Media Diary

Caught with his briefs down

THERE are briefings and then there is exposing one’s briefs.

Finance Minister Angus MacKay’s spiel on revisions to the Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Department budget were despatched to political hacks the other day.

Only problem was advisor Leigh Kiernan attached a "FYEO" briefing to the minister with notes under the following headings:

"Accusation; Line to Take; Original Position; New Position; Where will the money come from in ELL?; Who are the main losers?; How much have you moved from other programmes?; How much of this is new money?"

More, Leigh, more.

When Phil met Bill

"TAKE Me To The River ... and I’ll jump in," Andrew Jaspan must have groaned after the Duke of Edinburgh’s visit to the Sunday Herald last week.

As the Duke wandered in to meet Jazza and deputy Richard Walker, a snapper was there to record the historic occasion. However, his flash set off news editor David Millen’s Billy Bass singing fish on the wall.

At first "ra Chookie" seemed vaguely amused in that well-known waggish Windsor way, but in the words of one who was there, "soon became extremely pissed off".

As Billy continued to gie it laldie with the Al Green classic, Jazza furiously wrestled with the fish trying to rip it off the wall.

Meanwhile, Her Majesty was undergoing a barrage of blarney at the Herald from deputy editor Kevin McKenna and his infamous charm.

"It was like being schmoozed by Frank Carson and Tony Soprano at the same time," an onlooker gasped admiringly.

PS Kevin eschewed a Slater’s number, with a Hugo Boss for the big day.

PPS Editor Mark Douglas Home was otherwise occupied … on a grouse shoot.

Barry the bruiser

A BIG hitter for the Big Issue as Nicola Barry takes over as editor next month from Ken Laird. The Press & Journal columnist promises more humour and more social justice, but never let it be said as many have mistaken that La Barry is a soft-touch, bleeding-heart liberal.

At the Edinburgh Evening News she sorted out the most irascible male chauvinist in the office, countering his sexist banter with bon mots that would make a sailor blush. They soon became bosom buddies. She could also roughhouse it with the best, as in the time she "bumped" into an editorial executive in the corridor one day.

Then there were her epic battles with her former editor Martin Clarke at the Record.

Go to it, girl.

It’s Derby day at last

CROYDON boy Nick Britten, the Torygraph’s Scottish political correspondent, former Daily Record hack and Newsflash doorstepper, left for his spiritual home of Derby last week to take over from the Telegraph’s retiring Maurice Weaver after stalking him for two years.

Nick’s affiliation for Derby and Jim Smith’s Rams is unclear. It was suggested that as a child his father bought him Subbuteo and that by the time Nick came to choose his team, all the best ones had been taken and only Derby remained. And he’s supported them ever since.

Hall of fame

FREELANCE golf writer Bernie McGuire turned up at his guesthouse in Dublin last week for the European Open - after a few glasses of table wine with our own Mike Aitken - and bumped into a Norwegian tourist in the hallway.

"Over on holiday?"


"Going to get in a round of golf?"

"Ja. I hope so."

"Have a good time then."

Next day Bernie thought the tournament leader Henrik Bjornstad looked a tad familiar. Ja, it was the tourist.