DIARY: Heath victim rewards saviour Campbell with volley of verbal abuse

Posh and Becks have been busy transforming themselves into one. Even Alastair Campbell has been toying with the idea. Becoming a brand, that is. However, Tony Blair's blunt-spoken former mouthpiece has gone cool on it.

It was, he told the Marketing Society last week, one of the more loopy suggestions put to him by a "lifestyle guru" on taking leave from the PM earlier this year.

No, not the ubiquitous Ms Caplin. This one was a bloke who wanted to discuss "how we can develop the Alastair Campbell brand and adapt it to your changing circumstances".

The "guru" even had a 20-point plan. Campbell gave up at Point 12, a proposal that "I do ads for laundromats in which I point my finger at a washing machine and a bubble comes out of my mouth saying, 'I've given up bad spin for good spin'".

Clearly a brand-stretch too far for the man who, by his own admission, is more commonly regarded as "a cross between the Devil and a mass murderer".

How comforting it must have been, then, for somebody who could give Ben Langdon a few lessons in unpleasantness to have his brand image reasserted.

It happened during a run on Hampstead Heath when he turned Good Samaritan by coming to the rescue of a man who had been beaten up by a group of thugs. The victim was bleeding and Campbell asked if he could take him to hospital. No, said the man, he'd be fine but could Campbell take him to meet his friends at a local church.

On arrival, Campbell handed him a piece of paper with his name and number on it. If the man decided he wanted to report the attack to the police, they could call him.

The man looked at the paper. "Are you Alastair Campbell?" he asked. Campbell confessed he was. "I fucking hate you," he replied.


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