Dog watches dog 27.11.03

Boris left thinking over cash question

The editor all the other editors adore (according to the British Society of Magazine Editors poll, anyway), Boris Johnson, was in ebullient mood at the society’s awards ceremony on Monday night. “Ha,” he harrumphed at the suggestion that Richard Desmond might become his boss if he should buy the Telegraph empire from Hollinger – including Johnson’s own magazine, The Spectator.

“I certainly wouldn’t work for him. And neither would any of my staff.” To back up his point, he insisted on a straw poll of the table, commanding his troops: “Put your hand up if you would refuse to work for Desmond.”

Up shot the arms of deputy editor Stuart Reid and publisher Kimberley Fortier. But, to his perplexity, more junior hands remained firmly down.

“We’ve got mortgages to pay, Boris,” admonished one. “And anyway, what is the problem with Mr Desmond?” “Well, it’s because… because… why don’t we like him, Stuart?” Johnson demanded of Reid.

“Anal Annie,” came the deadpan response. “That’s it! Anal Annie,” roared Johnson.

“And what,” came back the question, “if Mr Desmond was to treble your salary?” “Treble it, you say…” responded Johnson, thoughtfully.

Kennedy: collected famous gong

Kennedy follows in footman’s steps

When will the Royal Family ever learn? Just a week after a Daily Mirror reporter made the headlines by infiltrating its staff by posing as a footman, another tabloid hackette managed to make her way inside the hallowed halls of Buckingham Palace, despite the tightened security.

But far from uncovering more lurid details of Her Majesty’s cereal boxes, former Sun stalwart and Daily Express news editor and columnist Philippa Kennedy had a rather different reason for getting through the famous gates.

She was there to pick up her OBE.

Kennedy, also a former Press Gazette editor, of course, was able to call on a very reliable source for information on how to make her way to the heart of the palace machine; her husband John collected the very same gong a couple of years ago.

The honours were presented by Prince Charles, who Kennedy says was “quite charming, and managed not to lop my head off with the ceremonial sword – even though he knew I was a journalist”.

He told her the family had been getting “a certain amount of press interest lately”, and rolled his eyes.

“But,” says Kennedy, “he promised he’d listen out for the history of Fleet Street programme that I’m working on for Radio 4.”

Although Kennedy kept her eye out for any other footmen she might recognise, the closest she came was ITV journalist Andrea Catherwood’s mother – who was there to collect an OBE for her work for Action Research in Northern Ireland

Meyer unveils the new PCC logo helped by his AC/DC heroes


It’s headbanger heaven on Meyer’s desert island

The choice of records by Press Complaints Commission chairman Sir Christopher Meyer on Desert Island Discs at the weekend was a revelation.

He started with the sublime blues singer Robert Johnson before veering off on the Highway to Hell with heavy-metal rockers AC/DC and ending with a track by the latest rock sensation The Darkness. Who’d have put Meyer down as a headbanging hard case? But Dog understands that PCC director Guy Black suggested the list could have been compiled from singers who have complained to the commission.

The list includes Kylie Minogue, Paul McCartney, George Michael and Elton John. Maybe they should turn it into the PCC’s greatest hits CD and give it away with The Mail on Sunday.


Vic and Len star in honest mistake

Those business brains at the Financial Times can be forgiven for not being totally tuned in to popular culture. But you’d think someone might have been able to spot the difference between comedian Lenny Henry and actress Victoria Hamilton.





What with England winning the Rugby World Cup and all, it’s not surprising that the rest of the country’s media missed the fact that an entire Midlands town had been lost to a vicious influenza epidemic. Good job The Non-League Paper was more on the ball.


There are plenty of US presidents whose names you could easily misspell (Zachary Taylor, for example, or perhaps Ulysses S Grant), but Dog reckons the Yorkshire Post shout line on the 40th anniversary of a certain assassination might just be one that could have been avoided: JKF.

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