You don't expect the Guardian to fall for the "Celia Walden" trick of winning yourself a news diary column in a national newspaper just because you look good. But that is exactly what the paper appears to have done with gorgeous pouting etc Francesca Martin who pens the paper's Arts Diary every Wednesday.
She has been doing it for months now - and even though she is granted a page in the G2 section she has singularly failed to produce a single story that is not some kind of crappy, cosy advance on a press release. Look at today's column for example. The lead on Simon Bainbridge’s Holocaust-inspired Music Space Reflection is (almost) as old as the hills – the quotes lifted from an April 1 news announcement at http://www.schirmer.com/.
Her ICA celebrity Pecha Kucha (“chit chat”) event story was flagged up ages ago by the theatre gallery; and her item on Paris Review editor Philip Gourevitch popping off to the Scottish island of Jura for a month this August, to celebrate George Orwell, was plainly inspired by the Scottish Book Trust’s news release of April 4.
The staggering news that artist Marc Quinn has designed a strawberry pendant for Louise Guinness better belongs to Harper’s Bazaar where I believe Ms Martin is arts editor. Does she know anybody in the arts world that may actually enlighten her with some information that is not sanctioned by a bovine press officer?
Her recruitment by the paper is further evidence of the Hello!-isation of this once serious paper. Or that she was got on the cheap.