The Feral Beast: Mad Mel conjures up Druid rage

Sunday 17 October 2010 00:00

Melanie Phillips is always game for a little controversy but did she know what she was getting into when she took on the Druids?

Her Daily Mail column dismissing their claim to be a religion has drawn thousands of complaints. An online petition demanding an apology has gathered over 4,000 signatures and a complaint has been lodged with the PCC. The letter accuses Mad Mel of riddling her column with inaccuracies. But is this the way to go about it? Why not invite her for a day at the henge? Who knows, she might like the eccentricity of it all.

Printer's plight delays 'Lit Rev'

Subscribers to the Literary Review waiting for the October issue can relax – it's coming. The peerless monthly is running late after its printers went bust. New printers have had to be found and happily the crisis is over. "It's sad to see a good printer run into difficulties but the magazine marches on," says editor Nancy Sladek, "We hope the delay wasn't too painful for our readers."

Not the daddy after all

So, the high profile media figure who fathered an illegitimate child by another journalist has discovered it's not his after all. After four years of shelling out, he could sue for the money back, though going to court may threaten his prized anonymity. He is reported to have taken a paternity test after he saw the child and had doubts. Which striking physical features must the child lack, we wonder, to have made "Daddy" doubt his paternity?

Secret blog fans hope for Cohen revival

Staff at BBC1 are bracing themselves for an injection of youthful energy after Danny Cohen was named the new £260,000-per-year controller. When the 36-year-old was made controller of BBC3 in 2007, insiders delighted in a blog called "Secret Blog of a TV Controller Aged 33 and 3/4". In it, Cohen was portrayed as self-congratulatory, patronising and "youth" obsessed, and it drew fans from across the media, including TV critic Victor Lewis-Smith and Kathryn Flett, who wept with laughter. Sadly, the last post was over a year ago: time for a re-launch?

'Times' crowds in on miners' joy

The decision by James Harding to axe T2 soon after becoming editor of The Times was not his finest. The section was revived last week after the readers complained. Among the blizzard of puffs heralding its return, most nauseating was a letter from T2 editor Emma Tucker quoting a reader rejoicing that it had resurfaced "at the same time as the Chilean miners".

Don't mention the War

A story in the Mail reported a war veteran being refused permission to sell poppies in Aldi, the German discount store. "It's not the first time Aldi has been accused of failing to support the Poppy Appeal," it glowered, recalling a similar incident in 1993. But the piece omitted to mention an identical story this time last year. Has Aldi cottoned on to an annual free publicity stunt?

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