Broadsheets | Anorak - Part 30

Broadsheets Category

Top news from The Times, Daily Telegraph, The Indepedent and The Guardian newspapers

Money Facts: Stamp Duty

ANORAK’S look at money news in the media

THE TELEGRAPH: “Home buyers in the South are paying more than three times as much stamp duty as those in the North of the country, new figures show.

“People buying a property in the South of the UK paid an average of £6,280 in stamp duty during 2006-07, while those in the North paid just £1,994 during the same period, according to online mortgage firm”


Anyone else think this is because homes in the south cost more than they do in the north?

Posted: 31st, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Money | Comment (1)

Police Protest Policed

THE police want more money. They want to protest. But as the Guardain reports:

The high-profile demonstration, intended to highlight the force’s anger over its recent below-inflation, 1.9 per cent pay rise, is threatening to become a major political flashpoint in the new year. The police claim their preferred route for their march is set to be banned under archaic ‘sessional orders’, laws drawn up in the early 19th century to combat large-scale radical protests that threatened a disturbance of the peace.

The orders are renewed by Parliament each year and invoked by the Metropolitan Police if the force believes a protest will prevent MPs from going about their daily business. Critics of the orders claim they are a heavy-handed response designed to stifle peaceful protest.

And whose heavy hands are used to maintiain order and quieten protest? Answers on the business end of a truncheon to the usual address…

Posted: 30th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets | Comments (4)

Catherine Tate’s Christmas Nostaligia

THE people who watch TV shows they don’t like and then call the BBC to complain say the Catherine Tate Christmas Special was the “most offensive” programme on the box this Christmas.

Anorak loves few things more than watching TV it hates. Each morning is passed to Jeremy Kyle’s soundtrack of “Be a man!”, “Do you love yer kids?” and “We all have your problem, pal!”. Afternoons are spent with Anthea Turner telling us how to live life as a doily. Evenings with the Monarch of the Glenn fans club are a must.

There is much more offensive stuff on the telly than Tate, especially over Christmas when Dickens gets dusted off and Morecambe and Wise dance with sausages (why do they not at least show the Andre Previn sketch?).

Ofcom is looking into allegations of “excessive swearing”, reports the Times. Incredible. Can you swear excessively on the telly? Gordon Ramsay tells us to make steak and chip from a “fucking cow” and some “fucking potatoes”. Even when we ask for the ingredients at the supermarket, no-one blushes.

Congratulations to Tate of discovering that sweating can still shock. (Do you rememberethe first time [insert health warning here] “cunt” was heard on British TV? John Lydon utterd it on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!)

On Tate’s show, it her character Nan’s lot to embark on a swearing competition with her daughter (see clip). What hope Ramsay was watching and will add some invention to his usual outpouring?

TV loves remind us of the first time “fuck” was uttered on the telly. It passes for TV nostalgia, one of those clips that you expect to see at Christmas, sandwiched in between Del Boy’s Filofax and Emu biting Parky.

In time, Tate’s swearing contest may well become a “classic clip”. And we will tune and be taken back to those halcyon days when we first heard the phrase “jizz tonsils”.

“What does that mean, grandpa?” the kids will ask. “Don’t tell him, Pike,” says the BBC, over and over and over again…

Posted: 28th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets | Comments (8)

Appeals On Wheels: Asylum Airways Offers Immigrants Free One-Way Trips

clusterballoon.jpgALL aboard Asylum Airways.

Daily Express readers can rest easy. It’s not a re-branded Ariana Airlines, the carrier that brought Afghan hijackers to the UK in 2000. This is a service taking asylum seekers away from Blighty.

Asylum Airways is run by Austrian aviation consultant Heinz Berger. His plan is to offer a kind of Appeals On Wheels bus service, his jets flying around Europe picking up failed asylum seekers and dropping them off somewhere else.

