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A working class hero is something to be
Having worked with a host of big names, from The Beatles and Frank Sinatra to O.J. Simpson, Simon Cowell, Jade Goody and, currently, Imogen Thomas, he is one of the best-known PR men in the world, famous for breaking some of the biggest stories in newspaper history – and also for successfully suppressing ones that were ready to dominate the headlines. But behind the high level jousting with the hardened bootboys of the British media (and the decent types too), Max Clifford is a remarkeably straightforward and down to earth working class character, who – as it turns out – loves the life he lives.
Olaf Tyaransen, 15 Jun 2011
Stories are just 10% of business, that’s all. 90% is being PR for some of the biggest stars in the world and some of the biggest companies. We still look after Simon Cowell, we look after Rolls Royce, Mauritius, whatever – things like that. That’s how we spend all our time. Stories are very interesting to the media, but only a tiny part of what we’ve done for many, many years. We’ve broken probably more stories than anybody in Britain for a long time now, and we’ve stopped a lot more than we’ve broken. So it’s promotion and protection, which is what PR is. You never get two days the same. As I say, if Ryan Giggs had listened to the advice that I gave Imogen to give to him, nobody would have known about the affair.
You must be quite worried about the impact
No, not really. Look, Twitter doesn’t have anything like the impact of a front-page of the Mail or The Sun or the News Of The World. And because they get it wrong so often, it doesn’t have the same credibility. So is it embarrassing for the star? Yeah, but there are so many things written on Twitter which are total nonsense, it doesn’t have anything like the same impact. So if you were to say to all of my clients, “Oh, there’s a big story going in, that’s very damaging to you, in the national papers tomorrow” or “it’s going into Twitter”... well, it’s only Twitter, isn’t it?
In fairness, Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster was a nonsense story invented by you.
Well, Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster was a story that worked at that particular time, and people were talking about it at that particular time, and to this day most people remember it. But we said that he denied it. I didn’t make up the fact that the girl came to me and claimed it to be true. I just put the whole thing together. He wanted me to try and stop it, and I told him that my attitude was that it would be good for him. I told him that most of his fans couldn’t read or write anyway, and those who could wouldn’t care. And fortunately, my gamble paid off and it made him millions and millions of pounds.