Author of A Polar Bear Ate My Head, his memoir of his years as a magazine editor
both in the UK and Australia, Merrill now writes full-
He was an award-
He ran competitions to find the country’s Randiest Nanna, Hottest Horse Dentist and Ugliest Baby, and offered prizes of a ‘boob job for your girlfriend’, lesbian wedding, divorce and ‘voluntary euthanasia for a loved one’ (Love and Let Die).
He judged a naked beauty contest with Leo Sayer, attacked Tony Blair with a glove puppet, upset Donald Trump, threw a biscuit at Christopher Lee and received advice on stain removal from Gordon Brown.
In a series of other debacles, he tried to burn Spit the Dog, got a Groundforce star arrested in Greece and made Cheryl Cole burst into tears. He also wheeled Mo Mowlam through central London on a motorized bed when she became his sex agony aunt.
After an understandable backlash from right-
Then he was unexpectedly deported to Australia to launch the magazine there, and things got even more bizarre and, at times, disastrous.
In an eventful few years, he received three death threats, persuaded the Prime Minister’s
daughter to strip off, adopted a four-
Along the way, he received a personal letter from Arnold Schwarzenegger banning him from California, gave a serial killer his home address and upset Al Jazeera by offering Oprah Winfrey £300,000. Things took an unexpected turn when he found a kilo of cocaine and was accidentally accused of sexual harassing a cleaning lady.