Gerry McCann | Anorak

Posts Tagged ‘Gerry McCann’

Madeleine McCann: Daily Express juxtaposes Our Maddie next to a family holiday competition


MADELEINE McCann is on the cover of the Daily Express. There is news. Maybe. The front-page headline announces:


As ever there is no news. This is media management. The media continues to feature the missing child. Her parents continue their policy of keeping their daughter’s name in the public eye.

* By the way, who at the Express thought it a good idea to position the child who went missing on a family summer holiday overseas alongside a chance to win a family holiday overseas?  Not good.

Anyhow, this latest news follows the Express‘ story on July 8th:

Yard face a network of evil: Maddie police ‘seeking people smuggling ring’

A FORMER top Scotland Yard detective last night suggested the new investigation into the Madeleine McCann mystery is focused on a network of suspects involved in people-trafficking.

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Posted: 12th, July 2013 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews | Comment (1)

Madeleine McCann: the Daily Express spins a single thread into suspects and arrests

express-1-329x437MADELEINE MCCANN: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at the missing child in the news:

The Daily Express leads with its customary picture of ‘Our Maddy’ and the headline: “Maddy Arrests Within Weeks.”


“Cameron backing new investigation”

Inside the paper, we learn:

Mr Cameron said the case of the then three-year-old who went missing from a holiday apartment in Portugal’s Algarve in May 2007 was one that continued to shock the nation.

What did he say of the Met’s investigation?

“It is welcome because they say that there is new evidence, new leads to follow, new things to be done. It was a case that did shock and still shocks the nation and if an answer can be found we should try and find it.”

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Posted: 6th, July 2013 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews | Comment

Madeleine McCann: 38 ‘suspects’, parents ruled out and new theories

MADELEINE McCANN: Anorak’s look at the missing child dubbed ‘Our Maddie’ in the news:

BBC: “Madeleine McCann: New leads spark Met formal inquiry”

Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood, who is heading what has been called Operation Grange, said: “The review has given us new thinking, new theories, new evidence and new witnesses.”

What new theories? That she wandered off? It’s taken as fact that she was abducted.

Sky News: “Madeleine McCann’s parents have welcomed the launch of a new UK police investigation into their daughter’s disappearance.”

A Met Police review has identified 38 “persons of interest” who detectives want to speak to in relation to the suspected abduction in 2007 – almost twice as many as previously thought.

Officers say they are moving from the case review to an “investigative stage of the inquiry” and now intend to pursue more information about those individuals – 12 of whom are UK nationals

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Posted: 5th, July 2013 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews | Comments (6)

Madeleine McCann: CPS head to Portgal as The Met close in

mccann CPS

MADELEINE McCann: Anorak’s look at the missing child in the news:


Alison Saunders, chief crown ­prosecutor for London, discussed crucial developments in the case uncovered by Scotland Yard. It is the first time such a senior figure from the Crown Prosecution Service has travelled to Portugal in connection with Madeleine’s dis­appearance and her presence, along with her deputy, fuelled speculation that a new inquiry is about to be launched.

It certainly does. As a reader writes:

I hope they finally find out what happened.

A CPS spokeswoman is quoted:

“Prosecutors from CPS London and ­investigators from the Metropolitan Police Service visited their Portuguese counterparts on April 17-18 to discuss possible next steps in ­relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. We continue to work with the police on this case.”

The McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell adds:

“They remain grateful, however, to the UK authorities for the work being done to establish what happened to Madeleine and to bring those responsible for her abduction to justice.”

Evening Standard: “Fresh hope in Madeleine McCann investigation as CPS lawyers travel to Portugal”

Government lawyers have travelled to Portugal to meet police and prosecution officials to discuss new leads in the Madeleine McCann inquiry. The trip is the first time that lawyers from the Crown Prosecution Service have visited Portugal in connection with Scotland Yard’s £5 million review of the case.

