A few hours after the attack on the World Trade Centre, I was asked by Rebekah to dress up as Harry Potter. She wanted me to dress up and go to her office in the middle of the newsroom.
SK: Which date was that?
CB: That was on Tuesday, September 11. It was the afternoon, less than three hours after [the attacks]. I went into her office and Andy [Coulson, the deputy editor] was on the sofa and Rebekah was on the phone. Andy asked me where was my Harry Potter suit and I made some excuse, saying: it's not here, it's in the photo studio. [Actually], it was in the office, but it was hardly appropriate for a journalist to be prancing about as Harry Potter. Andy told me I should always have my Harry Potter gear around, in case of a Harry Potter emergency, and told me that the morning after, I was to dress up for conference as Harry Potter. So, at that time, [when] we were working on the assumption that up to 50,000 people had been killed, I was required to parade myself around morning conference, dressed as Harry Potter.
GM: I have told you that this is not going to be held against you. Charles, you should think very seriously about coming in on Tuesday.
CB: Well, to be frank, Greg, as far as my future at News International is concerned, I haven't toed the line for the editor's pet project. I didn't prance around while the World Trade Centre was being bombed, for her personal amusement. I can't just stroll in.
GM: Why not? Charles, that is what we do - we go out and destroy other people's lives.
Wow. So this is the kind of campaigning investigative journalism which various Murdoch representatives have told us will be lost with the demise of the News of the World.
Hang your heads, carping Britons, hang your heads.