Banks' Notes 21.10.05

According
to FT magazine contributing editor John Lloyd (left), peddling his
alwaysinteresting visionary stuff at the Society of Editors’ annual
conference this week, readers can now make a choice each morning
between a newspaper or a viewspaper.

The cut-down broadsheets’
size has a lot to do with it, he maintains: the Berliner Guardian,
adhering to the strictures of C.P. Scott, rigidly divides opinion from
fact in a manner which would have warmed the cockles of the old boy’s
heart. The compact Independent, by comparison, goes for graphics-aided
poster-style polemics that would do a redtop proud (not so the reshaped
Sindy, by the way, which had a comparatively cluttered debut front and
littered its inside pages with irritating tone-ruled sidebars on every
possible occasion).

Of course, comment in the redtops isn’t just
free – it’s positively forced upon you in the manner of the freebie
DVDs which end up as bird-scarers
on my allotment. But celebrity shoot-from-the-lip columns can cost a
packet, so the Currant Bun’s den mother Rebekah Wade has come up with a
beezer wheeze: everyone has a column in them, so she gives different
Boy Scouts a run each Monday. Mouse racers (backbench execs to you
youngsters) and newsdesk high-ups like Fergus Linnane and even my old
mate Roger Wood have all sharpened their poison pencils recently.

But
on Monday, Becky the Vampire Slayer rolled out the redtop carpet for a
real bile-filled biggy: step forward… Kelvin MacKenzie!

Yes,
the most successful Sun editor of them all made a rare front-ofhouse
appearance as guest columnist in what he would call the Currantimus
Bunnicus.

So, to mark the occasion, I hereby present (in a fashion he made famous) Five Fings Wot You Never Knew About ‘Kellypops’

Calder MacKenzie.

1
and 2. That’s them, above – his nickname and his middle name (but don’t
let him catch you using either). By the way, Rupert, he calls YOU ‘Old
Gorilla Biscuits’.

3. “Gotcha” wasn’t his headline. The word
was uttered by features editor Wendy Henry when news of the Argentinian
ship’s sinking came through. He pinched it for the splash.

4. His mum and dad were journalists, and so are his two brothers. Drew is Mr Nice, Craig’s Mr Noisy and Kelvin is Mr Nasty.

5.
He received the first letter of complaint about his “racist, ageist,
sexist column” FIVE WEEKS before it appeared when rumours about his
plan to write circulated. Monday’s column proved the Mystic Meg
complainant spookily spot-on!

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