Home Secretary Theresa May is now expected to announce a full-scale Yard investigation into the disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine in May 2007…

Last month the Standard revealed that detectives had identified a list of potential suspects. Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, who supervised the review, said there were a “good number” of people who should be questioned as well as “further forensic opportunities”.

The list is thought to number around 20, including Britons. The potential suspects are thought to include a handful of known child-sex offenders who are believed to have been in the Algarve when Madeleine disappeared.

This all sounds like progress.

The Met said:

“Our investigative review into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann continues to make encouraging progress. Detectives remain in regular contact with Kate and Gerry McCann and are working closely with the Portuguese police in an attempt to make further progress.”

Madeleine was then three-years-old when she vanished from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3 2007, as her parents Kate and Gerry dined at a nearby tapas restaurant with friends.

Such are the facts.

PS – Ben Needham – any British police looking for him?

Posted: 23rd, June 2013 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews | Comments (2)

Madeleine McCann: Gerry McCann says ‘Madeleine and her safety is often treated with complete contempt’

MADELEINE McCANN: Kate and Gerry McCann want Lord Leveson proposals on media regulation be implemented in full.

They should not get their way. Press Freedom means what it says. No buts. Why should journalists be held to ethical and moral standards imposed by others? You only need a access to the internet and an opinion to be a journalist. You might not be a good one, but the public will be the judges.

Why should a human being not need a license to express a view? True, writers must be held to account for what they /we say. But freedom of expression cannot be ring-fenced. You cannot cause offence to no-one.

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Posted: 17th, February 2013 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, Reviews | Comment

The Leveson Inquiry Should Ignore Gerry McCann’s Words On Super-Injunctions For Photographers

WHEN the parents of Madeleine McCann appeard at the Leveson Inquiry, Gerry McCann told it:

You should not be able to publish photographs of private individuals going about their private business without their explicit consent, signed.

What say the snappers?

Christopher Pledger has worked for, among others, the Daily Telegraph. He says:

A ban of this type would be the death of the free press in the UK. Current guidelines require that individuals should not be photographed while they have a ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’. In practical terms this means that anyone in a public place can be photographed without permission, as they cannot expect privacy in a public space. If laws were introduced requiring the written consent of an individual before they were photographed, it would mean press photographers would have to ignore events unfolding before them.

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Posted: 26th, November 2011 | In: Key Posts, Reviews | Comments (11)

Madeleine McCann At The Leveson Inquiry: The Free Speech Debate

MADELEINE McCann: Kate and Gerry McCann has been addressing the Leveson Inquiry into media standards.

It’s front page news:

Front pages:

“Days of dignity for the McCanns”- Telegraph
“Lives are being harmed by these stories, says McCanns” – Guardian
“I was violated by the press says Kate McCann”- Times
“Tortured by the tabloids”- Indy

Kate McCann says he felt “totally violated” when the News of the World published excerpts from a private diary.

Madeleine McCann went missing on May 3, 2007. He case continues to make headline news.

Gerry McCann also spoke. He noted how the coverage turned from helpful to their search for their daughter to being negative against them.

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Posted: 24th, November 2011 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann | Comments (24)

Madeleine McCann: Gerry McCann On Suicide, Phone Hacking Trolls And Sean Duffy

MADELEINE McCann: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at the missing child in the news:  Gerry and Kate McCann are core participants in the first stage of the inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal.


GERRY McCann has revealed how during his darkest days he began to understand why people took their own lives. The doting dad has been to hell and back since his daughter Madeleine vanished on holiday in Portugal… The couple travelled to Germany last week in a bid to spark new information from German tourists in Portugal at the time…

In one interview Gerry said he and Kate had been put under “incredible psychological pressure” and had been asked to admit hiding Madeleine’s body.

He said: ‘We were in front of the world, portrayed as being guilty. That was certainly the worst moment after we discovered that Madeleine had disappeared.

“This tactic is used, not only in Portugal, there are such cases in the UK. But everybody who uses this tactic and participates has to be clear they can destroy lives.
I can now understand why people admit to things they haven’t done. I can understand why people kill themselves after such an experience.”

The Star makes no mention of trial by media.

