Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player

Christmas In The Clink?

Monday, 23 December 2013

  According to today’s Daily Mail, in another double-page piece about Nigella Lawson (this time about whether she might be prosecuted for drug use): “Police may also want to question Victoria Coren, who wrote in a national newspaper that she had taken cocaine with Mr Diamond before his death in 2001”. (I’ve been told the same thing was said in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph, though I only saw it in the Mail).

  Well done them. No word of a lie: I did write that. But it’s cleverly worded to disguise the tone of what I wrote, or the detail. In this article, I said that 12 years ago the great John Diamond had, in his last terminal days, urged me to try cocaine because I never had - at which point I put a bit of it on my gums to no discernible effect - and that I’ve never even seen cocaine before or since. Am I going to be arrested over this? Do the Mail seriously think I might be? If so, it’s hard to be sure that everyone has everything completely in perspective here. It’s very weird that the police, having said they would not be investigating any evidence from the witness box, have now responded to press excitement by saying “Meh, actually, what the hell, maybe we will”, but should I really be expecting the gloved knock on my own door? Do the police trawl newspaper columns, as well as news pages, to see if anything criminal might have happened? I’m sure it used to be the other way round.

  Maybe. But what makes me sad is the thought of what a million Daily Mail/ Sunday Telegraph readers, who never saw my original Observer article, will imagine from the phrase “taken cocaine”. They won’t (of course, why would they?) think of a square girl with an asthma inhaler in her pocket, nervously trying a bit of this mysterious thing on finger and gum, for love of a dying friend. They’ll picture me ramming it up my nose all over town, merrily snorting charlie with my media friends and dancing til dawn at Boujis. (Is that a club? Or just a bar? I put “Annabel’s” first, but thought that might make me sound like I’m 90).

  I feel like I want to contact every individual who’s read that piece - particularly those who watch Only Connect with their families and might feel disappointed in me - to explain that I’m not and never have been a coke-user and I don’t lead a glittery, druggy, media life. I listen to Radio 4 in my kitchen while making cakes. Sometimes I play poker all night and drink a lot of tea to stay awake. But I’m not Pete Doherty.

  This isn’t an attack on the Daily Mail or the Telegraph: they haven’t printed anything untrue. It’s just the absence of context and nuance that will leave some readers with a false picture, which makes me sad. It’s all silly, a storm in a teacup, and God knows I’ve done plenty of terrible things that just don’t happen to include snorting coke. But if people are going to be disappointed in me, I’d at least like that to be for the right reasons.

  If I feel this frustration, knowing that thousands of people could forever have an image of me as something I’m not, what on earth must it be like for Nigella Lawson? For avoidance of doubt: she’s a loving mother, a diligent writer, a quiet intellectual, a loyal friend and the unluckiest wife I’ve ever known. She’s not “spaced out”, “weird” or “like a zombie”. Like the Grillo sisters, I have never seen her take drugs.

  I hope she has a peaceful Christmas with her family. And if we both end up in prison, I hope we have adjoining cells.

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Chris Everest at 12:21 pm on December 23rd, 2013

I’ll bake a cake with a file in it then !
...and use N’s recipes!

Brian Robins at 12:26 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Victoria dear, I greatly doubt that too many of your thousands of admirers are like to take account of much that appears in the Daily Mail. By the way, you choose your friends well - I was enchanted by Susie Klein when she interviewed me for upcoming BBC4 series

Ross at 12:30 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Hi Victoria, I read the article in question and I found it to be a really warm and moving piece about a guy who I knew nothing of. By the end I felt an admiration for him just from your description of his approach to life. I’m sure if you end up in jail David will be streetwise enough to bring you a file in a cake (as long as you’ve left him a recipe). Much love to you both. Ross

Lori at 12:42 pm on December 23rd, 2013

As I’m sure I won’t be the only one to say, Only Connect viewers are far too sensible to read the Daily Mail. Your column was wonderful and brave.

On a lighter note, if you feel you must explain something, how about a longer version of the story you told on QI about playing poker with Stephen Fry, Martin Amis and Ricky Gervais?

Happy Christmas.

S at 12:57 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Well the Daily Mail think cellulite is illegal, so if they do get the morality police on you, at least will have much of the female population to keep you company in jail.

I’m not convinced many OC fans - or fans of much of what you do - read the Mail, though if they do, surely they’re the type to have the sense to look for context. Which is why your article was so brave in the first place; once something is put out there, it risks being taken out of context. Much like Nigella’s alleged drug use has been (based on what I’ve heard on Radio 4 while baking cakes, anyway).

At least they used your old name though. You can hide behind the M while the angry mob gets sniffy about this VC character…

(I do hate to bash the Mail like a big liberal cliche with fingers, but they make it so easy.)

John Robertson at 12:59 pm on December 23rd, 2013

‘This isn’t an attack on the Daily Mail or the Telegraph’

And that shows why you are so much better than them.

I’d love it if the police breathalysed everyone leaving the Mail and Telegraph offices over the next couple of days.

Why does the British public reward hypocrisy the way it does?

Dan Adler at 1:07 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Frankly, if it’s the Mail, it’s already budgie cage fodder. They’ll have forgotten it all next week, and probably start wondering why the leftie BBC isn’t commissioning “David Starkey’s The Story Of The Blacks” ...

Sara Field at 1:13 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Well said, my dear. I am a primary school teacher who once took one puff of a canabis cigarette, if I had been caught (it was about 20 years ago) I would have failed future CRBs and my career would have been over. I would have missed the delight of being part of hundreds of small lives and the fortune of living and working in exciting countries around the world. I really cannot imagine how it must feel to have your private life pored over as you do. The first time I heard of you was watching Only Connect and I was delighted when I saw you’d married David who seems such a lovely man. May your Christmas and future be long, merry and bright. :-) Take care, Sara

Sinead at 1:18 pm on December 23rd, 2013

It may say a lot about my friends (who are luckily fun yet sensible and rational people) but the week of your article about John Diamond, I saw it shared many, many times. All agreed it was a touching and beautiful piece about a dear friend. Though you briefly mention having tried cocaine it was not the headline and anyone who took it as the main point of the article missed the whole point. Nigella had a terrible injustice done to her this week- by the court but more by the bad side of the press who seemed to think she was on trial. Again I’ve been heartened to see this is a view many share. I for one would rather have you on my side than the Daily Mail

Jo Poole at 1:25 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Er, exactly when did we start believing what the Daily Mail says?  (p.s.  I would have said Annabel’s too)

John at 1:31 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Loyalty to a dying friend is a cause for admiration and respect not disappointment.

Jan at 1:39 pm on December 23rd, 2013

A sensible and calm response to the Mail’s foolishness. I was very moved by your original article.Forget it…..and have a very merry Christmas!

Jackie at 1:45 pm on December 23rd, 2013

If they come for you, Victoria, I promise to personally launch a campaign to get every person in Britain who’s ever tried any drug to come forward and hand themselves in. I know at least 50 men who were young in the early 90s and who all have a huge crush on you who would put their hands up. And they could take more than a few police officers and public figures down with them. This tittle-tattle, finger-waving, hands-on-hips, self-righteous hypocrisy is getting fucking ridiculous. This country has gone rancid.

Frank at 1:59 pm on December 23rd, 2013

You should be proud Victoria, that an honest and heartfelt comment attracted the attention of such disreputable publications. A sad indictment of some journalism in our country.

Carol Ingleby at 2:05 pm on December 23rd, 2013

People who watch Only Connect, like me, will also have read the Observer article and retained their sense of perspective. They also, like me will have read John Diamond’s writings as he neared the end of his life and can fully understand the curcumstances of your encounter with cocaine. We also would never ever read the Daily Mail!!

Jessica at 2:19 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Hi Victoria, the Observer piece you wrote was the best thing to come out of this whole sorry drama. It was clever, deft and full of love. I think for a lot of people it caused them to pause for thought and really took the sting out of so much of the negativity directed towards Nigella. You’re a true friend to her and a complete angel. The line from the Daily Mail was actually taken almost verbatim from a piece in the Daily Telegraph almost 2 days ago. It is, of course, completely ridiculous. Best Wishes J

Gregor at 2:29 pm on December 23rd, 2013

I previously read your piece in the guardian. It’s always impossible to tell the truth of things from afar - but your side of things did convince me that Nigella is getting a very rough deal.
Not that what I think matters of course :)
And I hate being on the same side as David Cameron :/

Cath Chapman at 2:30 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Anyone who reads and believes anything printed in the Daily Mail must be off their face on drugs! So I wouldn’t worry too much. And if you do end up in jail think of all the interesting things you can write about on your release. And remember absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Allan at 2:40 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Relax Victoria. You are a great person and I will always watch anything with you on because are witty intelligent and feisty. We all do silly things - just ignore the idiot chorus out there. 

