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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Dorian Gray?

I know that I should be flattered but why does the South Wales Evening Post insist on using a photograph of me that is nine years old and which no longer looks like me? They did it again yesterday to illustrate a story on homelessness. I did not see it myself as it was in the early edition but when I arrived at the launch of the Dylan Thomas Prize for literature last night people were lining up to tell me about it.

I have given up trying to get any newspaper to use only up-to-date photographs of me. There is one in particular of me in mid-sentence during a speech in 1999 that sits in the Evening Post's archive. It makes me look like a pregnant fish gasping for air. At one stage I thought I had persuaded a journalist to delete it from the paper's computer records only to see it re-emerge a year later twice as big and twice as ugly.

I suppose the youthful look is an improvement. However, if I tried to use it on an election leaflet I would be accused of seeking to bamboozle the electorate into thinking I am younger than I am. You just cannot win!

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