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Posted: 18th, September 2011 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (6)

Kate And Gerry McCann’s Lawyer Sues Madeleine Foundation Secretary Tony Bennett

MADELEINE McCann: Yet another court case of the McCanns as they sue Tony Bennett:


Article filed 16 August 2011

On 9 August 2011, Mr Edward Smethurst, the Co-ordinating Solicitor for Drs Gerald and Kate McCann, issued a libel summons against Madeleine Foundation Secretary Tony Bennett, a fact he found out on returning yesterday from a 10-day holiday. The claim is limited by Mr Smethurst to ‘a sum not exceeding £100,000’.

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Posted: 16th, August 2011 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comment

Madeleine McCann: Kate And Gerry McCann Launch A Book Called Madeleine: Photos

MADELEINE MCCANN: To the launch of Kate McCann’s book called Madeleine. Here are the photos…


Picture 1 of 10

Kate and Gerry McCann give a press conference in central London on their newly published book 'Madeleine' about their daughter's disappearance in 2007.

Posted: 12th, May 2011 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comment

Madeleine: Second Extracts Of Kate McCann’s Book

MADELEINE McCann: Day 2 of the Sun’s serialisation of Kate McCann’s book Madeleine. (Day 1 here.).

The Sun (front page): “I SMASHED BED IN RAGE AT COPS

Today we learn that after just one day working with the “shambolic” Portuguese police she “wrecked a bed as she kicked out in rage”.

The story of the Portuguese police’s investigation has been a spin-off thread in the story of the child’s disappearance. The tabloid media swiftly decided they were “bungling”.

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Posted: 9th, May 2011 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (35)

Madeleine McCann: Kate McCann’s Suicide, World Service And Catholics

MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann – Kate McCann’s death, suicide, three years of looking – three years of watching the parents – Facbook trolls and pain…

SKY News: “Kate McCann: I Thought Of Dying To End Pain”

Kate McCann is on BBC World Service. The world listens as she says:

“I used to have thoughts like we’ll get wiped out in the car on the motorway. So it would just happen, we’d all be gone, and the pain would be away… But what I do know now for sure is that I don’t want that.”

Kate McCann will not commit suicide – read all about it! The story of a missing child is the story of a family’s survival. Once it was the story of Robert Murat’s survival.

Madeleine McCann: Three Years Of Watching Kate And Gerry McCann In Pictures

Daily Mail: “Gerry McCann breaks down as he tells how hunt for Madeleine ‘is shaking his Catholic faith’”

Choking back tears, she told for the first time how she had wanted her life to end but insisted she had never contemplated suicide.

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Posted: 1st, May 2010 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comment

Madeleine McCann: Three Years Of Watching Kate And Gerry McCann In Pictures

MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCannFOR three years Anorak has covered the case of Madeleine McCann. In that time, we have discovered that the media is viscious and voracious. And we have learnt nothing more. There are no suspects. There is no sign of the missing child.

Today, Kate and Gerry McCann, the parents of missing Madeleine McCann want to show you pictures of them in Leicester as they mark the third anniversary of their daughter’s disappearance while on holiday in Portugal.

Madeleine McCann: Watching The Parents

After three years we are still watching the parents in a mawkish, unending spectacle of grief. In three years, Madeleine McCann has become the benchmark of missing children and her parents have turned into emotional exhibits.

Madeleine McCann is missing – still missing. No suspects. Everyone is innocent. No clues. But lots of press…

Madeleine McCann: Martin Samuel’s Fear As A Parent Suffering From Our Maddie Sickness

Posted: 1st, May 2010 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (3)

Madeleine McCann: Sofa So Terrible As Lorraine Kelly Explains

MADELEINE McCann – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann: Kate and Gerry McCann are on GMTV with Lorraine Kelly. The McCanns are talking. Their children Sean and Amelie are talking, too:

The Mail (front page): “Police have given up on Maddie says McCanns”

Page 11: “McCanns beg police to start again in the search for Madeleine”

Did they ever look to begin with – really look?

Leicestershire Police has carried out its own inquiries as has the taxpayer-funded Child Exploitation and On-Line Protection Centre. But neither is actively seeking the little girl.

But she has been looked for:

The three-year saga has already cost UK taxpayers nearly £500,000.

More can be done. Always more can be done because Our Maddie has not been found.What of the facts?

The couple, from Rothley, Leicestershire, told GMTV’s Lorraine Kelly it was ‘incredibly frustrating’ that police in Portugal and the UK are not doing more to find Maddie…

The Sun (front page): “We’ve finally told twins that Maddie was stolen”

Pages 14-15: It’s an exclusive with Lorraine Kelly.

“Mummy was a doctor but now her job is to find Madeleine – WHAT TWIN TOLD SCHOOLGIRL PAL”

Lorraine Kelly has already scored an interview with the McCanns on the GMTV sofa. Now she writes of that meeting.

KATE and Gerry McCann are making plans for their daughter’s seventh birthday – but the little girl will not be opening her presents or blowing out the candles on her cake.

They light the candles? Not that much light is shone on what happened to Our Maddie. On a brighter note, at least each birthday is marked in the national press. The missing child continues to feature. But what is the purpose of the article?

Kate told me: “Her birthday is actually much more difficult than May 3rd. It is a day when we should be celebrating Madeleine – and celebrating WITH Madeleine.”

This is pain exposed. But how does this help find the missing girl? We are staring at the parents. They are inviting us to stare. But we must be careful what we say. Kate and Gerry McCann are innocent. And they are also litigious. Still, Lorraine Kelly isn’t looking at the facts nor for the child – she too is watching the parents:

Kate is bone thin and looks very fragile and, while Gerry might appear to be coping well on the outside, you can clearly see the pain in his eyes.

They both have a haunted, strained look but somehow they manage to get through the day.

Well, they don’t always look like that. And while the stress has been manifest, Gerry McCann has always looked remarkably together and composed in front of the media. And Kate McCann look pretty good.

Time, now, for an anecdote:

Kate, a GP, said that one of Sean’s playmates had asked her “Are you a doctor?” She recalled: “Sean just came in and said, ‘Mummy was a doctor but her job now is to find Madeleine’. He was straight in there. So they understand that we have got a lot of support.”

The kids are now talking:

Kate said: “I think it was last year Amelie said to me, ‘Has Madeleine run away?’
“And she kept asking me in a public place so it was a bit tricky at first, and she said, ‘Because it’s not nice to run away’.

“That really upset me because I thought I don’t want her to think that Madeleine is at fault. So, probably about the third time she asked when we were at home we just explained that someone had taken Madeleine.”


“But we tried to make them understand in as gentle a way as possible. It’s a bit like stealing, you know. That’s how they understand it. So they know someone has taken her and they know it is wrong.”

Try not to spread the fear in kids’ minds. You know, like thsoe adverts for Our Maddie before Shrek the Third. Whodunnit?

Gerry said: “They believe it was a man that took her. It was a naughty man and we need to try and find them. So part of what they say is that mummy is working to try and help find Madeleine.”

Such are the facts. Kelly says that the story of Our Maddie has “a dark side”. Yep, darker than a child going missing.

Kate and Gerry found themselves accused of being neglectful parents and even complicit in Madeleine’s disappearance.

Is that dark? But the story is not about the parents. It’s about finding the missing child, isn’t it? Can we speculate? Gerry McCann says we can:

“What I would say is people have got to put themselves in our position and ask what would you do if it was your daughter?”

Well… What would you do? Imagine if your child went missing. There for the grace of god, and all that. A child goes missing and we all get to play along. And the Government can join in, too:

In their ongoing campaign, Kate and Gerry would dearly love to see a full government review of the case.

Gerry said: “It is not right that an innocent, vulnerable British citizen is, essentially, given up on. We don’t think it is right that, as parents, we have to drive the search. Of course, we will but not everyone has the same resources that we have had.”

No word on Our Maddie in the Daily Star, Daily Express and Daily Mirror (which long ago dispensed with its yellow ribbon).

