Anorak News | Madeleine McCann: The Star ‘Donates’ To The McCanns, The Express Apologises And Sue Carroll Explains

Madeleine McCann: The Star ‘Donates’ To The McCanns, The Express Apologises And Sue Carroll Explains

by | 19th, March 2008

mccann-express.jpgMADDYWATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann and Shannon Matthews

DAILY EXPRESS: “Kate and Gerry McCann: Sorry”

The Express once more has the disappearance of Madeleine McCann on its front page. No picture of the missing blonde child. Not now. Instead, readers see a picture of her parents looking pained.

Read more here.

And how Anorak broke this story.

The Daily Express today takes the unprecedented step of making a front-page apology to Kate and Gerry McCann.

We do so because we accept that a number of articles in the newspaper have suggested that the couple caused the death of their missing daughter Madeleine and then covered it up.

We acknowledge that there is no evidence whatsoever to support this theory and that Kate and Gerry are completely innocent of any involvement in their daughter’s disappearance.

We trust that the suspicion that has clouded their lives for many months will soon be lifted.

As an expression of its regret, the Daily Express has now paid a very substantial sum into the Madeleine Fund and we promise to do all in our power to help efforts to find her.

Kate and Gerry, we are truly sorry to have added to your distress.

We assure you that we hope Madeleine will one day be found alive and well and will be restored to her loving family.

The paper paid the money into the find Madeleine Fund, or the paper paid the money to the McCanns – as the law decreed it should – and it is they who have chosen to pay it in to the Find Madeleine Fund?

Anyhow, at least the sensation is now at an end.


The Daily Star today makes a wholehearted apology to Kate and Gerry McCann for stories suggesting the couple were responsible for, or may be responsible for, the death of their daughter Madeleine and for covering it up. We now recognise that such a suggestion is absolutely untrue and that Kate and Gerry are completely innocent of any involvement in their daughter’s disappearance.

As an expression of our regret we have now made a substantial donation to the Madeleine Fund in the hope that it helps efforts to find her.

We sincerely apologise for any additional distress we have caused the family.

THE SUN: “McCann rage at Maddie book claim”

A FORMER Portuguese police chief has angered Madeleine McCann’s parents by claiming in a novel that the toddler is dead – and her body dumped at sea.

Why mention this? Why is one man’s opinion newsworthy – a man with a book to plug? Mr Cristovao is a retired policeman.

Paulo Cristovao…describes how missing Maddie did not survive May 3, 2007 – the night she vanished. His book, The Star Of Madeleine, is based on the real cop investigation. It stops short of saying who is responsible, but drops clues.

The Star… No, not the Daily Star. It does not speculate.

Last night Kate and Gerry McCann’s spokesman said: “It’s a great shame that people still want to make money out of Madeleine’s situation.”

Mr Mitchell works for the McCanns. If the media is no longer hostile to them, is he needed?

Says the Sun: Retired inspector Cristovao mysteriously claims two of the couple’s holiday pals – the so-called Tapas Seven – are “fundamental” to discovering the truth about Maddie, four.

Now read on…

DAILY MIRROR: “Shameless to sneer at Shannon’s family”

For a nation which has spent the best part of a year praying for the safe return of Madeleine McCann, news that missing girl Shannon Matthews had been found alive was joyous.

Madeleine McCann. Tick. Shannon Matthews. Tick. Sue Carroll is playing Anorak Bingo.

…Such moments are rare and doubtless it’ll be the talk of this Yorkshire community long after the cameras and media pack have gone. In their absence, Dewsbury Moor will return to being just another sprawling council estate, a forgotten spot on Britain’s map of economic decline. A small pocket of working-class life that politicians and the chattering classes know exists but prefer to ignore.

Columnist Sue Carroll is not one of the chattering classes. Sure Carroll who asked in light of the murder and rape of Scarlett Keeling: “Is Scarlett’s mother really the guilty one?”

We saw how they existed and though these homes are undoubtedly filled with love and affection they were alien to me, brought up in a working-class area of Newcastle where council house gardens were carefully tended, dogs kept on a leash and hoodies had yet to be invented.

Sue Carroll gives the alleged abduction of a girl come perspective by introducing readers to her childhood garden. And what of all those homes of “savvy Yorkshire folk” “undoubtedy filled with love and affection”? Has Shannon Matthews been allowed to return home yet? Was Paul Donovan’s home a Yorkshire Green Gables? She talks of the areas once thriving mining industry, textile mills and foundries” and a ”poverty of aspiration”. This is why Shannon Matthews went missing – because they closed the coal mines down. Not for any other reason.

Middle-class observers, shocked by this glimpse into a parallel universe, have lined up to condemn the material and emotional poverty they’ve viewed through a TV camera lens in Dewsbury. To them it’s a Wayne and Waynetta world of chaos and dysfunction personified by Shannon’s mother, Karen, a 32-year-old with seven children by five different fathers and currently living with a man 10 years her junior.

Carroll had to mention the number of children. Why is this relevant? And do we look at the Matthews family and see a work of fiction, characters created by comedian Harry Enfield? Or do we see real pain and a family looking for their missing child. Should we laugh at them?

It was in his uncle Mick Donovan’s flat that Shannon was found. A man, it turns out, with a history the writers of Shameless would reject as unfeasibly sordid.

Shameless. The TV show. Carroll is finding it hard to differentiate fact from fiction.

Unpleasant it may be, but this snapshot of urban life is not that unusual in Britain today where children struggle to establish their place in homes where fragmented and semi-permanent relationships are the norm.

It’s why I find the thought of Shannon making a little escape plan both unbearably sad and utterly believable. But, for all that, I don’t blame her mother.

Do middle-class children have broken homes? Do middle-class children plot to run away? Do middle-class children go missing?

‘You unlawfully and by force or fraud took away Shannon Matthews against her will..’ – CHARGE AGAINST HER ACCUSED

The 39-year-old uncle of Shannon’s stepdad staggered into the dock looking painfully thin before he was remanded in custody. The ex-computer programmer, also known as Paul Drake, was charged with two offences – “unlawfully and by force or fraud taking away Shannon against her will” and imprisoning her. Donovan, who weighs just eight stone, struggled to get his balance as he nervously stuttered his name in a tiny, high-pitched voice.

THE GUARDIAN: “Express Newspapers forced to apologise to McCann family over Madeleine allegations

“If you are repeating a rumour, you are liable for that rumour,” said Caroline Kean, head of media litigation at media lawyers Wiggin. “There is nothing that has been said about the McCanns that could not have been published in a balanced way. It’s when you move into over the top headlines and unbalanced reporting that you go beyond the protection that the libel laws give.” 

IRISH INDEPENDENT: “Maddy relative’s pub ransacked”

THE pub owned by the grandmother of Madeleine McCann was broken into and ransacked just after she visited the area at the weekend. In the early hours of St Patrick’s Day morning, thieves rammed the back door of the McCann pub in the village of St Johnston, Co Donegal, with a car before tearing it apart inside and making away with almost its entire stock of alcohol… McCann’s bar, leased by local man Joe Peoples, played host to the McCanns almost a year ago. “She (Madeleine) was a wee dote. It’s hard to believe what has happened since then,” Mr Peoples said.

Madeleine McCann: See what the Express said and how it said it

Posted: 19th, March 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids Comments (645) | TrackBack | Permalink