Giles: learning survival tactics
Giles is not a celebrity
Journalists at the Wiltshire Times took advantage of their
experience and long tenure by roping cub reporter David Giles into
taking part in a layman’s version of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of
Organisers of the I’m Not a Celebrity and I’ve Got to Stay Here
charity event, due to take place next June, visited the Times hoping to
get some publicity in the paper.
Giles’ colleagues promptly nominated him to take part in the five-day challenge.
Each of the 15 or so contestants has to raise a minimum of £800 for
the Anthony Nolan Trust for leukaemia and their trials and tribulations
will be documented on the website www.islandchallenge.co.uk.
The participants will be marched off to the darkest depths of a
mystery location, where they will learn to survive on next to nothing,
although Giles is taking his teabags for good measure. They will have
to find their own food, including worm omelettes, and construct their
“We won’t have to do things that are quite as horrible as in the real programme.
I won’t have to put up with Joe Pasquale,” said Giles.
Lady Olgadoes a Scrooge impression
Back in the saddle as a diarist at the Sunday Express after his
little skirmish with The Mail on Sunday , Adam Helliker thought it
would be a fine thing to organise a Christmas lunch for his fellow
gossip columnists, reviving a tradition that died with the passing of
the golden age of Nigel Dempster, Christopher Wilson, Peter Tory and
Peter Callan (whose festive lunches would often end in unseasonal
Helliker and two former Telegraph colleagues, Sam Leith and Mary
Wakefield, duly rounded up 28 of Fleet Street’s finest, including John
McEntee ( Daily Mail), Katie Nicholl ( The Mail on Sunday ), Celia
Walden ( Daily Telegraph) Guy Adams ( Independent ), Tim Walker (
Sunday Telegraph) Marina Hyde ( Guardian ) and their assorted deputies
All invitees had been told there would be a normal charge for the
three-course lunch at Christopher’s restaurant in Covent Garden.
And all paid up happily, except one.
When Lady Olga Maitland, the former Tory MP who once wrote for the
Sunday Express diary, was presented with her bill, she threw something
of a hissy fit and declined to pay, claiming she had been invited “as
guest of honour”.
Not even the entreaties of the restaurant’s proprietor, Christopher
Gilmour, himself the son of a Tory grandee, could part the grand Lady
Olga from her purse. It was left to poor Leith (grandson of Sir John
Junor) to stump up the cash.
Sports reporters are slow off the mark
Much embarrassment in the sports department of The Daily Telegraph
when the first edition of The Times dropped last Thursday night. A page
lead in The Times highlighted James Cracknell, the Olympic rowing gold
medallist, criticising Paula Radcliffe for failing to finish her races
As Telegraph hacks scrambled to get copy into their later editions,
they might have been forgiven for wondering why they hadn’t got onto
the story -picked up from the BBC’s A Question of Sport
magazine-earlier. After all, Cracknell is a Telegraph columnist. So is
Radcliffe. What’s more, the piece was by Kevin Garside, the Telegraph’s
Formula One correspondent.
He’s a hardman, that Neil Hyde.
The editor of the INS news agency needed a couple of staffers to
take surfing lessons in Cornwall for a supplement on British holidays.
But instead of sending them at the height of summer, Hyde chose the
middle of December for the threeday assignment at Reef Surf School in
News editor Sarah Green, pictured right, and reporter Charlotte
Burnell showed what stern stuff they’remade of, and put the brrr into
Dog hopes hot toddies were awaiting them on their return to Reading.
A bumpy flight
The inaugural Virgin Atlantic flight from London to Sydney was
packed with the usual suspects of junketloving guests, including about
50 upstanding representatives of Her Majesty’s press.
Well, upstanding until they got stuck into the cocktail bar in
firstclass, anyway. Dog is sure though, that the free drinks had no
influence in the accident suffered by one hack-from the Telegraph, Dog
hears – who took the in-flight massage, passed out, fell off the table
and woke up with a nasty bump on his head.
Spikey, left, with Dead ManWeds co-star Johnny Vegas
Portrayal of inept and lazy hacks is ‘bang on’
Journalists aren’t used to getting sympathetic portrayals on the big
and small screen and the forthcoming sitcom by Dave Spikey, who played
forever put-upon club compÃ¨re Jerry ‘the Saint’ St Clair in Peter Kay’s
Phoenix Nights, is no exception.
In Dead Man Weds , which starts on ITV in the first week of January,
Spikey plays the improbably named Gordon Garden, the newly-appointed
editor of the Fogburrow Advertiser & News, a newspaper where a
train running two minutes late is turned into a front-page splash. But
Spikey’s research for writing the show was hardly rigorous.
“I had the vision of a free newspaper office where the staff had
gravitated there because they were inept, social misfits, demotivated
or lazy,” Giles told Mike Barnett, for the Manchester Evening News.
“Getting the right characters in the newspaper office was the angle
I concentrated on in writing it, and it was only then, when I’d
finished it, that I went into two newspaper offices for half a day.
Completely by accident, I got it bang on. It was just how I imagined
Spikey declined to reveal which newspapers he had visited.
A miraculous byline from the Express & Star ,Wolverhampton.
An attention-grabbing headline from theWest Highland Free Press. So that’s how you get people to read stories about the arts.