The planes will boast padded rooms, restraints and straps. Mr Berger may have confused political asylum for a lunatic asylum, but Easy jet services to Faliraki are looking on with envy, and interest.

The Independent has a picture of Mr Berger holding a model plane that looks not unlike the kind of vehicle that drops parcels of grain and Blue Peter badges on impoverished Africans.

Might it be that to save the bother of landing the aircraft, and keep carbon footprints to a minimum, Mr Berger’s aircraft will not so much land as dip?

Should Mr Berger’s service solve the asylum issue, expect other similar initiatives, such NHS Air, Credit Crunch Air and for global warmists, Hot Air…

And here 

Posted: 27th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets | Comments (2)

Jordan’s Seasonal Reductions

jordan-cooking.pngIT’S Jordan.

Says the Sun: “Fast you eyes for the last time fellas. You won’t be seeing these again – after Jordan had her op to reduce her massive bust.”

The Sun is wrong. Thanks to the internet readers keen to see Katie Price and her gargantuan Jordans still attached can perform a simple search.

And what with the clamour for celebrity, chances are that The Jordans will be the country’s No.1 and No. 2 double acts, taking over from Hale & Pace and Richard & Judy.

In ten years time, Katie Price-Andre-Windsor-Rooney-Beckham will become reacquainted with her Jordans and perform at the Royal Variety Performance, reliving her famous moments in yellow bikini, pink bra and orange paint…

Posted: 24th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets | Comment

Box Clever This Christmas

“FESTIVE packaging will create 3m tonnes of waste,” says the Independent. Children are invited to put the toys to one side and play with the boxes, just as they do every year…

Posted: 24th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets | Comment

Rebecca Harrison’s Pilgrimage To Bethlehem’s West Banksy

banksy-bethlehem1.jpg“BETHLEHEM residents vandalise Banksy graffiti,” says the Guardian.

Or to put it another way, Bethlehem residents paint over graffiti depicting them as dumb animals.

Writes the paper’s Rebecca Harrison “in Bethlehem”: “Bethlehem residents have painted over a satirical mural by the graffiti artist Banksy that was meant to highlight their plight.

The elusive British artist had painted six images around the town to help drum up tourism before Christmas and to illustrate the hardships faced by Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.”

Good old, Banksy. Without him what hope Bethlehem of getting any tourists to rock up for Christmas. Many are the nun, shiny eyed evangelist and coachload of tourists who have arrived at the site and wondered that it could only benefit from a bit of graffiti.

The now erased picture was of an Israeli solder checking a donkey’s papers. Bethlehem is a site protected by the Israelis keen to stop Islamists from blowing it to smithereens. Banksy finds this worthy of his satire.

So too does Harrison: “But the irony behind the depiction of an Israeli soldier checking a donkey’s identity papers was lost on some residents, who found it offensive.”

“We’re humans here, not donkeys,” says local Nasri Canavati. “This is insulting. I’m glad it was painted over.”

Says Harrison: “To be called a donkey in Palestinian society is similar to being called an idiot.”

Or a hack…

Posted: 21st, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets | Comments (7)

Rupert Everett: Celebrity Quote Of The Day

SAYS foppish Britsh actor Rupert Everett in the Times: “Hollywood is a place that pretends it’s very liberal but it’s not remotely. It’s like Al-Qaeda.”

Everett says his sexuality has cost him “tons” of leading roles during his career.

Everett is a both grounded and talented…

Posted: 20th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Celebrities | Comment

What Tiler: Rebellion Over Prince Charles’s Porcelanosa Patronage

charles.jpgMUCH drama in the world of floor tiling as James Wickes, co-owner of British Ceramic Tiles reacts with dismay at news that rival firm, Spanish-based Porcelanosa has been awarded use of the Prince of Wales Royal Crest.

Says Mr Wickes in the Mail: “When I hard that one had been granted to Porcelanosa I did think it was a bit like awarding the Red Baron a Victoria Cross.”

