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Local weekly scoops big interview with jailed Langham's wife

The Kent Messenger scooped the national press in gaining the first interview with the wife of Chris Langham after he was jailed for 10 months for viewing child pornography on the web.

Chrissie Langham spoke to KM reporter Trisha Fermor about how the family had coped since the comedy actor had first been arrested and charged with numerous offences.

He had been acquitted of charges of sexually assaulting a teenage girl after a lengthy trial.

KM editor Bob Bounds ran a version of the story, which included details of Langham’s treatment in prison, firstly on the paper’s website, signposting to the full interview in the KM the following day.

The story was followed up by the Daily Mail and the Sun the next day, which has led to a letter being sent to editors Paul Dacre and Rebekah Wade by KMG editorial director Simon Irwin.

Bob Bounds said: “They weren’t so much follow-ups as virtual repeats of our story, including quotes. We were expecting national interest and it is pleasing to watch the big boys follow in our wake. However, it is irritating and we suspect the hand of an agency.

“The nationals’ versions even trotted out the tired clich√© of ‘speaking yesterday’. The Daily Mail added its own description of how she ‘wept with emotion’, which we know to be untrue.

“Trisha worked damned hard to get the interview as Chrissie Langham wasn’t talking to anyone and didn’t attend court at all.

“I would advise nationals’ newsdesks to check that agency-supplied stories haven’t already been published in a local paper.”