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Babel

Stephen Brook divides Britain's columnists into ten categories of opinion

By Stephen Brook   July 1996

Columnists have been with us since Addison and Steele, and our newspapers are enlivened by opinionated pundits and diarists. But the genre has become absurdly inflated. On Sundays, old ladies staggering homewards from the newsagents must wonder whether their frail frames can support the quantity of their wordage.

Some columnists achieve immortality-John Junor and Bernard Levin clank with long service medals-but others change with bewildering rapidity. After some months of Julie Burchill’s diatribes in the Sunday Times, she vanished, to be replaced by Lesley White. It is only a matter of time before the curtain comes down on her act…

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