Arts and Entertainment

Where are you now and what can you see?

I’m at the BBC recording Front Row and apparently I’m looking at a brass bust of Henry Wood. The statue is in the foyer.

Hardbacks

1 Sharpe's Triumph Bernard Cornwell Harper Collins pounds 16.99

Spoken word

World Cup fever has even infected audio-listeners. Bone up on the background of England's captain with Shearer: my story so far (Hodder, c2hrs, pounds 8.99). A shade casuistic at times on such things as the Blackburn transfer, but still an incredible story. Don't believe the claim that it's read by Shearer, though; he introduces it and the story contains live interviews, but the bulk of it is read by Christian Rodska.

Letter: Defying Murdoch

IN THE matter of Murdoch, HarperCollins, The Times etc. Why not try saying "No"? Many years ago I was instructed by the proprietors of Penguin to cancel 100 contracts with Penguin authors. I refused. I reckon that people in top positions justify their high salaries by taking difficult and risky positions.

Murdoch grovels and pays up in HK book row

RUPERT MURDOCH last night made a grovelling apology to Chris Patten and agreed to pay major compensation to the former governor of Hong Kong for rubbishing the writing skills in his forthcoming book after ordering his underlings at HarperCollins to ditch it.

Murdoch settles with Patten in book censorship fiasco

RUPERT MURDOCH last night apologised to Chris Patten, the former Hong Kong governor, and paid thousands of pounds in compensation in the dispute over his book dumped by HarperCollins.

Murdoch's 'Angel of Death' descends

RUPERT Murdoch's American-based "Angel of Death" swooped on HarperCollins in London yesterday amid speculation that the media tycoon's retribution over the Chris Patten book affair was nigh.

Sorry, the Martians ate our story about Mr Murdoch and the Patten book

I DON'T often read The Times, but I have been making sure to get it recently for the fun of trying to spot any references to this HarperCollins business over the Chris Patten book. Finally I came across a piece on the Murdoch business in Tuesday's Times, in which Libby Purves adopted a testy, no-nonsense attitude, a Now-children-get-your-hats-and-coats- on-and-let's-all-go-for-a-jolly-healthy-walk-in-the-rain tone of voice, and said, Oh, come on, let's all grow up! if Murdoch doesn't want to have egg thrown at China's leaders by Chris Patten, he is perfectly entitled not to have egg flung. Almost the only thing that puzzled Ms Purves (apart from why HarperCollins had taken the risk of accepting the book in the first place) was why Times newspapers had not given more coverage to the whole thing. Bit odd, that. But one thing she was sure of. It wasn't on direct orders from Murdoch.

John Major gives serious thought to resigning on a point of principle

AS I revealed yesterday, I have been working with John Major on his book of memoirs for HarperCollins (tentatively entitled Major Hold- Up Ahead) so when I heard that all sorts of writers were thinking of leaving the Murdoch firm I was very anxious in case John Major should join the rush and leave me short of pocket money.

Media: The Literator: Inside Publishing - Proffitt motive

Last week's announcement that Stuart Proffitt has resigned from his post at HarperCollins, following Rupert Murdoch's decision that his company would not publish a book that might jeopardise his Chinese interests, finally brought to an end weeks of speculation as to why the publishing director was "working at home" and couldn't come to the phone "for legal reasons". Colleagues had been intrigued and speculation soon spread beyond the security gates at HarperCollins's Hammersmith offices.

'Times' integrity damaged by Patten affair

Senior journalist admits 'cock-up' over book censorship furore

Major and Murdoch - Will he pull the book? Will he see the story? Will he get the joke?

IT HAS BEEN a very tense weekend for me. I haven't mentioned this before, but I have spent a lot of time recently working with John Major on his forthcoming autobiography (I do the jokes, he does the owning up and apologising ) and so when this HarperCollins fuss broke, I naturally wondered if my cushy little number had come to an end.

The Memo That Gives The Game Away

This memo written by Eddie Bell, chairman of HarperCollins UK, to Anthea Disney, chief executive of News America Publishing, gives an astonishing insight into corporate strategy and language.

Authors line up to defend sacked editor

WRITERS lined up to condemn HarperCollins' treatment of its chief editor Stuart Proffitt yesterday amid signs that some will leave or be tempted by rival publishers who are waiting to pounce.

HarperCollins tells a different story on the axing of Patten's memoirs

SUBTLE is not a word normally associated with Rupert Murdoch, but his version of the truth as displayed yesterday was subtly different from the version released in a legal statement by Stuart Proffitt.

Writs fly as Patten book ban throws literary world into turmoil

THE LITERARY world was in turmoil last night with authors threatening to walk out on HarperCollins, rival publishers moving in for the kill and writs flying, after claims that Rupert Murdoch intervened to force the company to drop Chris Patten's book on Asia because it could affect his commercial interests in China.
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