The feral beast: Gilligan joins Press TV exodus
Sunday 21 February 2010
Andrew Gilligan has quietly dropped his association with Press TV, the Iranian state-owned station accused of beaming propaganda into British homes.
His departure follows that of Nick Ferrari, who quit in protest at the station's coverage of last summer's presidential election. Gilligan, now at The Sunday Telegraph, no longer presents his debate show Forum, having previously resisted criticism of the station. Respect MP George Galloway and disgraced Tory Derek Conway continue to work for the station, as does Islamic convert Yvonne Ridley. Gilligan declined to comment.
Regime change for foreign hacks
The days when war reporters lived off their wits, whisky and a threadbare mattress are over. Reuters correspondents arriving in Haiti immediately after the earthquake are said to have been under orders to carry out a health and safety audit of their hotel before checking in. The insensitivity of reporters arriving in disaster zones is notorious, best summarised by the title of Edward Behr's memoirs: Anyone here been raped and speak English?
Light fingered 'Guardian' staff
Staff being shown the door at The Guardian are clinging on to whatever they can lay their hands on. A notice has gone up at Kings Place explaining that the low level lighting in the lifts is due to the theft of lamps and fittings. Information leading to the identification of the culprit is being sought. New lights probably shouldn't be installed until the redundancy period is over.
Friends help out coy Van Outen
The Daily Mail's scoop about Denise Van Outen claiming to have been dropped by the BBC because she was pregnant cited "friends" of the presenter, who said she felt "disappointed and let down". But why the need for "friends"? The same Van Outen was spotted at the Mail's Brit Awards table two nights earlier. What better way to thank a host than with a red-hot exclusive?
A fitting farewell for Scott?
The Sunday Times's former ski (and après-ski) expert Alistair Scott, who died of a sudden illness aged 50 before Christmas, is to be remembered at a service in Notting Hill on 7 May. Interesting timing, given the general election is pencilled in for the previous night. The streets of Notting Hill will either be shrouded in bunting or mourning a fourth Tory defeat, and Scott's Fleet Street chums will not be in much of a state for church. But then that may be just the way to commemorate the convivial Alistair.
Hudson to digest unlucky move
Commiserations to Gill Hudson, editor of Reader's Digest, who is bravely plugging on with the April issue after management filed for bankruptcy. Hudson took over in the summer, giving up the top job at the Radio Times after a seven-year stint. "The opportunity is too good to miss," she said of her decision at the time, although ABC figures have continued to tumble, while the RT is boasting record sales. Oops.
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