Sam Leith on how not very bright people often get good jobs
"When a woman I was chatting up at a party in 1988 asked what I did," he reports, "I proudly told her that I interviewed celebrities for a particular television programme" (he worked on Network 7 on Channel 4). "With great glee, she said, 'I happen to know that is not true. I met the man who really does those interviews only last week'." Because James's face was never seen on the programmes, the imposter prospered. "Whilst it might just have been a one-off case of a man using a lie to get a woman into bed," James continues, dismayed, "I have since learned that this is his modus operandi …
James's own modus operandi for seducing the reader is well established (his books include the bestselling Affluenza). He impersonates an avuncular soft-scientist with a simply explained theory about the world and a set of suggestions for how understanding his theory can make us healthier, wealthier and wiser.