London radio station LBC are also feeling the crunch. Producers have been told to keep a beady eye on costs and freelance pundits have been told there is no longer any money to pay them for their contributions to James O'Brien's enjoyable midday show.

Gosh, someone was getting a write old pasting when London Evening Standard literary critic David Sexton reviewed the new London eatery Wild Honey last week, and it sure wasn't the restaurant. "A nasty woman I used to know made choosing a restaurant into psychological warfare, like everything else she did," he wrote. "She would only ever make her choice after knowing what mine was and then, rather than simply going for what she actually wanted, her response was somehow meant as a put-down. "Naturally, in the terminal stages of this relationship I'd lie about what I intended to have until ordering so as to wrong foot the enemy." Just who on earth could Sexton be referring to? Surely not his ex, the Observer columnist Catherine Bennett?

Biggest media story of last week: Thursday's verdict on the Max Mosley/News of the World case where Mosely was awarded £60,000 in damages. Strange to note, then, that the most read story on the MediaGuardian website on Thursday was Times restaurant critic Giles Coren's expletive-laden email to a subeditor who had rejigged a sentence of an article of his and changed the meaning.

However wronged Coren might feel, his grievances should be positively microscopic compared with those of the poor editor of Valley News, a paper based in New Hampshire, who awoke last Monday morning to find the galley slaves on the back bench had accidentally rechristened his paper Valley Newss (sic) on the masthead.

"Readers may have noticed that Valley News misspelled its own name on yesterday's front page," ran an apology the following day. "Given that we routinely hold people accountable for their mistakes, let us say for the record: we sure feel silly."

An absolute shocker.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Extras
indybest
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
News
Matthew McConaughey and his son Levi at the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
advertisingOscar-winner’s Lincoln deal is latest in a lucrative ad production line
Life and Style
Pick of the bunch: Sudi Pigott puts together roasted tomatoes with peppers, aubergines and Labneh cheese for a tomato-inspired vegetarian main dish
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel you sales role is li...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

Creative Content Executive (writer, social media, website)

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum + 25 days holiday and bonus: Clearwater People Solut...

Legal Recruitment Consultant

Highly Competitive Salary + Commission: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL BASED - DEALING ...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape