Tabloids | Anorak - Part 242

Tabloids Category

The news as told by the UK’s tabloid press – The Sun, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Star and News of the World.

Diet Another Day

‘STARS attending next year’s British Serial Drama Awards (as it will no doubt we known) should start taking lessons from Countdown’s mutton dressed as celebrity lamb, Carol Vorderman.


Ms Vorderman has already shown that she can compete in the Bad Taste stakes with the worst dressed soap actress or serial dramatiste.

This morning, she shows the Mirror how she can fit into the shocking creations she has been known to wear with her 14-day detox diet.

‘Like many women, I have a love-hate relationship with summer,’ she says. ‘I’ve stood in front of the mirror trying on those little vests and shorts and been confronted by a grey, blobby mass.’

Having kissed her husband ‘good morning’, Carol continues: ‘I know how easy it is to make the transition into that summer wardrobe far less painful.’

If you don’t fancy that, turn to the Mail, where starting today is ‘the diet that helped Kate Winslet lose four stone’. As we recall, it’s called The Airbrush Diet.

If that’s not enough, you could follow the diet that helped Kate lose an unwanted 12 stone – the Divorce Diet.

Or you could just follow the example of Friends star Matt Le Blanc, who the Mirror says ‘looks more chunk than hunk’ as he bares his chest on honeymoon.

Posted: 12th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Prince And The Posse

‘PRINCE Harry spread-eagled on his back – it’s enough to make any self-respecting Sloane bray with excitement.

Ginger boy pulls – latest!

But while they have to content themselves with a picture in the Mail, the Sun informs us that the third in line to the throne could already be taken.

It says Harry is ‘very close’ to party-loving society beauty Laura Gerard-Leigh and had enjoyed a string of dates with her.

Laura, who is doing her A-levels at the prestigious St Mary’s school in Calne, is a member of the Glossy Posse, a group of polo-playing pals who hail from the Gloucestershire area.

The Sun says the two have been chums for years, but romance only blossomed last month.

A friend says: ‘They have a lot in common.’

‘Like Harry,’ explains the Sun, ‘she also enjoys drinking and smoking and is a well-known party animal in the posh bars and clubs of Chelsea’s Kings Road.’

And if that’s not enough on which to build a future, we don’t know what is.

Posted: 12th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Bad Faith

‘MANY men of Adam Faith’s vintage – he was 62 when he died – have need of drugs and potions to make them vigorous and enduring when entertaining a young lady, or the wife.

Who needs divorce – when you can just get him a much younger girlfriend

But not Adam Faith, who stayed as rock solid as a mighty oak and twice as stiff as Prince Charles after a date with his 22-year-old lover Tanya Arpino.

For Adam, as the Sun says on its front page, had died. Rigor mortis, nature’s very own Viagra, was to set in, and Faith was to be buried.

The details of what induced Faith’s fatal heart attack are not given in full, and the Sun just allows itself to say that ‘heartbroken’ Tanya was in the ageing popstar’s hotel room when his ticker gave way.

‘It was like watching a horror movie – but you can’t switch it off because you’re in it,’ says Tanya, who may also have been unable to get up and put the kettle on.

The Star shares the story of how ‘TV Adam Faith died romping with babe, 22’.

And it is tale that Mancunian singer Mick Hucknell would be well advised to take heed of as the Sun brings the rather unpleasant news that the ginger crooner is dating a 17-year-old schoolgirl.

A photo of could-be killer Claudia Kinsey is provided. She looks harmless enough – but who knows what pain she will being Mick?

Posted: 9th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Sent Packing

‘FOLLOWING Adam Faith’s ‘Wot a way to go story’, the Mirror takes up the banner of sex and celebrity.

Later that night, Grant, Anthea and John met up with Ainsley Harriot

In the spotlight is John Leslie, the overly-tall former presenter of Blue Peter and latterly This Morning.

Leslie’s seen out on the town, heading towards a play called The Rat Pack.

Wise heads will have already spotted the irony in this story, as Leslie’s modern life seems to ape the antics of the great hell-raisers, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.

And so it is that the Mirror spots Leslie’s own pack of showbiz pals walking behind him through central London.

The swingers are, in no particular order, Anthea Turner and Grant Bovey.

London had best watch out when these this three get in the groove. What with Leslie’s height, Bovey’s tan and Anthea’s way with chocolate, who knows what mayhem will ensue.

Posted: 9th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Blood Hounds

‘EVERY Berliner and Malaysian master chef knows that a puppy need not be just for Christmas.

Thanks to Tiddles Coats, Rex could be the cat he always wanted to be

When combined with the pelts of 41 little puppy pals, your pooch can be warm and comforting – something to snuggle up close to every day of week.

This development in canine care stems from the Mail’s front-page story about the ‘scandal’ of the fur coat made from 42 Alsatian puppies.

Having been invited inside the paper, readers are confronted with the ‘horrific trade’ in cat and dog fur.

The story goes that cats and dogs in Belgium are – allegedly – being killed to make coats, blankets, and the lining for gloves and ski boots.

This is clearly an outrage. Surely these animals could be put to better use, like lagging the boiler and car-seat covers.

And while we wait for the next catalogue, we note that today’s range, apparently, includes a blanket made from the furry parts of four golden retrievers.

Just think, when the chill wind of winter bites, you don’t have to move to get that spare blanket – you can just whistle.

Posted: 9th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Ready Steady Cook

‘WHAT’S the betting that ”Corrie cracker” Tracy Shaw would have been first on the phone when Channel 4 announced they were going to do another series of Celebrity Big Brother?

Former Rear of the Year Tracy Shaw sets out to prove she’s no one trick pony

But the oft-engaged blonde will have to battle it out with ”telly babe” Catalina (who?) for the role of resident beauty in the house.

So says the Star, which this morning unveils the line-up for the new series, which is set to go on air for a fortnight in November.

TV bosses says they have got an ”ideal blend” of celebrity – and the paper reveals how they did it.

Take one part of Tracy and one part of Catalina, and grind down to form a powder.

Separately, puree former Spice Girl Mel B, former Boyzone singer Stephen Gateley and former EastEnders actor (and legendary lothario) Michael Greco, making sure you eradicate all lumps (sorry, Jimmy Gulzar).

Fry some former Big Brother presenter Richard Bacon, with a hint of Graham Norton, until soft.

Add the powder and the puree and two pints of water and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally.

As the mixture starts to thicken, flavour with Lenny Henry. For special occasions, try adding a sprig of Dawn French or a pinch of Kathy Burke – and there you have your ”ideal blend” of celebrity.

Serve immediately – to your dog.

Posted: 24th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Mushroom Cloud Over Iraq

‘TODAY, Tony Blair publishes the dossier that he says proves ‘nails’ Saddam Hussain and justifies war.

Fairies complain of invasion of privacy

The Mirror publishes a picture of the Iraqi dictator beside a massive mushroom and says: ”OK, Tony. Prove it.”

But Tony can prove it. The Sun says that the Cabinet ministers who have seen the document have now swung behind the Prime Minister and the need for military action.

Even war wobblers Clare Short and Robin Cook were run by the damning proof contained in the 50-page dossier.

We at Anorak have also seen a leaked copy of the dossier and would like to offer Mr Blair our unconditional support for the forthcoming hostilities.

Intelligence reports, satellite photos and the evidence of informers all point to one incontrovertible fact – Saddam has been picking mushrooms without a licence.

Posted: 24th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Chewing The Fat

‘WHAT EVERY WOMAN NEEDS TO KNOW. This morning, these words are once again plastered on the front page of the Mail, bringing the dossier of things every woman needs to know (2002 version) to considerably more than the 50 pages of Tony’s dossier of death.

A turkey neck is not just for Christmas

So what does every woman need to know this morning?

She needs to know about liposuction. It’s the fastest growing cosmetic surgery, in fact it is the most commonly performed operation in the United States (not that you’d have guessed from the line-up on an average Jerry Springer episode).

But is it ”a dieter’s dream or deadly vanity”? The Mail has the answer, beside a consumer test of five of the best backpacks (which can be used to carry your unwanted flab home).

But is this something that every woman needs to know about? Lisa Riley and Vanessa Feltz perhaps, but Calista Flockhart and Jennifer Aniston?

Next week, breast implants – and what every woman needs to know…

Posted: 24th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Frog’s Prints

‘IT may be a humble puddle, but for pilgrims in Thailand, it is the footprint of Buddha.

The foot-shaped pool, at a waterfall in Pungna province, is attracting crowds who are leaving flowers and incense at the site, which is said to be guarded by a frog.

They ask the frog to predict lottery numbers, and there are fears for its health, as people are rubbing talcum powder into its skin, hoping for numbers to appear.

