Friday, 27 April 2012

Dear Diary - Crazy Days at the Hovel on the Hill

Dear diary,
Another boring day.
Got up at 4.50am, shower, shave, tea, cereal and into car to BBC at 6am.
Cup of tea at studio then live on BBC Radio 5 Live at 7am. Odd panic attack. Always convinced mid interview I will choke on sip of water of have uncontrollable sneezing fit.
Tell same to seasoned broadcasting type who confesses he has same about breaking wind.
Leave at 7.20am for breakfast at Reform Club. Catch up on all papers. Times carries piece on my CMS Committee letter and grumpy, scowly picture of me snatched outside the hovel last year. Have snooze in library.
Walk for an hour to police station to find if I am going to be charged with the extremely serious offence of intimidating a witness.
Take calls from three newspapers and TV station on the way telling me they have it on best possible authority that I am.
Late mother-in-law’s expression of shock and surprise oddly flashes through mind – “I nearly dropped my cork leg!”. Realise I still don’t know what it means. But my cork leg is most certainly dropped.
Carry on walking. The lovely Sharon Patrick from ITN texts me. “Which police station is it?”
Several more requests.
Arrive, no reporters.
Meet my excellent, wise, sage-like lawyer Henri Brandman. His usual, benign greeting, “Good morning Mr Neville”.
Two affable cops welcome me beaming and with hands outstretched. Nice chaps from that Weeting brigade.
Mr Weeting Junior calls me “Mr Neville” too for some odd reason.
Henri and I smile.
Mr Weeting Senior gets it right for the important bit – “no further action Mr Thurlbeck”.
Great. That only leaves matter of being jailed for hacking Gordon Taylor’s phone. Still, early days yet. It’s only been a year.

(Henri the Sage phones upon reading this, "Please point out this is one of your infantile jokes").
Mssrs Weeting, The Sage and I, shake hands and depart.
Switch phone back on. Pings like ping-ball machine. Lots of emails and texts from well wishers. Several hundred. Many I don’t know. Very grateful and bit humbled.
Dozens of interview requests. Turn all down on basis it would turn into Monty Python sketch. Issue statement to press spokeswoman Hayley Barlow instead. Works a treat.
Back home. Finish review of Tom Watson’s book for a heavyweight, national publication. Send over. They are pleased.
Reply to as many emails as possible. Realise many are from well-wishers at News Int. Several from other titles. V kind. Thank you.
More emails. More interview requests.
Collate list of interviewees from Talking2Minds and send to TV company making doc on PTSD victims.
Next – run with dog Sir Ralphie ‘Poocher’ Magrew. Shower, change then to review the brilliant Alison Steadman in press night of Frayn’s ‘Here’ followed by din.
Look out of window. Raining again.
When, oh when will something happen in my life?

      My grateful thanks for all your warm wishes today. From friends and strangers. Thank you so much.
I would like to thank my family, friends and colleagues in the industry for their unswerving loyalty, support and continued belief in me.

And my lawyer Henri Brandman for his wise counsel. I am fortunate to retain the services of one of London's finest lawyers.
He can be contacted on


  1. So pleased to hear this good news Neville. Never thought for a moment you would be prosecuted, it was ridiculous over-reaction by the police.