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Double A star

Rod McKenzie Rod McKenzie | 09:25 UK time, Tuesday, 23 May 2006

Halle Berry. Soooo gorgeous. Sigh. But is my, as yet, unrequited appreciation for her sublime beauty a reason for tolerating her "people" - and how far should we entertainment journalists go in meeting the stars' demands and foibles for the greater good of bringing top interviews to millions of listeners and viewers - even if they are drop dead dazzling?

Radio One logoTake the day Halle met Chris Moyles. She was badly briefed - they didn't hit it off and when she left Chris gave, on-air, his less than complimentary verdict on her attitude.

Trouble was, those pesky PRs were listening and when our reporter Nick Wallis (a perfect gent and a top reporter) turned up at her five-star suite to interview Halle about her new movie X-Men 3, her "people" had taken against Radio 1 and we were barred.

Putting extremely rich, young and, ahem, creative people into an environment not unlike house arrest at hotels like the Dorchester or Sanderson is, I think, a recipe for disaster. As a result, the people who tread around these world-famous multi-millionaires, do so extremely carefully.

The PR running this particular junket circus (no, no-one knows why they're called junkets) was spitting blood/all ties severed with R1 etc. Luckily Nick is very charming and rather than walking away, his powers of persuasion worked. Then disaster struck. His recording machine ran out of batteries and he had to raid his digital camera for AAs, spilling them on the carpet as he hastily fumbled to get organised. Halle gracefully slipped to her knees (sigh, again) and joined our Nick on the carpet to retrieve the rogue batteries (OK... you can invent your own headline here).

Anyway despite their star's hand of friendship, Radio 1's relationship remained officially terrible until around midday when they threatened to pull a special screening being held for Radio 1 listeners. We told them to go ahead by all means if that was what they really wanted. Of course, they didn't.

And the moral of the story: sometimes it's worth putting up with PR tantrums if you get to look for batteries on the floor with one of the world's most beautiful women. Or something...


junket, n. [Of somewhat obscure history, in respect both of forms and senses, but app. a. ONF. *jonket, *jonquet or jonquette, rush-basket, f. jonc rush, JUNK n.1 Norman patois has ‘jonquette espèce de crême faite avec du lait bouilli, additionné de jaunes d'uf, de sucre et de caramel’ (Moisy), and the related forms jonchée (= med.L. juncata, It. giuncata) and jonchiere, jonquiere (:*juncria) are common in senses 1 and 2 of our word (see Littré and Godef.). The -forms in sense 2 may be directly from med.L. juncata (cf. JUNCADE); but their late occurrence in sense 3 is notable. The history of sense 2 is not quite clear; and the relationship of 3 to 4 is complicated by the earlier JUNKERY.]

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