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Richard III And A PR Disaster

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Richard III and a PR Disaster

The Lost King, the movie about the extraordinary story that saw the remains of Richard III discovered under a car park, is a near 2-hour PR disaster for the University of Leicester.

The University contributed somewhat to the film – its logo is everywhere – but plainly regrets that it did.

If it really did behave as badly as portrayed, it deserves all it gets. If it didn’t, ouch.

According to the movie, intrepid amateur historian Philippa Langley, played by Sally Hawkins, is mistreated by men at work and men at the University.

By men everywhere, in fact, apart from her ex-husband, played by Steve Coogan, whose movie this is.

Otherwise, she is mocked, belittled and traduced at every turn, a foolish woman attempting work that can be done by serious men only.

Watching it, I assumed the names had been changed to protect the guilty.

But no, all the worst offenders in the Coogan produced movie are real people, albeit played by actors. The PR guy is a shocker.

The academics have complained that they have been turned into bad guys for the sake of a good story. Which is hilarious, since that is what they and Shakespeare have been doing to Richard III for centuries.

One academic, Richard Taylor, says he is “likely” to take legal action against the producers, saying he is “shell-shocked” by how he was portrayed.

The University’s website is still bigging up its own achievements here. It says: “In 2012, the University of Leicester, in collaboration with the Richard III Society and Leicester City Council, was thrust into the international limelight, as the eyes of the world watched the start of what would become the successful unearthing, identification and reinternment of the last English king to die in battle.”

In a “setting the record straight” bit it goes for a “recollections will vary” type defence.

Coogan insists his work was thorough. “The University are responsible for their own undoing,” he said.

Which a polite way of saying: chat s**t, get banged.

Press release of the day

The UK was slow to adopt AI and is falling behind the US and India in data literacy.

That means it could miss out on a £190bn market, says this from Peak.

The demand for data scientists is huge – and we just don’t have enough.

Stories that will keep rolling

1) Can Netflix win by going downmarket?

2) Is Goldman going to stick with its threat to fire 5% of staff at the end of the year? Could it be worse?

3) Is the gilts crisis over?

4) How come Chinese GDP is growing again?

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