So much for the reporting. What of the actual case:

“The benefits of biometric systems… In the case of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann (2007), the UK police asked visitors at the Resort in Portugal in the two weeks prior to child’s disappearance to provide any photographs of passers-by for use in a biometric facial recognition system….”

Our Maddie – pictures:


Posted: 28th, April 2010 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (21)

In Pictures The Story Of Madeleine McCann: Libel, Hate, Hope And A Media Feeding Frenzy

MADELEINE McCANN went missing on Thursday May 3, 2007. An innocent, blonde, photogenic girl disappeared and a voracious media went to work. It was a feeding frenzy. We were introduced the names that have become mainstays of the news media. The middle-class, educated parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, were libelled. Robert Murat had his life almost destroyed. The Tapas 7 were examined. Goncalo Amaral was accused. Clarence Mitchell spoke. And for all the heat and noise there was no light. Madeleine McCann went missing. She is still missing. There are no suspects. There is no evidence of what happened to her. This is the story in pictures:


Posted: 11th, April 2010 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann | Comments (2)

Madeleine McCann: Kate And Gerry McCann’s Press Conference Video

8401249MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann – Having defeated Goncalo Amaral in court, and with Robert Murat taking four of the so-called Tapas 7 to court – Kate and Gerry McCann are holding a press conference.
Mr McCann says:

“You would hope that the parents of a missing child shouldn’t have to be here begging for such assistance and that the authorities would actually do everything in their power in the first place…

“There are certainly instances where information which we think is very credible and worthy of further investigation has not been actioned…

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Posted: 19th, February 2010 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (49)

Madeleine McCann: Robert Murat Sues Jane Tanner (?) And McCanns Sue TV1

6962183MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann – GERRY and Kate McCann have been in Lisbon. As one trial ends – the one against Goncalo Amaral – another begins: the McCanns are launching criminal proceedings against a Portuguese TV channel TVI. And Robert Murat is reported to be suing Jane Tanner.

As Sky’s Hannah Thomas-Peter in Lisbon reports:

Gerry and Kate McCann say TV1 was in “material breach” of a court injunction issued to prevent allegations made in a book by former lead investigator Goncalo Amaral being repeated.

The McCanns deny that their daughter died in their holiday apartment. There is no proof that she did. But there is a book. In Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie, Amaral takes the media conceit that saw Madeleine McCann – renamed Maddie in the media to make snappier headlines – alleges the innocent child died and the couple faked her abduction. The parents are innocent.

muratWill the book be banned? It’s one for the judges to decide.

In other Our Maddie news, shiny-faced telly newsboy Keir Simmons, Tweets:

Lawyer confirms: Robert Murat, wrongly accused in #McCann case, has made legal complaint against friend of McCann’s Jane Tanner

That’s Robert Murat, tried by the tabloids, linked to Soham killer Ian Huntley by a voracious media high on specualtion, fingered in the crowd by a “creepy” tabloid hack, a whisper of “paedo“, a scent of death, who met some of the so-called Tapas 7 (they sued and they won) at a police station – “You’re a liar. I saw you peek in apartment,” went the Mirror’s headline. The Mirror that told us on September 2007:

DAILY MIRROR front page: “MADELEINE: DNA is found. Arrest expected ‘in 48 hours’.”

No yellow ribbon on the Mirror’s front page. But news of that blood found on the McCann’s apartment walls. We learn: “The DNA of a potential suspect in the Madeleine McCann case has been found by British scientists.”

Poor, Robert Murat, the one-eyed, innocent man – the innocent police -approved translator– portrayed in the tabloid press as an “oddball” with a bouncy castle festish, an “alibi blown“, the false celebrity father who sued the press and won and WON. His name is forever sullied – a benchmark for the abused. The double, And now he is seeking recompense – for what is unclear.

