I ‘broke’ my first news story this week. In my line of work, chatting to celebrities and doing my best to stay on top of Harry Styles penile activity… hang on, I don’t get to ‘break’ many stories in the conventional sense of ‘Hold the front page Hank, this one’s big!’ I am often among the first to find out exciting information from someone about a secretive new project, or who they’ll be working with or whatever it may be but what happened this week was different.
The story is, in the taxi coming from doing the backstage interviews at the Southbank Sky Arts Awards, I tweeted:
‘Benedict Cumberbatch confirms to @RedCarpetNewsTV that cast already signed on for 4th season of #Sherlock … Video released this evening!’
And Twitter went bat shit. Now this is all relative and fairly small potatoes to what major political journalists must experience on a regular basis but I was party to a reaction I’ve never witnessed before. Within hours there were nearly 500 ‘Retweets’ and 200 ‘Favourites’ and my followers jumped by 25%. There are a few reasons for this and they are firstly, Cumbers rarely does press and if he does he’s famous among presenters as being erudite, pithy and incredibly elusive about anything that could be a ‘story’. Secondly, he is involved with two franchises, Star Trek and Sherlock, that have… ahem… incredibly ‘dedicated’ fans with a voracious appetite for news. Check out this story in the Telegraph incidentally. I did a full interview with him as well as the snippet described above and I must say he’s comfortably the most articulate and intimidatingly intelligent person I’ve interviewed… and I’ve done Jedward and Keith Chegwin.
The point I want to make though is how addictive that feeling of releasing some previously unknown news into the world is. I don’t mean stuff like you say to people every day like ‘I had a boiled egg for breakfast’ or ‘I can’t maintain an erection unless a sparrow is gently pecking at my balls’ but something that will interest and affect a lot of people and their moods. The responses I got back were uniformly of delirious happiness and being able to give that feeling to so many people makes one feel like a God, or at least a benevolent puppeteer of the human soul. I can’t imagine how a newsreader must feel when he gets to say ‘This just in…’ and then release an extraordinary piece of information into the world such as ‘This just in, the Prime Minister has been spotted in London Zoo bumming a chimp, Number 10 yet to comment.’ And I bet Jeff Stelling must kick out a little pellet of man muck every time he gets to break the news of an important goal on Soccer Saturday. I reckon the underside of that desk must look like a plasterer’s radio by the time 5 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon rolls around.
The whole experience let me peak through a window and sample the giddy thrill of cutting edge journalism and for a moment I empathised with those journalists who fabricate news stories to get a greater response. I have slagged off lazy and even made-up journalism in JoeBusiness before but I felt what it must be like to chase that buzz. Then I remembered what a grubby little business mass publicising lies about people is and ceased to feel sorry for those snivelling little scrots but I admit even I was a bit heavy-handed with the wording of my Tweet, as Benedict didn’t explicitly say that series 4 is definitely happening, more just let’s slip that he thinks it probably is. Judge for yourselves here. He was even interviewed a couple of days later by a colleague of mine at Red Carpet News TV who said poor old Rhubarb Cumble (as I fondly like to call him) was happy to have the opportunity to set the record straight about what’s happening with Sherlock after the media furore. Thanks Cumberland Sausage, now I feel bad. My point is I got fractionally carried away in the excitement of the moments immediately following having unearthed a ‘story’ and have momentarily glimpsed the murky world of hyperbole and half-truth that, sadly, so many journalists have tumbled into.
That being said, I’m pretty sure from that video they are doing series 4 so up yours world and now I’m on the hunt for my next scoop. So if you happen to be passing London Zoo and you see a man in a suit who could be David Cameron, rutting away at a lovely little chimp like the furry little primate’s colon contains oil and his todger is a drill bit then contact details are below. We can bask in the glory and the shame together.
For my full interview with the erudite, witty and charming Mr. Cumberbatch please see here…. Think you might have found yourself a new very ‘dedicated’ fan Benny boy…
First published on IAmMusic.TV, 14th March 2013