Belfast Telegraph

There's no need for critics when you can just rope in a celeb like Jerry Hall

By Jane Graham

This week the cool London indie film festival, Raindance, announced that Wikileaks' Julian Assange was to be one of its jury judges. DVDs will be sent to Assange's current abode at the Ecuadorian Embassy. "We choose our jurors because they are interesting people," said Raindance founder Elliot Grove.

Not because their names are all over the news and guaranteed to get you some publicity then Elliot? From where does Assange's authority as a critic, or even a vaguely curious observer of artistic merit spring? Thus far the only evidence of an interest in art as far as I can see is his experimental hair, and that's a monumental fail.

I described Raindance as cool, but this lowbrow lassoing of a big, controversial name probably puts paid to that adjective.

I shouldn't carp. In 1999 the Whitbread Book Prize enrolled Mick Jagger's supermodel ex Jerry Hall.

The winner that year? Seamus Heaney's Beowulf. Boy, did Jerry love that translation!

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