Candid PR LogoMenu

What A Saga – The Celebs Who Want Copy Approval On Interviews

Generally our PR remit doesn’t usually involve A list celebs although we have worked with a few B, C and D listers over the years - all in the quest for good old fashioned column inches! However, the recent Clare Balding debacle, where the sports presenter wanted to approve a journalist’s copy before it went to print, is something most PRs and journalists can relate to.

Clare insisted on proof-reading, before significantly editing, an interview with journalist Ginny Dougary for Saga – the glossy magazine aimed at the over 50s.

Dougary then wrote a scathing commentary about it for The Guardian, explaining how sections of the article were removed and replaced with self-promoting copy about Balding’s latest book.

Ooooh, that’s a sure-fire way to hack off even the most laid back, erm, hack, and it resulted in the journo insisting her byline was removed from the article!!!

Dougary asked ‘Who is this insecure diva who does not know better about what should be an essential divide between journalism and public relations?’ We can see her point. When you give a journalist a written press release, they can use it how they want, as long as they don’t amend any quotes, although they can crop them, or not use them at all.

However, with an interview, there’s an unwritten agreement between the PR, the client and the journalist that anything that’s said can be printed. In return, the client benefits from a nice plug for their work, product, service etc.

This is because interviews have to be real – who wants to read an ‘interview’ only to find out that it was penned by person themselves or their PR representatives. Plus, as a reader, that’s often the appeal of an exclusive interview!

It’s probably fair to say that all PR pros will have been asked by clients whether they’ll have the opportunity to read and approve interviews before they are published, we certainly have, but it’s our job to explain why that it isn’t possible. In some instances, journalists do request that we copy-check interviews, particularly if it’s about a technical or complex subject and that’s fine, but we know better than to re-write them, and will simply point out any factual inaccuracies.

There have now been lots of follow-up articles appearing about the ‘saga’ and one of the most interesting ones came from Dan Wootton at The Sun who revealed the celebs who do and don’t make copy control demands, which throws up some interesting results. Generally speaking, it would appear the more famous they are, the more likely they are to open up to the media.

Below is a snapshot of celebs who do and don’t ask for copy approval when speaking to The Sun.

These don’t ask for copy approval:-

Madonna, Paul McCartney, Pink, Dolly Parton, Ed Sheeran, Celine Dion, Simon Cowell, Shania Twain, Joan Collins, Harry Styles, James Corden and Gary Barlow.

These do ask for copy approval:-

Peter Andre, Lauren Goodger, Paul Hollywood, Gareth Bale, Patsy Kensit, Kym Marsh, Ronan Keating, Sharon Osbourne, Sarah Harding, Will.i.am, Kristina Rihanoff and Michelle Mone.

What Dan doesn’t say though is whether The Sun allows them to make their changes!



other news

Candid highlights charity

Candid highlights charity's struggles during Covid-19 pandemic ahead of major fundraising event this Friday

It’s no secret that charities have been hit particularly hard by Covid-19, so it’s been a pleasure to give something back and provide PR support to Simon on the Streets in recent weeks, as the charity pulls out all the stops to maintain its vital services during the pandemic.

Read More
Unique opportunity for Yorkshire

Unique opportunity for Yorkshire's business leaders to quiz Ed Miliband this Wednesday

This week, Yorkshire’s business leaders will have the opportunity to participate in a live Q&A session with newly appointed shadow business secretary, Ed Miliband.

Read More
Candid joins the ‘Coronavirus Yorkshire Business Support Group’ Image

Candid joins the ‘Coronavirus Yorkshire Business Support Group’

Candid is one of several Yorkshire busiesses, from a wide range of industries, that have joined forces to lend a helping hand to others throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

Read More
Crypt Factor postponed, but the show will go on in June Image

Crypt Factor postponed, but the show will go on in June

This year's Crypt Factor has been postponed due to the escalating spread of the coronavirus and will now take place on Thursday 25th June 2020.

Read More
Candid kicks off 2020 with a super six  Image

Candid kicks off 2020 with a super six

Candid has enjoyed a stunning start to 2020 with six highly successful property and construction related stories in six days, all generating big headlines and lots of lovely, positive PR coverage for our clients.

Read More
Candid celebrates the art of giving gracefully – and not just at Christmas.  Image

Candid celebrates the art of giving gracefully – and not just at Christmas.

The Festive Season is almost upon us and for many, it’s an exciting time full of family, fun and frivolity, with the odd mince pie and secret Santa thrown in.  But, for some it can be a lonely time fraught with worry about how to afford the perfect Christmas often portrayed online and on TV. Worse still, there will be children living in Leeds and West Yorkshire who won’t get a single present on Christmas morning.

Read More
Property Industry in tune for Crypt Factor 2020 Image

Property Industry in tune for Crypt Factor 2020

Tables are now on sale for one of the north of England’s most successful charity events, Crypt Factor 2020, and any potential acts who want to perform in the property industry’s annual singing competition, are urged to sign up now.

Read More
Love Island Stars Are Serial Cheats On Social Media Image

Love Island Stars Are Serial Cheats On Social Media

When it comes to social media, it can be all too easy to focus solely on follower numbers, and you can be sure that’s what some of the vainest people and brands do – and it seems this year’s Love Island contestants are among the culprits.

Read More

Candid Tweets

A Grade II listed former hospital in Cookridge has been transformed into a stunning new homes development, specific… https://t.co/E7UlMo388n
RT @FCFuneral: We are looking for people who would be willing to share their experience so that we can better understand how people expect…
A newly built Leeds apartment scheme that houses homeless people who are recovering from addictions, has been named… https://t.co/HNJ9ISvKL3
National roofing supplier, Rinus, expands into Leeds. Here’s one of several PR articles we’ve secured this week - https://t.co/XgPfKp6yUS
@gregwrightYP @LeedsNews @yorkshirepost @loanchargeAPPG Well done Greg!!
Just an observation about football behind closed doors - #PremierLeague players have obviously still been able to g… https://t.co/Nwl6ovoWmj
Full Circle Funerals opened its fourth site this week, after expanding into Halifax, as part of a six-figure invest… https://t.co/RfWO1pyOqI
Sometimes in this game, you never know what's coming. Today we've done a #PR story for a national veterinary group… https://t.co/Ict3BZ8D8a
Harris CM starts work on major construction project at York College. Here’s our PR today - https://t.co/6lD2M9LRjJ

Follow us on Twitter
- @candidsteve / @EmmaCandidPR