We don’t just report off-beat news, breaking news and digest the best and worst of the news media analysis and commentary. We give an original take on what happened and why. We add lols, satire, news photos and original content.
The South Carolina Klux Klux Klan Nazi mash-up protest has a theme song.
Tke it away, super sousaphonist, Matt Buck and the farty Ride of the Valkyries:
Keeping Up With The Danczuks: in today’s instalment of the twitter-based reality TV show, MP Simon Danczuk says:
“I must have been hell to live with. I’d say horrible things to Karen”
Simon and Karen Danczuk are doing their bit to change perceptions of their native Rochdale. Once a place where secrets of sex and power were locked away to fester, Rochale is now where dirty laundry is hung still moist and run up the flagpole.
Carol Midgley meets Simon in Manchester. Will the Danczuks be reconciling?
“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” he says, sadly. “No, we’ve been through too much; too much water’s gone under the bridge. It’s not going to happen — but that’s life.”
Was it all a stupid stunt, the sex video filmed inside a changing room at an outlet of the Japanese clothes chain Uniqlo? Can naked people sell clothing? Of course they can. Sex can sell anything.
And this video is a hit. The Chinese regime says the sex tape breaks “socialist core values”. How’s that for a tagline?
It might even launch the career of its female star, a young woman we will call ‘Kim’.
Paul Pelton is accused of “vehicular trespassing”. But what he did is a question of morals. When Pelton saw a car accident he went over to check it out. The Honda sedan had jumped railway tracks and hit a house.
Mr Pelton did not try to help the stricken driven, one Zachary Goodin, or his passenger, Cameron Friend, who later died in hospital. He just piuleld out his mobile phone and pressed ‘record’ At one point he opened a car door to film inside.
He then tried to sell the video.
Detective Buddy Sivert, of Lorain police, says:
“We searched to try to find anything to charge him with. It is not a crime to stick a camera where a kid is dying or try to sell it. He went right in after the crash, before the rescuers or police arrived.”
According to the Media Group quoting a police report: “He opened a back door and leaned in to film the boys and then walked around to the front door as he continued recording. At no time did he try to help either of the boys.”
Denise White, who lived close to the accident, told WOIO television that she was trying to help the teenagers and saw Mr Pelton filming.
“To take that video and put it on Facebook, it just shows you have no principles. It’s disgusting,” she told the station. The dead boy’s “mom probably had to see that,” she said.
Police produce a statement:
“The Lorain police department would like to remind citizens that they are allowed and encouraged to help one another in emergencies if they can do so safely, and that rendering aid or comfort to a dying young man and his severely injured friend is a commendable and kindly act.
“Persons are not, however, allowed to trespass into a person’s vehicle criminally and without permission for the seemingly singular cause of filming a young man’s dying moments, for profit.”
Fine if he gives it way for no profit, then? Fine if a TV crew films the scene and sells it to a TV station that punctuates the news with ads (or is it vice versa?). Not fine if a citizen journalist does it. Not fine if the injured are in a car and not in a foreign field.
What if Mr Pelton had called the emergency services first and then filmed the scene? Would that still be a crime?
Matthew Daley, 34, is accused of murdering Donald Lock, 79, after their vehicles collided in a minor prang. Mr Lock was knifed repeatedly in the head and neck on the A24 at Findon, near Worthing, West Sussex.
Daley stood in the dock at Crawley magistrates’ court. He confirmed his name, address and date of birth. He was then remanded in custody in readiness for an appearance at Hove crown court tomorrow.
Matthew Daley, 34, of St Elmo Road, Worthing, has been charged with murder and possessing a knife in a public place.
News is that a senior Labour MP has been accused of child sex abuse.
A senior Labour MP has been reported to police by Parliamentary colleagues over allegations he sexually abused boys, it has been claimed.
Reported. Allegations. Claimed. The story is all smoke.
Two MPs reportedly passed on their concerns to police after hearing accusations against the unnamed MP stretching back at least a decade.
Transfer Balls: The Sunday People says Manchester United will bid for £95m-rated Real Madrid star Gareth Bale.
Really? Does new Real manger Rafa Benitez want to sell a prize asset?
