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