Diary: Tale of Sir Tim’s spin fails to set bells ringing for editors on the nationals

Allegations about Sir Tim Bell in Mark Hollingsworth’s new book The Ultimate Spin Doctor became national news last week thanks to the Observer’s exclusive serialisation.

Allegations about Sir Tim Bell in Mark Hollingsworth’s new book The

Ultimate Spin Doctor became national news last week thanks to the

Observer’s exclusive serialisation.



’It’s an important and amusing yarn,’ said Jocelyn Targett, deputy

editor (features) at the Observer.



More curious is the fact that the Observer is said to have paid a mere

pounds 2,000 for the rights when one could have expected titles such as

the Mail on Sunday and the Times to bid around pounds 50,000.



’I thought we’d be lucky to get it,’ said Targett, who would only say

that he paid a ’four-figure sum’.



The Mail on Sunday features editor would not comment on their decision

not to bid, while Brian MacArthur associate editor at the Times said:

’We get a lot of books in and decided we didn’t want to bid for this one

as we’ve exhausted our budget.



’One also has to ask: ’Does it sell newspapers?’ and, while Sir Tim’s an

interesting man, I don’t think Mr and Mrs Middle-England would wake up

and say I must buy the paper as they’re serialising Tim Bell’s book,’ he

concludes.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in