Karen Robinson at 2:42 pm on December 23rd, 2013

I was very surprised when I saw the reference to you in Mail Online. I totally understand your dismay because it is was undermining, manipulative and misleading all at the same time. The judge in the Grillo case, the journalists on most of the tabloids, the CPS & probably that eejit from Scotland Yard - they are all off their heads in my opinion. This is like a latter-day Salem witch hunt. It will pass soon enough and then it will be recognised for the madness it is. Happy Christmas.

Liv at 2:52 pm on December 23rd, 2013

You’re one of my favourite women in the public eye, your attitude and composure is something I aspire to. It’ll take a hell of a lot more than a bit of coke to change my opinion. Have a lovely Christmas x

just passing at 2:53 pm on December 23rd, 2013

I confess, I’m quite perplexed by all of this. My understanding of these things is that you can march up to a policeman, announce (very civilly) that you’ve just smoked three spliffs and are as high as the proverbial kite, and there’s nothing they can do about it - only if they find you in possession of any more are you subject to their long arms. Possession, and specifically possession without prescription, is the crime on the statute books, not merely use; and nothing that’s been revealed comes anywhere close to proving possession. So I have no idea what the Mail are on about - and I’m kind of disgusted that the police don’t recognise a baying mob when they see it and tell them all to shove their pitchforks and torches somewhere in sore need of some illumination.

But that’s just me…

Barbara at 2:57 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Bravo! I will send you a package, too, files and all…
Happy Christmas!

Chris Hedges at 2:58 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Victoria, I was a teenager in the sixties when from what I read I was full of “drugs, sex and rock and roll”. Truth is, although I was at the Stones Free Concert in Hyde Park on 5th July 1969 ,which covers the last item on the list, I seem to have missed out on the first two. Sex remained a mystery until I managed to summon up the courage to ask a girl out and found a girlfriend and as for drugs, where on earth did you find them? Lots of talk about them but my friends and I had no idea how you obtained them. It was hard enough summoning the courage to buy a pint of “underage” beer let alone hunt down drugs!
Superb article, brilliantly written and full of the genuine humanity that is you.
As for the Daily Mail = Tosh!

Craig at 3:08 pm on December 23rd, 2013

so… the innocent Victoria Coren is a habitual coke user…I bet there’s way more to this than meets the eye… pray tell of these terrible things you have done? the image of you ramming it up your nose all over town will stay with me forever.

Tom Riley at 3:16 pm on December 23rd, 2013

I read your original piece so know you are not a coke head! The very thought seems absurd. Of course, you can’t be an addict anyway as the DMs Peter Hitchens says addiction doesn’t exist! Have a good Christmas.

John McReynolds at 3:34 pm on December 23rd, 2013

I knew I liked you for good reason. This confirms my sound judgement.

Trevor Grant at 3:38 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Don’t worry about it. People are more savvy nowadays about newspapers. Great quiz show.

Trish Fairclough at 3:49 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Well said Victoria, I also read your article and you should be commended for your loyalty to your friends. The mail is a newspaper that seems to fuel the worst in humanity and ought to be condemned.

Paul Romain at 4:00 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Hi Victoria, such a shame that you, and Nigella for that matter, have to defend yourselves against this lazy, shameless, and classless ploy to sell newspapers (and in the Mail’s case I use the term in the loosest possible sense). As others said your fans will easily see through the attempt to drag you through the mud, and it seems clear to me that the public in general have already done the same in Nigella’s case. Wishing you both a less traumatic 2014

Lena Armitage at 4:12 pm on December 23rd, 2013

I read your piece because I felt so saddened at the way Nigella was being treated. The words you wrote were brilliant and revealed how this lovely dynamic guy so wanted to live life as much as he could. it is great that Nigella ( and her family) have such a lovely loyal friend. Oh and I enjoy Only Connect too.

