Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann Category

News digests and reviews of the missing child in the news. Madeleine McCann vanished on Thursday, 3 May 2007 from a rented holiday flat in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Madeleine, on holiday with her twin siblings and parents Kate and Gerry McCann,became the biggest news story of the past decade. We’ve followed it closely ever since the story broke.

Madeleine McCann: Antoinette McGuckin, Drunk Parents In Portugal And Three Maddies

madeleine-mccann-montage.jpgMADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann


A British couple on holiday in Portugal got so drunk their three children were taken into care. Hotel staff called the authorities when the pair seemed unable to look after the two boys, aged six and one, and a girl of two.

Bit judgemental?

Sources said the parents came back in a “drunken stupor” from a “euro-apint” bar in Vilamoura.

But what has it to do with Madeleine McCann?

The town is a 45-minute drive from Praia da Luz, where Madeleine McCann vanished a year ago.


The alleged incident took place on Friday evening at the Mourabel Apartments in the resort of Vilamoura, 40 miles away from where Madeleine McCann disappeared last May.

THE HERALD: “British children taken into custody in Portugal as parents too drunk”

Hotel staff in Vilamoura, in the Algarve, called police after Eamon McGuckin, 34, and his wife Antoinette, 32, collapsed while on holiday on Friday night. The couple, believed to be from Magherafelt, Northern Ireland, were taken to a health centre in nearby Loule while their children, one-year-old Adam, two-year-old Amy and Aaron, six, were taken to the Refugio Aboim Ascensao children’s home in Faro.

Allegedly, of course. It’s shocking. And worse:

The incident happened on the eve of the first anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, who went missing from her family’s Algarve holiday flat while her parents dined nearby.

DAILY MAIL: “Three British children taken into care after parents ‘drank themselves into a stupor’ on Algarve holiday”

The manager of the Mourabel hotel in Vilamoura, where the family were staying, said: “Fortunately the children were safe – otherwise it might have been not one Maddie, but three Maddies.”

THE SCOTSMAN: “Family in care after parents collapse drunk”

The incident happened on the eve of the first anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, who went missing from her family’s Algarve holiday flat while her parents dined nearby. Referring to the McCann case, Dr Villas-Boas said: “The press were not around – they were very fortunate in that there was very heavy news from Great Britain that day.”

THE SUN: “McCanns in legal boost”

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Posted: 5th, May 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (621)

Madeleine McCann: Liddle Things, Her Digital Age And The Sop Opera

hot_air.jpg: THE COLUMNISTS:

ROD LIDDLE (Times): “Madeleine, the incidental onlooker”

Come on, be honest. When Kate McCann appears before you on your television screen, do you sink your head low and remember poor Madeleine, somehow spirited out of that Praia da Luz apartment, or are you overwhelmed with a sense of irritation, annoyance and ennui?

Or like me, is it a little bit of both, callous pig that I am?…

The weird thing is the way the story has taken on a life of its own, with Madeleine as a terribly absent onlooker, almost incidental to the whole charade.

ANDREW ANTHONY (The Observer): “For a variety of reasons, the disappearance of Madeleine McCann seems to hold an enduring, not to say unhealthy, hold on the nation’s imagination. The first and most obvious is that it exemplifies every parent’s deepest fear.

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Posted: 4th, May 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann | Comments (402)

Madeleine McCann: ‘Pray Like Mad’, Seeing The Light And McCanns’ ‘Cleared’

mccanns.jpgMADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCannTHE OBSERVER (front page): “One year on, Kate McCann’s please: ‘Please stay with us. Pray like mad.’”


MAIL ON SUNDAY: “Kate McCann’s pulpit plea: stay with us and pray like mad”

The McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “It’s an intensely private and very difficult day for them.”


The world unites.

“LIGHT HER WAY HOME – MISSING FOR A YEAR: BRITAIN, PORTUGAL AND WORLD UNITED IN HOPE ‘You are a light that shines in the darkest times. Guide all who search for Madeleine’ – By Rachael Bletchley In Praia Da Luz”

The sunrise over Praia da Luz was as beautiful as ever yesterday. A warm, orange glow spread up from the horizon then burst into the dazzling rays that give the resort its name – Beach of Light.

