Anorak News | Madeleine McCann: Stephen Fry swoops in, Sun delivers a no-news ‘exclusive’

Madeleine McCann: Stephen Fry swoops in, Sun delivers a no-news ‘exclusive’

by | 15th, February 2016

mccann maddie algarve tabloid


Maddie Watch: a look at reporting on Madeleine McCann, the child who vanished in 2007.

The Sun (front page): “McCann Exclusive”

What news is worthy of a front-page exclusive?

The headline declares: “Kate: Maddie still in Algarve.”

Does that mean we can stop looking for the missing child elsewhere?

KATE McCann yesterday said she believes her missing daughter Madeleine is still somewhere in the Algarve

What Kate McCann believes is front-page news? Not quite. The lead story is wrapped in a PR drive for an “alert scheme”. On Page 5, we learn:

Kate, 47, is spearheading a two-week drive to get a million people in the UK to register for free Child Rescue Alerts. The Royal Mail-funded scheme sends appeals to phones, computers and tablets when a child goes missing.

Over on the scheme’s website we can find no obvious mention of Mrs McCann. The site beings by telling visitors: “Stephen Fry leads campaign to make every second count when a child is reported missing.”

After the facts we get more of what the mother of the missing child believes:

She believes if CRAs had been around in 2007 Madeleine may have been found safe and sound within hours.


Kate said: “It’s nearly nine years and that’s so ridiculous and so unbelievable. You think, ‘Gosh that could have been hours, or a day’. If enough people had been mobilised and galvanised early then who knows what the outcome would have been.”

The sane can feel for the parents of a missing child. It’s grim. But out interest is with the reporting. What about the Sun’s headline – the one that says Mrs McCann thinks he daughter never left the Algarve? Well, that’s not what she said. She said:

“That’s where she last was and I don’t think she’s been taken a million miles from there. I’ve always said Praia da Luz is the place where I feel closest to her.”

As for the scheme, here’s the advert:



Text “HERO”. Hero? Surely “HELP” would be better?

But look to the skies! Is it a pun? Is it a quite interesting factoid? No. It’s TV’s Stephen Fry!


stephen fry


It’s all a bit strange. Of course, if it helps save a child,  it’s worthwhile.

The other use for this alert system is to beep reporters of a breaking news story.

Beep! Madeleine McCann is missing. Beep! There are no suspects. Beep! Everyone is innocent. Beep! Hold the front page.

Posted: 15th, February 2016 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink