Happy New Year. Mine began with a visit (uninvited) from a Mail On Sunday journalist, who rang on my doorbell on a Saturday morning because she wanted me to talk to her about the tragic death of John Travolta’s son. As I have never met John Travolta or his son, I declined to comment, perhaps understandably, and sent her packing. What a newspaper that is, though. I have only been doorstepped a couple of times in my life, but every time it has happened, it’s been the Mail, and every time I’ve felt weirded out afterwards, not least because I always labour under the misapprehension that the Mail doesn’t know where I live. This is naïve, of course, because tabloid newspapers know where everyone lives. Up until that point, I’d been struggling for New Year’s resolutions; it’s useless, apparently, resolving to give up smoking, and last year’s resolution – to buy more socks – was such a tumultuous success that I had no need to repeat it. But suddenly I had loads of resolutions to make, all of them aimed in the direction of the Mail group of newspapers.
And then, this morning, a nice piece about An Education going to Sundance appeared in the very paper I want nothing to do with. If anyone is ever going to see An Education, then we need the help of newspapers; there won’t be a massive marketing budget, so every little bit of media helps. But is that the pact I’ve made? That for every mention of the film I’ve been involved with, there will be a young woman knocking on my door asking me to comment pruriently on the tragedy of a young man’s death? There is a theory that those who ask for publicity cannot complain about any subsequent invasion of privacy, but I’m hoping that it’s all a little more complicated than that.