A rosy-fingered dawn…

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Posted: 4th, May 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (101)

Madeleine McCann: Let Us Pray, Light The Way, It’s A Year Today

madeleine_mccann6.jpgMADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

THE SUN (front page): “MADDIE: 1 YEAR ON”

A year of headlines, sensation and speculation. A year of Watching The Parents.


And leave a chair empty at the dinner table, too? And when should the candle be lit?

“9:15 tonight… A YEAR ON”

Did you light a candle a year after 7/11, the end of the Falklands War, the Hillsborough disaster?

Did the Mirror forget to tell you to?

It is “A DAY TO PRAY”.

FIONA PHILLIPS: “A year ago today Madeleine McCann’s mummy and daddy, Kate and Gerry, became victims of the most colossal crime.”

Mummy and daddy… Are Mirror readers being asked to empathise with Madeleine? The fact is, it could. It could happen to any of us.

Grip hands tighter. Avoid Portugal. Spread the anxiety. The rare crime of a chid abduction, as Phillips supposes, might find a victim in your child.

I fill my car up with petrol and sometimes leave the children in the back when I go and pay for it. It could happen to me.

I’ve seen mums chatting to friends in supermarkets and on busy pavements while their children wander off. It could happen to them.

It happened to the McCanns in a child-friendly, family holiday village. It could happen to you.

YORKSHIRE POST: “The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has written a special prayer to mark the first anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance.”

Church of England PR?


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Posted: 3rd, May 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (600)

Madeleine McCann: Josef Fritzl, Tabloid Bingo And Watching Kate McCann

kate-mccann-pictures.jpgMADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY MIRROR (front page): “We’ll find Madeleine ourselves”

It is the McCanns’ “EXTRAORDINARY VOW”.

Any news of Metodo 3, the sleuths who would find Madeleine by last Christmas?


The McCanns’ three-year-old twins Sean and Amelie have promised their grieving parents they will rescue their missing big sister.

Well, why not let them have a go?

Says Gerry McCann: “Madeleine is everywhere in our lives.” All our lives.

IRISH INDEPENDENT: “’One year on, we’re no closer to finding Maddy’”

Says Kate McCann: “There has been that much speculation in a lot of the media, particularly the written press. It’s taking away people searching for Madeleine.”

Says Kate McCann, and not Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ media handler.

POLO SHIRTS (a company selling T-shirts): “T-Shirts can be very valuable tools in helping to find missing children. Think about how many people see you each and every day. If you are wearing a T-shirt with the picture of a missing child on it then all of those people are also seeing the child and, hopefully, watching for her everywhere that they go. In the case of Madeleine McCann, the sale of T-Shirts is also helping to raise money for Madeleine’s fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned.”

Let’s hear it for the T-shirts!

GLASGOW DAILY RECORD: “Tragedy Breeds Tourism”

It is a year since Madeleine McCann vanished.

Madeleine McCann and Josef Fritzl? We’ve already had the McCanns and Elisabeth Fritzl. There’s a link? Joan Burnie sees one..

The apartment from which the then three-year-old disappeared has now become a sick tourist attraction, where people take their own kiddies to be photographed where once Madeleine slept.

Next year, can we expect the Austrian Tourist Board to promote tours of the dungeon in which Josef Fritzl incarcerated and abused his daughter?

THE SUN: “Dungeon rescue gives me hope”

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Posted: 2nd, May 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (1,111)

Madeleine McCann: The Single Thread Thread

FROM the Anorak Forums: For me, the best comment on the McCann TV Look at Us In Our Grief Special from the media perspective is today’s Guardian treatment of it.

If you go to and search on the name McCann you will find the whole two-hour-months-in-the-preparation, presentation and breathy puffing of the docusqueaky episode is reduced to the comment “Did we need a two-hour documentary to say Gerry and Kate McCann were:
1: angry?
2 sad? ”

The whole sorry exercise has been reduced to a what was on tv last night commentary and not about the sanitised McCann angst but about the ITV News At Ten coverage of it:

The inner twist is that Sam Wollaston is not sympathising with the McCann situation or plight but with the sorry and truly disgraceful fact that the ITV newsroom standards have fallen so low the Sir Trevor MacDonald and the team felt the Lead item of News at Ten was the McCann documentary… a dated non-news story and not one news worthy item in it other than the angle we have already covered taken by yesterday’s Herald on the “if only we have a buggy” comment.

Do you ever log into Anorak and feel a sensation which can only be described as akin to a bug being skewered by a hat pin for some entomologist’s collection?

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Posted: 1st, May 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (104)

Madeleine McCann: No Change, A Tourist Site And Entertainment

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

THE GUARDIAN: “Last night’s TV: Madeleine, One Year On: Campaign for Change”

It’s difficult to keep the visuals stimulating, too. We saw the McCanns at home in Leicestershire; Kate and Jerry talking on the sofa. But you can’t have two hours of sofa, so we joined them in a lot of taxis – in Portugal, London, Washington. And there were plenty of lingering tree shots – leafless, winter trees (this is a sad story, after all). And a flying heron … eh, what’s that about? Maybe the heron is an aguido, too. Does Sir Trevor know?

DAILY MAIL: “Madeleine holiday apartment becomes ‘sick tourist attraction’ one year on from her disappearance”

Coachloads of journalists arrive every day. It’s sick.

DAILY MIRROR: “Tourists posing for pictures at McCann tragedy spots”

Pensioner Pamela Fenn, who lives above the McCanns’ holiday apartment, said: “It’s sick.
“They stand outside and then have photographs taken with their children.”

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Posted: 1st, May 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (715)

Lighting The Coastline For Madeleine McCann

MADELEINE McCann is missing.

THE REGION’S coastline will be lit up this weekend to mark the first anniversary of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.

On Saturday night, people of all ages are being encouraged to gather along the four mile seafront between Rhyl and Prestatyn with their torches, lanterns and candles from 9.30pm to 10pm as part of a national Lighting the Way Home day for Madeleine.

Bring the kids – make a night of it…

Posted: 30th, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (655)

Madeleine McCann: Finding Kate McCann, Madeleine, One Year On: Campaign For Change

kate-mccann-tears.jpgMADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

What the tabloid columnists are saying 

THE SUN (front page): “MADDIE – 8-PAGE SPECIAL”

Yesterday’s special was 12 pages long. How soon we lose interest.

“Kate’s tears over hate mail threats”

The McCanns keep their post sorted into boxes: “Nice”, “Nutty” and “Ideas”

THE 8-Page SPECIAL on finding Kate McCann:

HER face crumpled in despair, tears streaming down, Kate McCann lays bare her utter grief at being separated from her daughter. Speaking as never before, Kate says she cannot believe it has been a year since Maddie went missing. And she tells how seeing the little girl’s best friend in their home village makes her think about how much Maddie must have changed in those long 12 months.

Her voice close to breaking, she says: “I see Madeleine’s best friend from time to time. I can’t help but wonder what Madeleine would be like. Would she be that much taller? Is her hair as long as that? Would she be writing her name too?”

That’s Kate McCann. But what about Madeleine?

“She’s good company, she’s like my — you know, she’s like a little buddy to me.”

DAILY MIRROR (front page): “We nearly didn’t go to that tapas bar”

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Posted: 30th, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (384)

Shannon Matthews: Michael Donovan Looks A Picture

michael-donovan.jpgSHANNON Watch: Anorak’s look at the case of Shannon Matthews in the mediaWANT to see a picture of Michael Donovan, the “bug-eyed man” who “snatched Shannon Matthews”?

The Sun has the image of the man who, on closer examination, is only “accused” of kidnapping the girl.

Says a “family friend”: “No one bothered taking pictures of him. He’s a bit of a loner and he is not one of the most photogenic of people.”

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Posted: 30th, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews, Tabloids | Comments (6)

Madeleine McCann: Tabloid Columnists On Harry Potter, Frtizl And Bile

hotair.jpgMADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to the columnists’ views on Madeleine McCann and family:

JANE MOORE (Sun): “Silence is not an option for the McCanns”

“Just suppose little Madeleine is trapped in a cellar somewhere, hidden from view while her warped captor conducts a seemingly normal life upstairs.”

Like Elisabeth Frtizl? It’s Tabloid Bingo. Eye down…

LORRAINE KELLY (Sun): “They deserve sympathy, not condemnation”

Since my daughter Rosie was a baby, she has always come everywhere with us when we go on holiday, especially to child-friendly countries such as Portugal, Spain and Greece. We wouldn’t have dreamed about leaving her behind to go for a meal because we go away to spend as much time as possible together as a family.

