Feature

Who will be Lebedev's editor of The Independent?

News that Alexander Yevgenievich Lebedev has finally entered the elite group of national British newspaper owners has sparked speculation surrounding the editorship of The Independent.

The Independent editor, Roger Alton
The Independent editor, Roger Alton

Ireland's largest bookmaker Paddy Power reports interest surrounding the position has been mounting since it opened its book at the beginning of the month.

Contenders for the (currently filled) job, once described by former editor Andrew Marr as "less a poisoned chalice than a pint glass of lukewarm ricin", have caught the imagination of reporters and pundits alike over the last few weeks.

For a moment, former BBC Radio four presenter and general firestarter Rod Liddle was a shoo-in. But his star soon fell following a major internal and external revolt.

The snappily titled Facebook group, "If Rod Liddle becomes editor of the Independent, I will not buy it again," seemed to do the trick, and Liddle was soon replaced by many more contenders, verging from the sublime (Greg Dyke at 10/1) to the ridiculous (Mikhail Gorbachev 1000/1).

The bookmaker admits current editor Roger Alton remains the firm favourite with punters, but when sources caught up with him last week he seemed less convinced, but far from concerned.

Other well known, fantasy names in the midst include The Guardian's Alan Rusbridger, Private Eye's Ian Hislop, BBC's Jeremy Paxman and even Prime Minister Gordon Brown, although he is widely expected to be busy at the beginning of May.

Perhaps the former USSR president is worth an outside gamble after all, following Lebedev's announcement that he and Gorbachev plan on establishing Novaya Independent Media Foundation (NIMF), a not-for-profit organisation that will finance global media projects.


Paddy Power odds: Who will be editor of The Independent on 1 May?

 4/5    Roger Alton
 6/1    Chris Blackhurst
 8/1    Rod Liddle
10/1    Geordie Greig
10/1    Simon Kelner
12/1    Hugh Dougherty
12/1    Alexi Mostrous
20/1    Greg Dyke
20/1    Simon Rogers
25/1    Damien Reece
25/1    Alan Rusbridger
33/1    Libby Purves
33/1    Niall Ferguson
33/1    Roland Rudd
33/1    Patience Wheatcroft
40/1    Ian Hislop
50/1    Jeremy Paxman
50/1    Sophie Grove
50/1    Rosie Boycott
80/1    Matthew Freud
80/1    Piers Morgan
100/1  Vladimir Sungorkin
250/1  Boris Johnson
250/1  Alexander Bortnikov
250/1  Kelvin McKenzie
500/1  Gordon Brown
1000/1 Mikhail Gorbachev

What do you think? Choose from the favourites - and one outsider - on the poll on the Media Week homepage.