Richard Desmond isn’t used to being on the receiving end of high praise from media pundits. So it will have been a pleasant surprise for him to be publicly congratulated by some unlikely sources last February – especially in a week when rival News International was launching The Sun Sunday.
The Daily Star Sunday’s decision to take on political blog Guido Fawkes as a columnist in the same week as the launch was hailed as “the best tabloid move of the week” by former Guardian editor Peter Preston, and “a shrewd move” by Guardian media blogger Roy Greenslade.
Axegrinder hears that although Desmond was happy to take the credit, he may not have been completely deserving of it.
“Who the hell’s this?” raged Desmond on seeing the Saturday night galley proofs.
“It’s a couple of political bloggers,” answered a staffer. “We’re going to try them out for a column.”
“Never heard of them – get rid of it!”
“We’ve already gone to print.”
“I never want to see them again.”
Following the good coverage, Desmond is said to have turned up to an executive meeting and told staff: “Yep, I told you that would work.”