Saturday, June 23, 2007

Kiss and tell on Kiss and Tell

Away from the field, there's a interesting piece in The Times today. Jessica Callan, one of the original line-up of the 3AM Girls, has written a book about her experiences on the column. Of course, it's not a well-written book (this is, after all, one of the women who set the standards of journalism for the 3AM column) but it feels like a staging post on the downward spiral: we now get a book about the behind-the-scenes gossip at a column dedicated to behind-the-scenes gossip.

The story Callan has to tell is fairly basic - they were chosen because they were pretty; stuff appeared under their bylines that they hadn't written; sometimes, they printed stuff that simply wasn't true. But if the time she spent at the Mirror taught her anything, it's clearly that the lack of a good story is no bar to publication:

Our orders are to talk to Tom Cruise and get our photograph taken with the A-list actor. Failure is not an option. Being dragged off by the police is fine, as long as I have got that shot.

We had left the office in Canary Wharf at 5.30pm to head to the cinema, the words of our showbusiness editor still ringing in our ears. “Get alongside Cruise, flirt, shove your arms round him, smile for the cameras, and bang, bang, bang – we’ve got him!” he’d barked. It sounded so easy and fun.

We’d planned our assault with military precision. It had been Tom Cruise’s birthday a few days before, so we’d bought him a card to wave in his direction while we were kept behind the rope with the rest of the media. This was our first chance to prove that three girls could work together rather than bitch behind each other’s backs.

And on, and on, it runs...