Writes Steve Bates:
Louis van Gaal will make another attempt to prise Gareth Bale away from Real Madrid…
Manchester United’s Dutch boss has admitted a “surprise” signing is on the cards before the summer transfer window closes.
What Van Gaal said was:
“I am not worried about depth of forwards. We still have Rooney. He can play in the striker’s position…
“We also have Chicharito (Javier Hernandez), (James) Wilson and maybe a surprise, you never know. It is a process.”
Mentions of Bale: nil.
But Bates deduces:
And that means the world’s most expensive footballer could be on his way to Old Trafford.
Well, yes, it could. It could also mean that non-one arrives. It depends on how you spin it.
In other news today, the Daily Mail states:
“Rafa Benitez to build his team around Gareth Bale.”
The video and stills of young future Queen Elizabeth (she’d have been around 6 or 7), her younger sister Margaret, future Edward VIII Edward and the Queen Mother giving the Nazi salute have been described as gutter journalism.
So? What’s wrong with gutter journalism?
Well, a “royal source” thinks everything is:
“We are looking at this on two fronts. One issue we are examining is the whole question of copyright. The second question is whether any criminality has been involved.”
First up, Hitler’s salute was open to anyone who hates Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, communists and was prepared to wear leather shorts in public. Only footballer Gareth Bale has tried to copyright a gesture. And Edward is dead, so any war crimes tribunal is not going to bother prosecuting him. Of course, if you can suggest to the Yard that he molested kinder and encouraging his innocent young nieces to give the Nazi salute is tantamount to child abuse, then we can dig up the Nazi fan and stick his knitting needles in his eyes.
The Sunday Times adds:
Both the palace and The Sun believe the man behind the camera was probably the girls’ father, the future George VI. If so, the palace believes copyright to the film belongs to the Queen as his heir.
So. Not a hacked Hitler heil-phone.
And will the Queen sue the Sun?
The Sun insisted the film had been obtained in a “legitimate fashion”. It is believed to have been in the newspaper’s hands for weeks while lawyers and film experts confirmed its authenticity and legal status.
Did the British Film Institute (BFI) leak the film?
The BFI said no one had access to the royal film collection without the express permission of the royal family. “It’s not for anyone’s eyes,” said a spokeswoman. It too has begun an inquiry.
And then we get this:
One possibility, however, is that the footage was kept at the Paris home of the Duchess of Windsor, the American divorcee who became the Queen’s aunt by marriage after Edward abdicated. After she died in 1986 the contents were bought by Mohamed al-Fayed, the former owner of Harrods, who later auctioned them in 3,200 lots.
Al-Fayed? Why does the Sunday Times, sister organ to the Sun, introduce Al Fayed as it wonders aloud where-oh-where the footage came from?
Fayed, who lost his son, Dodi, in the Paris car crash in 1997 that also killed Diana, Princess of Wales, leased the villa after the duchess died.
That’s the same Al-Fayed who accused Prince Phillip of being a Nazis (which he isn’t):
Gutter press? Maybe. But it’s a cracking story.
Queen Elizabeth 2 was just seven years of age when her Nazi-loving anti-Semitic uncle, the future King George VI, encouraged her to give the stiff-armed salute at Balmoral.
The Queen,’s younger sister, Princess Margaret, is equally blameless as she too salutes the Nazis.
But what of heir mother Queen Elizabeth?
The Telegraph, says “sources close to the Queen” described the photos as “misleading and dishonest”:
The Royal Household was particularly angry at the newspaper’s decision to print the 82-year-old images, which have never been seen before, just three weeks after the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited the site of the former Nazi concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen in Germany.
It takes a special kind of fool to believe the Queen in some way approves of the murder of 6 million Jews. Her Majesty has been a friend to Jews throughout her reign. Jews sings the national anthem with gusto at synagogue services. The Queen is just about the best thing ever to happen to the Royal Family. Three cheers for her!
Others, what we call ‘the sane, might wonder at the world in which Elizabeth was raised. In 1933, her mother would have been 32 or 33 years of age. In 1933, Germany had already begin to ostracise and criminalise Jews.
What was the dear old Queen Mum thinking?
