Why are they famous: Chris Tarrant

Main claim

Words: Intimate

THE TELEVISION presenter Chris Tarrant has plausibly denied that he and Sophie Rhys-Jones had what he called "an affair", and what the Guardian in its report called "a relationship". Both affair and relationship are among those tricky words that are required to do double duty, making no end of trouble for foreigners. The only way to avoid ambiguity is to attach an appropriate adjective, though even here there are nuances that have more to do with idiom than with logic. There is no way of explaining why a "close relationship" has no sexual connotations - politicians and businessmen may be said to have close relationships without any implication of scandal, or at least not sexual scandal - while "an intimate relationship" usually means Only One Thing, though close and intimate are in other contexts almost synonymous.

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Welcome to the world of pawnography

It is not surprising that the most "successful" television programme over the festive period should have been Who Wants to be a Millionaire?. The big-money quiz attracted 17 million viewers, more than anything apart from football matches, soaps and royal funerals for a decade. The show hit a double jackpot by trawling up a fortune in telephone charges: nearly two million people attempted to take part at a rough cost of 75p per call. No two ways about it, this has been a resounding television coup.

OFFscript but ONmessage


Television: Tarrant contest

The only person making millions from Chris Tarrant's TV show `Who Wants to be a Millionaire?' is the former `Tiswas' custard king. But, as E Jane Dickson discovers, he still helps his daughter with her paper round. Photograph by Dan Burn Forti

ITV watches BBC go on Christmas spending spree

EVERY CHRISTMAS it is the same old story: Baby in a manger, the collective ingestion of sprouts and Quality Street, and ITV taking the sort of thrashing for which people normally have to pay.

Media Analysis: October takes its toll

A GLANCE at October's circulation figures for the national press reveals the harsh truth: it's going to be a long, hard winter.

Ball fights off the Evans threat as Radio 4 audience hits new low

CHRIS EVANS'S burgeoning media empire suffered its first setback yesterday when it was revealed that his breakfast radio show lost 336,000 listeners in three months, according to the latest Radio Joint Audience Research figures. On top of the loss for his own show, the Virgin station owned by Evans lost 300,000 listeners a week.
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