Dyke signs lucrative book deal with his bête noire Murdoch

Louise Jury,Arts Correspondent
Saturday 07 February 2004 01:00

Greg Dyke has signed a lucrative book deal with Harper Collins, the publisher owned by his bête noire Rupert Murdoch, which will spill the beans on his extraordinary departure from the BBC.

The deal, under which he will give the full inside-track on his career as director general, including the tumultuous events after publication of the Hutton report, could net him up to an estimated £500,000.

In many ways, such an arrangement is surprising. Mr Murdoch has been a fierce critic of the BBC and its commercial activities, while Mr Dyke was equally scathing of Fox News, the gung-ho news channel owned by Mr Murdoch's News Corp in America. Mr Murdoch has even been known to intervene in his publishing firm's activities, dropping the memoirs of the Chris Patten, the last governor of Hong Kong, when they threatened his commercial interests in China.But personal contacts may have secured the arrangement. Mr Dyke was represented by literary agent Vivien Green, who also acts for his friend Melvyn Bragg.

Sources close to the deal said readers should "expect fireworks". The book is likely to give full vent to Mr Dyke's fury at Lord Hutton's findings and the way the Government and BBC governors behaved in its wake.

Gavyn Davies, the former BBC chairman, is reported to be taking legal advice on suing Alastair Campbell, the Government's former communications director, for accusing him of not telling the truth.

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