Max Clifford's promiscuous approach to client selection has led him
to accept cash from sources as unpopular as Mohammed al Fayed. But the
PR and publicity guru's client list became yet more colourful last week
as news emerged that he had started handling PR for Pop Idol bully Simon
Cowell, who is paying Clifford £100,000 for just six months work,
has earned himself a steady role in the pantomime of villainy that is
the early Saturday evening ITV1 schedule.
Along with Capital Radio's Dr Fox, pop kingmaker Pete Waterman and
Popstars judge Nicki Chapman, Cowell sits on the panel that puts young
wannabe pop stars through hell each week.
Like Max, Cowell pulls no punches in offering a critique of those he
feels do not make the grade. His generous comments have included the
delightful 'I am astonished you have got this far in the competition
since you so obviously lack star quality'.
Clifford's first job after being contacted by Cowell was to quash untrue
allegations in the tabloids about Cowell's links with a certain fallen
pop promoter and sex offender.
His work has since taken Cowell onto The Frank Skinner Show and into the
dangerous terrain of ex-girlfriend tabloid splashes. 'There are lots of
stories. We figure since he has become the true star of Pop Idol, we
need to put everything in place. The stories that will come out are
kiss'n'tells that would've come out anyway. But they're very
complimentary about him,' Clifford says.
With Cowell's past mistakes keeping Clifford busy, it is presumably a
bad time to have offbeat programme-maker Louis Theroux lurking in the
Theroux's even-handedness is admirable - his previous target was
longstanding Clifford foe and disgraced former minister Neil Hamilton.