JON GAUNT (Sun): “I have little support for them”

Do you remember when you put your first baby to bed with a listening monitor and sat downstairs watching the box almost with subtitles on so you could hear every heartbeat?

If you heard an unexpected cough or belch you would sprint up the stairs faster than druggy Dwain Chambers on steroids to check on your little angel. That’s called parenting, isn’t it?

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Posted: 30th, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (544)

Susan Healy Could ‘Shake’ Tapas Nine

Madeleine McCann: In the Liverpool Echo, Mrs Healy talks of Tapas Nine:

“I could shake all of them, every single one of them.”

“Why did they think – all of them – it was OK to do this?

“I think they were misled into thinking it was OK, but there was no CCTV, no security.

“There is an acceptance among couples with young children, like Kate and Gerry and their friends, that these are good resorts and safe environments.”

Madeleine McCann – On it goes… 

Posted: 29th, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (286)

The Kate McCann Calendar, Elisabeth Fritzl And A Suspect Strike Again

katemccann_.jpgMADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY MIRROR (front page): “KATE: I need to know Madeleine is alive..or dead”

The Mirror says Madeleine McCann went missing on “May 3 2007 9:15pm.”

Or not. Such are the facts.

THE SUN (front page): “MASDDIE – Part Two of our harrowing series”

How does it end? First read the “12-PAGE SPECIAL”.


A case told in headlines:

“’Do a year in jail and you can all go home.’ NO!’”

“Tears of relief and sadness as McCanns come home”

It’s the Kate McCann calendar – 12 pictures of Kate McCann, one for each month Madeleine’s been gone. A straw poll in the Anorak office says Kate makes a decent Miss September and blooms in April. May is not her best month…

“Theory after theory..but not a single proper lead”

“So many Maddies, and wild goose chases”

“The life of torment they now endure”

“’Maddie suspect’ bid to grab girl”

Robert Murat?

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Posted: 29th, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (429)

Madeleine McCann: Sometimes We Feel Like Giving Up

maddie-story.jpg“SOMETIMES WE JUST FEL LIKE GIVING UP” declares the Mirror “…but Maddie just keeps us going”.

The headline is not, as you might think, an anguished crie de coeur from the paper’s editors. It is, of course, a quote from Kate McCann. The legend at the top of the page reads: “McCANNS 1 YEAR ON”.

Other papers follow suit, with the Sun featuring a 12-page special and pin-up size pictures of “The face we will never forget”.

The Star eschews such tacky emotionalism and goes for a hard news story for its cover: “MUSLIM SICKOS’ MADDIE KIDNAP SHOCK.”

The paper says police are set to investigate a “vile attack on Madeleine McCann’s parents” by Muslim extremists.

What kind of attack? A suicide bomb, perhaps?

No. In a “hysterical rant” on the internet, “fanatics blame the couple for her disappearance”.

All very interesting. But what of the Star’s stablemate, the Maddy Express? What extravaganza are they offering for Day 365? A 28-page special?

Curiously, the front page is bereft of the face we will never forget. Perhaps Express Newspapers have issued a completely separate edition of the paper devoted entirely to all things McCann?

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Posted: 28th, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (459)

Madeleine McCann: A Pilgrimage, An Official Book And Australian Girl Guides Worry

mccanns5.jpgMADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

NEWS of The World: “McCanns: Our year of hell over missing Maddie”

Says Kate McCann: “There were many moments when we hit rock bottom and sobbed, wondering how we could survive without knowing where our little girl was.

“It is pure torture to deal with and it has been a long year of hell. But what keeps us going is our overwhelming faith that Madeleine is alive and will come home.”

Says Gerry McCann “It is so hard at times, but we have to try and retain some normality for our other children.”

They revealed their turmoil to Ed Smart, whose 14-year-old daughter Elizabeth was found nine months after she was abducted from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2002.

THE TIMES: “McCann’s to write book in order to raise funds to continue search”

Says Clarence Mitchell: “It will be the family’s story, the only official book. Kate and Gerry are both keen to put the truth of everything that has happened to them on record. It will be a detailed account of their experience, from the pain of the night Madeleine was kidnapped to being named as official suspects in the investigation.”

What about a calendar: The McCann Year?

Scott Pack, a former head of buying for Waterstone’s, said that the McCanns’ book would fall into the category of “misery memoir” or “inspirational biography”. He said: “I am sure there will be huge interest among publishers because it has the potential to be a huge success and they will not want it to go to someone else. It is bound to go for a decent amount and I think you are talking of at least £500,000. It could go for a million.”

Of course, it’s not the first book on the matter. And there will be more…

THE TIMES: “‘Madeleine McCann was abducted by an opportunistic paedophile’”

Says Mark William-Thomas: “The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is like no other I have seen before or will hopefully ever see again.”

So says the “former detective and authors on peadophile crimes”.

Madeleine became the victim of an opportunist and predatory paedophile. The abductor either lives in or had contact with Praia da Luz.

Thank you, detective. Any evidence?

THE INDEPENDENT: “From MI6 to Maddy”

‘The Mail on Sunday’ last week ran a “special investigation” into the police hunt for Madeleine McCann by David Rose, billed as “Britain’s foremost investigative reporter”. Could this be the same D Rose who admitted last autumn to having been duped into peddling misinformation for the Secret Service as a young hack? In a piece for the ‘New Statesman’ he confessed to penning “somewhat breathless” articles for ‘The Observer’ after being treated to Darjeeling and eclairs at the Ritz by an “urbane” senior MI6 agent exuding “clandestine glamour” and carrying a “rolled-up copy of ‘The Times'”.

GLASGOW SUNDAY MAIL: “Gerry McCann’s brother in pilgrimage to Portugal”

A pilgrimage?

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Posted: 27th, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (302)

Madleine McCann: Rachel Oldfield Knows, Doctors And Gerry McCann

maddy.jpgMADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY MAIL: “Stop the carnival” 

It’s Richard Littlejohn:

I’ve always been uneasy about the media carnival, but figured if that’s what got her parents through the night, what business was it of mine.

However, one year on, there’s something distasteful about the continuing round of claim and counter-claim, blame and counter-blame.

Gerry and Kate McCann should be left alone with their demons, with our sympathy, and not live out their guilt in public any longer. The police and the private detectives should be left to get on with their job.

The Tapas Seven, the McCanns’ PR man, the professional ghouls should all keep their theories to themselves.

And their opinions?

DAILY MIRROR: “Rachael Oldfield of the Tapas Seven breaks her silence over McCann’s torment”

Tapas Seven? And why speak now?

Rachael Oldfield, a 36-year-old recruitment consultant, said: “I was there on the night. I spent time with Gerry and Kate during the week before May 3 and after.

What happened? 

“Their emotions and their reactions were just agonising. There’s just no way they were involved in anything to do with Madeleine’s disappearance.

“If you take the common sense approach and look at timings and the fact they are medics and there are four other medics in the group, they would know what to do to resuscitate a child.

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Posted: 25th, April 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comments (1,828)

Madeleine McCann: Rachel Oldfield

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

BBC Radio: Rachael Oldfield, who was with Kate and Gerry McCann in Portugal, is on the radio. Says she:

“We were made to understand we could face two years in prison for speaking out, so as a group we’ve not said anything from day one.

But people did talk? And there was a spokesperson?

“And there have been all these rumours flying around and leaks from sources close to the PJ [the Policia Judiciaria – Portuguese police].”

Asked to characterise police actions, she replied: “Well, double standards. They leaked information and these rumours which have flown around for the past year…

“We would have loved to have put the record straight.”

What of Robert Murat?

Separately, a senior figure in Portugal with direct knowledge of the investigation has told a BBC Radio 4 documentary there is only a slim chance of murder or manslaughter charges being filed against Kate and Gerry McCann or Robert Murat, the third arguido.


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Posted: 24th, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, TV & Radio | Comments (651)

Madeleine McCann: Anne Enright, Mark Warner And Goncarlo Amaral

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

DAILY MIRROR: “Maddy’s cop quits”

Madeleine McCann has her own private policeman?

The detective sacked as head of the Madeleine McCann inquiry is quitting the force on full pension. It is thought Goncalo Amaral may talk about the case after telling colleagues he quit partly to recover his “freedom of speech”.

THE SUN: “Kate: We all checked kids”

MADELEINE McCann’s parents have told how they devised their own baby-listening service because the complex they were staying in had none. Kate and Gerry McCann reveal in a new TV documentary how they and seven friends took it in turns to look in on all their kids at the Ocean Club.