The Buckingham Palace spokesman has reacted:
“It is disappointing that a film, shot eight decades ago and apparently from HM’s personal family archive, has been obtained and exploited in this manner.”
Why? We’re not disappointed. It is a terrific story. The only pity is that it took so long to surface.
The Telegraph makes a suggestion:
In a leading article, the Sun accepts that Hitler, newly installed as Germany’s Chancellor, was “a faintly comic character” at the time, but argues that the involvement of the future Edward VIII, a known Nazi sympathiser, makes the film historically significant.
It does. Even without him it would be newsworthy. Edward’s presences makes it sinister.
Edward, who feared a communist revolution following the murder of Russia’s royal family, courted Hitler when he met him three years after the film was shot.
Not only him. The Sun says the aristocracy feared the communists. Well, some of them did. People involved in the Anglo-German Fellowship, which in 1939 welcomed Gertrud Scholtz-Klink – Hitler’s “perfect Nazi woman” – to teach them the ways of Nazism did.
The Anglo-German Fellowship, of which Prunella Stack’s husband Lord David Douglas-Hamilton and brother-in-law Douglas Douglas-Hamiton MP were both members, was an upper-class and it would be fair to say a predominately right-wing organisation. In fact many of the fellowship were almost unashamedly pro-Nazi and anti-semite.
In 1931 Miss Pamela Bowes-Lyon – cousin of the Duchess of York and future Queen Consort to King George VI and Queen Mother – married Lord Malcolm Douglas-Hamilton in Beaulieu, Hampshire.
You can read all about how close Britain came to being ruled of fascists on Flashbak.
A royal source is quoted:
“Most people will see these pictures in their proper context and time. This is a family playing and momentarily referencing a gesture many would have seen from contemporary news reels. If you watch the film it is people laughing and joking around and playing, and it was one of the things of the day. No one at that time had any sense how it would evolve. To imply anything else is misleading and dishonest. The Queen is around six years of age at the time and entirely innocent of attaching any meaning to these gestures.”
It wasn’t one of things of the day for the Jews of London’s East End, who fought the upper-class led Black Shirts.
It was unclear on Friday night how The Sun had obtained the footage, which it argued was part of a “hidden” archive of material relating to the Royal family which it said should now be released.
Over in the Sun, we learn more:
…the pictures must be seen in the context of 1933.
Elizabeth and Margaret are kids. Families of all kinds larked around apeing the stiff-armed antics of the faintly comic character with the Charlie Chaplin moustache who won power in Germany.
No one knew then what Adolf Hitler was capable of. Or that, deep in Bavaria, he was already opening his first concentration camp at Dachau.
What gives The Sun’s extraordinary images such historical significance, and the reason we believe the public has a right finally to see them, is the involvement of the Queen’s uncle Edward.
The man who briefly became our King was already a fan of Hitler — and remained so as late as 1970, long after the Holocaust’s horrors were laid bare…
Edward and a clique of anti-Semitic aristocrats were terrified of a communist revolution stripping them of power and privilege with deadly force, as it had in Russia. Fascism seemed like an answer.
But even the Sun has its limits:
His desire to appease Germany stands now in stark contrast to the courage and patriotism of the Queen Mum once Luftwaffe bombs fell. She was so inspiring to Londoners in the Blitz even the Fuhrer considered her a thorn in his side.
The Sun produces a feature entitled “Queen of the Blitz Silly salute, but a rock in country’s bleak year”.
If there was one woman determined not to let Hitler win it was the Queen Mother.
There were far more people than one woman who wanted to smash the German war machine.
It was Elizabeth who persuaded her husband King George VI that they should remain in Buckingham Palace as the Luftwaffe bombed the capital night after night in 1940.
The stories are hymned. The tales of the bad Royals bits less so.
Like this in the Mail:
…there is the tragic saga of the Queen Mother’s nieces, Nerissa and Katherine Bowes Lyon, both born mentally deficient and unable to speak.
They were confined in the Royal Earlswood Mental Hospital at Redhill, Surrey, in 1941, where they remained for the rest of their lives.
Although the Queen Mother knew the statement in Burke’s Peerage that both women were dead (published after false information had been supplied by their mother) was untrue, she never visited either of them, and apparently saw no contradiction in her patronage of Mencap, which campaigns against families placing their mentally challenged relations in state care.
