One can wait for years for a good Sunday TV presenter scandal to break, and then two come along at once. Sky's married Sunday morning host Dermot Murnaghan was caught by the People canoodling in Hyde Park with a make up artist half his age, while the BBC's Andrew Marr was busted by the Mirror appearing to kiss a mystery woman outside a Fitzrovia watering hole.
Excruciatingly featured in the papers they both had to review yesterday morning, Marr was seen leaving his marital home in Richmond with a suitcase. However, the inquisitor insists he was heading for a trip to America rather than being booted out by his wife Guardian columnist Jackie Ashley. He fervently denies an affair with a grovelling apology this morning:
'No, no, not at all. But I would say my wife is very cross with me and quite rightly so. I am a grown-up and I should know better. It was very poor behaviour on my part and she is entirely right to be annoyed
Marr does have form in this area and a broken super-injunction to prove it. AsMarr claims not to remember why his hand was down the back of his young brunette friend's jeans, claiming: ‘It was an innocent goodbye to my series producer.’ Mr Steerpike wonders about that — the Andrew Marr Show does seem to lack a producer with brown hair.
Say what you like about Marr, but he has never pretended to be a role model. In his book, My Trade, he goes as far as to say that journalists like him are precisely the type to end up having a bit of a fumble in Soho street corners:-
Anyone who reads about or watches journalists' lives must be struck by our unreliability as partners - not all of us, obviously, but many of us. Nor do journalists have high self-esteem as a class. The passing-on of information that someone, somewhere does not want to see published is not a popular business... Journalism is the industrialisation of gossip.
Quite. And in this spirit, Mr Steepike offers a challenge. Do you know Marr's mystery lady? There is a chilled bottle of Pol Roger heading your way if you do. All suggestions on a postcard to firstname.lastname@example.org.