The Mail generates a “row” with call to Beyer

With “Massah” John Beyer stepping down as director of Mediawatch-UK at the end of September, it is left to us to sadly savour the last words of The Dail Mail’s favourite rent-a-gob, as we would savour the final drops at the bottom of a glass of fine malt whisky.

The latest “row” conjured up by a reporter’s phone call to the Sage of Ashford concerns the BBC’s choice of Martina Hingis as a contestant in the popular show Strictly Come Dancing (known to its fans simply as “Strictly”).

Hingis, you may remember, tested positive for cocaine in 2007 – although she has always protested her innocence. The Mail reporter, presumably short of a story during the silly season, spotted the chance of an easy 500 words and promptly rang our hero:

This is a family show that is targeted at a family audience.

One of the reasons lazy reporters love Beyer must surely be the sheer the word-count he provides with his tautologies and convoluted pseudo-officialese:

The danger is that this decision would tend to minimise the seriousness of her drug-taking, which resulted in a ban on her playing.

The BBC could have put in many other personalities who I’m sure would love to take part in the show and they could have chosen someone without that record. The question is whether it sets a good or bad example.

The real question is – who is going to replace John Beyer? The clever money is on The Boy Turtle, who has deputised for the Massah on several occasions. His appointment will not be to everyone’s taste. While his rent-a-quotes to date have displayed a satisfyingly Beyeresque facility with the English language, he appears to lack his master’s charisma.

MWW will, as ever, keep you informed.

6 Responses to “The Mail generates a “row” with call to Beyer”

  1. martyn says:


    Should cocaine shame tennis star Martina Hingis be on Strictly Come Dancing?
    Thank you for voting

  2. Andrew Nixon says:

    The BBC could have put in many other personalities who I’m sure would love to take part in the show and they could have chosen someone without that record.

    He may as well say “Pick me! Pick me!”

  3. Stuart W says:

    What a Turtle soup the last few days have been. With John Beyer stepping down and Stephen ‘Birdshit’ Green having virtually thrown in the towel, could sites like this have found their new Private Eye-esque gift of a comedy figure in the form of this Middle-age Mutant Whinger Turtle?

  4. Stonyground says:

    Until I read about it here I had no idea that Martina Hingis had used cocaine and anyway if she has I think that it is nobody’s business but her own. I think that the most important issue is whether she looks good in a sparkly dress.

  5. Richard T says:

    It’s heartening to know that such is the rigour of the Mail’s employment screening that it can be sure that not one of the journalists or columniists, whose job it is to enlighten the public, has ever used or now uses any form of substance, whether liquid or chemical. Thank the Lord that standards are being maintained somewhere. To think otherwise would be to suggest that its editor and mangement are the basest hypocrites and that couldn’t be.

  6. Dan Factor says:

    It’s always funny how the tabloid press always rushes to Beyer for an outraged quote and then present his views as if they represent a massive outcry.

    Here’s another example…