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Anorak | Talking Turkey

Talking Turkey

by | 21st, February 2006

‘BIRD flu has lacked a celebrity face. MRSA has Lesley Ash. Breast cancer has Kylie Minogue. Even lowly acne has Cameron Diaz. We could go on. But at no point would we encounter the celebrity face of avian flu. Until now.

All hail Oprah Winfrey. Speaking in the National Enquirer, the maven of the talk shows has been telling her people “It’s going to happen”. Bird flu will sweep across the US.

“I feel hopeless,” says Oprah. “If that virus mutates into a contagious human flu, no one on the planet will be safe.” Not Oprah. Not even Dr Phil.

Oprah calls for her Government to prepare for the worst. She says that when it come to being vaccinated against the disease “I’m getting mine now”.

Which is some news – as the Mail says in its bird flu “Q&A”, no true human vaccine exists. Perhaps Oprah plans to inoculate herself with Nobilis, the only vaccine that’s approved for use on poultry?

Whatever she plans, Oprah will have to bone up on avian flu if she is to become its celebrity spokesperson.

But whatever she does or does not do, Oprah is not going to have things all her own way. She will not become the face of bird flu without a challenge.

Step forward and mutter something derogatory about “our V”, Coronation Street character Jack Duckworth.

“CORRIE’S JACK’S BIRD FLU FLAP,” says the Star’s headline rhythmically. The man dubbed “the birdman of Corrie” has been told that he must keep his beloved racing pigeons under “flock” and key.

“Jack will be on tenterhooks worrying about his beloved birds,” says a source from the TV soap. “He’d hate any harm to come to them and will be out of his mind in case they catch the flu.”

That’s the human angle that Oprah lacks. Sure, she sees the bigger picture – we’re all going to die – but Jack Duckworth has distilled the problem into a manageable, pigeon-sized portion.

Of course, all is not lost for Oprah. If she can just get her hands on a pet turkey…’



Posted: 21st, February 2006 | In: Tabloids Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink