Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Times: Strange case of the missing Simon Cowell article


Sir Philip Green and Simon Cowell: Missing from The Times

It must be my advancing years but I seem to be becoming absent minded these days. For instance, I'd swear I read an article in The Times on September 2, 2009 (happily I still have a memory for dates), titled something like "Has Sir Philip got the X Factor that will make Cowell's American dream finally come true?" (happily I still have a memory for long, unzingy headlines). It was written by Media Editor Dan Sabbagh.

Now where is it?

It's no longer on the Times website, it's even not to be found on Google (though fragments of it linger in lifted form on other sites). It's a mystery that might tax the investigative skills of Mulder and Scully of The X-Files. Or perhaps I hallucinated it. Or is it possible it offended someone so powerful so much that its deletion was ordered forthwith? Certainly as I write I'm not aware of any legal activity or clarifiers.

Sabbagh reported that billionaire retailer Sir Philip Green wants Fox (like The Times, part of Murdoch's News International) to broadcast an American version of The X Factor - apparently to tie Simon Cowell to Fox's American Idol up to 2012. Other insider-ish things were claimed which I imagine might have slightly irritated Cowell and Sir P: for instance it was alleged that Sir P was angling for a $9m pay rise for Cowell which would take his annual fee from Idol alone to $45m. He's worth every cent in my view.

Sabbagh even mooted the possibility of Cowell appearing as a judge on Fox rival NBC's America's Got Talent, something Fox might not like at all. Speculation about Cowell's TV rival Simon Fuller - who owns the format of American Idol - and what he might think about all these claimed developments probably grated some high-up players in this intriguing story.

As I read (if I did!) this remarkable piece of journalism I marvelled at its unusually fearless objectivity: Sabbagh even reported that Fox had not returned calls to him to comment. The very idea! The article may have been total tosh, of course. In which case its disappearance is understandable in a paper of record.

Meanwhile, in other news, an Arcatiste writes:

Chere Madame

For what it is worth, today's Times p 73 (Dorset edition) has a mediapolis column. Can't find it online.

"Simon Cowell is due on the front cover of GQ in January, assuming he hasn't fled the country after John and Edward win the X Factor next month. He has been helping out with a piece that will discuss his business partnership with Sir Philip Green and, hopefully, will give onlookers a few clues as to what they plan for the development of Brand Cowell."

Not sure it's relevant but who knows.

Michael

And in yet more other news, mega-PR Mark Borkowski adds his view on the Simon Cowell/X Factor juggernaut, click here

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Philip Green was at Nicky Haslam's launch last night. Cowell is still too fly to make it onto that list

Madame Arcati said...

Was he indeed. I wasn't invited, though I know someone who was. I'm waiting ...

Anonymous said...

For an elderly bat you're remarkably spry, Madame. It must be that rejuvenating coming-out experience.

Anonymous said...

It's strange that you leave it to your long suffering readers to tie up the loose ends.

Anonymous said...

Coming out was not a good strategy for you. It was better when you were pretending to be somebody powerful and important in the media world. What is fun about an unremarkable hack being scathing about fellow media types who have enjoyed more career success than him? Why come out and can't you come back in?

Anonymous said...

Philip Green used to pay Rogers & Cowan to do his publicity and to get him out of the house in the late Seventies or was it the early Eighties? He was a revolting man then.

Madame Arcati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The idiot anonymous is not interested in the story, only in who wrote it. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous twat is also illiterate so he can't be a journalist.

Madame Arcati said...

To twerpy above, easily fooled aren't ya? Story of your life?

an ex-X Factorer said...

Ghastly Green.Yuk. Cowell is one of the best things to happen to television. Does Haslam have no shame in his choice of party guests ?.

Anonymous said...

So where's the Haslam party news then?

Madame Arcati said...

My sources still recovering. I couldn't have gone but thenI wasn't invited. Nicky hates me, see.

Anonymous said...

Honestly Arcati, its common knowledge that the juicy stuff on Cowell gets rubbed out of the newspapers. Why else is kindly Uncle Max so busy? With Fatboy Green involved it’s now getting ugly and it’s probably not long now til Sabbagh meets an untimely end. Is it true that Cowell and Fatboy are the cover stars of next month’s GQ Magazine? If so please let me know so I can cancel my subscription…