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Top media trainer to coach mogul as 'combustible' exchange predicted

Rupert murdoch has been taking advice from one of the world's leading media trainers as he prepares for tomorrow's grilling by MPs.

The media mogul has engaged the services of New York-based Steven Rubenstein, who coached David Letterman when the chat-show host was seeking to rescue his career from the scandal of a string of affairs with colleagues.

Michael Wolff, Rupert Murdoch's biographer, said the exchanges with MPs were likely to be "combustible", predicting Mr Murdoch would find it difficult not to react to aggressive questioning.

Mr Rubenstein flew to London last week to work with Mr Murdoch. It will be the first time in the six-year hacking affair that Mr Murdoch has given evidence to parliament.

Also on 'Team Murdoch' is the British media lawyer Dan Tench. Mr Tench is advising News International on drawing up an internal code of practice in response to the phone-hacking scandal.

Mr Murdoch is not known to be a confident performer in front of the cameras. His most recent interview was last week with 'The Wall Street Journal', which he owns, telling the paper that his London executives had made only "minor mistakes" in their handling of the hacking affair. That interview was largely interpreted as an attempt to protect the reputation of his son James, the News Corp chairman in Europe, who will be giving evidence to MPs with his father tomorrow.

Irish Independent