I love 'satirist' (quote marks should always be used for, er, 'sub-Homeric descriptions', as Quentin Letts might put it) Craig Brown, not least because we share a birthday, May 23. Joan Collins, too, is a May 23'er - a sharp-tongued social anthropologist if ever I saw one. It's a funny thing, birthdays. Makes you think.
But how disappointed I am today! In his well-remunerated Daily Mail column, Craig Brown writes of Hitler, blazers and Alan Whicker whom he ages at 87 at time of passing. Yet only the other day, the Mail's very own diarist, Richard Kay, revealed that Whicker was actually 91 - he had even dug up a Whicker birth certificate whose full content had failed to reach its destination in any known bio.
How distressing that neither Brown nor the subs had bothered to internalise Kay's exclusive info. It's the sort of thing that makes you think, in a wine bar usually, 'Why do I bother?'
The problem could be quality of staff, notwithstanding the presence of a May 23'er at the Mail's South Kensington grotto. Or perhaps the problem is Kay himself whose notoriety falls a little short of that of his legendary predecessor, Nigel Dempster. To be a great success in print journalism, it really helps to be a foul-mouthed, social-climbing head-butter with the morals of... well, we won't go there.
Dear Alan Whicker. Quite the most boring interview I ever did.