Random House will publish not only Tony Blair's memoir "A Journey" next month, but also his pray-mate George W Bush's "Decision Points" in November (inauspiciously on the 9th, a date known in Germany as "Schicksalstag", fateful day). While the ex-PM is with Hutchinson, however, the ex-pres will be published by Virgin, a far from prestigious arm of RH whose choice suggests Gail Rebuck was daintily pinching her nose while doing the deal. The signing of Bush by an imprint best known for sex and celebrities helps to make sense of a decision last summer that then seemed curious: Virgin MD John Sadler declared that no new books would be published by his erotica lists, Black Lace and Nexus, in 2010. It's now clear that Virgin was limiting the possibility of embarrassment for the godly Bush and other politicians Sadler publishes. But Dubya will nevertheless be a stablemate of soft porn purveyors such as Portia da Costa ("In Too Deep", "Kiss It Better" etc) and, gratifyingly, of the US TV satirist Stephen Colbert, a Virgin author and famously his tormentor at a White House correspondents' dinner in 2006.
Okay, I'm not sure I believe it. But ....!
And of course I told Portia - congrats to her for getting a mention in Private Eye alongside George Bush. Now that's notoriety!