Anorak News | Little Things

Little Things

by | 5th, December 2005

‘TABLOID rule No. 352b: whenever possible all stories should be illustrated by a picture of a character from the infantile TV show Little Britain.

Young taxpayers

So on page 2 of the Sun, a report on the Government’s plans to ban under-18s from buying cigarettes is accompanied by a shot of the aforesaid show’s Vicky Pollard.

For those of you not au fait with this show – think the Grumbleweeds meets Freddie Starr – the Sun tells its readers that Vicky epitomises the trend that sees a quarter of all 16 and 17-year-olds smoke.

Pollard the character goes on to feature in the Sun’s cartoon. There she is standing before a Questions Time-style TV audience uttering her catchphrase: “YEAH BUT NO BUT YEAH BUT…” A man in a suit turns to his colleague and says: “WE EXPECTED A FIERCE DEBATE ON THIS ONE.”

Fierce? Perhaps. Sensible? No chance. The idea of raising the legal age for buying fags might smack of the actions of a nanny state, but surely such legislation would prevent some young teens taking up the habit – even the ones who want to look as cool as a cross-dressing TV comic dressed as an overweight chav.

But the Express sees only a “smokescreen”. This is all a “cynical” plan, says Deborah Arnott, director of ASH, the anti-smoking group. It’s an attempt to divert attention from the Government’s failed attempt to introduce a total ban on smoking in pubs.

The Mail says it’s a move “savaged by critics”. Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn says it seems like “very odd timing”. He goes on: “They [the Government] seem to be tying to deflect attention away from the ludicrous partial ban but I have to tell them it will not work.”

For sure. When it comes to stopping teenagers taking up the evil weed, few things do work – including Vicky Pollard…’

Posted: 5th, December 2005 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink