Mary Ellen Field and Mark Colvin
Mary Ellen Field and Mark Colvin The Independent

Elle Macpherson adviser gave kidney to ABC newsman Mark Colvin

ONE of the first people to launch a legal action against News International over phone hacking has donated a kidney to a journalist she met while he was covering the case.

Mary Ellen Field, a former business adviser to the model Elle Macpherson, met broadcast newsman Mark Colvin, a fellow Australian, while he worked on the story.

A few months ago Mr Colvin was described as being at death's door and in urgent need of a kidney transplant because of a virus contracted in Rwanda 20 years ago.

The transplant took place on 22 March and Ms Field described the donation as "one of the most important things I've done".

Ms Field, who is in London preparing for the latest chapter of her legal action, said that at one point she and Mr Colvin discussed nicknaming the exchanged kidney "Rupert".

"Mark was having none of it - he said he didn't want anything inside him called Rupert."

If the outcome of a dismissal hearing later this month goes against Ms Field, she may be left bankrupt.

Her case against News Group Newspapers, the subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's empire that published the News of the World, relates to the period 2003-2006 when she worked with Ms Macpherson in London.