‘As I’m sure everyone appreciates, I’ve always preferred to keep myself to myself,’ said Clifford in a statement today. ‘But I’ve always said that if I was to do a major interview like this, it would have to be done on my terms, and at the right time and at the right place. That time and place was 7.40am this morning when I was still in bed at home in my pyjamas, and those terms were under police arrest and in handcuffs.’
The Met Police are excited about the prospect of interviewing a big name like Clifford. ‘The challenge for any interviewer is to find out about the man behind the image,’ said Detective Inspector Bhatowa. ‘We’ve all seen the public face of Max Clifford, but we want to know who the real Max Clifford is, discover what really makes him tick and find out just what he was capable of doing when he thought no one was looking.’
Public relations officers at the Met Police are delighted by their scoop. ‘Operation Yewtree is providing us with unprecedented access to A-list celebrities,’ said Shirley Pascoe, the Met’s communications chief. ‘In times gone by these sorts of celebrities would probably never have dreamed of giving their story to the police – they’d have stuck with the tabloids, Closer or Hello! magazine. We even persuaded Clifford to sign a confidentiality agreement promising not to talk to anyone else unless he wished to spend the rest of his life in prison. Suddenly we’re the go-to outlet for celebrities looking to share their secret life stories.’
Media observers predict Clifford’s profile is likely to receive a massive boost as a result of the publicity. ‘This is really going to get his face out there, particularly on wanted posters,’ said one PR expert. ‘We’ve seen the same thing do wonders for previously forgotten figures. A few months ago no one was talking about Jimmy Savile, Freddie Starr or Dave Lee Travis, but look at them now.’
Ever the wily PR negotiator, Clifford is understood to have offered his story to the Met Police on very favourable terms. In return for the interview he has secured one phone call and a cell with an excellent view of the Crown Court next door.