The disaster that was the otherwise-successful Alex James Presents Harvest cheese-and-music bash not paying anyone gets a close look in today's Observer.
Alex James is given space to not quite apologise, but stress how bad he feels about it all:
James acknowledges how furious many of those involved have been. Although he did receive part-payment upfront, it did not, he says, compensate for the work he put into the festival. '"It wasn't about the money I lost. It's just a mess. It was easily the worst business deal I've ever done. I'm gutted that some people didn't get paid."It's pointed out that James has been involved in trying to get money to some of those left unpaid, and is fairly generous to him.
This is quite surprising. The piece is written by Observer eating critic Jay Rayner. Rayner was a pretty strong critic of James and the cheese disaster, tweeting this just a couple of weeks ago:
Not a fan of Alex James - the failed foodfest on his land stiffed lots of people, and no apology - so this amused me: bit.ly/z0S4fm— Jay Rayner (@jayrayner1) February 17, 2012
So, either Rayner has had his pants charmed off him, or else James' contrition convinced him.
Twitterites have pointed out to Rayner this morning the lack of any trace of contrition, but Rayner says there was no space:
@CityJohn i had 800 words, so i cut to the chase. you didn't hear the interview or how tough i was on him, which was very.— Jay Rayner (@jayrayner1) March 4, 2012
You might think that James would have been better served by being portrayed as someone apologetic for the mess in the article itself, but I don't think Rayner would have been so warm to him if he didn't believe it was there.