Belfast Telegraph

Not the Best idea for a book

By Gail Walker

Getting more than a bit irritated at journalists from over the water sponging off Belfast heroes.

We’ve had the periodic trashing of Hurricane Higgins while he was alive and sniffy tributes upon his death. And while George Best was a man who courted controversy throughout his life, he never deserved the savaging meted out to him because of his alcoholism. But the current ghastly parasite to have attached themselves to the football legend’s final days has broken all records for tastelessness and exploitation.

Celia Walden — aka Mrs Piers Morgan — who had a marginal and brief role in the unfolding epic of George’s final years, has managed the most astonishing feat of uniting both Alex Best, his then wife, and Gino Devivo, his then mistress, in pursuing a law suit against her and the publishers of the offensively titled Babysitting George.

The English establishment, of course, rushed to the promotion of this salacious product — serialisation in a national newspaper and, incredibly, on Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime.

Book at Bedtime? George Best? Are they having a laugh?

What’s good to know is that Bestie’s personal relations with the ladies, however vexed and problematic, remain marked by deep affection and loyalty. Even Alex’s mother is reaching for the rolling pin in his defence.

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