Alex Massie

The Ingenuity of the British Journalist

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Is such that, as you know, there's no need to bribe the fellow. From Simon Hoggart's Guardian column today:

A colleague of the late Raymond Jackson, "Jak" of the London Evening Standard, had an interesting tale. Jak was famous for including the names of firms - restaurants, pubs, even skip hire companies - in his cartoons. He would then sell the originals to the people mentioned, so getting two substantial fees for each drawing. What I hadn't realised is that he used to pre-sell the slot. He'd ring up Knight, Frank & Rutley, for instance, and ask if they wanted to appear as the estate agent that day. Then he'd call Strutt & Parker and see if they offered more. Only when the auction was over would he start on the drawing.

Doubtless one is supposed to disapprove of this sort of thing.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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