Maximum Impact 23.06.06

ANOTHER great showbiz drugs exclusive for Richard Wallace and the Daily Mirror this week, as it revealed in graphic detail Craig Charles, Coronation Street star, appearing to smoke crack cocaine.

This follows its Kate Moss exclusive, which was to lead to a legal fiasco and huge embarrassment for everyone concerned. Although Kate's career has been greatly enhanced by the Mirror splash, I doubt the same will be true of Charles. For whatever action the police and the legal system take, Craig will be severely punished from a career point of view.

Within a matter of hours of the front page, he was suspended by his bosses at Granada TV and by the BBC, where he presents a weekly funk radio show on Radio 6 Music. Two different areas of the entertainment world with two totally different standards and attitudes when it comes to drug allegations. The message is clear: if you're unfortunate to need or depend on drugs for a high, then pursue a career in the world of fashion or music, but keep clear of TV or radio. In the former, it looks as if your career can well be enhanced, whereas in the latter, the opposite is obviously true.

WE WERE approached this week by Rachel North, survivor of the 7/7 bombings, in the run-up to the anniversary. She asked us to help many of the survivors who have been approached by hundreds of journalists and media organisations trying to arrange interviews.

"We decided to approach you first, because we desperately need guidance and protection when it comes to handling the vast amount of enquiries we are inundated with. Many of us have suffered by being misrepresented in the media during the past 12 months and we are all hugely relieved that you have agreed to look after us. Hopefully with your help, what we actually say and mean will appear. After all we've been through, I don't think that's too much to ask." I told Rachel we'll be happy to do all we can.

A FEW weeks ago I wrote about Jane Campbell, a close friend of my daughter Louise, who has founded an organisation called ‘Not Dead Yet'. It's a network of disabled people who oppose legalising euthanasia.

Jane, a truly remarkable woman, who has herself overcome serious disabilities to help many others, was until recently chairperson for the Social Care Institute for Excellence, for which she achieved amazing results for many marginalised groups. Her dedication, courage and vision led to her being made a Dame of the British Empire. It's wonderful when someone who truly deserves such recognition and appreciation gets it.

All too often people get such honours for looking after themselves and the interests of those in power. Whereas all Jane's ever wanted to do is help those up against it and make life better for those who, through no fault of their own, are facing great difficulties, to enjoy as fulfilling a life as possible. Well done Jane, a beautiful lady inside and out. I wish you better and hope you're out of hospital soon.

THE pictures of Prince Philip apparently clearing his throat on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at the weekend created the best PR the royal family has enjoyed for a long time. The expression on the Queen's face, together with the reactions of Harry, the smirk on Philip's face, the laughter from Anne and the indifference from Charles, put the function into Britain's first dysfunctional family. The action may well have given him relief, but it also momentarily blew away a few ancient cobwebs.

The fee for this column is donated to CHASE (Christopher's)

Children's Hospital

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