Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wigging out

Barrister-to-the-stars David Sherborne opened a civil case against Mirror Group Newspapers over phone-hacking yesterday, and made claims that Alan Yentob's mobile had been called 330 times from Mirror landlines between 2002 and 2005.  This was the period when Alan started presenting Imagine, alongside his management duties in television.

Mr Sherborne, who has previously acted for Diana, Princess of Wales, The Spice Girls, Max Mosley, Ashley Cole, Tony Blair, Peter Andre and Mick Jagger, also provided the court with documents claiming Mr Yentob was "intensely hacked" from mid-1999, when Al was Director of Television. That year, he was one of several internal candidates seeking to succeed John Birt as Director General - others included Tony Hall, Patricia Hodgson, Andrew Neil, Will Hutton and Mark Byford. (Where are they now, I wonder ? The job went to Greg Dyke.)

Mr Sherborne's opener referred to witness statements from former Mirror business hack James Hipwell, who said showbiz journalists would sing the Goons' Ying Tong Song, when dialling through to Mr Yentob's message box.  Mr Hipwell has previously claimed that there was "no doubt" Mirror editor Piers Morgan knew hacking was going on.

Previous settlements agreed by MGN to drop phone-hacking cases have run from £15k to £30k. I wonder what Mr Sherborne's target is for Al.

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