Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Allison Pearson replies to The Ferg

The Mail’s highly-paid Glenda, Allison Pearson, has finally responded to Fergiana in today's paper. Alas, the poppet’s heart’s not really in it. “Thank goodness we no longer live in a world where the likes of me [y’know, a right commoner] has to defer to the likes of her,” she writes of the Ferg’s luncheon invitation. The matter of her rudeness about Princess Bea’s Prince Andrew-like proportion is swept under the polypropylene. Instead, she gives the Ferg a kicking over her recent TV show in which she stayed with a Hull family of toothless chavs with weight issues – is it acceptable, she asks, “for a former royal to be given a family of poor people to use as props in the drama of her own re-invention? Me neither.” I said nothing, chuck.

Her more interesting point is that until 11.26am yesterday she had not heard from Fergiana despite claims on TV and radio that Ferg’s PR had left a message on Allison’s answer service. However, she does reveal that last year the Duchess had summoned the hack to a meeting over something else – an invitation ignored. You have to be someone really hot (and useful?) to draw out grand Allison’s civility. Or perhaps her form of journalism is best practised entirely remotely.

I think she has missed a great opportunity. She could have recorded the encounter, employed her sharp observational skills to advantage – her big problem is that she’s too bright to be a Glenda, hence the mishaps of tone and taste - engaged in a blazing row over all the things she tries to warm up in her long-winded reply and written up a piece of Grand Guignol starring two rich power-persons neither of whom is very good at deferring to anyone but the personally useful.

Read Pearson


Anonymous said...

Too smart to be a Glenda? Au contraire. I'd say Pearson has found her natural home in the tabloid gutter, having blathered mindlessly for years in the 'serious' media, trying to convince us of an intellect and capcity for critique that simply aren't there. She flicked her hair a lot on Late Review, but that was pretty much the extent of her contribution...

Jody Tresidder said...

I think she has missed a great opportunity.

Possibly, but not without calculation?

I've always thought that personal contact with an easy target of stinky ink is absolutely deadly for columnists like Pearson.

Fergie, I've noticed, can actually radiate charm one-on-one, and she's been surprisingly effective here in the US, and with isolated UK hacks as well (A. A Gill, I recall). But who wants to read nuanced fluff?

Of course, Pearson's claim that she was really getting snippy about Fergie's witless exposure of her own daughter is self-serving bull. But I imagine Pearson rather coldly totted up which Fergie would prove most useful to her in the long run.

I think she has weighed one chance (and it would only be one) of an intimate portrait {"Tears spilled from her enormous blue eyes as the Duchess fiddled with her fork and whispered: "Allison, finally you understand..!") against yards and yards of future gleeful bitching about a total stranger.

Cynically, I think Pearson has made the best call.

alana said...

So this Allison has a problem with Fergie and so she takes it out on her 19 year old daughter? How classless. That girl looks good, as for Allison, not so much. She's no spring chicken and her face could use a good lift. I have no doubt she owns a mirror and is aware of her short-comings, she's just missing the part of her brain that controls tact.