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Posted: 24th, April 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Madeleine McCann, Tabloids | Comments (342)

Madeleine McCann: Media Listens To Kate McCann

luz.jpgMADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

DAILY MAIL: “Madeleine’s mother: Why we didn’t use a baby listening service”

They making a TV documentary about Madeleine McCann.

An “insider” hears Kate McCann say: “”We wanted to use a baby-listening service but there wasn’t one at the Ocean Club.”

METRO: “Maddie’s mum denies ‘blaming’ holiday company”

Did she blame Mark Warner holidays?
Says the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “I wish to make it clear that Kate McCann does not attack Mark Warner for the absence of a baby listening service at the Ocean Club in the forthcoming ITV documentary.”

Commenting on the comments that may or not be accurate. Such are the facts.

FOX NEWS: “Madeleine: Holiday Firm Withdraws Baby Listening Services”

The company which runs the resort where Madeleine McCann went missing has withdrawn baby listening services at all its holiday facilities.

But it didn’t have one, so can it be withdrawn?

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Posted: 23rd, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (739)

Shannon Matthews: The Missing Thousands And Karen Matthews’ TV Vigil

karen-matthews.jpgSHANNON WATCHAnorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Shannon Matthews

DAILY STAR (front page): “SHANNON’S £10K AID VANISHES”Police “want to know what happened to up to £10,000 said to have been donated by the public to help find the nine-year-old. Neighbours desperate to help stuffed cash through the letterbox of the council house Shannon shared with mum Karen Matthews, 32, and stepdad Craig Meehan, 22.

“A family pal said “through the door” donations totalled £6,000. Up to £3,000 also flooded into the Shannon Matthews Fund.

£6,000 plus £3,000 equals…

Roger O’Doherty, neighbourhood manager of local community group Dewsbury West Pathfinder, says the family had not received “as much as a ha’penny’’ from the official fund he had set up. Says he: “I can’t say precisely how much is in the fund but I think it is around £2,000. We were in the process of applying for charitable status which would have meant it would have been administered by trustees. I wasn’t one of them.

£6,000 plus £2,000 equals…

“As far as I am concerned now all the money will go towards helping the children and families living nearby, which was one of the original aims.”

THE SUN: “Inmates terrify Shannon mum”

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Posted: 23rd, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews, Tabloids | Comments (20)

Madeleine McCann: Ecuador, National Treasures And Tabloid Bingo

bingo.gifMADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann

THE GUARDIAN: “Time’s running out to preserve our treasures”

The children?

Transferring text, audio and images to a PC often unearths forgotten gems from the archives. But will we be able to save them all.


Sarah Niblock, head of journalism at Brunel University, frequently uses news archives as a teaching tool. “Because we try to encourage students to reflect on practice, it’s important to be able to show them the trajectory that a story has taken, the evolution of that story. For instance, we’ve recently had the culmination of many long heated debates over the coverage of the Madeleine McCann situation. To be able to look back at the coverage, compare and contrast, ask questions about it – and to be able to do that at the push of a button … archives are tremendous for that.”

THE BIRMINGHAM POST: “Does the Ecuador tragedy mean we need to better protect our children?”

A coach crash that kills five British backpackers. What has this to do with Madeleine McCann. Surely, she was not in Ecuador?

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Posted: 22nd, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,368)

Madeleine McCann: Breaking Local News

mccanns-balloons.jpgMADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann


Almost a year ago, when Madeleine McCann went missing, I was genuinely saddened by her disappearance. But now I’m not.

So says columnist Julia Taylor, who suffering from “compassion fatigue”. She can’t feel sorry for the McCanns because she’s bored. So bored is she, that she’s writing about her apathy.

I think it came to a head for me when I was working in Essex, and several bored housewives decided they would mark the 100th day since Madeleine went missing with the release of 100 balloons on a school playing field.

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Posted: 21st, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,192)

Madeleine McCann: The First Robert Murat, McCanns’ Neglect Charge And Old Portugal

mccanns-birthday.jpgMADDIE WATCH – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann


A shock new plan to charge Kate McCann over daughter Maddie’s kidnap was last night condemned as “spiteful and shameful”. British legal experts branded bungling Portuguese detectives “Keystone Cops” for considering neglect charges.

But are these comedy cops the only ones who think the McCanns erred?

