These are unhappy times for the dreadlocked critic Victor Lewis-Smith. At present the subject of a libel suit for calling hypnotist Paul McKenna a "fraud" in his recycled columns for the London Evening Standard and the Daily Mirror, we learn from today's news reports that he is unable to attend legal proceedings because two members of his family are ill. Our prayers go out to them.
Only a few weeks ago he cost Associated Newspapers well in excess of £75,000 for accusing TV chef Gordon Ramsay and the makers of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares of faking scenes to make other restaurants look like public health hazards. Or put another way, Mr Lewis-Smith faked a story to make himself look clever. Whether he has faked a tale about McKenna remains to be seen - sadly, my money's on McKenna.
Yet for his nickname for the thatched Terry Wogan ("Wigon") and his loathing of the hypocrite Esther Rantzen, he is to be treasured. Here he is on the dreadful latter:
"WHAT an extraordinary human paradox is Esther Rantzen. For decades she hosted That's Life, which positively revelled in jokes about the inherent risibility of fat women, while simultaneously professing a mawkish concern about the way overweight girls are teased and bullied at school.
"For years she preached morality for a living, yet conducted an affair with a married man, continuing it until she had worked her way into the luxurious family home and forced the wife out into a tiny flat. Her stepdaughter, Cassandra Wilcox, has denounced the apparently saintly Esther in print as a "heartless and calculating" woman who delighted in the destruction of Desi Wilcox's first wife, and has trouble distinguishing between fantasy and reality."