Stephen Barker at 4:13 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Oh dear. Nonsense of the Mail to twist your tale, take your words out of context, suggest something other than actually happened but that’s what newspapers (journalists) do all the time to ‘ordinary’ people. Even on the nicer papers. You surely know that? You have met some of the people your work sits alongside even if you don’t have to actually sit beside them yourself? Are you really surprised that they or those of their ilk would do the same to you. Sorry that this happened to you etc but .. If you don’t want people to think you take coke, don’t tell them that you took coke - even once, even if it was all down to peer pressure. .. As that guy said “You shag one sheep .. “.

James Lee at 4:14 pm on December 23rd, 2013

As a fan of yours in America can I just say that the Daily Fail can eff off. Your Observer piece was excellent.

Shazzbot at 4:18 pm on December 23rd, 2013

I remembered reading John Diamond’s work and was thoroughly devastated by your Observer article - in the best possible way (how weird was that to say?).  He would’ve loved your article, I’m sure.  PS I have a couple of Only Connect fan walls up.  I’m Team Nobody but a massive gibbering fan of yours (and your husband’s) all the same.

Sparrow Legs at 4:34 pm on December 23rd, 2013

I too tried cocaine once and found it not to be my cup of tea (being a bit of a freak I don’t like tea either).  In my previous career I saw many people take lots and lots and lots of cocaine. And for most people that would be their experience - most people that try cocaine like it.  And if you have money (lots and lots of it) you are likely to get really into it.  Out of all those hundreds and hundreds of people I don’t know any who developed a problem with it - unless you call being rather dull a problem.  Are we really going to investigate all those that have taken coke?  I must buy shares in prisons.  The Daily Mail - the worst of British values masquerading as the best - to paraphrase Mr A Campbell.  Don’t worry Victoria people are brighter than the scum who write the Mail.

mcdodda at 4:47 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Just to say that despite what has been written in the “newspapers” and reported in the media, I am (and I’m sure always will be) a great fan of both yourself and Nigella.

Terry H at 5:30 pm on December 23rd, 2013

If only your Dad was around to bring his biting wit to bear on this nonsense.. a man greatly missed by many, many people.

Rebecca at 5:33 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Oh, I watch Only Connect, but you can take me off your to-contact list, because I don’t bother with the Mail and I don’t think it’s any of my business what a celebrity does with his or her own private life, including yours.

Stef at 5:37 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Im not disappointed but why should that matter?

vicki at 5:53 pm on December 23rd, 2013

good article.  my heart goes out to nigella too.  she remained calm and dignified on the outside but i am sure there is inner turmoil.  this has been a terrible time for her but she is through it now.  a marriage to a control freak can kill your spirit but she has survived.

victoria i for one am not disappointed in you and will continue to watch and enjoy only connect.

Pat Adewale at 6:20 pm on December 23rd, 2013

How horrible for you, its disgraceful that your words can be manipulated like this but I’m not surprised. That you should have to explain yourself is outrageous! Take heart, we who follow and admire you will dismiss this kind of dross.

S. Martini at 6:43 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Am I allowed to say that any of your pieces I read in The Observer are just outstandingly good and well-written? None of the journos at the Daily Fail or The Sunday Telegraph can bother to publish the truth, it is always a shred of truth mixed with a ton of made-up details. I still can’t get how people can buy that. Recently I was appalled at a story printed in both papers who described J. Hemming as the champion of wronged families, well this was before he ended up posting on Mumsnet the names of children protected by court orders…. Kudos to the integrity of these journos who don’t feel appropriate to print the truth. Nigella and team Victoria forever!

Molly at 6:51 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Oh, that’s rather irritating of the Daily Mail! At least the people who’ve read both articles will know the correct context you wrote that in! Keep cheery for Christmas!! 

Nick Moodie at 7:02 pm on December 23rd, 2013

It’s such a relief that the stories of both Nigella and yourself being coke-heads appear to be untrue. This has been a private fantasy of mine for many years and for it to have become public-domain would have spoiled it.

Bernard Palmer at 7:09 pm on December 23rd, 2013

It is your primary fundamental right to put anything you like into your body because only you own that body.  Laws that say otherwise are slave laws. Should you accept those laws as being lawful then you agree to be owned by whichever governments use such slave laws against you. If you decide to break those laws then the body that only you can own will possibly be locked away in a slave-prison for a considerable time.
Merry Christmas.