And this in the Telegraph:
…not long before the announcement of the engagement of the Duke of York to Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon at the beginning of 1923 the papers had carried reports that she was, in fact, to marry his brother, the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VIII). Hence the suggestion, half a century later, by Diana Mosley [née Mitford] that Elizabeth’s enduring antipathy to Wallis was fuelled by jealousy. In a letter to her sister, the Duchess of Devonshire, written soon after the death of the Duke of Windsor in 1972, Diana (Wallis’s friend and future biographer) observed: ‘the theory of their contemporaries that Cake [the Mitford sisters’ nickname for Elizabeth, derived from her sweet tooth and healthy appetite] was rather in love with him (as a girl) & took second best, may account for much.’
Good stuff, eh. Got any more?
Well, yes. There’s this:
Released by Buckingham Palace ahead of the publication this week of the first official biography of the Queen Mother, the letter is her personal account of the events of 13 September 1940 to her “darling” mother-in-law, Queen Mary.
In it she records how she was “battling” to remove an errant eyelash from the King’s eye, when they heard the “unmistakable whirr-whirr of a German plane” and then the “scream of a bomb”.
“It all happened so quickly that we had only time to look foolishly at each other when the scream hurtled past us and exploded with a tremendous crash in the quadrangle,” she wrote.
While her “knees trembled a little bit”, she was “so pleased with the behaviour of our servants”, some of whom were injured as one bomb crashed through a glass roof and another pulverised the palace chapel.
Hours later, after lunching in their air-raid shelter, she and the King were visiting West Ham in London’s East End. She wrote: “I felt as if I was walking in a dead city… all the houses evacuated, and yet through the broken windows one saw all the poor little possessions, photographs, beds, just as they were left.”
Oh, you want the juicy bits, the stuff about the Royal racists, philanderers and scumbags. Well, the Royal want those bits kept secret:
The rest of the Royal archive from that period, of similarly immense interest to historians and the public, is still hidden.
It should be released.
The Times says Mr Lock, 79, was knifed to death on the A24 in Findon, West Sussex, last Thursday night after a minor shunt with another vehicle.
To Barrie, Ontario, Canada, where a huge knife-wielding rodent with human arms, body and legs has held up the Mac’s.
Barrie police Det. Brett Haynes is unsure. He’s looking for a man with a mouse head:
“I would have to say this is the first time I came across a mask used for a robbery that looks like a child’s cute mouse mask. It was a pretty brazen attack for just 60 bucks.”
A grown man whose head can fit inside a child-size mask?
Will anyone be brave enough to, er, rat him out?
Do you see faces in inanimate objects (a condition known as pareidolia)? If you do, chances are you’re neurotic.
Brain Decoder, who works at Tokyo’s NNT Communication Science Laboratory tested 166 undergraduates to ascertain their ‘big five‘ personality traits and mood. The students were presented with pictures of random dots and invited to say what they saw.
The psychological tests found a link: students who scored higher for neuroticism were more likely to see faces in the dots.
Of course, that’s not to say Jesus really isn’t manifest in that tortilla, tree stump or stain.
Spotter: Brain Decoder
Photo: The “Face on Mars” was one of the most striking and remarkable images taken during the Viking missions to the red planet. Unmistakeably resembling a human face, the image caused many to hypothesize that it was the work of an extraterrestrial civilization. Later images revealed that it was a mundane feature rendered face-like by the angle of the Sun.
The Sun has a photo of Her Majesty the Queen giving a Nazi salute in 1933.
The Sun reports on a video of larks in Balmoral:
Egging on her sister Princess Margaret, three, is their uncle Prince Edward, Prince of Wales. He was a sympathiser towards Hitler’s Nazi Germany and became King Edward VIII.
Also in in the short video is the Queen Mother. She gives the Nazi salute.
Elizabeth, age 7, gives a stiff-armed salute. her younger sister Margaret kind of waves.
In 1933, Hitler told Germans to boycott Jewish-owned shops. Jews were forced from job at newspapers and in the Civil Service. The Queen Mother was 32 or 33 years old.
