Double deal for Edmonds: Mail settles libel as book serialisation begins

The Daily Mail has issued an apology and agreed a cash settlement with television presenter Noel Edmonds – just days before starting a serialisation of his book.

The row between Edmonds and the Mail was over an article published in March that claimed he had behaved unprofessionally and unreasonably over the course of his career.

The article, headlined “Revenge of Mr Blobby”, claimed that Edmonds’s behaviour had caused major rows with his coworkers and that his “sole desire” was to return to the BBC.

Edmonds had filed a High Court writ against Associated Newspapers via lawyers Schillings, which specified damages of more than £300,000.

Edmonds also sought an injunction banning repetition of the allegations at the centre of the story.

Schillings declined to reveal how much the cash settlement was for.

In May, Edmonds referred to his legal row with the Mail in a Press Gazette interview. He said: “Yes, I am suing the Mail because they have been going for me for ages. If Paul Dacre is found floating in the Thames, I am the number one suspect.

“The Mail has attacked me through Alison Bowyer [a freelance journalist and author] who wrote an unauthorised biography about me [in 1999] which, looking back, I should have definitely taken action against.

“She has just regurgitated some of the total lies that were in that book and the Mail ran that last year.

“I have now got an action out against them for trying to say I am difficult to work with – which I am not; that we have tensions behind the scenes – which we haven’t; that I had signed a new £3m contract – I haven’t; and that all I want to do is go back to the BBC – which I don’t.

“Imagine how the bosses at Channel 4 feel – are they going to re-sign somebody who is apparently only using this show as a stepping stone to the Beeb?

“There is the point at which you have to say: ‘Enough’.”

Negotiations between the Daily Mail and Edmonds began on the day the Press Gazette interview was published.

The serialisation of Edmonds’s book, Positively Happy, began in the Daily Mail on Monday. The apology was printed last Thursday.

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