Simon Carr:

The Sketch: Electrifying growl shows the authentic voice of the Mail

 

Share
Related Topics

On the last day of the "first module", we had the recall of Mail editor Paul Dacre to the Leveson Inquiry. We were all in suspense – right until victims' counsel finished his first question and the room reacted with one big "Huh?" What an example of forensic eloquence he made Ed Miliband look; eventually Mr Dacre was able to "refuse to answer" any more questions about the "mystery woman who didn't exist".

The accusation that Hugh Grant had used the inquiry to make a "mendacious smear" against the Mail was allowed to stand. The old beast sounded a little doddery, I say that with no pleasure. He shuffled syllables around (a comical semi-Spoonerism on "phone hacking") but every now and again his voice would dip in tone and pitch, down to where the anger is. His bottom lip dropped, his eyes flared, his jaw came forward and he'd hit a syllable in "unequivocal" and there was the electrifying growl every regular reader would recognise as the authentic voice of the Mail.

Lord Leveson's, by contrast, is a voice of wonderful courtesy. He is polite in a way that makes others want to be polite. His counsel Mr Jay sounds polite but isn't. The Sketch doesn't even try but wishes it had a stronger idea of where to start.

Heather Mills? She said Max Clifford had threatened her. If she didn't appoint him as her agent, he would "destroy" her. Max Clifford appeared shortly afterwards, and being asked whether it was true, denied there was any foundation to it at all. Whom do we believe?

On the entirely superficial evidence – Mr Clifford. He'd been the first professional witness to be unembarrassed by what he did, and he had what my Southwark-born mother called a "respectable south London voice". But most important, threatening to destroy potential clients is a sub-optimal new business pitch.

How does it look from here? Everyone's relying on Lord Leveson's decency. On entirely superficial evidence it looks as though we can.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Support Technician (2nd Line / Server Support) - Bedford

£24000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: 2nd line IT Support Techn...

Teacher

£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to have a b...

Year 3 Teacher

£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: KS2 TeacherWould you like ...

Science Teacher

£100 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Are you a qualified science t...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: Ed Miliband on low pay; Alan Johnson on Betjeman; Tom Freeman on editing

John Rentoul
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments