Why the f*** can't I use my paper for vindictive hatchet jobs, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay
“Hugh scrubbed up in style to attend the award presentation, sporting a dapper suit and a bow tie … The British star proved he only gets better with age, appearing just as handsome as in his 90s heyday … he now finds himself a BFI Fellow, among such reified company as Sir David Lean, Sir Alec Guinness, Sir Michael Caine, Dame Maggie Smith and Dame Judi Dench … This is the 82nd [BFI] Fellowship”.
So far, so gushing, but then someone at the Mail realised that Grant is not only a bête noire of Dacre, but also that he works with press campaign group Hacked Off, which has had the audacity to speak up for victims of press misbehaviour and follow that with demands that press regulation be made properly independent.
And so it came to pass that Friday’s Ephraim Hardcastle column, widely believed to be written by Peter McKay, aka The World’s Worst Columnist, sneered “Hugh Grant’s fellowship for acting from the British Film Institute raises some thespian eyebrows” before adding “Might the BFI fellowship signal its approval of his activities as a director of the lobby group Hacked Off? The BFI chairman of governors is Greg Dyke, no fan of the Press … Neither is louche, much-ridiculed BFI governor and broadcaster Jonathan Ross”.
Questions To Which The Answer Is No, then. But this was a mere sighting shot, and today Brian Viner has got the Vagina Monologue’s memo, with the resultant hatchet job titled “The fop's (many) flops: As Hugh Grant is honoured by film bigwigs, our critic asks, have they seen this flock of turkeys?” You want mean-spirited? Here it comes.
The Fellowship “is the greatest honour the BFI can bestow” he told, listing some of the past recipients, before administering the required kicking: “Even [Grant’s] biggest fans would surely have to concede that … he is a pygmy among giants … his decidedly limited ability … he’s the only actor honoured by the BFI who can’t actually act very well”. Viner then lists some of Grant’s film flops and suggests he isn’t worth his award.
Sadly, the hatchet job is all too obvious: Viner deliberately leaves Michael Caine out of his list of BFI Fellowship winners. By no coincidence at all, Caine has not only owned up to starring in several flops, he revels in that notoriety. This is just a swipe at a successful actor because he’s campaigned for press victims. No surprise there, then.