Diary: DG bites man? Even Paxman is shocked

PRWeek was privy to a PR disaster in-the-making as we went to press last week. An email exchange between Jeremy Paxman and 'John Doe', revealing BBC chief Mark Thompson once attacked a colleague, plopped into our inbox via a keen reader of the Holymoly website. Intrigued, we discovered that John Doe - later unmasked as World deputy editor Anthony Massey - was bitten by Thompson when they were both working in the BBC newsroom.

'I was standing next to him (while) he was reading his horoscope in the Daily Star - I always remember that detail,' recounts Massey in the email.

'He suddenly turned, snarled and sank his teeth into my left upper arm.

It hurt.'

He goes on to muse that 'now Thompson is director general, the story is probably more valuable'.

Paxman, however, is more PR savvy. 'Bloody hell,' he responds. 'If any of this came out, he'd be toast.'

Indeed. The next day, the story appeared on the front page of the Daily Mirror and Thompson confessed to the deed, claiming it was 'horse play' and that he had 'tried to make amends'. Any comfort there for staff currently feeling chewed up by the new top dog at Wood Lane?

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