ALL this debate over press intrusion and the effect it has on the private lives of celebrities has been underpinned in the last few weeks with what I can only say have been outrageous stories best kept hidden from public view.

We’ve had shocking allegations about the lovely Katie Price (Jordan) and her seemingly endless marriages, somewhat unfortunate comments regarding the domestic life once led by Hampshire’s own starring lady, Amanda Holden, and then sneaky peep insights into the goings-on in the changing room of Premier League football clubs.

And that’s been just the tip of an iceberg of personal home truths that must have left the nearest and dearest of so many of our best known and loved celebs reeling.

How those papers that have carried such tales can look themselves in the mirror and protest about press freedom, I should only wonder – if only I didn’t recognise that all of these kiss and tell, sleep and snore, print and be damned, tittle-tattle tales have been printed not only with the full consent of the celebs involved, but at their request.

It’s countdown to Christmas autobiography season, in case you hadn’t noticed, and suddenly it is perfectly acceptable for those in the public spotlight to open the curtains and shed more than a little light into the comings and goings of their not-so-private lives.

True, I’m not aware that any of the main protagonists in the current press regulations debate – Hugh Grant, Sienna Miller, Steve Coogan, Anne Diamond – have a book out right now, but you get my point.

And while I appreciate there is a difference between what celebs want you to know in the somewhat saccharine accounts of their humdrum lives (Miss Price and lurid tales of cross-dressing bedroom antics aside) and what the papers sometimes unearth from their own, erm, “investigations”, that is actually the point.

Celebrities who wish you to swallow wholesome accounts of their un-sensational lives in the hope you will continue to tune in, adore and cough up for their latest DVD or CD, should expect to come under the microscope as much as any politician.

My own sensational autobiography – The Secret Lives of a Bearded Editor – was returned from the publisher as lacking in colour.

Which is strange, considering my reputation as the scourge of the Southampton arts establishment.