Parliamentary Letts New Daily Mail Critic???
Date: 30 June 2004
Three months after the Daily Mail unceremoniously sacked its long-serving theatre critic Michael Coveney – last year voted one of the UK’s most reliable critics by Whatsonstage.com theatregoers (See “Of Critical Importance”, Big Debate) – the newspaper has finally appointed a replacement. Their first choice, the Daily Telegraph’s Charles Spencer turned down the job, which will now be performed by Quentin Letts instead. Letts already serves as the right-wing tabloid’s parliamentary reporter, which he’ll continue to do during the day before rushing off to the theatre at night. In an interview with Variety, Letts explained how his House of Commons experience was good grounding for his new duties. "I feel while covering Parliament (that) I've really been watching the worst ham actor in Britain, who goes by the name T Blair. It will be a relief to watch some rather higher-quality acting." Letts isn’t the only national critic with a political pedigree. The New Statesman’s man is former Tory MP Michael Portillo (See The Goss, 19 Jan 2004), who caused quite a stir amongst his new colleagues at this year’s Critics’ Circle Awards (See News, 3 Feb 2004). If nothing else, the latest round of “musical stalls” will keep fellow hack AA Gill entertained (See The Goss, 24 Jun 2004).
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