Posted by Ian
The fact that most self-respecting personalities, and quite a few non-self-respecting ones, now have their own blogs has undoubtedly enabled them to a) maintain a profile while all around are losing theirs and b) increasingly have the last laugh at the rest of the media’s expense.
But the relationship works both ways. If the press are after a quick story, what better way than to go sniffing round a well-known somebody’s blog to see if they’ve said anything vaguely controversial, which can then – even better – be quoted verbatim back at the general public in the next edition.
Andrew Collins would be the first to admit he’s hardly a well-known personality (and has done on numerous occasions), but, as the writer and broadcaster himself related on his excellent blog Where Did It All Go Right?, his association with his hometown of Northampton continues to win him headlines of a generous, if sometimes unlikely, kind.
Last week he recounted details of a recent visit to 10 Downing Street, his first, to attend a reception held by the wife of the Prime Minister. Mid-paragraph he noted, of Sarah Brown: "She looked relaxed and very attractive in red; I’d say the most attractive prime minister’s wife ever". Fast forward several days, and the Northampton Chronicle splashes the story that SARAH BROWN IS ‘MOST ATTRACTIVE PM’S WIFE EVER’.
There aren’t many people from Northampton who have been features editor of NME, editor of Q magazine, scriptwriter on EastEnders, had three volumes of memories published and appeared regularly on Radios 1, 2, 4 and 6. In fact there is only one. But at least Andrew Collins is enough of a decent bloke to be flattered by such provincial patronage and acknowledge, unlike so many others of his trade, that writing about yourself online is always a question of give and take.