One lawyer said: “After an inquiry costing millions and unprecedented international help, these Keystone Cops still haven’t got a clue what happened to Madeleine. The investigation was a mess from Day One.”

Says McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell: “We haven’t heard through official channels if they are considering this charge. But you’d have to ask yourself, ‘Why now?'”

Or why not now?

MAIL ON SUNDAY: “Madeleine special investigation: The damning case against the Portuguese police – and how Kate and Gerry are coping one year on”

At the holiday home where Madeleine was last seen:

The apartment gate was padlocked, but in the little paved front yard, a purple hibiscus and some dusty geraniums were coming into bloom. The Algarve spring is finally coming.”

Such are the facts in this special investigation.

“It’s a new season,” said a British woman who works in a local restaurant. “It’s tragic they haven’t found Maddie. But the time has come to move on.”

Moving on:

Of course, moving on is one thing Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry, cannot do. They remain arguidos, official suspects, – as does Robert Murat, a British expat living in Praia da Luz who has strenuously protested his innocence – still supposedly being investigated on the grounds that they may have caused her death or disappearance.

“Intellectually, they have grasped what has happened,” said Gerry’s elder brother, John. “Emotionally, they have learnt, to an extent, to cope: one’s psychology adapts. But they haven’t really come to terms with it. There are times when they can seem cheerful, but then the devastation bursts through. Madeleine’s disappearance is a cataclysm that is horrendous for them, and horrendous for all of us close to them.”

“It’s an intense, full-on existence for both of them,” said the McCanns’ spokesman, Clarence Mitchell. “Gerry is back at work [as a cardiologist] full-time, but when he gets home the campaign to find Madeleine is like having a second job.”

And what of Portugal, Britain’s oldest ally?

“You have to remember: until 1974 Portugal was a dictatorship,” said a veteran Algarve journalist, who asked not to be named. “That was the climate in which the PJ was created. Their methods were pretty rough.”


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Posted: 20th, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (1,270)

Shannon Matthews: Michael Donovan’s Tracksuit And John Guant Passes Judgement

shannon2.jpgSHANNON WATCHAnorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Shannon Matthews

THE SUN: “Cops quiz Shannon suspects for 7 hours”

Mike Donovan, the man accused of abducting and imprisoning Shannon Matthews was questioned by police for seven hours.

Any other facts?

Donovan, Meehan’s uncle, was taken to Huddersfield police station, West Yorks, from Doncaster jail. He was smuggled in and out under a blue coat, but could be seen wearing purple tracksuit bottoms and blue and white trainers.

What of Karen Matthews? Any more facts?

Matthews — a mother of seven by five fathers — is charged with perverting justice by concealing her whereabouts, and child neglect.


“Karen Matthews isn’t and doesn’t represent the white working class.”

Phew! She’s no Lily Allen.

“The clue is the title ‘working’ she and her ilk have no intention of ever working – they just want to leech off the sweat of the rest of us.”

Can’t think of anyone who wants to drink Gaunty’s sweat as he burns calories over a keyboard? That question to humans and leeches. And didn’t Craig Meehan work as a fishmonger in a supermarket?

Undaunted by fact, Gaunt goes on:

“She may be shameless but the rest of us aren’t blameless, as we have allowed the Guardianistas to create new Britain where we are no longer allowed to be judgemental.”

But Gaunt is all about being judgmental. He is allowed to be judgemental, and in the national press of all places. But undaunted by contradicting himself, Gaunt goes on:

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Posted: 18th, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews, Tabloids | Comments (17)

Madeleine McCann: Suing Clarence Mitchell, Jane Hill And Pastries

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

DAILY MAIL: “’Portuguese police should sue McCann’s official spokesman’, claims newspaper”

The Mail is reporting on a report in a foreign newspaper. Isn’t this what got the Express into difficulties?

A source “close to the investigation” tells the Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhathat: “On the day in which it’s opened to the public, it will be easy to prove the declarations are not there. Then it will become clear this leak cannot have come from within the PJ.”

The claim is that the words attributed to Kate McCann – words it was claimed she told the police – might not be her words after all.

The source reportedly added that “Mr Mitchell should be the subject of a libel action for harm caused to the reputation of elements of Portimao’s criminal investigation department, for having ‘unfairly accused’ them of passing on information from the investigation to the media.”

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Posted: 17th, April 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann | Comments (2,235)