There’s lots more in the Anorak Forums…

Posted: 17th, February 2010 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann | Comments (32)

Madeleine McCann: Kate And Gerry McCann’s Legal Pitfalls And Risks

goncalo-amaral2MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann – The media awaits the vedict of McCanns Versus Goncalo Amaral. Much depends on it. The McCanns have taken a risk in going against the former police officer in a foreign country. While it can be aruged – as they have  done – that any publicity for their missing daughter is good because it keeps her name alive in the voracious media.

But it does not keep us looking for the child. It just allows us to gawp at them, the distraught parents of a missing innocent.

In the Anorak Forums, AGW takes up the matter:

YOU know when an accident is going to happen. They even have corporate speak phrases for it these days: “Risk Assessment” is one.

You know when a playing kitten is going to fall from the arm of the chair, you know when the child is going trip and fall, no matter how quick you are to try and get there.

Sometimes you see disasters being created and thundering, in silent-movie slowed down train-wreck style, toward you or others and there’s little you can do other than stand and watch horror-struck by the enormity of it all.

You know the accident’s about to happen and there is nothing you can do but perhaps wonder why you knew?

It has nothing to do with sixth senses, it is because the most powerful computer known to man, your brain, has gathered in all the previous experiences you have weighed in the balance and made a predictive analysis.

That is what is so strange about the current and past behaviour of the parents of the missing child Madeleine McCann.

Continue reading the McCann’s Risky Move:

Posted: 13th, February 2010 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (6)

Madeleine McCann: 1000 Days Of A ‘Fierce Blonde Flame’

8128728MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann, Kate McCann and Gerry McCann: It’s been 1000 days since Madeleine McCann went missing and became the media’s Our Maddie, the benchmark for missing children. In that time we have learnt…NOTHING.

What we have done is look and be entertained by the single thread story of girl who went missing.

Tonight a roof-top, showbiz spiced dinner to commemorate the milestone. And there’s to be an auction. Bring your wallet. One lot is a poem by Simon Armitage, called The Beacon. Armitage wrote a poem for the fifth anniversary of 9/11, the 60th anniversary of VE-Day and Killing Time, a poem celebrating the millennium. Perspective in the matter of Our Maddie is all.

The Beacon

Dusk, doubt, the growing depth of an evening sky,
dark setting in as it did that night,
the forever vastness of outer space
reflecting the emptiness here inside,
shadowing, colouring, clouding the mind.
But somewhere out there there has to be life,
the distance only a matter of time,
a world like our own, its markings and shades
as uniquely formed as a daughter’s eye,
distinctly flecked, undeniably hers,
looking back this way through the miles and years
to a lantern cupping a golden blaze,
its candle alive with a fierce blonde flame
for the thousandth time, for as long as it takes.

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Posted: 27th, January 2010 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (6)

Madeleine McCann: Amaral ‘Fala Com McCanns’ And Ten More Years

amaral5MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann, Kate McCann and Gerry McCann: Ten more years, gawping at Kate McCann, Amaral the panto baddie (boo- hiss – f*** off) and libel…

FIRST the good news for the voracious media in the never-ending story of Our Maddie, as the Daily Star says:


After ten more years of Our Maddie, the Star will have to return to Katie Price updates. But ten years is not too shabby. If the Daily Express can do it with Princess Diana for a decade, the Star’s sister paper can darn well do it for Our Maddie. It’s the least it can do.

Former detective Goncalo Amaral has vowed to take the fight to get his controversial book published to the European Court of Human Rights if he loses his current case.

But legal experts say that process could take a decade. Mr Amaral’s book claims Madeleine died in her family’s holiday flat in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

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Posted: 15th, January 2010 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann | Comment

Madeleine McCann: Coronation Street’s Simon Missing And Amaral’s Trial

mccanns-birthday21MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann, Kate McCann and Gerry McCann: Portugal, Amaral, libel and Coronation Street:

IN Portugal, Kate and Gerry McCann’s legal action against Goncalo Amaral will last three days. As the disappearance of an innocent child became a form of entertainment, a brand for PRs and speculation, Amaral penned Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie, in which he claimed that Madeleine died in her family’s holiday flat on the night she disappeared.

