I hear there were red faces (with anger) at the weekend over at the News of the World and smug ones at The Sunday Mirror over their respective Barry George scoops.
The News of the World is understood to have paid £50,000 and Sky News £30,000 for an exclusive interview with Barry George, who was cleared on Friday of murdering BBC presenter Jill Dando.
But unknown to the NoW, The Sunday Mirror had also bagged an interview with George, via author Scott Lomax who had spoken to him on the phone earlier in the week.
The Mirror paid George nothing for the interview, which was released to PA late on Saturday night before the NoW came out with its story and photos.The Sunday Mirror newsdesk is understood to have put Lomax up in a London hotel for three days prior to publication to ensure he did not speak to any other media.
I’m told that the Mirror and Mail titles didn’t even bother bidding for the George interview because they felt that paying him would be inappropriate given his unsavoury past.