SHEDNOTES 131: Richard Desmond: towering tycoon or big tit?

Marina Hyde argued strongly for the latter verdict, reviewing Desmond’s autobiography at

http://tinyurl.com/p2y55qu/

Highlights …

In the end, I like Richard best on other businessmen. You know the sort of thing from the movies – even when they’re fighting, they’re complimenting each other’s swordplay. To read him on his peer group is to see this echelon of the British business landscape as the locker room in Top Gun, with no one ever more than a hair trigger away from succumbing to their fight-or-fuck reflex. In fact, I can never get through any mogul’s account of his dicing and deal-making without imagining it as sex by other means. To hear Richard bang on about shafting Alan Sugar is to be only one remove from Sugar/Desmond slash fiction. I don’t know why he doesn’t open a new channel, Red Hot Boardroom, and stage porno reconstructions of this sort of thing.

Incidentally, have you noticed how, when people feature Murdoch in their memoirs, they literally write down every single thing he ever said to them – every wordless quasi-interaction with him – no matter how dull or irrelevant? It is as if they believe his every word is invested with the mysteries of power, which they have yet to decode, but which they offer up as evidence that He Noticed Them.

Here’s Richard on the parking arrangements for a Sky do at London’s Oxo Tower: “My driver David suggested we park my Rolls-Royce so that it blocked the main entrance, obliging Murdoch to pull up further down the street and walk. Rupert sought me out at the reception later.” Course he did. “He said: ‘Ah, Mr Desmond, I keyed your car …’” Richard claims this sort of crackling billionaire repartee is entirely beyond Rupert’s younger son. “James is quite literal-minded: he doesn’t always get when it’s rock and roll.”

Others get away more lightly. “I admire Branson’s work, but he and I tick differently. I’m not a techie like him,” explains Richard. “I am at heart just a drummer.”

I hope whoever copy-edited this eventually saved time and just commissioned a “WAY TOO PARTRIDGE” stamp to dot down the side of every page in the first draft.

nice swordplay ma’am

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