That a detective who worked on the high-profile case should make his claims in a book – even using the tabloid nickname for the child – is pretty much in keeping with a single-thread story that became a chance for viewers at home to play armchair detective, show how much you care by a mawkish display of ribbon wearing and gawp at the girl’s bereft parents.

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Posted: 12th, January 2010 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann | Comments (10)

Madeleine McCann: I Foiled The ‘Maddie Conman’ From 300 Miles Away

MADDIE WATCH Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann: The true story of the arrest of the “Maddie fraudster” – the “Maddie conman” – Kevin Halligen, Maddie’s “James Bond spy“.

WHEN Kevin Halligen was arrested in a dispute over a bill at an Oxfordshire hotel, the UK press billed him as the “Maddie fraudster”. Halligen owned a detective company hired by Kate and Gerry McCann to find their daughter. His arrest had nothing to do the media’s Our Maddie. Halligen’s alleged fraud involves a dispute with a law firm in the US. The Sun said it found Halligen when its “investigators staked out a luxury Oxford hotel then tipped off cops”. But the man who really spotted him and tipped off the police and the press offers his account exclusively to Anorak. Christopher Winsley explains.


LIKE many 22-year-old students across the UK, my Sunday’s start with a spiltting headache, and very little memory from the night before. Last weekend, I regret to say, was no different. I woke up after an enjoyable evening, followed by coffee, and a trip to the local shop to buy a few newspapers to linger over throughout the day.

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Posted: 29th, November 2009 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann | Comments (5)

Madeleine McCann: Prudent Kate And Gerry McCann Still Have Two Kids Left

gonebabygonepic3MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann:  In a piece entitled “Madeleine McCann’s Siblings, Sky News’ Colin Brazier delivers an article which blends fact with fiction to produce something opportunistic, hideous that should offer Kate And Gerry McCann no little comfort:

Just over two years ago the release of the film Gone Baby Gone was allegedly postponed because of parallels with the case of Madeleine McCann.

Not alleged. This is what we learnt from Affleck on October 12, 2007:

“Disney UK made the decision to postpone the movie but I absolutely support it and I’m pleased by what I think is erring on the side of good taste. There’s no rush. It’s obviously a sensitive time and if there are any similarities we can wait to distribute the movie in the UK. I was only vaguely aware of the Madeleine case because it wasn’t a big thing here in the United States. Maybe I’m out of it because I don’t read many newspapers, but I didn’t really know much about it until somebody said, ‘Hey, there may be some similarities’.”

Anyone traumatised by Afflecks’s performance in car accident movie Changing Lanes, who is a devout Christian and found Dogma offensive or who fears impending Armageddon can applaud Ben’s actions.

The Times told us:

However, in the wake of the Madeleine McCann case, this adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s 1998 novel was withdrawn from this year’s Times/bfi London Film Festival because of its sensitive subject matter, and may never be released in the UK”

The film was released. Child abuse was delivered as a form of entertainment. And Affleck told us:

Affleck: What has happened to Madeleine McCann is terrible and it was the right decision to wait until now before bringing out the film, as we didn’t want to upset the family.

Affleck: “I worked with the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children [which is involved in the search for Madeleine McCann] and I found out about the extent of child abuse internationally. It is horrifying.

Affleck: “Sometimes, abuse is as simple as leaving your kids in front of the TV all day and thinking that it is sufficient parenting.”

Back to Brazier and “Madeleine McCann’s siblings”:

It was felt the movie, which tells the fictional story of the abduction of a four-year-old girl, was too close to real life. Although written before Madeleine McCann’s abduction [sic], Gone Baby Gone contained some inadvertent but nonetheless [sic] extraordinarily coincidental material. The plot focuses on a 4-year-old played by an actress – actually called Madeleine – who shows an uncanny resemblance to the real Madeleine McCann. I watched the film six months ago and was quite staggered by how accidentally art had imitated life.

