Treason to be Cheerful
Paul Burrell, royal butler, "rock" and etiquette pedant, is back in the newspapers as a new book rifles once more through the unfortunate case of why he happened to be "looking after" 48,000 or so items belonging to the late Princess of our hearts; a case which, let us not forget, was dismissed.
Burrell's first book, best-seller, A Royal Duty, was kept tippety top secret almost until publication, with its dramatic contents known only to a handful of select individuals. One of those wax Piers Morgan who had cleverly bought the serial rights for the Daily Mirror. Another one was me.
I was entrusted with running Paul's publicity thrust on publication and it was, as the late Ken Dodd used to say, educational (at the end of the campaign, I walked away saying to myself, "that's taught me a lesson!" Boom boom. By Jove! How tickled I am, missus!)
There was a furious battle for the TV exclusive. On one side, Sir Trevor MacDonald who somehow managed to get my mobile number and thence delightful surprised me by calling me when I was on the Jubilee Line. In the other corner, Fiona Bruce. I forget how we made our decision but Fiona got the gig and we all toddled off to a posh hotel to do the (thankfully recorded) interview.
All was going swimmingly and Paul was relaxing into the interview when suddenly, inexplicably, he said something which, even if I repeat it now, would mean an instant trip to the Tower of London faster than you can say, "The Queen came through for me!" The room went silent. No-one dared breathe.
Finally, Fiona arched a perfect eyebrow and said, "I think we'll leave that out, Paul. We don't want you dragged back the the Old Bailey, do we?" Several miles away, the British Geological Survey detected minor seismic activity as everyone in the room simultaneously exhaled.........