That medal for valour for efforts in interior design introduced by the Queen Victoria, a woman nowhere near as German as the Red Baron, or the Venetian Red Baron with hints of amaranth, as he is known in certain circles…

Posted: 18th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets | Comment

How To Get Inside London’s Boujis And Mahiki Clubs: Good Genes

boujis_1.jpgHOW do you get inside boujis nightclub, London haunt of Princes Harry and William, and other boys and gels for whom jacket and jeans is a relaxed look, those sons and daughters of captain’s of industry, royals and the rich?

The Times’ how to guide is written by Hugo Rifkind, who appears dressed in a white linen suit and T-shirt.

Rifkind is at pains to tell us this is first trip indoors boujis and Mahiki, the other nightclub the penny loafer set move on to.

“First things first: getting in,” writes Rifkind. “Not so easy.” Thankfully he has a friend called Jemma who is “plainly a Boujis regular”.

This might be how Rifkind got the job. “Anyone know how to get into boujis?” asks the Times’ editor. The assorted Indias, Wills and Ruperts keep heads down. Only a Hugo pipes up.

He’s in, able to mix with the sons and daughters of him and her, the winners in life’s gene lottery.

Rifkind is the son of former Conservative Cabinet Minister and MP, Sir Malcolm Rifkind.
And against all the odds, he’s on a expense account and inside the exclusive club…

Posted: 17th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets | Comment

Red Alert: An Iranian Plot To Kill Chris De Burgh

chrisdeburgh1.pngIF the Iranians really are serious about pushing Israel into the sea, they should erect a huge Tannoy, aim it at Tel Aviv and play Chris de Burgh songs at full throat 24 hours a day.

Admittedly, the slight risk is that Israelis will react violently and seek to destroy the instrument of their potential doom, just as they may block up their ears and make a swim for Cyprus.

The Israelis may go further and seek to assassinate Chris de Burgh, in which case we urge anyone who has ever uttered the phrase “Tonight, Matthew, I’m going to be Chris de Burgh” to make themselves known to President Ahmadinejad post haste.

Interesting then to see Mr de Burgh scheduled to become the first westerner to play Iran in 30 years. Early next year, Chris and Iranian support act Arian will play shows in Tehran.

In the land that has recently banned rock music, as the Independent reports, Chris de Burgh is permitted to play.

Chris – yes, Chris – and Arian have collaborated on a tune called A Melody for Peace. This is the same Chris de Burgh who once fronted Jeffrey Archer’s The Simple Truth campaign (filed under ‘beyond parody’) and raised money for Kurdish refugees through a concert.

The Indy is mindful of the power of music and how it can even change a nation. In 1985, Wham! played China and a million locals blow dried their hair and reached for the bleach. Then David Hasselhoff reunited Germany by singing on the Berlin Wall. The Israelites had Joshua’s trumpets to bring down the walls; the Germans had a man who wears swimming trunks to work.

It all leaves us wondering if Chris de Burgh can bring about a cultural revolution in Iran and what the resulting country will look like.

In our vision, post de Burgh Iran will be full of people rhyming “dance” with “romance” and going about saying how lovely they look.

Of course it might all be ruse, a plot. British historian Michael Mann researched Jospeh Stalin and noted: “Stalin saw John Wayne as a gigantic propaganda symbol against the Soviets. He was much more subtle than the atomic bomb but Stalin saw him as no less deadly.” Stalin wantd Wayne dead.

Might the Iranians view Chris de Burgh in a similar light, as the epitome of Western decadence? Do they wish to kill him? In which case we urge restraint, and remind them that though popular de Burgh is not as big as Noel Edmonds, Anthea Turner or Lulu…

Posted: 17th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets | Comment (1)

The Rampant Lion: Europe’s Crack Rapid-Reaction Force Loses Manhood

europes-crack-forces.jpgSEND Her Victorious – Europe’s crack rapid-reaction force gets a new lion:

The proud motto of northern Europe’s crack rapid-reaction force is ad omnia paratus. Prepared for everything, everywhere. But the heraldic lion above the Latin tag now sends a less plucky message – he has just been digitally emasculated and, though technically still a lion rampant, he does not seem to be ready for anything, anywhere.