You mean to say that stories can be based on real life events, and fears? Brazier then introduces readers to more works of fiction:

Child abduction has been dealt with by artists before. In his 1987 novel The Child In Time, Ian McEwan writes about the disappearance of a three year old. The scene where the father loses sight of his daughter in a supermarket, while momentarily distracted, never to see her again, is brilliantly wrought.

How does it end, Colin?

Both stories have different endings. In the film the child is found alive and well. In the book the child is never found and the mystery is never solved. But the book does offer one answer.

And in Maddie’s story? What happens?

Mercifully, such abductions are as rare now as they were fifty years ago (it’s only our paranoia which has increased). But the phenomenon of couples destroyed by the loss of an only-child may be on the rise.

Anyone following his argument. Child abduction in books is rare. But many one-child couples break up. Are these parents in the real world or in books? Is there a difference? Is it all just a form of entertainment?

Think of some recent high-profile cases.


Tragic parents like Neil and Kazumi Puttick. In June, they leapt to their deaths from Beachy Head, clutching the body of their five-year-old son Sam. He had died of meningitis the week before and his parents were crippled with grief. Or parents like 40-year-old Joanna Coombs. Last year, her body was found on the same tracks where her daughter – and only child – had died two months before.

These are real parents whose tragedies are placed in the context of works of fiction. And what do they have to do with Madeleine McCann or her siblings, the twin or which there are, er, two?

It stands to reason that when parents put all their eggs in one all-too-fragile basket, the loss of that child may prove insupportable. Previous generations understood that a larger family provided a shield against the loss of a singleton. In the words of Churchill’s famous, if callous, dictum: “One for mother, one for father, one for increase and one for accidents“.

Anyone else feeling sick? Lucky the McCanns had a couple of children left over, then. Good news. How prudent of them to bring three children into the world. It might well be what has kept them going, and alive. You want more from Brazier? Here goes:

When tragedy strikes a multi-child family, parents are more likely to carry on for those who remain, no matter how grief-stricken they are.

How much more likely? More likely than the McCanns or less likely than the cast of Schindler’s List?

Some social scientists already fret about how the rise of the only child is changing society. One talks about the ‘Saving Private Ryan’ effect. The fictional Private Ryan was the only one of four brothers to survive the battle for Normandy in 1944. Would a modern parent be so sanguine about an only-child fighting for his or her country?

Answers in the form of a work of fiction.

That’s a choice few will have to make. But many will make much more quotidian decisions about danger. It is one reason why so many modern children are not permitted to take risks of almost any description.

Fact and fiction. Can you spot the difference?

Posted: 11th, November 2009 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann | Comments (7)

Madeleine McCann: Sean And Amelie Get Speaking Parts, In Pictures

newmaddie-682_92080_920880a1MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann: Up until know we have heard nothing from the McCanns’ twins, Sean and Amelie. But today we get:

McCann Twins: We will fight man who took our sister Maddie

What man? What kidnap? The Daily Record says a “beast” took her. If the kids are going to be crime fighters they need to understand the facts. And the facts are two: Madeleine McCann in missing. There are no suspects.

The media gets to work staring at the kids who we watched go to school, who now have speaking parts in the media circus:

Mirror: “‘The twins both know the person who took Madeleine has done something very bad.. they just want her back home'”

Madeleine McCann’s four-year-old twin siblings are now slowly grasping the horror of her abduction, their parents revealed yesterday.

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Posted: 4th, November 2009 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (9)

Madeleine McCann: Kate McCann To Appear On BBC And ITV Interviews

7309066MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann: Madeleine McCann is on the cover of the Sunday Express. Says the headline:

McCanns launch TV blitz to find Maddie

If only the Express group and owners had TV channels they could use to help. Of, course, they do:

We interrupt this edition of Teen A*** Sla*s on the Fantasy Channel to bring news of the appeal to find Our Maddie.

We must all do what we can to help. The Sunday Express tells us:

KATE McCANN will take part in a round of heart-rending TV interviews this week appealing for anyone who has knowledge of her daughter Madeleine’s kidnapping to come forward.

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Posted: 1st, November 2009 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann | Comments (25)