My Los Angeles holiday gave me a chance to read The Richard Burton
Diaries*, which were published at the end of last year (reviewed at the time in The Guardian here).
One of the fascinating aspects of the diaries was the actor's relationship with journalists. Though he loved to read newspapers, he didn't have much time for the people who wrote them.
He was, as many journalists reported during his lifetime (1925-1984), very friendly towards most of them. He ate and drank with them, and appeared at ease in their company. But, in private, he clearly despised them.
A voracious reader of books and papers, his diaries contain several references to his enjoyment in reading the International Herald Tribune and the British Sunday papers. At one point, he reveals that his then wife, Elizabeth Taylor
, loved him to read out stories from the News of the World.
On 11 November 1968, he