The change was implemented after a group of women Swedish soldiers protested that they could not identify with such an ostentatiously male lion on their army crest. A complaint of sex discrimination was then lodged with the European Court of Justice.

“We were forced to cut the lion’s willy off with the aid of a computer,” Christian Braunstein, from the Tradition Commission of the Swedish Army, said.

Now the Nordic Battlegroup, a force of 2,400 soldiers, is looking deeply embarrassed. For sceptics who already consider the Nordic Battlegroup to be something of an oxymoron – it is led by the Swedes, who were last in battle in 1809 – the operation on the lion is not an auspicious omen.

“A castrated lion – the perfect symbol for European defence policy,” an American military blogger sneered.

And they allowed the tongue to remain?!

Posted: 15th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets | Comments (2)

Amy Winehouse In Three Words Or Less

amy-winehouse-clones.jpg“AMY’S white Christmas,” says the Sun. And there is the seasonal picture of skinny chanteuse Amy Winehouse.

The Sun is keen not to waste the time of its busy readers and finds a way to talk about Winehouse in as few words as possible.

The paper’s aforementioned headline uses just three words to deliver the daily Winehouse story, a Christmas angle and a hint of cocaine.

The only thing missing is that Winehouse is considering hosting a party over the holiday season. It will be raunchy affair, says a source. So look out for headlines “Amy’s White Xmas” and the still more sensational “Amy’s White XXXmas”…

Posted: 14th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets | Comments (7)

Winner’s Dinners: Helen Mirren’s Meat

helenmirren.jpg“HELEN MIRREN – Michael winner tatted me like piece of meat.”

The Express’s headline inflicts the mind with an image of Winner appearing in a monogrammed white satin bathrobe offering the young Mirren a wet-lipped “Ready when you are, my dear!”

Mirren says that Winner made her “mortified and incredibly angry” by inviting her to turn around at a casting session and show off her body.

“I was so angry, I was so angry, I still am,” says Mirren. The incident took place 40 years ago and reappears as an anecdote on Richard And Judy’s Christmas Book Show.

Winner’s interests in Mirren’s “meat” was in a professional capacity and we imagine he would have extend the same invitation to those other acting dames, Margaret Rutherford, Peggy Ashcroft and Joan Plowright. He is also a restaurant reviewer.

Says Winner of Mirren and her “enormous sagging boob: “I saw Helen and as I had been instructed to deal with the situation of her breasts, I did indeed ask to strand up. I don’t remember asking her to turn around, but if I did I wasn’t being serious”.

Although Mirren is nothing if not versatile and we imagine that had the directors of Age of Consent, Caligula, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover and Calendar Girls demanding a walk-away shot, she would have obliged…

Posted: 14th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets | Comments (3)

Bridget O’Donnell On Madeleine McCann: Lights, Camera, Action

bridget-oconnell.gifTHE GUARDIAN does not always cover the story of Madeleine McCann on its pages. But today it does. Bridget O’Donnell was on holiday in Praia da Luz at the same time as the McCanns. Mrs O’Donnell works in the media and is allowed to tell her own story.

No interview. No questions. Just her words delivered over six pages .

The picture on the cover of the paper’s G2 supplement is of Madeleine holding tennis balls. It is not the portrait produced by Senor Marty.

Says Bridget O’Donnell: “We lay by the members-only pool staring at the sky. Round and round, the helicopters clacked and roared. Their cameras pointed down at us, mocking the walled and gated enclave. Circles rippled out across the pool. It was the morning after Madeleine went.”

