Simpson: "ready for challenge"
A breakfast at a quiet Surrey hotel saw the beginning of Sun editor David Yelland’s wooing of Daily Mirror 3am Girl Eva Simpson.
Two weeks later, last Friday, there was another breakfast when Yelland and two of his executives thrashed out a deal with Simpson, convincing her that the paper was a woman-friendly place for staff.
They pointed out that there were already three women executives on the paper: news editor Sue Thompson, features editor Sam Carlisle and TV editor Clodagh Hartley on the paper.
Simpson, 28, will join the paper to become its correspondent in Los Angeles after completing her notice period at the Mirror.
Yelland said: "Eva will be a great addition to our team. She is a superb journalist with a golden future in this business. Going to America for The Sun tends to lead to big things and I am certain it will do so in Eva’s case."
Simpson is excited about her move, describing Hollywood as "the showbiz capital of the world".
Working on 3am had been a great experience, she said, which would stand her in good stead for the new post.
She broke the news to Mirror editor Piers Morgan on Monday and surprisingly, in view of some of the swift departures of resignees in the past, she was not asked to leave within minutes.
"I have had a great relationship with Piers and he was great about the job.
I think he thought it was such an opportunity for me.
"It’ll be such a challenge, going abroad and doing my best to come up with great stories. I’m ready for it."
Simpson moved from the showbiz desk at the Daily Star to the Mirror to start the 3am celebrity column with Jessica Callan and Polly Graham three years ago. She began her career on New Nation as a news reporter.
She had found launching 3am a challenge, she said. "But Jess and I made it. And I like a challenge. I would rather try something than look back and say, ‘I wish I had tried that’."
There are to be changes over the next couple of weeks at the paper’s Bizarre column too, with the staff boosted to six.
TV reporter Emily Smith, who has been masterminding the paper’s Big Brother coverage, is to become deputy to Bizarre editor Dominic Mohan while Martel Maxwell-Stevenson joins from Woman and Jacqui Smith from The Sun Online as showbiz reporters.
Mohan’s team also includes Simon Wheeler and Derek Brown.
"It’s the dawn of a new era," said Mohan. "We are looking to bolster what we have achieved. The Sun is really buoyant at the moment and we are really up for it."
By Jean Morgan