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Saturday 27 February 2016

Daily Mail Hugh Grant U-Turn

The British Film Institute held its Chairman’s Dinner in London last week, and awarded a fellowship to actor and campaigner Hugh Grant, in recognition of a career that has now spanned over 30 years. And the press was there too, including the Daily Mail, whose legendarily foul mouthed editor Paul Dacre famously snapped at Grant during his interrogation under the watchful eye of Lord Justice Leveson.
Why the f*** can't I use my paper for vindictive hatchet jobs, c***?!? Er, with the greatest of respect, Mr Jay

The paper’s report, though, was upbeat, headlinedLove Actually reunion! Hugh Grant is joined by Martine McCutcheon as rom-com king picks up prestigious BFI Fellowship award” and telling “Hugh Grant's on-screen charisma has earned him a Fellowship from the British Film Institute, one of cinema’s top accolades for his contribution to the film industry … The 55-year-old actor was joined by a host of famous faces including his Love Actually co-star Martine McCutcheon at the BFI’s Chairman’s Dinner in London on Tuesday night as he picked up the prize”. And there was more.

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.


rob said...

********** The Daily Mail Courts controversy shock ************

"he’s the only actor honoured by the BFI who can’t actually act very well"

"That's a mendacious smear" © Paul Dacre

Sir down, Mr Caplan says Lord Leveson #wearily

Court adjourned, waiting for Operation Motorman files. Leveson 2? #drums fingers idly on desk more in hope than in expectation.

Ed Wilson said...

Did the Mail report really say "reified company"?

pete c said...

Not that gushing, I think.
"On-screen charisma earns the fellowship"
"Scrubbed up in style"

Just don't get it, do they? Actors act. If they all sat at home waiting for the Oscar-winning role to land, not so many mortgages would be getting paid off.

At the end of the day, a crap film just gets quietly sidelined. A crap newspaper, not so - more's the pity.

J said...

"comments are moderated in advance"

I wonder why?

Actually no I don't... its because someone might have the audacity to point out how biased the paper is, or how they only have it in for him because he's part of hacked off.

Mind you, they also have keyword and user-id censorship on "not moderated" posts as well.

"free press" my arse!

Anonymous said...


A guttersnipe no-talent hypocrite.

Never done a day's work in his disgusting "life."

Gweedo Fawkes said...


Gissa job Dacre.

I can't rely on ads and my Missus forever!