Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Search DH  
Home | About Us | Subscribe | Contact Us | Archives | Feedback | DH Avenues


World Cup 2006
Edit Page
Net Mail
Your Take
In City Today
Daily Almanac
Festivals of India
Year 2006
Daily Astrospeak 
Annual Chinese Horoscope - 2006 
Calendar 2006

Pearls of wisdom
We know our friends by their 
defects rather than by their merits."
W Somerset Maugham

Economy & Business
'WINNING' with Jack & Suzy Welch
Metro Life - Mon
Science & Technology
DH Avenues
Cyber Space
Metro Life - Thurs
DH Education
  English For You
Studying in India 
Studying Abroad
Metro Friday
Open Sesame
DH Realty
Metro Life - Sat
Sunday Herald
Fine Art / Culture
Book Reviews
Movie Reviews
Art Reviews
Kuldip Nayar
Khushwant Singh
N J Nanporia
Tavleen Singh
Swami Sukhbodhananda
Bittu Sahgal
Suresh Menon
Shreekumar Varma
Movie Guide
Ad Links
International School
Real Estate Properties in Bangalore
Deccan Herald
Now Available
in Print Format
About Us

Send your Suggestions / Queries about the Website to the

To send letters to Editor : 
Letters to Editor

You are welcome to post your letters/responses to NETMAIL here.

For enquiries on advertisements :
Contact Us

Deccan Herald » Panorama » Detailed Story
Life as a gossip girl
By Polly Vernon
Stories of sex, scandal and the latest WAG antics shape our news and generate hard cash. But who finds the super-hot scoops?
Nobody infiltrates the velvet-roped sanctum of a celebrity party quite as effectively as Katie Nicholl. "I have climbed up fire escapes," she says. "I have a reputation for being able to get in anywhere, and it's deserved. I am extremely good at it."

Katie Nicholl is diary editor for The Mail on Sunday newspaper. She is professionally obligated to insinuate herself (illicitly or otherwise) into fashionable parties, glamorous book launches, and high-profile charitable events in the name of acquiring gossip - gossip which she then shares with her 5 million readers via her weekly columns.

It was Nicholl who uncovered Prince Charles' diaries, and who sat on them for two long years until her source was ready. Nicholl's influence extends well beyond the limits of those who are affected directly by her snippets and titbits. Nicholl is powerful, because gossip is powerful.

Formerly the fluffiest, most fleeting of journalistic afterthoughts, the gossip content has gained astonishing currency over the course of the last few years. The gossip industry is a lucrative affair. Individual stories change hands for huge sums. A minuscule snippet phoned in to the Daily Mirror's 3am desk, can earn a casual source between £300 and £500; a lead story, provided by a credible and regular source, can earn an average of around £10,000.

Six years ago, gossip was the soul preserve of what former gossip columnist, Fleet Street editor and best-selling author Piers Morgan now describes as 'middle-aged men in suits trying to look cool while interviewing pop stars'. But, in July 2000, Morgan, who was editing the Daily Mirror at the time, launched a new concept in show-business reporting. "[Current editor of the Mirror] Richard Wallace and I came up with this idea of young women disarming all the male celebrities into talking to them." Formerly anonymous and ambitious young showbusiness reporters, graduates with experience on the news desks of national papers, were unleashed on to an unsuspecting demi-monde of footballers, soap stars, and glamour girls.

Inevitably, other papers began appointing their own young, irreverent, proactive female gossip columnists. In March 2003, The Daily Telegraph hired Celia Walden (Cambridge-educated daughter of former Tory MP George Walden, trained on London's Evening Standard, and The Mail on Sunday's ‘It's A Gossip Thing’ column) to edit its Spy column. Later that year, The Sun promoted Victoria Newton (who had seven years' experience as a showbusiness reporter, and had worked in Los Angeles as a Sun correspondent) to edit its longstanding Bizarre column. In August 2004, The Mail on Sunday gave Katie Nicholl her column, after poaching her from The Daily Telegraph The gossip-girl's lifestyle is intensely social. They go to an average of three parties a night each, and they sleep with their mobile phones under their pillows, because it's not uncommon for a source to call them at two in the morning. They're all attractive - although they object to the suggestion that they flirt their information out of people.

Perhaps the most compelling facet of their professional lives is the relationships the gossip girls have with their sources. “None of this would happen without the sources,” Nicholl says, emphatically. How does one acquire sources? “The only way is to be out and about and meeting people,” says Nicholl. What motivates a source? “Money, vengeance - the best stories are done for negative motives,” thinks Walden.

Opinion varies on what motivates the consumers of gossip. It's possible that we have simply become shallow or we derive pleasure from watching celebrities being built up and slapped down because we resent their status. Sociologists think that gossiping on a celebrity scale draws together otherwise disparate individuals, gives us a common frame of reference.

The Guardian
Comment on this article
Other Headlines
Burden of education »
Amity is the best policy »
Schools can reap the harvest »
Fasting and feasting »
Life as a gossip girl »
Ad Links
Flowers cakes gifts to Bangalore Mumbai India
Florist Flowers Gifts Delhi Bangalore Mumbai
NRIs Rush! No Min Bal A/c
Post your Matrimonial Profile for FREE! Search Exclusive Proposals from India and Abroad.
Buy Shoes, Slippers, Apparels, Furnitures Online.
Flowers to India, Mumbai, Delhi, Punjab, Florist, Indian, Bangalore, Gifts, India.
Send Flowers, Cakes, Chocolate, Fruits to Pune.
Send Gift Cake Flower India Online
Mother's Day flowers Bangalore, Brazil, Spain, Poland, Italy  
Copyright 2005, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G. Road, Post Box No 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523