Publisher fights with 'Mail' over Diana book

THE Daily Mail and a London publishing house are locked in a disagreement over a biography of Diana, Princess of Wales by Richard Kay, the journalist closest to the Princess.

The newspaper said it has signed a deal with Boxtree to turn a series of articles into a book. But the publisher is playing down the newspaper's involvement and has heavily promoted the book - Diana, The Untold Story - at the London Book Fair, emphasising the Kay authorship.

The newspaper and publisher will meet next week to discuss how the book should be marketed for the launch on 10 July.

Among matters to be clarified will be the billing of Geoffrey Levy who was co-author of the series of newspaper articles. Mr Levy was not mentioned in a glossy brochure at the fair or in the publisher's catalogue.

Mr Kay is well-known as the princess's confidante, but has always been extremely sensitive about the friendship and his close relations with her family. He attended her funeral as a private guest and refused to write about it.

A book by him "unveiling the truth about her childhood, her ill-fated marriage to Charles, the men who came into her life..." in the words of the publisher's brochure, would be a publishing coup.

The catalogue says: "[Richard Kay] feels that his role remains to put the record straight about the life of the princess and describes a very different woman from the bitter bulimic portrayed in Andrew Morton's biography... From his special standpoint as Diana's mouthpiece, Kay tells the untold story".

A spokesman for the Daily Mail said last night that it was the newspaper's own venture and that it had received the pounds 50,000 advance, not Mr Kay, as The Independent has reported.

A spokesman for the newspaper said they had made a "staggeringly large cheque" to the princess's memorial fund, set up to raise money for her charities, when they had begun the Diana, The Untold Story, series. "If you rang up the memorial fund and asked them how they felt, they would eulogise about Richard Kay, Geoffrey Levy and the Daily Mail," the spokesman said.

The newspaper refused to say whether any of the proceeds of the book would go to the two reporters. But the spokesman said Richard Kay had received the information contained in the series as a Daily Mail reporter and that information belonged to the newspaper.

The book will bind together the 12-part series with an introduction. Adrian Sington, who signed the deal for Boxtree, part of the Macmillan group, said there would be a new 2,500-word introduction, but the Daily Mail insisted yesterday that the book would contain nothing which had not been published in the newspaper.

Mr Sington said he expected it to be a success: "We expect to sell an awful lot of copies. It happens to be an extremely good book, it's beautifully written and a great story."

No mention was made of the Daily Mail or Mr Levy in the information prepared for the London Book Fair because that was a rights fair for foreign buyers. Mr Sington said: "I haven't decided yet whether I'm going to call it a Daily Mail book."

Trustees of Diana's memorial fund last night refused permission for an American toy firm, Hasbro, to make a Sindy doll looking like the princess.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own