Anorak News | Madeleine McCann, Russell Brand And Decapitated Cyclists

Madeleine McCann, Russell Brand And Decapitated Cyclists

by | 19th, March 2009

MADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann, Kate McCann and Gerry McCann, starring Matthew Parris, headless cyclists and Russell Brand.

The Guardian tells us:

A Times article about decapitating cyclists was the most complained about last year to industry watchdog, the Press Complaints Commission, receiving a record number of complaints about British newspapers and magazines.

Hats off to that story, and take care to untie the chinstrap first, readers.

The PCC, publishing its annual report today, said it received 4,698 complaints overall last year, a rise of 8% on 2007.


The most complained about article was a comment piece by Matthew Parris, published on 27 December, 2007, in the Times and headlined “What’s smug and deserves to be decapitated?”.

Matthew Parris, the erudite, elfin and likeable Times columnist was the cause of complaint?

It attracted 584 complaints, mostly from cycling enthusiasts objecting to the suggestion that piano wire be strung across country lanes to decapitate cyclists as a punishment for littering the countryside, the PCC said.

That was a suggestion? Oh, ****. Parris can be too subtle for his own good.

And Parris had some stiff competition, literally:

The article beat the Daily Mail’s coverage of the Jonathan Ross and Russell BrandSachsgate” affair into second place, it drew 92 complaints.

In yer face, Brand. Is it too late to give Parris his BBC2 slot? And how much will it take for Parris to replace Ross at the Beeb? He’s cheap, once working for ITV for a pittance.

Coverage of the Mumbai terror attacks in the Express, Daily Star, Sun, the Times, Daily Telegraph and the Independent drew a total of 90 complaints.

But not in the Guardian, where the body count was illustrated by a selection of missing socks.

A Sun story “beaten up by two grandads” drew 33 complaints, while the fifth most complained about the story “Families must sell land for gypsy campsites” appeared in the Daily Express.

Any other complaints?

More recently the Formula One president, Max Mosley, called into question the very existence of press self-regulation in the wake of his privacy victory at the High Court over allegations in the News of the World that he was involved in a “sick Nazi orgy”. He told a Commons culture, media and sport committee looking into press standards it was like “letting the Mafia run the local police station”.

During the same hearing Gerry McCann, the father of missing toddler Madeleine, called for more stringent regulation of the press and criticised the PCC for having Express editor Peter Hill sit on its board when his paper had “so flagrantly” libelled him and his wife, Kate.

Madeleine McCann – it’s all just old news…

Posted: 19th, March 2009 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews Comments (12) | TrackBack | Permalink