Ping. A kind email from a friendly flak. He loves TB. My day is made. But he has a query. He misses City diary columns, asking:
“Why have they almost all disappeared? They were a little personal and a little fun. Not too spikey, usually, and a good chance to get a second bite of the cherry if your release bombed. I miss them. Are Mr Deedes and City Spy the only ones left soldiering on?”
I approach a hack awkward-squad member, do we have an answer to this? The reply:
“Yes we ‘effin well do have an answer. ‘Not too spikey, usually, and a good chance to get a second bite of the cherry if your release bombed’. Get lost, pal. They should not be there for PR folk to offload rejected releases. They should be there to routinely leg over the likes of this (words redacted) and his clients – and then return to take ‘a second bite of the cherry’ and leg them over again, just because we deem it amusing. The only thing we agree on is that I miss City diaries too.”
And that, ladies and gents, is the difference between hacks and flaks.
My flak notes that my hack did not actually answer the question. “That’s my job,” he muses.
My answer: I think City Diarists have tended to look like a luxury item. Something to cut. Then the diaries are done by a junior. Then the standard falls…then they get binned altogether. It’s a real shame.