Bedd Gelert at 7:11 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Oh Victoria, you need to be more imaginative..

I think you SHOULD go to prison..

1/ You could get a book out of it..

2/ You could have a brief fling with Denis McShane

3/ These days it’s all about NETWORKING and all the best people have done some stir…

4/ Did I mention you could write a book ?

5/ Teaching cons to play poker might be a useful form of rehab and would give them useful life skills like numeracy.

6/ You could absorb some of the flak Chris Huhne is taking for being an ex-jailbird in the pay of the Graun..

7/ Only Connect is so restricted by working with professions - what about criminals who surely know about at lateral thinking ?

Fair Pay at 8:15 pm on December 23rd, 2013

I think I’ve watched you long enough to know that while you have an interesting variety of pokerfaces (your deliberately bad portrayal of emotion almost never ceases to amuse), you rarely, if ever, lie.

Merry Christmas, you very-convincingly-almost-shameless not-hussy.

BTW: Loved the Poppins docu:  Very clever.

DM Andy at 9:02 pm on December 23rd, 2013

I didn’t disagree with anything in either post but did have a nagging sense of disquiet.  It wasn’t until I read the similar piece by Chris Mullin about his disgraced friend Denis McShane that the penny dropped.

Both Lawson and McShane have committed crimes.  Many people do commit crimes but only a very small percentage have the privilege of devoted friends such as you and Mullins to provide character references for them on the national press. 

At least Chris Mullin has a solid record of work for example in his work on the Birmingham Six case to excuse the lapse in defending the fraudster McShane. 

Why don’t you write in the Observer defending the powerless in society rather than just your powerful friends?

Daniel at 10:37 pm on December 23rd, 2013

I believed everything written in this post right up to the bit where it said “the Daily Mail… haven’t printed anything untrue”. First time for everything I suppose, but something true in the DM? That just doesn’t wash, sorry.

Sam at 11:00 pm on December 23rd, 2013

Hi Victoria

I completely understand your frustration, which is understandable.

Here’s what I don’t understand - why swallow the stupid moralism of the Daily Mail? Are you concerned with being misunderstood and misrepresented? Or are you concerned with being misunderstood and misrepresented as x (a particular type of person who would take drugs)?

If the latter, what does or would that even mean?

Where does this painful moralism (e.g. the reading out of the ‘drug taking is bad’ script) lead us? Perhaps, it leads us back to the nauseating and narrow world-views of the Daily Mail and Telegraph.


Caroline Stuart at 1:20 am on December 24th, 2013

That’s the way the gutter press work. They leave things out, which changes the whole context of what was really said. I wonder how many of those journalists at the Mail and Telegraph like to stick coke up their noses? I smell a slight whiff of hypocrisy!

James at 2:00 am on December 24th, 2013

You’re right, you’re not Pete Doherty. You’re an excellent colour writer. But you are also out of order to bring up an artists addiction in any piece, surely given the tone of this piece you should recognise that people are affected by rubbish people write and to be fair if Pete Doherty did read this I think he’d feel let down by someone who should be capable of compassion and the ability to convey a message well. Frankly it’s no business of anyone whether you, nor equally Pete Doherty, has taken drugs.  I would have thought you would have had the heart to write a piece saying simply: “To anyone who has criticised me for doing coke with a dying friend. Piss off, you’ve not been there” and “Nigella might take drugs, who gives a monkeys” At the end of the day none of this changes the world

Ignorant American at 3:46 am on December 24th, 2013

I’m a big fan of yours, but as much as I disdain the Daily Mail, all I can do is hope that what they claim won’t come to pass. I feel kind of strange about all this, as I do get frustrated when the rich and powerful here get away with drug use while the poor get hammered. But I also read your Observer article, and if the police did choose to arrest you it would be in no sense a pursuit of justice. But sadly I don’t think we can expect fairness or justice in your country or mine anymore. I just hope you’ll be okay.

Tim Arnold at 4:03 am on December 24th, 2013

Not the old “Radio 4/cakes” defence, eh? Harold Shipman used to listen to Radio 4. FACT. And the poisoner Graham Young used to bake cakes. FACT.

So you could be sharing a cell block with Nigella sooner than you think.

