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Take a firma line on facts.

Now I'm a journalist, I'm always keen to check the facts.

So I'm amazed some of my "colleagues" don't even bother to do the same. This week the Daily Mail printed an extract from a book by Independent journalist John Rentoul.

The Mail used a big picture of me with a speech bubble saying: "It's great to be back on terra cotta." They claim I said it after a stormy flight. Except I never did.

If Rentoul or the Mail had bothered to Google the quote they'd discover Simon Hoggart wrote in 2007: "Prescott didn't get off a plane and say, 'It's great to be back on terra cotta.' Del Boy (in Only Fools and Horses) did, but it sounded more like our former Deputy Prime Minister, so it's pinned on him." Hoggart's right. In an episode from 1986, Del Boy says: "I prefer to keep my feet firmly on terra cotta!" Even more amazingly Hoggart's comment about my "gaffe" being a myth was originally printed in... the Mail.

Under the new IPSO Press watchdog regime I look forward to the Mail's full apology and a prominent correction.

That would be lovely jubbly.

CAPTION(S):

Him, not me: Del made blunder

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Title Annotation:Editorial; Opinion Columns
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Oct 26, 2014
Words:201
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