It was a dark and stormy night… 

And: “They booked a large table every night in the Tapas. We called them ‘the Doctors’. Sometimes we would sit out on our balcony and their laughter would float up around us. One man was the joker. He had a loud Glaswegian accent. He was Gerry McCann”

“Gerry was outgoing, a wisecracker, but considerate and kind”…

“Then Gerry stood up and began showing Kate his new tennis stroke. She looked at him and smiled. ‘You wouldn’t be interested if I talked about my tennis like that,” Jes said to me. We watched them some more. Kate was calm, still, quietly beautiful; Gerry was confident, proud, silly, strong.

Danielle Steele Vanished – so too has Madeleine McCann 

We know him. But: “Privately I was glad we didn’t get their apartment. It was on a corner by the road and people could see in. They were exposed”
A sense of forboding. Dum, dum durdle-durdle, durdle… 

“I once worked as a producer in the BBC crime unit. I directed many reconstructions and spent my second pregnancy producing new investigations for Crimewatch”. Her husband is Jeremy Wilkins, the TV producer, spotted by the tabloid press in “MADDIE: THE SECRET WITNESS

Fact and fiction: “Detectives would call me daily, detailing their cases, and some stories stay with me still, such as the ones about a girl being snatched from her bath, or her bike, or her garden and then held in the passenger seat, or stuffed in the boot. There was always a vehicle, and the first few hours were crucial to the outcome. Afterwards, they would be dumped naked in an alley, or at a petrol station with a £10 note to ‘get a cab back to Mummy’. They would be found within an hour or two. Sometimes”

Knock knock: “The translator had a squint and sweated slightly. He was breathless, perhaps a little excited. We later found out he was Robert Murat. He reminded me of a boy in my class at school who was bullied”

The boy who never had a go on the bouncy castle… 

Gerry and Kate are spotted two day after Madeleine has gone missing: “Kate’s back and shoulders, her hands, her mouth had reshaped themselves in to the angular manifestation of a silent scream. I thought I might cry and turned so that she wouldn’t see. Gerry was upright, his lips now drawn into a thin, impenetrable line”

Back home: “’Did you have a good trip?’ asked the cabbie at Gatwick, instantly underlining the conversational dilemma that would occupy the first few weeks: Do we say ‘Yes, thanks’ and move swiftly on? Or divulge the ‘yes-but-no-but’ truth of our ‘Maddy’ experience?”

Or do you tell the Guardian all about it?

Posted: 14th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann | Comments (105)

More Celebrities To The Pound In The Daily Telegraph

rachelweiss.jpgNO one could ever accuse the Daily Telegraph of short-changing its readers when it comes to pictures of young women with prominent cleavages.

In fact, when the day comes for the paper to raise its cover price to 100 pence, we suggest it incorporate a pair of firm breasts into its masthead, and adopts the slogan: “You DO get many of those to the pound.”

Today’s edition deserves some kind of award for a masterstroke of inventive picture editing.

Carol Platt Liebau (described as a “female academic”) will be delighted that the Telegraph has chosen to report the publication of her new book, Prude: How The Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls.

The author is the managing editor of the Harvard Law Review, and she is critical of society’s “emphasis on sexiness, revealing fashions and the over-valuing of physical appeal”.

Sounds a bit complicated to us. Is there a simpler way of explaining it?

Fortunately, yes. The picture editors have helpfully selected two images that illustrate the point perfectly, and they are reproduced at twice the size of the article itself.

One picture is of Christina Aguilera, the other of Rachel Weisz. Both women are practiced exponents of the art of décolletage, and the photographic plates do full justice to both ladies.

Female readers seeking to develop their own frontal presentation skills are directed to the story immediately below, which is all about bras.

That’s the thing about broadsheets – they’ve got the space to really get to grips with a subject.

Two cracking stories on one page – or, if you prefer, a nice pair.

