The Feral Beast: What happened to name and shame?
Sunday 14 September 2008
Uh oh – gremlins at work at 'The Guardian'. Hugh Muir's diary last week referred to a certain "Mahatma Ghandi", only for the Corrections and Clarifications column to correct the mistake a few days later (it's Gandhi). All well and good. Except that on the previous page of that day's paper, Dame Polly Toynbee, of all people, was calling him "Ghandi" again. This led to another correction the following day, but curiously on this occasion the precise whereabouts of the mis-spelling was left rather vague, as "elsewhere in the paper". Poor Hugh – why didn't they spare his blushes too?
A dinosaur dig at the TUC
The coverage in 'The Sun' of the TUC conference was placed in the hands of Dave Wooding, the mouthy Whitehall editor. The impish Scouser is not a man to hide his Thatcherite feelings about the Brothers. He wandered round the conference in a loud tie decorated with lots of dinosaurs. "That's what I think of you lot," he cried.
'Telegraph' gets 'Mail' man
Yet another defection from the 'Daily Mail' to 'The Daily Telegraph'. Senior newsdesk man Will Kinnaird is off to Victoria to join his former colleagues, where he will become foreign editor. "Kinnaird's a good man," says a Derry Street mole. "Civilised and calm – he's not one of life's shouters." Let's hope he suits hub life.
Sewage in 'Heat', official
Recently I reported how Nat Mags, publisher of 'Cosmo', 'Esquire' and 'Harper's Bazaar', was brought to a standstill when the loos stopped working. Now a similar fate has struck 'Heat' magazine, which sent staff home on Friday because the bogs were clogged. Sensitive readers may wish to stop reading now, as I'm told the problem was so bad that the basement was filling up with sewage.
Macintyre makeover plea
Sub editors at 'The Times' wish colour writer Ben Macintyre would tidy himself up for a new picture byline. The current photograph of him, which made an appearance last week, shows a bedraggled, round-spectacled, gaunt fellow with shirt open way down his chest, apparently standing at an angle. "He looks like Compo crossed with Lord Longford," complains one Wapping sub.
New crew gathers at 'NS'
In other Macintyre news, James Macintyre – no relation – joins the 'New Statesman' on 22 September as political correspondent. He arrives only three days before new editor Jason Cowley, who will finally take the reins after serving his notice at Granta, the literary quarterly he joined as editor only a year ago.
Auntie signs armistice
Is there an armistice at the Beeb? First Enemy number one Alastair Campbell is invited on to Radio 4 to pay homage to Jacques Brel. Now ex-director general Greg Dyke, who resigned after the Hutton report, is making a documentary for BBC3 about the life of Aneurin Bevan. What next? Andrew Gilligan's guide to railway hotels?
Jogging is bad for you
It's no joke being Richard Compton-Miller at the moment: the seasoned trouble-maker has broken his funny bone. The 'Evening Standard' property spy and former Hickey diarist tells me he fell while jogging round the Alhambra. "It's annoying as I normally touch type but I had to write my column with one finger this week," he says. "The upside is I'm constantly offered a seat on the bus, even by old women".
Memorial blows MP's cover
A good turnout at the Blackfriars branch of El Vino for a memorial booze-up for 'Telegraph' colour writer John Gaskell. Those raising (several) glasses included 'Guardian' editor Alan Rusbridger and 'Sunday Telegraph' humorist Oliver Pritchett. The descent of so many Fleet Street snouts came as a horrible surprise to Labour MP Kelvin Hopkin. He was in the ground-floor bar trying to have a discreet plot with a fellow leftie and found his cover blown.
'Corrie' star ousts Jamie
With his multi-million-pound contracts, Jamie Oliver was perhaps not the ideal man to front Sainsbury's "feed your family for a fiver" campaign. So the supermarket has launched a new ad featuring "Sarah", a forty-something credit-crunched mum, played by actress Tracy Brabin. But was she the ideal choice as the face of family shopping? Many viewers will recognise Brabin from her former role as the benefit-cheating, foul-mouthed bad girl of 'Coronation Street', Tricia Armstrong.
Selina's a law unto herself
Selina Scott's suing of Channel 5 after not being chosen to stand in while Natasha Kaplinsky is on maternity leave is perplexing. It was only two years ago that Scott made a programme for Channel 5 called 'Why I Hate Television Today', commissioned by her old friend Chris Shaw, now head of ... Channel 5.
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