The Feral Beast: Moir’s not thinking what her proprietor’s thinking
Sunday 03 August 2008
After she defected from 'The Telegraph', the first column by Jan Moir, right, for the 'Daily Mail' appeared on Friday under the line "Are you thinking what she's thinking?" Unluckily for Jan, proprietor Lord Rothermere may not be on her wavelength. One of her stories attacked Edward Eggins's sponsored rickshaw drive from Nepal to southern India, in memory of his friend James Wentworth-Stanley. "Why can't those who want to raise money for charity do something useful, instead of embarking on self-indulgent adventures?" she ranted. Alas for Jan, young Eggins happens to be a pal of Rothermere. Couldn't a colleague have told the new girl?
'Mail' in spanking form
The 'Daily Mail' was at its moralising best over Max Mosley, left, the F1 boss prone to a spot of spanking. But should the paper not put its own house in order? Its website has a slot called: "Editor's Six of the Best".
Fred's back in his kennel
One of the secrets of the success of the 'Daily Mail' is that it knows its readers, and gives them what they want. So it should have known better than to deprive them of the Fred Bassett cartoon, which disappeared for a few days in July. I'm told it was quietly dropped as part of a cost-cutting exercise. But such was the hue and cry from fans of the cartoon strip that the venerable hound has now been reinstated. Phew!
Car's days in the 'Sun'
Some stories are so good they merit running twice. On Tuesday 'The Sun' bore news of a drunken mob that smashed up a hired £250,000 Lamborghini at a wedding over the weekend. The following day the paper ran the same story, with further photos of the "mangled motor". Oddly enough, a different story about a Lamborghini being sent from Qatar to Britain for an oil change made the splash on Thursday. "The cars are popular with celebs including Rod Stewart and David Beckham" readers were informed. Here's hoping 'Sun' editrix Rebekah Wade is rewarded for all that free publicity.
Bucharest on BBC standby
A sorry day for the World Service on Friday when the BBC closed its doors in Romania after 68 years. It's the latest phase in the Beeb's withdrawal from Eastern Europe as part of a "reprioritisation", while boosting its presence in the Middle East. Let's hope the corporation's decision doesn't prove to be an ill omen for Romanians. Days after the Beeb left Hungary two years ago, the government was in crisis and mobs roamed the streets, while the Thai government fell within a fortnight of a similar departure. Could the BBC now be putting a curse on Bucharest?
Never-ending Nick's well-earned holiday
Anyone reading on a pool-lounger might spare a thought for Nick Robinson, left. The BBC's political editor has been getting up at 3am to present the 'Today' programme, before dealing with his duties on TV's evening news. But an insider tells of one particular marathon session: "The TV newsroom insisted Nick be available for 10pm on the Friday after the Glasgow by-election, aware that he'd been up at 3am but apparently unaware he would be up at four to present the Saturday edition." Having lost his pound of flesh, Nick went on his hols on Friday.
Janice eyes the BBC2 prize
With Peter Barron abandoning journalism to join Google, Janice Hadlow is now a safe bet to succeed Roly Keating as controller of BBC2. And let's hope she does – the Beast hears she would be most disappointed not to get it, after four years toiling away at BBC2's feeder channel BBC4. Were she to move, her replacement is likely to be George Entwistle, who stood in for Hadlow in 2004 when she took a sabbatical to write a book.
'Telegraph' loses to Tories
Journalist leaves 'Telegraph', part 101. The latest departure is political diarist Jonathan Isaby, who is off to become co-editor of Tory website ConservativeHome. "I've been at the 'Daily Telegraph' exactly five years today," Isaby told the Beast on Friday. "It's been an exciting time. I've had some great opportunities, not least with the blog, which will be very useful for my new job." Isaby will replace Sam Coates, now speechwriter for Dave.
Karadzic captured? Next they'll be finding Lord Lucan
News of the capture of Radovan Karadzic, was broken with excitement on the BBC's 'Newsnight'. But the reaction of the programme's diplomatic editor, Mark Urban, was rather more Charles Pooter than Charles Glass. "I was reflecting with a small degree of satisfaction on the day's work, metaphorically zipping up my pencil case, when everything changed at 10.20pm," he writes in the 'Press Gazette'. "Immediately there were requests to get on set to break the news live. I refused politely." Urban explains that previous "Karadzic captured" stories had taught him to be cautious. But, ever the professional, he soon verified the story and was on air to report it.
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