Posted: 10th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Celebrities | Comments (2)

Cherie Blair Takes On Mark Wallinger and Gillian Gibbons

cherie-bear.jpg “CHERIE BEAR,” says the Mirror, taking a leaf from Anorak’s Big Book Of Teddy Names, created in compliance with the UN Directive On Teddy Bear Naming and the Stuff Sudan movement.

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say your prayers

But there is no picture of a bright-eyed seven-year-old clutching her Cherie Bear. This is a shot of the woman herself, dressed as a teddy.

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, show your shoe

Cherie is on her way to London’s Zuma restaurant, not for a Gillian Gibbons benefit lunch but for a light supper with husband Tony (yellow checked trousers, blue duffle coat, marmalade sandwich and white open-necked shirt).

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn out the lights

It might be Cherie’s dig at the art scene, where Mark Wallinger has won the Turner Prize for, among other accomplishments, walking around in a bearskin.

It is Mr Wallinger himself who tells the Independent: “I think the art boom was driven by Thatcher’s children.”

Teddy bear, Teddy bear, Say good night

Posted: 10th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment (1)

Anne Darwin Shows A Blonde Ambition

anne-darwin-2.jpgANNE Darwin looks a little blonder as she appears on the Mirror’s front page. The “CANOE WIFE” of John Darwin seems a brighter version of her formerly grey self.

On the Sun’s cover, (“Canoe come with us to the station”), Anne Darwin is steely grey, her hair one step short of the dandelion bobble so favoured by women of an age.

Anne Darwin is a snowier white on the Mail’s cover page. And grey once more on the cover of the Independent, Guardian and Telegraph.

But the Mirror picture intrigues. Might it be that having broken the Seventh Rule of Tabloid Journalism – No front page should feature a be non-blonde – Anne Darwin is now reverting to type, part of a revamp to best secure herself a claim ‘n’ tell exclusive with a leading tabloid and a spot on Celebrity Big Brother…

Anne Darwin Is Found 

Posted: 10th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Tabloids | Comment

The Flawless Cocktail: £35,000 A Pop

WHAT footballers will be spraying over the dance floor and self-centred featured topless stunnas this Christmas: the £35,000 a glass cocktail, The Flawless.

As the Guardian reports, the Movida nightclub, a hangout of celebrities, footballers and their entourages has created a new drink.

“The cocktail consists of a large measure of Louis XII cognac, half a bottle of Cristal Rose champagne, some brown sugar, angostura bitters and a few flakes of 24-carat edible gold leaf.”

Interestingly: “The drink is described as warming and refreshing, but that is not the main reason for the exorbitant cost: at the bottom of the crystal glass is an 11-carat white diamond ring.”

Alternative names for this taseteful cocktail include: The Prawn Cocktail, The Rooney Auldbanger, The Diamond White or The Jasper Carat.

Which burping footballer will be the first to propose in such a fashion? Or sell it as a signature perfume?

Posted: 9th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets | Comments (2)

Great Christmas Gifts: A Box Of New York Leaves

AS it says:



What can Londoners box and sell?


Posted: 6th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets | Comment

Jet-Ski Rider Torments Dolphins

dolphinski.jpg“JET-SKI rider is fined £500 for tormenting dolphins”.

So says the Times at the head of its tale of how Nicol Wood has been convicted of piloting his jet-ski recklessly close of dolphins in the Moray Firth.

But “tormenting” suggests so much more. And we wonder if dolphins really are caused vexation and pain by a man showing off on a jet-ski? Do dolphins dream of straddling such a contraption? And has anyone thought to ask them?

Posted: 5th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets | Comment

Arrange Me A Celebrity Marriage: Cerys Matthews And Marc Bannerman Are One

cerys-marc.jpgHEADLINES such as “CERYS: I’M DYING TO SEE MARC”, “Bits all over the front page” (both Mirror) and “Cerys: My celebrity soul mate Marc” (Express) may have created the impression that Cerys Matthews and Marc Bannerman are inseparable.

