Dawn Neesom’s final column in the Daily Star after taking over as editor characteristically pulled no punches.
In it, she gave Michelle from Pop Idol and other fatties a bucketload for “stuffing their faces” and being “fatally overweight”. They were all “lardarses”, she said, who were too lazy and weak willed to control their eating.
Then, without apparent irony, she signed off and introduced the woman who is to take over her column, the “brilliantly funny and talented” – wait for it – Vanessa Feltz.
Dog wonders whether Feltz – who makes Michelle look like Geri Halliwell – will be taking her new boss’s words to heart.
Merrill’s memory loss over Nuts role
Who is the man in the white polyester shirt and what is he doing? No, Dog’s exclusive neverseenbefore picture is not from auditions for the David Brent role in The Office. It’s a sneak shot of a presentation to IPC’s board members including Tim Brooks (far right) and Sylvia Auton (obscured) taken back at the beginning of 2003.
The sweaty presenter is none other than Paul Merrill, then editor of Chat, who is explaining his vision for a weekly men’s magazine concept that the company had decided to start developing a few months before, in November 2002. Merrill’s five-week stint on the project started on 4 February, 2003.
His input was part of a lengthy gestation that led to the launch of the company’s ground-breaking men’s weekly next Wednesday.
Sadly, Merrill’s Dave never made it past the drawing-board stage (IPC opting for the, er, far more sensibly named Nuts instead) and he eventually jumped ship to edit Emap’s rival launch, Zoo Weekly, which goes live at the end of the month.
So can this be the same Paul Merrill who described IPC’s offering as a “last-minute spoiler”? Dog knows that time moves differently in consumer magazines, but to condense 14 months into 60 seconds is really going some.
Rod Liddle: an urgent appeal
It has come to Dog’s attention that there are still some publications not carrying a regular column by Rod Liddle. How on earth will their readers keep up to date on his house sale, the regulars in his local pub, or the state of his libido? Help us overcome this tragic situation by joining our “A Liddle and often” campaign – and sign him up now.
No trace remains
The marvellous thing about the internet is the way you can instantly wipe out mistakes or, in the case of the Hull Daily Mail’s This is Hull website, rude comments about the reporters made by the subs.
The headline “Call time on cheap drinks” was bylined as a “rare” exclusive by a “rubbishy court reporter”. But only briefly. Dog’s finger was just poised on the “screengrab” button when the page was updated, and the scurrilous description gone forever.
Games title left feeling sick over doctored picture
When editorial brainstorms go wrong.
The team at Electronic Games Monthly probably thought it was a clever idea to illustrate its piece on Sony’s new war-strategy game for the PlayStation 2 – Socom II – with this doctored picture, right, showing Russian soldiers holding up copies of it.
Except that the original Getty Images picture is in fact a rather sombre image of Russian troops mourning their dead colleagues from the war in Chechnya, far right.
Before you could say “poor taste”, the internet was crawling with outraged readers cancelling subscriptions to the Ziff Davis title and editor Shawn Elliott was having to explain: “Someone in our art department had a good idea for an image, but definitely picked the wrong source material.
“The people who obtained and altered the image were not aware of it’s [sic] original context. We regret the oversight.”
Picture war: Socom II ad caused great offence to EGMsubscribers
A dire warning from page one of the Daily Mail Friday, 9 January. And a recipe from page 80 of the same newspaper. Good job that particular Friday was one of the allotted three
Dog wonders whether whoever passed this page was sent away with a flee in the ear. “Even we can spot this mistakeâ€¦” said Dog’s alert spotters on INS News Group’s picture desk, “â€¦and we’re photographers.”