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Gossip, glorious gossip

Features | By Patrick Kidd | July 2017

Since bringing back its Diary column, the Times has put on sales of 50,000, says its editor, Patrick Kidd –  which was only to be expected

The best piece of advice I ever received from an old Fleet Street hand (other than ‘Always keep the receipts’) came from a former Punch diarist. When I was asked to revive the Times Diary four years ago, he said, ‘You must have two stories in every column that are definitely true.’ Well, we do have standards. ‘Then a couple that are probably true but you don’t check them out in case they aren’t. “Good enough to be true” should be your motto. And then one that probably isn’t true but no one’s going to sue you.’ It is advice I have followed well. There has been only one lawyer’s letter – from Cherie Blair, and every diarist gets those. I know, I know, hashtag ‘fake news’ and all that, but I’m not talking about inventing stories out of thin air. Heaven forbid. We don’t lie; we just sometimes give...

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