It’s that time of year – Royal Ascot, Wimbledon fortnight… and publication of The Independent on Sunday’s “Pink List” of the 100 most influential gay men and women in the country.
Axegrinder scans the list to see whose star is in the ascendant. Leaping up from last year’s 66 to this year’s 39 is fearsome young columnist Johann Hari. Clearly he must be writing for one of the nation’s top-selling dailies to be so high in the list. Maybe not. Hari actually writes for The Independent (ABC circulation of 240,503 in May, down 2.02 per cent year on year).
Bizarrely, he is deemed to be far more influential than Matthew Parris (78 in the list, down from 64), who writes a regular column in The Times (latest circulation 626,401) and Andrew Pierce (a new entry at 80), who, as well as being deputy editor of the even more widely read Daily Telegraph, regularly appears on Question Time.
In fact, the Pink List this year must not have gone down very well at all in the Parris household. His partner Julian Glover fails to make his debut in the chart, despite being chief leader writer at The Guardian. The Pink List committee at the Indy has more time for feckless party animal/club promoter Henry Conway (chart debutant at 99) than Guardian hacks.
Glover appeared far from downhearted when contacted by Axegrinder, but said he had no theories to explain his absence from the list, nor was he surprised. “I guess I just don’t have Henry Conway’s looks,” he told me.
But Axegrinder has most sympathy for newspaper columnist Philip Hensher. Three years ago he was at number 20 in the list; last year he slumped to 82, and this year he fails to make the list at all. Whatever has gone wrong? Hensher writes regularly for The Independent. In his shoes, I think I would be worried man.