Eddie was a Hitler fan and an anti-Semite. The Sun adds:
While there is clearly no suggestion that the Queen or Queen Mother were ever Nazi sympathisers, Edward’s links with Hitler and fascism are very well documented.
No. Of course none of the British aristocracy other than Edward were Nazi supporting anti-Semites.
Not really. There were loads of them.
You can read the story of how close the United Kingdom cam to be run by Nazi toffs on Flashbak.
Shopping list of the week was penned by Britney Spears. Someone dived into her bins and resurfaced with shopping lists.
Spears, we learn, likes Oreos, pasta, Sprite, gritz, Dr Pepper, flowers, Red Bull, pizzas, cheese, ham, “Boobs” and a “Nose (talk to nose guy)”.
Aside from being an adult human who shops like Yogi Bear, Spears’ shopping for body parts is a curiosity. Does she collects tits and nostrils, aiming to create the ultimate Hollywood museum of add-ons, exhibits to include Jennifer Aniston’s nose tip, Cher’s laughter lines and an introductory talk from the ‘living exhibit’ who bought Michael Jackson’s fire damaged hair.
Or are the words codes for a kind of Hollywood sustenance?
Dive, dive, dive!
Kim Kardashian’s pose for System magazine (see above) reveals how the porno-to-selfie star would would appear if she were buried in an earthquake and excavated hundreds of years from now, her skin and hair preserved by the unguents and lacquers of her age.
Future forensic scientists should note that the specimen can be reinvigorated with a sudden burst of flash photography and the cry: ‘Kim. Over ‘ere luv!”
The tableau you see was created by Mr Kim, aka Kanye West, who wanted to realise what her in doors would look like living in a cutaway ants’ nest whilst reassuring Travis Perkins and any number of quarries that Kim is available to endorse their products.
Don Lock, 79, was in a car on his way home from a cycle club meeting when, reportedly, he accidentally hit the back of a 34-year-old man’s classic car. The precise details of what happened are not yet fully known. But the result is that Mr Lock is dead, killed by multiple knife wounds.
The alleged killer drove off, leaving Mr Lock to die on the A24 in the village of Findon in West Sussex close to Worthing.
Witness George Lister tells the BBC:
“It must have been quite a ferocious attack in a couple of seconds, with the wounds that he had. Obviously, he [Mr Lock] was trying to protect himself. He was nearly 80 years of age, he wasn’t a big built man, just an average slightly overweight fellow. He was a human being, wasn’t he? Then the man who had done it ran off like a dog – he just couldn’t wait to get away.”
Dogs behave better.
Sussex Police have made an arrest.
Mr Lock if mourned by his wife Maureen, 77, children and grandchildren.
A tearful Maureen Lock told waiting reporters: “We were married for 55 years and it ends like this” as she was comforted by family members.
Alan Palmer, 70, club secretary of the Worthing Excelsior Cycling Club, told the Times:
“Don Lock was a kind gentle family man and a good friend. He was a key member of the Worthing Excelsior Cycling Club in fact, the backbone of the club for many years. He was always well respected through the cycling fraternity he was a member of the Worthing Excelsior Cycling Club for over 50 years and served the club well in many different roles… His death will be an irreplaceable loss to the club and our thoughts are with the family to whom the club will off their total support.”
Det Supt Adam Hibbert, of the Sussex and Surrey major crime branch, said:
“A man is in custody on suspicion of murder. I continue to appeal to anyone who witnessed the collision on the A24 at 8.40pm last night, or who may have CCTV or dashboard cameras of the area at that time, to come to assist our investigation.”
Police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the death of Mr Lock.
I Just Love My New Sewing Machine: I suppose it’s easy to make fun of these midcentury homemakers so ecstatic for their new appliances and cleaning equipment. But it was a different time. Where today an ironing board might not make the perfect gift for your wife; in 1950, it might have made her the happiest homemaker on the block. Let’s have a look at these Atomic Age wives and their shiny new homemaking equipment… Flashbak
Football Art: Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar Et Al Re-Imagined As Ye Olde Time Footballers (Photos): Lionel Messi grows a moustache and get the Brylcream contract – WhoAteAllThePies
Barack Obama defeats Iran: Obama has reached out and moved the debate on. Why bomb when you can talk? – Vox
Float: a new sitcom based in a new media agency – YouTube
80s-inspired short reveals Pluto’s secrets: Millivette Gonzalez, Tabia Lees and Valerie Sattazahn focused their senior project at Ringling College of Art and Design on the downgrading of Pluto, creating a retrospective homage to the often ignored planet – CreativeBloq
The Sun has a story hot of the presses: a schoolgirl has had a near-death experience with a crisp.
