Sunday Express - Sun 23 Dec 2001 - Page 71

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The buzz from the Baltic . . .

ambassador was not even an off-the-record chat. Other newspaper owners - including News International head Rupert Murdoch, Express Newspapers owner Richard Desmond and Independent boss Tony O'Reilly - have all had private dinners with Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, as have many of their editors and senior journalists. The fact that former Prime Minister John Major regarded some of his Cabinet colleagues as "bastards" was known to political journalists for several months, but never publicised until Major unwittingly let slip the remark while cameras were still rolling. Except the Daily Mail of course, which sent its top team of reporters to tie up a deal with the 12 "heroes" for their unamazing story.

Sonny and Fash plan media soccer sweep

Whether on radio, television, magazine or newspapers, football is the common currency, so it makes sense to try and bring as much as we can into the company," says Fashanu.

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social etiquette has turned into a diplomatic scandal, by Frank Bailey

HEY ARE listed as the 11th most sought-after couple in Britain, but after last week's events, Conrad Black and his wife may be lucky to get an invite to the Salvation Army Christmas lunch. In a gaffe of epic proportions that has rocked the world of T journalism, the owner of the Telegraph Group and his spouse - the controversial writer Barbara Amiel - managed to alienate themselves from the very circle they want to move in, as well as to call into question just what a journalist can publish about private parties. Black's nightmare, which threatens to wreak untold damage on his newspapers in future, began in the pleasant and civilised surroundings of his London home. Chief Sonny Odogwu, the 500million insurance magnate, wasted no time last week putting in a bid for Northampton Football Club, with his UK head of operations John Fashanu at the helm.

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