The moan was not about Williams' habit of pretending to be a teenager when she writes, though there is an annoying example of it in the piece:
Of course, any event in which David Beckham takes part, and speaks for a period of time, and appears to be enjoying himself, or at the very least, not in hell, that's news, right?Why does a 37-year-old educated at Godolphin & Latymer School and Lincoln College, Oxford, feel the need to write like that? Why is she allowed to do so on the news pages of a national newspaper?
No, what annoyed me was her conclusion, where she came close to arguing that we were not worthy of Ross and his talent:
The band, the piano, the poofs, all the furniture had started to look a bit old-fashioned, a bit Royal Variety performance. But the format wasn't broke, and nobody's even fixed it. We've just stamped on it and made a mess. And in due course, it will reappear on ITV, still not broken, and hopefully we'll have more sense next time.Yet when I looked at the website earlier this evening I found that the article now ends in a different way. The web version concludes:
I wonder how often the Guardian does this? There is nothing sinister in it, but it is striking that it is the web version that carries Williams' more considered thoughts and the printed version that was apparently written in haste and later thought better of.
The band, the piano, the poofs, all the furniture had started to look a bit old-fashioned, a bit Royal Variety performance (who invented the musical interlude? Logie Baird?).
But actually, the format wasn't broke, and nobody's even fixed it. We've just stamped on it and made a mess. And in due course, it will reappear on ITV.
It doesn't do to get mawkish – it's not the end of the world, certainly not for Ross, who is generally thought to feed on adversity and get a bit lazy in good times. But it's hard to shake the feeling that he was cut down for no good reason, just for the insult of his riotous, unstoppable thriving.
The new, web-based conclusion is a bit more sensible, but surely the reason for Ross's behaviour, beyond his own graceless behaviour, is that the changed economic situation means people are less likely to tolerate paying someone £6m a year just for being a cheeky chappie.
You'd think someone who fancies herself as a political pundit would have thought of that.