THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: Who has made the most PR mileage from the silly season?

Andy Malone

Andy Malone

The Observer

’The great white shark off Cornwall that prompted Amityville scenes on

the beaches. Anne Widdecombe, the virgin Tory minister, talking about

everything from sex education to asylum seekers and being taken

seriously by the press as a future leader. Oasis splitting up and

getting pages of coverage, when everybody had forgotten about them

anyway. The eclipse - nothing much happened except a minute of darkness,

but we all filled pages with it in desperation. Wills and his

sunglasses, pashminas and Posh and Becks.’

Catherine May

Luther Pendragon

’I am tempted to nominate the Premier League, since football has on some

days dominated home, business and sports news. However, my vote has to

go to Anne Widdecombe, not least because the product she has to sell is

so unpalatable. From prison workhouses to asylum seekers, she has

created a stream of positive Tory headlines.’

Beverley Kaye

The Rowland Company

’Marriage. The umpteenth Posh’n’Becks exclusive; Sue Barker’s reporting

hairdo at the Wessexes’ continental-style ’do’; Channel 5’s own

headliner, Kirsty Young. At the rear was Zoe Ball, who hit the headlines

dressing down, which resulted in her securing her own wedding

documentary. However, the one that didn’t make Hello! was Paddington

station for getting its wedding licence too. So next time you’re waiting

for a train ...!’

Rob Kirk

Sky News

’Anne Widdecombe won the ’while the cat’s away’ award, for firing on all

cylinders, while John Prescott engaged in damage limitation. The eclipse

(the great anti-climax), Prime Ministerial jaunts to the Italian seaside

and any cricket, rugger or football teams called ’England’ share the

wooden spoon for the worst mileage.’

Jon McLeod

Shandwick public affairs

’Stephen Byers picked the consumer debate over whether football clubs

should have exclusive rights over replica football shirts just before

the start of the new season, when many families are forking out pounds


The issue was well-timed and well-covered - outside the silly season, it

would have been a story, but it was the lead story of the day.’

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