”I have ordered my officers to control the area,” said Jamnong Suksawad, the head of the national parks commission, ”but people think this is a holy place and we are powerless to stop them coming.”’

Posted: 24th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Baby Love

‘THE hunt goes on – for Milly Dowling’s killer, if not for foxes, with the distraught parents of the 13-year-old vowing not to rest until ”the monster responsible for this ghastly crime” is brought to justice.

He’s loving Rachel instead

However, the Star is interested in a ”crime” of a significantly less ghastly nature – and it knows the person responsible.

”Robbie: I Ditched Nic For Killing My Baby” is the front-page headline, with the Robbie in question being Mr Williams, formerly of Take That, and the Nic being Ms Appleton, formerly of All Saints.

The paper claims that the relationship between the two popsters dies the day she decided to abort their unborn baby.

A pal tells the Star: ”She took his child away from him and he cannot forget that. The relationship was never the same after that, a terrible wedge was driven between them by that selfish decision.

”People say their hectic commitments and his boozy lifestyle drove them apart, but the reason was the abortion.”

Nicole Appleton claims that it was former All Saints manager John Benson who persuaded her to have the abortion at a private New York clinic.

Band mate, Melanie Blatt, who was also pregnant, refused to have an abortion, but Nicole finally caved in – a decision that cost her Robbie’s love.

”The abortion must have symbolised everything he hated about how this business can control your life,” she writes in her autobiography. ”It so overwhelmed me that he had lost his child. I wanted to weep and weep.”

What, then, must the parents of Millie Dowling be feeling right now?

Posted: 23rd, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Pool Party

‘CELEBRITIES don’t come much more self-obsessed than Michael Barrymore, who has been feeling very sorry for himself since he suffered the trauma of someone dying in his swimming pool.

Barrymore – in a bit of a hot spot

The offender, Stuart Lubbock, not only sullied the pool, but did the same to the TV performer’s reputation – and Barrymore has had to disappear to Mauritius for a few weeks to get over the shock.

But the Mail has tracked him down to the Saint Geran hotel, where he is slumming it in the £4,500-a-night Villa Royal suite.

Coincidentally, the suite boasts its own private swimming pool – a must for a man who only last week claimed at Mr Lubbock’s inquest that he couldn’t swim.

That is a claim that has been disputed by everyone who saw Barrymore win an Olympic gold medal in the individual medley in the 1964 games.

Former bodyguard Steve Gilbey tells the Mail: ”He said on oath that he couldn’t swim, but the truth is he can. If he was any kind of man, he’d have jumped in and tried to save Mr Lubbock’s life. Instead, he ran away like a coward.”

Now we can just wait until he comes back to face the music – and the chances are it won’t be his kind of music…

Posted: 23rd, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Double Trouble

‘IF being Michael Barrymore’s PR adviser is the second worst job in showbusiness, what’s the worst? Being Lucian Pavarotti’s wife – and expecting twins.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house

Nicoletta Mantovani, who was his personal assistant for nine years, has confirmed that she is expecting the heavyweight tenor’s babies in February.

The Mirror says the couple are rumoured to have had IVF treatment in New York earlier this year after the mum-to-be had spoken of her desire to have kids.

”I would love to have twins,” she once said. ”For some time, I have imagined how the child we hope to have would turn out.”

And we’re all imagining how the children she now hopes to have will come out. Giving birth to not one but two Pavarottis would bring water to the driest eyes…

Posted: 23rd, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Speaking Ill Of The Dead

‘TACT was in short supply at a funeral held in the Great Pine Grove Baptist Church in Loxley, Alabama, where mourners were soon up in arms as the preacher began his service.

Orlando Bethel, who is married to the deceased’s niece, decided to depart from the usual euphemistic conventions, and denounced the dead man as a ”drunkard” and a ”fornicator” who will burn in hell.

Police were called as Bethel was manhandled. ”The fornicators didn’t like what they heard,” said Bethel’s wife Glynis afterwards, ”so they beat him up.”

Posted: 23rd, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Child Labour

‘REGULAR readers of Anorak will remember how we brought you news of eccentric road markings appearing around the country, including a yellow line that curved around a traffic cone and a white line that kept a perfectly straight path across the prostrate body of a dead badger.

North Lincolnshire Employee Of The Month – August

Now we bring news of a new sighting, and one that may explain some of the earlier phenomena. ”ELF WORKER” announces the Sun. ”Lad aged 9 lays road for council.”