It would be great, eh? Domestic godess working in the Holloway kitchens. “Today, I’m going to show the trusties how to make a really scrummy cake - complete with a file in it. The frosting is particularly delicious. Especially if you sniff it.”

Just don’t think you’ll get a cushy job in the prison library, Victoria - given your family’s literary bent, there would a conflict of interest. Plus you’d be over - qualified to be the dictionary monitor.

Seriously, it seems bereavement lies at the centre of N’s considerable woes. Let’s not judge without walking in her shoes.

James Morrow at 4:17 am on December 24th, 2013

So much for press regulation. Lying by omission is still lying. But Dacre gets away with this all the time

Susana Morvan at 7:02 am on December 24th, 2013

We buried a best friend 3 weeks ago. She was glorious in her dying, just as you describe in your article, and already I feel that she’s given us one of the most amazing gifts in the way she went, trumpets and all, no big tears, but deep, deep smiles.  Thanks for those images of both John and Nigella.

lynn pettitt at 8:43 am on December 24th, 2013

Well said, Victoria. Have a happy Christmas.

Jan at 11:52 am on December 24th, 2013

It is because we know that you are honest and frank that we trust what you write.  Anyone who has read your books and columns in various papers and magazines will be familiar with the personality behind the writing and, if you had chosen to omit your submission to J’s persuasion, it wouldn’t have been true to you.  I know from experience that you are always anxious not to disappoint people – whether producing a radio show or writing to bring truth and justice to the fore.
The Mail has always been an odious rag – and it seems the Telegraph and other newspapers, are willing to go down the same route.  That is why WE NEED PEOPLE LIKE YOU and TRULY APPRECIATE when you take risks – it really does inspire those who read/listen to speak out and challenge injustice in everyday life. 

Juliette at 12:29 pm on December 24th, 2013

Well, I for one was not disappointed in your loving willingness to share an empathic experience with your dying friend. To me it showed only courage and generosity. You and Nigella will always transcend the pusillanimity of the tabloids. Merry Christmas and a great new year to you and yours.

Diane at 1:57 pm on December 24th, 2013

As usual, a great piece which tells it like it is. As others have said, your many fans won’t be the sort to read the Daily Heil. I met you when I captained a team on the second series of Only Connect and you were warm, friendly and obviously extremely intelligent, so I know you’ll put this silliness behind you and go on to ever greater things. Love to you and David, have a wonderful Christmas.

Richard at 2:52 pm on December 24th, 2013

Nicely put. I will just say, though, that it’s the media’s idea that “doing drugs” is somehow the penultimate evil that is an issue, too. The horrible truth is that while drug (ab)use does harm many, the vast majority of users suffer little permanent damage to their moral fibre. Without wanting to bore on about drugs policy, isn’t it time these bits of the media grew up a bit on this one? (And from what I know, the police *loathe* nabbing drugs users - all that paperwork for nothing. But when confronted with manufactured public outrage, they usually have to say something stern to make it look good…) Love your work, by the way, and would still be a fan if you sat hoovering great gobs of the stuff while the teams attempt the connecting wall…

Ron Dardis at 3:12 pm on December 24th, 2013

Hi Victoria,
I would think that your team QPR losing Saturday should be far more troubling to you than the Mail nonsense… Love your columns and the show and you have certainly inherited your gifted Father’s great wit and humour. Every best wish to you both in the future and I look forward to more of your brilliant columns and the show which is great fun. Well done and Happy Christmas:..;

Nick Hitchcock at 4:42 pm on December 24th, 2013

Seen you on telly a bit recently and you look bang tidy. Just thought I would lower the tone :) Smart and beautiful.

TO_Ont at 9:19 pm on December 24th, 2013

Well, you have a big advantage in this case writing for a paper without a paywall. Anyone even a tiny bit curious or perplexed by the telegraph or DM articles will just google the column they mention, and ten seconds later will be reading your original story in your own words and making up their minds for themselves.

(I do see why paywalls exist of course - not a general attack against them or anything - just that in this case it makes it trivially easy to get the context of a quote)

Miss Deeds at 9:54 pm on December 26th, 2013

My Dad, sister and I get together every Monday to watch Only Connect.  We were told about this story in the Daily Mail and all of our immediate reactions were, “yes but what’s the full story?”  You needn’t worry, we were never disappointed, more intrigued by the spin that paper puts on things.  Thanks for explaining the whole story- it proved me right!  I hope you had a lovely Christmas despite all that!

baz at 3:43 pm on January 2nd, 2014

Like a few others I think that sending you to jail would have provided an even more powerful response than you managed with the genius that is your prose.  Great response though and thanks for your wit and intelligence. Wish I could understand poker though

Clive at 8:00 pm on January 2nd, 2014

Wait til the Daily Mail find out you’ve done a porn movie.

Then again, had it featured Nigella, coke and your good self in front of the camera, you might have had a hit on your hands.

Anyway, the whole illegal drug thing has me mystified; bands openly do drugs but have never really been arrested except almost accidentally (Macca’s Japan drug bust). Perhaps the Stones Redlands fiasco discouraged the police. That Lostprophets charmer supposedly had his paedo tendencies uncovered due to a drug investigation, but I rather assumed that was a simply pretext for checking out the paedo rumours.

Simon at 11:26 pm on January 2nd, 2014

Today’s news, tomorrow’s fish and chip paper. 

Bertiethetoupee at 4:50 am on January 3rd, 2014

As everyone else says, the Mail is a rag and ‘Victoria Coren fans’ and ‘Daily Mail readers’ are hardly a natural Venn diagram.

I don’t think the police arrest you on such flimsy evidence but, in case they do:

I snorted a wheelbarrow full of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine last year and WHOO WHAT A BUZZ!

There. If they come for you they’ll have to come for me too and we can play bridge. But they won’t because they have better things to do. Like nabbing people for going 2mph over the speed limit ;)

The only people judging you are people whose opinions you should disregard by default.


Phil at 4:36 pm on January 6th, 2014

I am horrified to learn that you have become a philandering coke addict and I for one won’t be watching Only Connect again. As it happens I don’t watch it anyway as I find it really confusing, but the sentiment still stands. All this time I though you were a harmless porn director. I bet that David Mitchell is just cover too.

Clive at 1:05 pm on January 27th, 2014

Seems Nigella’s in the clear, VCM, and by association, you too. Shame, I could see you two doing time, stepping out among the spotlights, wielding machine guns, Chicago style.

peter palladas at 10:29 pm on January 30th, 2014

“...for love of a dying friend.” Bless you for that. All else is irrelevant.

grid at 8:42 am on February 9th, 2014

CNN reports that “while a team of experts concluded that Dylan was not abused, the judge said he found the evidence inconclusive.” Furthermore a prosecutor who “decided against pressing charges in the case” is quoted as saying “As a prosecutor I really can’t comment on the substance of the statement of this now young woman. As a father of a child not too much older than this young woman, I can only say I hope she finds some peace and solace in the way she’s expressing herself. I hope she had access to my written statement of decision. My statement is as valid today as it was 20 years ago”.

Cat at 5:13 pm on February 9th, 2014

Hello… Victoria you are fabulous. Excuse my invading your blog off topic but I couldn’t find a way to send a private mail.

I just wanted to make sure you’re aware that you’re success makes women smile inside - to hear a female voice that is so strong and respected is a relief and an inspiration*

Thanks :)


Trevor Angel at 1:14 am on March 11th, 2014

(Only 800 characters - so split in 2) I’ve seen you twice now on TV - hignfy with the politician bloke with his head in the birds tits on his birthday pic - you left him speechless and me crying with your wit which is right up my street!

And just now on Dave (proper geezer!) - with the Tim Henman crossword story and the Mackenzie face reading pitch - both classic TV!

So, decided to google you and read your stuff which was far more entertaining than watching Michael McIntyre’s first (and hopefully last) attempt at a chat show on BBC tonight) - please tell me that was a spoof!

Anyway, your drug story - ‘TV poker star snorts coke and goes on a bender!’ - dear press - if you’re ...

Trevor Angel at 1:28 am on March 11th, 2014

(Cont’d) ... going to print junk then at least print total junk with a headline that resembles your usual fiction!

You get gorgeous girls and you get funny, witty and very smart girls - it’s rare to have both in one package - it’s immensely sexy (someone has to say it - although I doubt I’m the first) - you now have another big fan!

Victoria Coren

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