Marina Hyde

The Guardian

A year that has provoked incredulity, absurdity and sometimes rage could have been specifically designed for twice weekly intervention by Marina Hyde. She has often been hilarious, always perceptive but also markedly unafraid to use her platform to call out injustice.

On March 28, 2023, Hyde displayed her biting wit and peerless knowledge of popular culture to acquaint readers with everything they might have missed in the hugely entertaining but ultimately pointless court battle between Gwyneth Paltrow and Terry Sanderson, the retired optometrist with whom the Hollywood star had had a skiing collision in Utah. "I want to make a deeply serious point," wrote Hyde. "Something happened that day. Something happened on that mountain in that luxury ski resort, up there in God’s cathedral – and, like anyone who has watched either the plaintiff or the defendant on the stand at any length … I literally could not care less what it was. I mean, this is as low stakes as it gets."

On July 18, 2023, Hyde returned to a subject about which she feels very deeply: the appalling injustice meted out to sub-postmasters by the Post Office in defence of a faulty accounting system that it knew to be flawed. Many were accused of dishonesty and some were jailed. "Box office-wise, despite its slow burn, the Post Office story has it all. It’s a tale of total corporate psychopathy, a mad Kafka-esque nightmare in which totally innocent subpostmasters, the very backbone of villages and communities, were turned into criminals to cover up the fact that the Post Office’s Horizon computer system didn’t work properly. The chaos over compensation, and the slow pace of the inquiry, merely heightens the injustice, wrote Hyde. "Whether it will lead to anything you’d call justice is another matter. A chap I corresponded with not long ago thought the entire over-remunerated executive class covering the period in question should be chucked straight into prison and have to argue their way out." On September 19, 2023, Hyde addressed the claims levelled at Russell Brand and the role of those who feted him. But she also offered a reflection on her own writing at the time of the Sachsgate controversy, with particular reference to the way the woman at the centre of it all was portrayed, not least by her. "I’m just one of the many people who got many different things wrong about how that story should have been covered and framed. If we have learned anything – and I’m not entirely convinced we’ve learned nearly as much as we think we have – then it is vital we all treat these newly uncovered stories better, as the Sunday Times, the Times and Dispatches most certainly have with their painstaking investigation. And as I hope I have done with other stories, as I got older and a bit wiser."