As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun on Sunday, new Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has shunned the luvvies and hired a telly person to be his media Special Adviser. Salma Shah, a former producer on The Wright Stuff, 10 o’Clock Live and latterly at the BBC, is the latest in a line of TV producers brought in by top Tories to guard their image, instead of the usual political insiders. Following the appointment of Craig Oliver by Cameron and Thea Rogers by George Osborne, it’s fair to say this direction has had varying degrees of success.
The gig with Javid – a disciple of Osborne and destined for great things – was highly sought after in Westminster, and although Shah has previous experience working for the Tories, the impact of telly in the turn around of the Chancellor’s fortunes has clearly not gone unnoticed by his Padawan. The svelte new Osborne has recovered from the initial amusement about his new barnet and is rarely seen in public without a carefully crafted, visually on-message, backdrop. Though, as Craig Oliver proves, these telly hires are not always was a good thing. Simply obsessing about the News at Ten, whilst waging war with newspapers, does not an election win.