And there are pictures of the young man, with his face pixelled out to protect his identity (and who can blame him if he is signing on too?).

The boy is seen walking along the street, weighed down under his tools, which doubtless obscure a rolled-up copy of the Beano in his back pocket.

He chatted to motorists who were held up by the roadworks in which he was engaged, and one of the drivers rather unsportingly took the photographs that the Sun has now published.

”The lad was working his socks off,” said the man. But don’t worry, he’ll soon grow out of it.

Posted: 20th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Boys’ Brigade

‘EARLIER this week we told how the Army is trying to solve its manpower shortage by welcoming back soldiers who have gone Awol.

”Honest, sir – I’m 12-years-old”

We are happy to report that the policy has been a huge success.

”Army’s flood of recruits since 9/11” trumpets the Sun, ”Record 15,000 set to join ranks.”

And whichever way you look at it, that’s an impressive number in a little over a week. But when you start to look at the story a bit more closely, things don’t quite add up.

For a start, it turns out the 9/11 in question is the one that occurred last year, and not last week.

Then it turns out that the figure of 15,000 is some sort of approximation based on recruits, applications and projected figures – none of which are much use when you need to get together a bunch of have-a-go heroes to give Johnny Foreigner a slap.

Furthermore, it now transpires that at least a quarter of the 100,000 bona fide troops currently in service are nine-year-olds looking to learn a trade and get out by the time they hit puberty.

Once upon a time there was a noble tradition of underage lads volunteering to join up, but now the ”child soldiers” are the subject of campaigns by meddlesome charities and pious politicians.

As a consequence, the Army is remaining understandably coy.

”More young people are becoming aware of the excellent job opportunities,” smiled Brigadier Simon Young, as a distant high-pitched voice barked out commands above the left-right patter of tiny feet.

Posted: 20th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

It’s The Way He Sells ‘Em

‘HE’S ”THE MAN FROM UNCOOL” says the Sun, apropos of…nothing very much.

”Hello, laydeez”

A poll commissioned by the electrical retailer Dixons has revealed the things that women find most unattractive in a man.

These include mullet haircuts, crummy old cars, Y-fronts and old-fashioned mobile phones.

The paper helpfully provides a picture of a model dressed up to illustrate the composite man who is the stuff of the ladies’ nightmare.

All very good, except for one thing. There is only one place in the world where this specimen can still be seen in his natural habitat: serving in your local branch of Dixons, lording it over his ”team” of teenagers as they struggle manfully to grow their own first ‘taches.

Posted: 20th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Ps And Queues

‘AT least when this Government comes a cropper, it has the guts to say so.

”Pass the tea, please. There’s a good chap.”

And it doesn’t hide things either, bravely choosing the cover of the Express to say ”please get out” to ”bogus” refugees.

Having failed to send the boys and girls of Kosovo and Afghanistan home by force of law, Home Secretary David Blunkett is employing the rules of decency.

How can a simple ”please” fail? If these freeloaders have learnt noting else from their stay in Blighty’s finest detention centres and sink estates, they will have learnt the value of a simple ”please” and, perhaps, a ”thank you”.

So as Osman asks ”Please can I stay in your country?” and Ali says ”Thank you for having me” as he boards the plane home, the Mirror hears Blunkett’s response.

”We are freeing countries… and making it possible for them to get back home and rebuild their counties,” he says.

Quite so. They might not have money, cement or bricks and mortar, but they now have manners. And above all things that is what makes a country great.

Posted: 19th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


‘BUT it’s not an English country garden for everyone. Oh, no! There are perils everywhere. Take the Express’ story about ”superstar” Claire Richards.

”It’s all right – there’s a spare if this one packs up”

”My first instinct was to panic,” says the former Steps singer of her ordeal.

But readers expecting to find a masked Afghani in her bedroom or a Kosovan suicide bomber in the alley behind her house, should know that Claire’s panic was brought about by a lump in her breast.

She must have had a hellish time deliberating for hours about when and how to tell the papers.

For Claire knows that there is nothing better to guarantee a spot in the newssheets than a cancer story.

And even when she found it was just a lump of gristle, she still had to tell us the story. And then to impart to readers her newly-formed Zen-like clarity of vision.

”When your health is threatened you realise how precious life is,” says a perfectly healthy Claire.

And that’s something else the refugees might like to remember as they return to their mansions and palaces.

