Monday, June 25, 2007

Duncan Fallowell sacked by prudish swine

How distressing that Duncan Fallowell has been sacked by The First Post. He wrote the weekly High Culture column for the online news magazine - even the Indy's lugubrious Matthew Norman loved it and he's hard to please (he's usually dozing), as is Arcati.

My spies tell me that Duncan fell foul of the prudish editor Mark Law - prudish? It's true Duncan is one of the UK's great exotics, but he's a brilliant exotic, and he knows a dangling participle when he sees one. Mr Law needs to sweep the cobwebs out of his Y-fronts, throw the family picnics into a recycling bin and abandon his aspirations to emulate Reader's Digest. Fallowell is for smarty tarts, they're not easy to come by; and they're great for guerrilla advertising in the smartest places. Think on, Law!

Write to letters@thefirstpost.co.uk to express your views. Write something like: "Is it not time Mark Law went on a long-haul holiday ...?"

For an example of one of Duncan's pieces (End body art, bring back pubes] click here

For the Duncan you could introduce to your mother, click here

Extreme punishment may necessitate removal of The First Post from my blogroll.

6 comments:

Walter Ellis said...

I like the First Post, which is intelligent, original and smart. But I don’t like Mark Law.

Many years ago, after I was forcibly moved from the Sunday Telegraph, where I was chief feature writer, to the oped desk of the Daily Telegraph, I found myself working for Law. He took an instant dislike to me, telling me on our first meeting that I might have found life easy at the Sunday but that things would be very different at the Daily.

Within a week, I was effectively banned from going to lunch. My job, I was told, was to pick up my brief after conference and then deliver no later than 4pm. Little that I wrote was used. After a month or so, things came to a head. On his way out to lunch, Law instructed me to produce 1,200 words on the Chinese Secret Service, which he said was a subject of growing interest to the Government. The article was to be on his desk on his return.

I’m not sure I even knew at the time that the Chinese had a secret service. The Library had one tiny cutting, no more than 150 words; the Foreign Office said they would get back to me after lunch (then didn’t); Chatham House said they would need several days notice before coming up with any kind of an expert. The U.S. embassy advised me to call the State Department. The State Department told me to call back later.

Come three o’clock, I had nothing. When Law returned from lunch, I confessed my failure. The great man – known to my late colleague, Simon O’Dwyer-Russell, as the Chocolate Teapot – looked at me with contempt. Then he opened his desk drawer and took out a book, which he handed to me, commenting sourly: “Then I suppose you’d better have this!” The book, a review copy (which I still have), was by Roger Faligot and Remi Kauffer. It was called “The Chinese Secret Service”.

I left the Telegraph for the Sunday Times weeks later. Last year, having been alerted to the First Post, I wrote a conciliatory letter to Law asking if he would be interested in occasional contributions from me in New York. Life, after all, is short. I enclosed five proposals. I quote his reply in full:

'Walter, I fear there isn’t anything here. We are fairly well covered for the US. It would have to be something quite off beat. Mark"

Truly a prince among men. I remember now that when I heard he had been fired from the Sunday Telegraph for insubordination, I was really upset.

Anonymous said...

You're well out of it, Duncan !

Anonymous said...

A famous rugby player refused to go to bed with Princess Di unless she shaved off her pubes. So she did. And they did.

Anonymous said...

How do you know?

Anonymous said...

I can't say - but it's absolutely true. The rugby player's Christian name begins with W

credo said...

More, more!