Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player

A tough week to write a column

Sunday, 17 May 2009

This was a tough week to write a column. Everyone wanted to do the MPs expenses - not allowed, as so comprehensively covered in the news and comment pages. My back-up idea was about Derek Walcott, who dropped out of the running to be Oxford Professor of Poetry after allegations of sexual misconduct, but (it being the Observer) that turned out to be covered as well.

  “Write about Jordan and Peter!”, my editor cried.

  “Are you kidding?” I huffed. “If I write about Jordan and Peter, they’ll tear me apart on the website…”

  “Not at all”, he cooed, knowing full well that he himself was off for a relaxing week’s fishing in the north of Scotland. “I feel sure that your concern about the possible response will convey itself, thus making it a very strong piece… a great topic for you…”

  I love this editor, I really do. He’s one of the best I’ve ever had. So, *sigh*, I wrote about Jordan and Peter, conveying my concern about the possible response… and all I can say about the resulting website rippage is, perhaps he can collect a few scraps of my remaining flesh, and use them as bait to catch salmon.

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Matt M at 2:28 pm on May 17th, 2009

Oh the irony! The virtual ink is barely dry and the number of comments criticising you for wasting everybody’s time by writing about the mahogany idols is no doubt putting this article on course to be one of your most “popular”.

If the likes of Katie and Peter are modern day Gods, their publicists’ announcement of the heart breaking news must surely contain the first OK-mandment:

“Though shalt respect our families’ privacy at this difficult time.”

Victoria Coren at 2:45 pm on May 17th, 2009

Excellent! More OK-mandments, please… Maybe we can get a whole ten together…

Trevor Halling at 4:39 pm on May 17th, 2009

Careful Victoria, today’s Observer piece looks like the first sign of you becoming another Polly Filler.

Ripper at 4:56 pm on May 17th, 2009

“Thou shalt have no other gods before Max Clifford.” would have to be one of the first few.

MarkP at 8:26 pm on May 17th, 2009

What a wonderful article. I love the idea of the ancient gods inhabited with the likes of Peter & Jordan, Kerry & Mark and David & Victoria and we even have Homer (& Marge). Tales of how our young Peter journeyed to a far off jungle where he did battle with bugs and chirpy Geordies to win his beloved’s heart. It did make me think about why we have celebrity culture. And I agree about the internet’s global fraternity, although I think I’ll stick to my LJ blog, I’m not really sure I’m ready for twitter yet.

Phil at 2:24 am on May 18th, 2009

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours WAG”

MontanaWildhack at 8:48 am on May 18th, 2009

My sympathies.  It seems that a large segment of the Graun/Observer website readership has had their senses of humour surgically removed.  As I said over there—I don’t even know who they are, but you made me laugh.

Now, if someone could just make me sleep.  Almost 3 am on a school night!

... Yeah.  Erm.  I just clicked on the “subscribe to RSS feed” thing and got a page of weirdness.  Don’t know where else to bring this to someone’s attention, so forgive the off-topic comment.  Thanks.

AM at 9:07 am on May 18th, 2009

You should be more worried about your mate Charile in Greece!


Victoria Coren at 9:45 am on May 18th, 2009

Dear oh dear. Peter McKay has written in his column today (second item) about how female columnists are obsessed with Jordan - a subject of interest only to women. I’m tempted to ring him up and say that I wanted to write about MPs’ expenses, just like he’s done, but my MALE editor asked for Jordan! I don’t think I will. Might just cause more trouble. I should never have said yes. The funny thing is, I look back at my piece and see that I actually had nothing to say about the breakup, so I ended up writing (just like Peter McKay has!) about why the story interests people. We just reached different conclusions…

  PS. Don’t know what’s up with RSS feed but is being looked into. Do other people have problems with that?

Victoria Coren at 1:37 pm on May 18th, 2009

re RSS feed, have got this back from internet wizards:

“They are probably using an old browser that can’t handle RSS feeds. have checked the feed and all is working well. Only advice would be for them to download Firefox as it is the best browser. Or, add the feed URL manually to their Google reader or similar.”

James B at 3:10 pm on May 18th, 2009

How about:

“Thou shalt give OK first dibs on subsequent divorce coverage from front cover wedding features”?

Montana Wildhack at 10:38 pm on May 18th, 2009

Hmm.  I’m using Chrome, so it’s not that I’m using an old browser.  Maybe I’ll just have to remember to check in every day.  Dunno why I’ve never done so before - you’re one of my favourites, Victoria.

spidermonkey at 11:24 pm on May 18th, 2009

Though shalt not commit adultery without first notifying the paps where to ‘accidently’ stumble upon tryst.

Warren at 12:28 am on May 19th, 2009

Judging by the (almost) utterly humour free comments on the Observer site, there might be a while to wait until the internet realises that global fraternity you mention.

Anyway, how about, ‘You shall not make for yourself an idol, as Simon Cowell has exclusivity rights’

Victoria Coren

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