Posted: 19th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

A ‘Grade A’ Cock-Up

”’TOUGH on crime, tough on the causes of crime.” ”Education, education, education.” ”If you have another baby, I’ll change the law so I can stay at home too.”

”Eeny, meeny, miney, A…”

Just three of the highlights from the dissertation module of ACL Blair’s politics exam of 1997.

Tony passed the test with flying colours, but it came of something of a shock that others did less well, and some even failed to get reach the average mark: an A grade.

And now the Mail, school heads and teachers want to know why. They want to know why everyone didn’t get top grades in their A-levels.

Head teachers claim that exam boards deliberately lowered marks under orders from the Government’s Qualification and Curriculum Authority, who were worried that improved results had devalued the system.

So to cries of ”blatant”, ”shocked”, ”It was a farce”, ”I was stunned” and the A-star winning ”I was mortified”, the Mail hears students cry foul.

And even former schools standards watchdog chief Chris Woodhead, who once took the selfless step of living with a sixth-former to help her though her A-level in home economics, finds it ”inconceivable”.

But what is the Government doing to put it right? Well, to start with in true Tony tradition it’s agreeing that there is a problem.

”I take it very seriously,” says Education Secretary and former PE teacher Estelle Morris in the Mirror.

And secondly it wants all the papers marked by the exam boards at the centre of the row to be remarked.

And so what if the markers have criminal records as long as your arm, these are children’s lives we’re taking about here. And that must come first.

Posted: 19th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Dirty Fowler

‘THIS week Mark Fowler bade farewell to Albert Square as he set off on his motorbike in his blouson style leather jacket, all his worldly possessions in a single bin bag. Luckily he doesn’t have far to go though, as I gather they film ‘Grange Hill’ on the next set.

The scriptwriters did their usual trick of completely changing someone’s personality within the space of an episode and turned Mark into a potential rapist when he attacked Lisa for sleeping with Phil. Which is about as likely as Sonia saying no to seconds at dinner.

Lisa fled to Phil (the man she shot) for protection and he and Peggy were only too happy to take her in with open arms. ”We’re a proper famaleeee now,” cackled Peggy. Well yes, in the same way the Krays were a ‘family’.

But this week’s Relate Award for Marital Specialness has to go to Sadie and Tom. After failing to win Tom back by dressing in Sharon’s clothes (well there’s a surprise), Sadie went one step further and decided to hold Miss Piggy hostage.

Sharon wasn’t unduly worried though as she reasoned that she had plenty of body fat to keep her going should she be in for the long haul. Tom and Ian turned up, just as Sadie was about to throw herself out of the window – probably to escape this ridiculous storyline, but Sharon, turning into Claire Raynor (let’s face it, she’s only a couple of years and pounds away), managed to talk her out of it.

Tom drove Sadie off to her parents’ house and unfortunately I fear it’s the last we’re going to see of the gap-toothed loon. And Walford will be a poorer place for it.

The good news though is that Trevor’s set to reappear shortly. Billy goes looking for him to ask him to divorce Little Mo, so that he can marry her. Billy proposed to Little Mo by spelling out ”Will you marry me?” in Alpabetti Spaghetti. It’s a good thing he wasn’t proposing to Janine, she’d have wolfed the whole tin down without even drawing breath.

Janine is less than pleased about Billy and Little Mo’s relationship and is trying to split them up by pretending that Trevor sent Little Mo some flowers. All this has done though is give Billy the idea of tracking him down to ask for a divorce.

Unfortunately for Billy, he does find Trevor and as usual, Trevor reacts in his calm, sensitive way by putting Billy in hospital. But Billy only has himself to blame because, as everyone knows, you don’t go anywhere near Trevor without being armed with a small electrical item.

Posted: 18th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

All Dressed Up And Nowhere To Go

‘IT can be difficult finding a home for stray animals, so staff at an animal shelter in Los Angeles are being asked to dress up their charges in an attempt to make them look more appealing to potential owners.

A report recommended the shelter ”investigate the feasibility of developing special programmes to enhance the presentation of impounded animals”. The suggestions – including dressing dogs and cats in jumpers, bows and collars – have not gone down well.

”There are so many greater needs than putting neckerchiefs on dogs,” said the shelter’s general manager, Jerry Greenwalt. ‘

Posted: 18th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Treading Water

‘CAN Michael Barrymore swim? On that question would seem to hang what little remains of the TV joker’s reputation and future after claims that he lied during last week’s inquest into the death of Stuart Lubbock.