It’s another triumph for the reality TV show dating game. That forthright Scots Asian woman on BBC TV’s Arrange Me A Marriage should care to note that to find a love interest, Britons need not only copious doses of alcohol, recreational drugs and a secluded spot by the bins but also to perform before a myriad cameras.

So here’s more news of Cerys and Marc, the new Peter and Jordan, who were the old Chantelle and Preston, speaking of their undying love for one another.

As the Mirror says, “Both have signed big-money deals to talk about their burgeoning romance.” Indeed. But they have so far done their talking apart.

Cynics might suppose that it is all some kind of scam, especially those Mail readers who saw the headline “the celebrity love sham”.

But what matter if Marc and Cerys are in it for the fame and the money? They both want the same things, which makes them compatible.

That pushy woman on Arrange Me A Marriage might well nod. This is, after all, romance with a dowry…

Posted: 4th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets | Comment

Spice Girls Give It Whirl Power

spice-girls-1.jpgThe Spice Girls reform before our eyes…

IT is a credit to this nation that a middle-aged single mum with ginger hair, wearing the kind of Union Flag outfit rarely seen beyond the confines of a provincial shopping precinct at chucking out time can make it to the Mirror’s front page.

So too the front page of the Telegraph. “Is this really what we want?” asks the Telegraph (“BRITAIN’S BEST-SELLING QUALITY DAILY”)”. We might not want it, or really want it, but we are all inclusive and embrace each sexual orientation, style of dress or hair colour.

Stick a teddy bear in a Union Jack hat and call it Anthea if you must – we might not like it but we will defend your right to do it.

“All the glam..all the goss ..and how they all rated,” says the Mirror beneath a shot of Geri Halliwell (for it is she). Geri is giving full throat to her New Age, New Labour mantra: “Smiling, dancing, everything is free. All you need is positivity.”

On the Sun’s cover, a slight dig at the Spice Girls: “They’re back..and bigger than ever.” This headline comes with no picture of Scary’s buttocks or Spice fans but of Victoria Beckham’s breasts, which serve to remind her new legion of young fans to eat more fruit.

“GIRDLE POWER,” say the Sun. “Gang older and bolder.” The Mail turns its blonde head to us, narrows its eyes and whispers: “Old spice,.. What a difference ten years, diets, babies (oh, and cosmetic surgery have made to Posh & Co).”

But you can’t run back the clock. And we read that with age comes maturity and self-awareness – Her Poshness is the only Spice Girl not to perform a solo…

Posted: 4th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Tabloids | Comments (5)

Madeleine McCann: The Scenic 17, Dr Denny Says And DNA

mccann-renault.jpgMADDY WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY EXPRESS page 21: “New DNA tests could unlock the mystery of lost Madeleine”

More DNA tests at the Forensic Science Service laboratory in Birmingham And this after the DNA tests proved inconclusive…

“Seventeen human cells could provide a major breakthrough in the Madeleine McCann mystery…The DNA samples are being examined by scientists in Britain and Portuguese detectives believe the evidence could unlock an investigation which is now in its eighth month”

The Tapas 7. The Tapas 9. The Scenic 17…

Guilhermino Encarnacao, head of the Policia Judiciaria in the Algarve, says: “We have asked the laboratory to carry out more tests and exhaust every possibility of obtaining conclusive results”

Says Forensic scientist Dr Ronald Denny (not working on the case): “A cell is negligible – you can just about see it under a microscope. It’s a sample someone would leave behind with the touch of a finger. But when placed with certain biochemicals a small amount of DNA grows to a size that can be analysed”

“GP Kate and heart consultant Gerry” are “both 39”

THE SUN page 15: “Only 17 cells of DNA in hol car”

“Cops looking for Madeleine McCann are banking on ‘a smidgen’ of DNA evidence. Scientists have found just 17 cells on samples taken from a hire car rented by Kate and Gerry McCann and their holiday flat”

