Hall aims higher

15th August 2008 at 01:00

In times of trouble, it helps to call in a few favours. So it is with Harlow College, which wants to trumpet its strengths and put behind it the unpleasantness of last year, when a bitter contract dispute left many staff jobless.

And who knows more about lowered reputations than a journalist? Luckily, Harlow can boast a proud history of training some of the country's most successful hacks, from man-in-the-white-suit Martin Bell and Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian, to, er, Richard Madeley of ". and Judy" fame.

So the college has brought in old boy Phil Hall, former editor of the News of the World and now a PR consultant, to be an "ambassador". As well as handing out the Ferrero Rocher, he will be promoting the journalism department's new higher education courses and whizz-bang multi-media training.

"For many years, Harlow was considered `the' place to study for journalists. This is an extremely exciting time and we plan to reclaim our title as the number one journalism institution in the UK," he said.

Mr Hall has certainly taken on some tough jobs in the past. Previous clients include Heather Mills, a woman famous for turning much of the nation against her, and Lucio Gutierrez, former president of Ecuador, who was overthrown and jailed by his own army before Mr Hall even touched down in the country. We'll keep our fingers crossed that Harlow College has better luck.

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