Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Biter bit- Marina Hyde, The Guardian and me

Ghostly murmurings yesterday as the remains of GMTV were disturbed by the remains of The Guardian. 

Marina Hyde, the Quentin Letts of Kings Cross, decided to turn her bazookas on the once-proud South Bank sofa to fulfil her contract to bring entertainment to the erudite. Her obstenstible target was this week's reshuffle of political party ministerial teams in which former GMTV sofa sitters Gloria De Piero and Esther McVey were promoted to ministerial rank in Labour and Tory teams. 

The winsome Marina seemed hurt by these moves and indeed cited them as further examples of politician's desires to find a bridge to Mr and Mrs ordinary. 
She repeated her confusion that, during the heady days GMTV was still open for business, politicians seemed to prefer the 8m viewers a week it provided to the 100,000 readers of her veritable organ. 
Indeed she reminded us that during the reigns of Mr Tony and the great Gordon, GMTV sofa sister Fiona Phillips and Lorraine Kelly, were also offered Government positions despite only speaking to people with not enough A Levels. 

To bring the story up to date Marina also introduced former GMTV presenter Kate Garraway who now works for its replacement Daybreak, about to be relaunched for the 27th time shortly.
Kate's crime was not political ambition but her marriage to dodgy Derek Draper, former Labour spin-liar and BF of Damian Dirtbags whose memoir came out recently. 

Kate got a Marina mention so she could repeat what Piers Morgan had said of her nuptial to Derek; had he known she was setting the bar so low, said Piers, he would have had a go himself. 

So that's the background and factoids for those of you who followed the rest of the nation yesterday and chose to read the back of your cornflake box instead. 

So why the piece? I hear you yawn. 

Well, it's to do with declaring an interest of two.

Some readers will know that I have readily admitted in the past my responsibility for GMTV. It was I and I alone who inflicted all the above- mentioned on the public- though not Damian and Derek thank god. 

But, in the interests of disclosure I think I need to share the blame with GMTV's founding fathers - step forward the Guardian. 

It is a rarely-stated fact that the Guardian Media Group was one of the five original shareholders who set up GMTV. It not only owned 20 per cent of the sofa but provided programming through a subsidiary. Had the Guardian blinked in those early difficult days, GMTV may have vanished leaving Marina short of a piece yesterday. 

But, what of Miss Hyde, I hear you ask.
Well it's believed she adopted the name because her own was so long it would have taken three pages in her first Fleet Street venture. 

Marina cut her teeth on The Sun - yes the super soaraway - home of Page Three and mouth organ of the antipodean Dirty Digger himself Rupert Murdoch. Whilst there, Marina realised that a by-line in her full name Marina Elizabeth Catherine Dudley-Williams, daughter of Sir Allistair double- barrelled and granddaughter of Sir Rolf equally double- barrelled, was a few names too far. 

Thus, the more GMTV-sounding Hyde worked her magic for the Sun's GMTV supporting readers. 

Marina left the Sun under a cloud after the revelation of an email trail between her and- can you believe it- Piers Morgan. 
Piers at the time was busy bringing down the Sun's arch enemy the Daily Mirror by masquerading as its editor. You will remember he finally went when he exposed disgraceful behaviour towards prisoners by our boys in the Middle East in the back of an army truck found out to be parked in Crouch End. 

The emails between Piers and Marina revealed a relationship between the two that the then Mrs Merchant was not aware of. You might think it gives added irony to Marina's choice of Piers to quote about the marriage of Kate. 

Piers, as we know, now makes his living with incisive TV interviews for ITV with people who use to sit on the GMTV sofa. 
Marina in the meantime has reverted to type and married a big boss at the BBC - whose journalists complain they are over-bossed.

So, there you have it and I'm slightly ashamed to have written it. 

But,  if it's good enough for the Guardian......

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