It is the story of “Tortilla Terror”.
Ashtmatic 14-year-old Beth Laybourn was at school in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, when she ate the hot one in a bag of Dorito’s Roulette.
“I started retching so I ran to the toilet and was sick. I had four mugs of milk and my throat still wouldn’t stop burning. I couldn’t breathe properly and I really thought I was going to die.”
“I love hot food, I love lamb bhunas — but this was the hottest thing I have ever had.”
Beth’s mum then delivers a kick to the health lobby who think all crisps should come with a heavy tax:
“I never thought it could be so dangerous to eat a crisp. I won’t ever let them do it again. This could happen to anyone’s child.”
No longer do kids have to worry about the fat content killing them years own the line – with these new crisps, apparently you could die at any moment, although no-one has.
But can a hot chili kill?
Bosland says that chili peppers (or as some call them, chile peppers) can indeed cause death — but most people’s bodies would falter long before they reached that point. “Theoretically, one could eat enough really hot chiles to kill you,” he says. “A research study in 1980 calculated that three pounds of extreme chilies in powder form — of something like the Bhut Jolokia — eaten all at once could kill a 150-pound person.”
That’s a lot of crisps…
Anyone still too shy to buy a dildo should know that Amazon offers shoppers a free vibrator with pairs of children’s sandals. You just have to select the right brand, which is not all that subtly called PRIMIGI.
Sophie Grantham, 36, didn’t know of the special offer until she took delivery of a pair of said sandals and spotted the five-inch purple Durex vibrator in the box.
Sophie, of Whiteley, Hampshire, explains:
“The parcel was vibrating so the postman made a comment about it maybe being a toothbrush. I was absolutely horrified to find there was this purple vibrator, loose and buzzing about in the shoebox. I don’t know what happened, but it’s not on.”
Cats, who wee in your coffee when you’re not looking (fact!), once more escape the laws. And dogs get it in the hind quarters.
Local mayor Paolo Dosi says the rules will mean dog-owners will be forced to to take a bottle of water with them whenever they walk their pets.
Jesus is famously a champion of budget seafood dining, turning two small fish into 5000 portions. Jesus was ever the shrewd Yiddisher boy working on margins.
But would he get the $26 bill?
No. Police were called.
Yates was arrested.
The bread accompaniment was complementary.
Media loves little more than talking about media. No surprise, then, that a letter in praise of the BBC signed by such entertainment bigwigs as JK Rowling and Chris Evans should ride high on the news cycle. But what did the Press make of it?
JK Rowling and Chris Evans have joined a host of A-list names to have signed an open letter to the prime minister calling on him to protect the BBC from cuts to its service
If your names on the list, you’re in. Imagine the upset as celebs not on the BBC register realise they rank below Adil Ray, Mark Rylance and Reggie Yates.
The full text of the letter:
The battle for the BBC
Dear prime minister,
We have seen that the government has pledged to modernise the licence fee, return funding that had been diverted to pay for broadband roll-out, and increase the licence fee in line with inflation in return for the BBC taking on the costs of licence fees for the over-75s.
The government and the BBC are now entering the charter review. We are writing to place on record at the very start of the process our concern that nothing should be done to diminish the BBC or turn it into a narrowly focused market-failure broadcaster.
In our view, a diminished BBC would simply mean a diminished Britain.
The BBC is a very precious institution. Like all organisations, it has its faults but it is overwhelmingly a creative force for good.
Britain’s creative economy is growing and enjoying unprecedented success. The BBC is at the heart of this as the global showcase for our creative industries. The BBC is trusted and loved at home by British audiences and is the envy of the world abroad.