”I have never knowingly given Michael Barrymore the kiss of life,” says local Essex lifeguard

He told the coroner that he didn’t dive in to help after the father-of-two was found floating in his pool because he couldn’t swim – a claim immediately contradicted by his ex-wife Cheryl.

And now the Sun has news that the 50-year-old host of Strike It Lucky was once president of his local swimming club. He was offered the honorary role by the Harlow Pengiuns before the fateful night last March when Mr Lubbock died.

”He was only too willing and came to one of our galas,” a club source said. ”If he can’t swim, it’s strange he didn’t mention it – he would have been guaranteed free lessons.”

Not only that but the Sun also reveals that swimming lessons were compulsory at the school in Bermondsey that Barrymore attended.

Former pupil Jean Royle told the paper: ”The only way to avoid it was with a medical note. I’m sure I’d have remembered if anyone did, I’d have been jealous.”

Surely, though, you don’t have to be as wise as Solomon to solve this little conundrum. Push Barrymore into a pool. If he drowns, he was telling the truth. If he swims, he was lying – and should be thrown back in, but this time with a concrete block tied round his feet.’

Posted: 18th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Thin Blue Linesman

‘HAVING safely disposed of Michael Barrymore, we move onto the case of Sgt Nigel Miller. The 42-year-old told bosses last month that he was too ill to deal with the strain of police work – and so joined the ranks of thousands of coppers who are paid to sit at home and watch The Bill on UK Gold.

”Gave that dark fella Thierry Henry a ticket for speeding once…”

So you would imagine his bosses must have got a bit of a surprise when they tuned in to watch the grudge match between Leeds and Manchester United at the weekend and saw their erstwhile colleague running the line.

Not a bit of it. They had, says the Star, not only given him permission to attend the match, but had suggested that officiating at the hate-filled encounter might be ”therapeutic”.

Wear Valley councillor Derek Jago (who is also chaplain of Bishop Auckland FC) said the case sent out a bad message. ”Anyone with common sense would say that if you were ill, you would not put yourself in that situation,” he said.

Or was Sgt Miller merely anticipating new Home Office guidelines. Published yesterday, they call for coppers to take their meal breaks in fast food restaurants and cafes to help boost police visibility.

And what could more visible than a televised Premiership football match?

Posted: 18th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Which Way’s North?

‘THERE is unlikely to be much fall-out from Sgt Miller’s unorthodox recuperation regime, if only because Home Office officials probably won’t be able to find Durham on a map.

Somewhere north of Manchester

The Daily Mail reports that disturbing news that more than half of all southerners cannot even pinpoint Birmingham on a map. It may be the second biggest city in the UK, but for some southerners it is in the Lake District, for others it is near Bristol, and for still others it’s just north of Watford.

But Birmingham fared better than the likes of Glasgow (which only one in six people could correctly locate), Inverness and Bradford.

Pollsters asked 1,037 people from London and the South East to place nine cities on a map. Nineteen per cent missed the target with all nine.

None of which would be very surprising had not the pass rate for A-level geography this year been something just over 100%.

Posted: 18th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Time Bandits

‘WITH war with Iraq averted for at least the time being, the papers are looking for other ways to show how we are all doomed.

”I dunno what it says, but I reckon it’s pub time”

And the Mail finds the evidence in time. It unearths researchers who ”reckon” that 31 per cent of eight years olds cannot tell the time from a clock with hour and minute hands – what the paper calls a ”traditional clockface”.

To the man and woman in the street this might not be such bad news, but to Nick Seaton, head of an entity called the Campaign For Real Education, it is like spitting in the Queen’s face.

”It’s very serious that many children are not being taught how to tell the time effectively,” he says.

Because where would we be if we didn’t know the hour of the day? Well, we wouldn’t know when we hit 16 and were able to buy fags, or 18 and entitled to get blotto in the pub (at least until such a moment when the landlord inexplicably called ”Time”).

You see, time is important, and time spent with our children is golden.

According to more of the Mail’s cutting-edge researchers, parental affluence is an effective shield against the evils of drugs.

Apparently, youngsters who are close to their mother are more likely to be straight, and if dad’s around they’ll do well at school.

And if you do well in class, you can, in time, earn lots of money, and then pay for the surgery that will stop time in its tracks.

And then when asked how old you are, no-one will be able to tell for sure.

Posted: 17th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0