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Sunday 9 September 2012

Andrew Marr Foot In Mouth

[Updates, two so far, at end of post]

Those watching the all-new series of The Andy Marr Show (tm) this morning, now being broadcast away from Television Centre, would have been able to watch the usual set-piece political knockabout, including Marr attempting to grill shadow chancellor “Auguste” Balls about What He Would Do, how he gets on with Mil The Younger, and the Lib Dems.

Broadcasting House, London

And on the last of those subjects, he inadvertently opened mouth and inserted boot with some style, although many seemed to miss it, as he quizzed Balls about the apparent softening in relations between him and Miliband and Business Secretary Vince Cable. The place to look in the video is around the 9 minute 50 seconds mark, as Marr tries to find words to describe developments.

What he says to Balls is that Labour have “been putting out feelers”, which may sound like a stock phrase, but after revelations in today’s Sunday Mirror (“The 2am Andrew Marr show: Beeb’s political supremo fondles mystery woman on street corner on boozy night out”) it was particularly unfortunate. The first photo shows Marr with his right hand down the woman’s jeans.

Putting Out Feelers explained

The Mirror also refers to Marr as a “lothario” (twice) and speculates that the photos could see him “facing a grilling of his own from long-suffering wife Jackie [Ashley]”. The rather seedy surroundings, with spent beer cans and rubbish littering the place, will certainly not please the why-oh-why Beeb bashers at the Mail (although, fortunately for Marr, the Dacre empire has not yet run the story).

At least Marr’s response to the paper – “It was an innocent goodbye to my series producer” – is an improvement on the old one about enjoying discussions of an East African or specifically Ugandan nature, or George Wigg getting out of a taxi late at night and propositioning a young woman who turned out to be an undercover police officer, then claiming he mistook her for a newspaper seller.

Still, we now know the reason neither of the Marr show paper reviewers even mentioned the Mirror today. Putting out feelers, indeed.

[UPDATE1 10 September 1100 hours: the Mail may not have had this story yesterday, but is on Marr's case now. Andy is reported to have told "my wife is very cross with me and rightly so ... I should know better. It was very poor behaviour on my part and she is entirely right to be annoyed". So Jackie issued him with a Grade A bollocking, then.

The piece then goes on about yesterday's Andy Marr Show (tm), but does not tell that there was no mention of the Mirror, nor that Marr used that unfortunate phrase when questioning "Auguste" Balls. You'll have to do better than that, Dacre folks. Do try and keep up]

[UPDATE2 10 September 1250 hours: the Spectator has offered a bottle of Pol Roger to the first person to identify "Andrew Marr's Mystery Lady", but there is no mystery, as a little application of the mysterious art known as "five minutes' Googling" will show.

Marr admitted that he was caught with his series producer. The celebration was to mark the completion of the upcoming History Of The World series, and as the BBC Press Office has helpfully explained, this person is Kathryn Taylor. So you folks at the Speccy can send the fizz to Crewe. End of mystery]

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