During the course of the charter, we will continue to make the case for a strong BBC at the centre of British life and will be vocal in making the case for the BBC as it approaches its centenary.
Over in the Times, the story is how so many names got together to write a letter:
BBC organised celebrities’ protest letter
Well, of course someone must have. Sat in the BBC canteen, one of them must have kickstarted the project and drafted the thing. Given the lack of wow!, fist bumps and seagull droppings we’d says the root was either Schama or Adil Ray*, the latter chiefly because we don’t know who they are and they could only benefit from the exposure.
The Times says that’s wrong.
The letter was presented as an independent protest against plans to reform the BBC, but The Times can reveal that executives at the highest level helped to co-ordinate it while the corporation officially denied all knowledge.
Annie Nightingale, BBC Radio 1’s longest-serving presenter and one of the letter’s 29 signatories, said she had been invited to be a signatory by Ben Cooper, the controller of Radio 1. She had not seen the text of the letter before its publication.
And then this:
Mr Cohen is friends with two Hollywood stars who signed the letter, Daniel Craig and his wife, the actress Rachel Weisz. They attended his 2012 wedding, where Weisz was a bridesmaid. Neither the actors nor the BBC would comment on whether Mr Cohen had helped to persuade the couple to sign.
Is that a big deal? And, in any case, when Hollywood stars tell the unwashed how great the BBC is, does anyone listen? Yeah, weak politicians do, the ones who view the arts as mirrors to their own sensitive souls, shiny things to pick up and drop when an easy photo opportunity is needed.
But better than reading the grandstanding talent and listening for the politicos reactions are the readers comments papers chose to feature. The Guardian, which is pretty much the BBC’s in-house news sheet, heads its readers’ letters page:
Friends of the BBC will oppose the government’s vicious attacks
Tories, and their friends among the circling vultures of the commercial sector, assume that in doing popular programmes the BBC has been muscling in on natural commercial territory. But they are getting their history back-to-front. The BBC got there first – by several decades. It would be more accurate to say that commercial broadcasters have been muscling in on the BBC’s natural territory. Perhaps the government needs an expert panel to investigate whether they should be scaled back?
Professor David Hendy
University of Sussex
Compare and contrast that to the top reader comment in the Times, the paper owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Sky TV:
What a sad reflection on the Beeb! They try to play dirty by organising their grubby little letter, then lack the testicular fortitude to admit their involvement.
The FOI request will get nowhere – emails inexplicably deleted, so sorry.
All the luvvie rats trying to save the ship how quaint, a few will go to the bottom. I must admit though the list of people who signed are actually talented there are some exceptions but not many..
I have a sickening feeling that the BBC problem will turn into another Greece. We all know it is wrong, however it will drag it on and on until the public get taken again.
* Ray created Citizen Khan, the dire – and I mean turd-stinking bad – BBC sitcom.
Transfer Balls: Manchester United are looking to sell Angel Di Maria.
The Times says Paris Saint-Germain will bid £45m for the Argentina winger who hates living in Manchester.
That’s far less than the British record £59.7 million fee United paid Real Madrid for Di Maria last summer.
Anorak would pay good money not to see TV ‘funnyman’ Michael McIntyre, the Johnny Boden of comedy. We take comfort from knowing that among McIntyre’s biggest fans are members of a police helicopter surveillance team who spotted him on a London street, took a photo and tweeted it.
Officers from the London branch of the Met’s National Police Air Service posted the photo on their @NPASLondon twitter account. The tweet invited readers to play detective:
“Whilst on tasking in central London this morning we spotted a certain energetic funny man … Can you guess who?”
Says the Met spokesman:
“This tweet does not as far as we know constitute a breach of data protection legislation. The tweet was deleted because of a negative response on Twitter.”
Superintendent Richard Watson, of the National Police Air Service adds:
“We are aware of the tweet and as far as we are aware it does not breach any data protection legislation.
“We feel however it was inappropriate and it has since been removed. We will be speaking to the person who posted the tweet.”
If Watson can ask the uniformed pigeons to keep an eye on BBC breakfast news presenter Bill Turnbull, ITV’s Fiona Phillips and footy pundit Robbie Savage, and let us know when they are not working and it is safe to watch the telly, we’d appreciate it…