The diary can report a bit of a first, an enchanting outbreak of bashfulness from former Mirror editor Piers Morgan.
You will recall that Morgan got in a tangle with model Naomi Campbell some years ago, and wanted her charged with perjury after a court case involving his paper. So when I ring Piers to ask if he is one of the 4 per cent of people who say they find her evidence in The Hague in the Charles Taylor "rough diamonds" case credible, he is unusually reticent. "I don't want to get bogged down in all that. I'm quite friendly with Naomi now so it wouldn't really work. I'm filming in LA and don't really want to get into it. Sorry."
Humphrys grief keeps him home
Some unkind souls have leapt to conclude that Radio 4's Today presenter John Humphrys – who generally makes sure he manages to take August off to visit warmer climes – prefers (as the keenest journalists do) to stay out of the office when things get a bit quiet. Certainly the programme will be grateful for his eminent presence this month, at a time when Ceri Thomas and Jon Zilka (editor and deputy editor) are off, and with the planning editor, technically the No 3, also away, on a sabbatical. But Humphrys has another reason for staying in the UK. His sister passed away recently, a second blow after he lost his brother just two years ago. We send our condolences.
Mullin's book is not a 'bible'
The Feral Beast thinks this is a statement worth repeating: "Profile Books have announced that those attending [former Labour minister] Chris Mullin's events this autumn will be permitted to bring cameras and mobile phones with them. Wristbands will not be required. In a statement, the Mullin Foundation confirmed that there were no plans to produce a 'Bible Edition' of his book, Decline & Fall, to retail at £150 with a bookmark, for use in Faith Centres."
Beaverbrook to aid young hacks
Whatever next? Some good news for print journalism at long last. The Beaverbrook Foundation, a charity set up in 1954 by the first Lord Beaverbrook, has announced that it is to establish a series of scholarships to support young journalists. Starting next year, there will be five awards of £5,000 a year, plus a Young Reporter of the Year Award, an Innovation Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Content usurps news at 'Mirror'
...and some bad news for print journalism. The Mirror's head of news, Anthony Harwood, was collecting his belongings from the office yesterday, having been replaced by Chris Bucktin as part of the streamlining at the Mirror. Management stooges have muttered about the much admired Harwood not being quite right for the top news job – citing Bucktin's "people skills" – but those who know say Bucktin's business-school title ("Head of Content") tells the real story as to whodunnit.