How I awarded an indelible prize to Sean Magee
I was disconcerted to see my old chum Sean Magee, in the Sunday Times review of his addictive DESERT ISLAND DISCS: 70 YEARS OF CASTAWAYS (Bantam Press), introduced as someone who had been "twice honoured by the Bookseller magazine as 'name-dropper of the year'".What impression of Sean did this outlandish nugget of information leave in readers' minds? If the impression was unfavourable, was it my fault?
I should explain. In 2002, Methuen held the launch of Sean's Ascot: The History at Royal Ascot, where he was invited to present a copy of the book to Her Majesty. Of course, he could not resist, during a conversation at the lunch table later, inserting the phrase, "As I was saying to the Queen...". And I could not resist giving him a Horace Bent award as Namedropper of the Year. The following year, I wrote that Sean's achievement was impossible to top, and that therefore he deserved the accolade again, as well as in perpetuity.
Irony, as so many have discovered, rarely survives translation.