Says independent forensic expert Dr Ronald Denny: “It is not a hopeless task. If they have 17 cells then they can carry it off very effectively in Birmingham, one of the leading labs in the world”

DAILY MAIL page 5: “Mission Impossible – Forensic evidence too poor to solve mystery of Madeleine, say police”

But Dr Denny is telling two papers otherwise…

A source tells Portuguese newspaper 24 Horas: “It is highly unlikely they will find a DNA connection…If everybody refuses to make statements, which is perfectly possible, we will be left with our hands tied. This is a case which could hang by a thread for years and we may never be able to prove what actually happened to that child”
But what about Dr Denny. Why don’t they ask Dr Denny?

Says Dr Denny: “A person, or their possessions, have to be present for the cells to come off”

DAILY MIRROR page 7: “Maddy: Smidgen of DNA will work?”

Dr Denny is on the case, or not. But the “independent British expert” does have an opinion which is able to share with all of us


Dr Denny is talking to Star readers…

“Top cop in blast at private eyes” – Former deputy chief constable of Manchester Police John Stalker says of Metodo 3: “I’m not impressed with these people at all. I’d be very surprised if they get anywhere”

This is the same Stalker who delivered “MY VERDICT” to Express reader back in October

“There’s a world of difference in following a paper chase and finding a flesh-and-blood child”

Or a newspaper chase…

DAILY TELEGRAPH page 11: “Madeleine tests are ‘mission impossible’”

Says a source in 24 Horas: “The samples reportedly include microscopic spots of blood from the Ocean Club apartment where Madeleine went missing and ‘bodily fluids’ and hair from the Renault Scenic hired by the McCanns 25 days after their daughter’s disappearance. The samples are so small that, while it will not be impossible to find a DNA link between the car, apartment and Madeleine, it’s highly unlikely The tests being carried out are extremely complex”

But Dr Denny says…

Says Clarence Mitchell: “Kate and Gerry’s friends have consistently said they are happy to be re-interviewed by police if necessary. Indeed, they are keen to help if it clears up any inconsistencies. They, like Gerry and Kate, have nothing to hide”

THE GUARDIAN and THE INDEPENDENT: “No Madeleine news today

Posted: 4th, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets | Comments (1,344)

Climate Change In Bali As Tropics Expand

global-warming-beach-party.jpg“EXPANDING tropics ‘a threat to millions’”.

The Independent leads with news that the Earth’s midriff is expanding. “The topical belt that girdles the Earth is expanding north and south.”

It’s Fat Earth. Health Secretary Alan Johnson has already spoken of his assault on the twin evils of climate change and fat people, or Fat Climate.

Right now dignitaries from 191 countries, and assorted waiters, bar staff and cleaners, are in Bali for the latest conversation on global warming.

The Indy says it’s “one of the most important international gatherings of the year; perhaps the most important”.

The Indy hears from scientists at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Centre for Atmospheric Research, and the universities of Washington, Salt Lake and Adelaide.

The Guardian hears from Richard Branson, who says: “The most positive but realistic thing that governments could agree in Bali is to halt the cutting down of virgin tropical rainforests with immediate effect.”

Mr Branson is not a scientist, nor is he a popstar or Hollywood actor. However he is not a politician, so the Guardian realises that his views are worth broadcasting.

And, of course, Mr Branson’s Virgin company operates an airline. As the Telegraph says: “15,000 fly to paradise to save the planet. But getting to the luxury beaches pushes out the annual C02 of an African country.”

The big concern – and one Mr Branson might sympathise with – is aircraft slots. As reported on Anorak, the management of Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport are concerned that the large number of additional private charter flights will exceed the carrying capacity of apron areas.

The worry is that the great and good will be unable to land their jets and so be left hanging in the hot, hot air looking for somewhere warm to land…

Posted: 3rd, December 2007 | In: Broadsheets | Comment (1)