One-man Fringe show promises to lift the lid on tabloid tactics

Richard Peppiatt: has made two appearances at the Leveson Inquiry
Richard Peppiatt: has made two appearances at the Leveson Inquiry
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IT HAS featured gripping testimony from media figures Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks as well as celebrity actors such as Hugh Grant and Sienna Miller. Now a taste of the Leveson Inquiry is coming to Scotland.

Former tabloid journalist Richard Peppiatt, whose resignation letter to media baron Richard Desmond prompted anonymous threats and two appearances at the long-running investigation, is bringing a one-man show to this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The show – called One Rogue Reporter after the famous defence put forward by the News of the World before its closure – will take a wry look at how some tabloid newspapers operate and Peppiatt’s own evidence to the judicial inquiry.

He said: “It’s about turning the tables on some tabloid tactics and testing their proclamations about privacy,” he told Scotland on Sunday. “There’s a bit of a Frankenstein narrative going on – they created the monster and now I’ve turned on them.”

The show will also chart Peppiatt’s time at the Daily Star, and his resignation letter, which was made public and in which he described the Express Newspapers publisher Desmond as the “inventor of a handy product for lining rabbit hutches”.

His two appearances at the Leveson Inquiry will also feature.

During one appearance in November last year, Peppiatt revealed that he had received threats and may have had his phone hacked following his resignation from the Daily Star.

The show, a mix of stand-up and video footage, will run at the Pleasance Courtyard throughout August.

In previous years a number of contemporary political themes have made it onto the stage at the Edinburgh Festival, including the Iraq War, which was immortalised in Gregory Burke’s play Black Watch, which debuted at the Festival in 2006.

Media expert Charles Fletcher, of Caledonia Media, said Peppiatt’s show “will have great resonance within the media and political village, given the audience the Fringe attracts.”

However, media commentator Iain Hepburn wasn’t convinced.

“People might go along to hear him dish the dirt on his time at the Star, but will the general public be enamoured with the minutiae of reporting? I suspect not,” he said.