Lord Bell: end of an era?

As car crash interviews go, Lord Bell’s appearance on BBC’s Newsnight looked like a six Masserati pile up. He made the rookie mistake of not turning his mobile phone off, allowing the interview to be interrupted by two calls and a text message. Twitter erupted with the inevitable ‘Is that you calling Lord Bell?’ jokes. Interviewer Kirsty Wark knows who the culprit was, as bizarrely Lord Bell showed her his handset (no euphemisms intended). She later tweeted that it was Domino's Pizza on the line.

But the seasoned professional, who has been known to describe himself as an ‘industry legend’, was wrong-footed when his protestations of ‘I warned them’ appeared directly at odds with email correspondence read out on the show highlighting his delight at winning the £100,000 per month client. Confronted with these messages, he was adamant that they still reflected his views – perhaps we need to learn to read between the lines? Wark was unimpressed. Her ‘Thank you, Tim Bell’ sign off seemed a pointed dig at the peer, who should really have known that when you're in a hole: stop digging.