Richard and Judy simply lacked the killer instinct when it came to
getting answers out of OJ Simpson, says Peter Hehir, chairman of
Yes it hurt. In fact, at times it was excruciating. Yes it worked. Well,
up to a point it did. Max Clifford productions usually do. But if his OJ
circus was to be considered for an IPR Sword of Excellence (okay, I
know he’s not a member...this is supposed to be funny) it would be ruled
out at the ‘objectives’ section.
For no one seemed to know quite what OJ Simpson was doing over here. Not
to make money surely - not short term anyway. A pounds 1 fee and pounds
40,000 expenses might attract one or two public relations consultants I
have known, but it don’t buy many pairs of gloves in LA.
And not to elicit any revelations about his wife’s murder. After months
of practice at saying nothing in court, ten minutes of frantic probing
by those new doyens of TV chat, Richard and Judy was hardly likely to
disturb our man.
And not to make us believe he is innocent. We still don’t.
No, it was probably just what it seemed, a softening up exercise prior
to the real hit - maybe a Michael Winner Hollywooden blockbuster? What
other reason could OJ and Max have for dining with the great man? No
one’s that hungry.
We Brits are strange, aren’t we? We have an insatiable curiosity about
the famous, even more the infamous. The more bizarre the allegations,
the more we both condemn it - and lap it up.
Why on earth Oxford’s finest wanted to fete OJ at their Union I can’t
imagine. Anyway, my estimation of that body never recovered after
Frankie Howard bared his bottom there to get the biggest laugh of the
But how did Max himself do? On camera at the Oxford Union he looked a
suitably groomed, dapper and articulate representative of the PR
industry - Quentin Bell please note. He looked okay on the golf course,
too. So was this really about OJ’s rehabilitation or something much more
serious...golf? Oxford’s dreaming spires? New suit? Is Max sprucing
himself up to apply to the PRCA?
Perhaps not. His real quarry was obviously Granada Television, desperate
to give Richard and Judy’s London debut a shove with a first night star
it needed nearly as much as a new male lead. But even Max would have
been stopped dead in his tracks by Barbara Cartland’s quote of the week
about the show: ‘Are they children’s puppets?’ No, dear lady, but you’re