Anorak

Tabloids | Anorak - Part 252

Tabloids Category

The news as told by the UK’s tabloid press – The Sun, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, Daily Star and News of the World.

1066 And All That

‘THERE are only three dates in British history worth knowing, according to the Sun.

World Bowls Champion 1588-93

In 1588, Philip II of Spain sent 130 ships to try to topple Queen Elizabeth I. Bosh! Two days later, they were sent packing and Sir Francis Drake was crowned World Bowls Champion.

In 1805, the French and Spanish fleets vied with us for supremacy on the seas. Bosh! Lord Nelson sent them packing at the Battle Of Trafalgar and then kissed a bloke called Hardy.

And in 1940, Adolf Hitler sent his Luftwaffe over to destroy the RAF and prepare the way for an invasion of Britain.

Bosh! Winston Churchill and a few brave Biggles lookalikes sent them packing, and never was so much owed by so many to so few.

No mention of Waterloo in 1815; nor of the millions who died in World War I; nor even of the countless occasions in the past few years in which our finest have imposed their own brand of martial law on peaceful continental towns and villages.

No mention either of 1066, when the French came over and gave us a terrible kicking; nor of 1688 when a Dutchman and his missus walked in and took the throne; nor even of 1970, 1990 or 1996 when the Germans beat us on the football field.

No, but the Sun is upset because after 1,000 years of fighting invaders Tony Blair is preparing to surrender Britain to Europe in what the paper calls ”the biggest betrayal in our history”.

The Prime Minister, it says, is about to nod through the broad thrust of a new EU Constitution ”that will hand control of our economic, defence, foreign and immigration policies to Brussels”.

All this – and we don’t even get a referendum on it.

”It is,” says the Sun, ”nothing short of a surrender of everything this country stands for and which it has fought for centuries to protect and enjoy.”

The Mail joins in with an anti-Europe rant of its own, celebrating 40 years of ”duplicity, obfuscation and downright dishonesty to con – or try to con – the British public”.

And we are at Anorak are happy to add our own quiet voice to the clamour for a referendum.

If, like us, you think public flogging is too good for Johnny Foreigner, press 1 on your keypad…

Posted: 15th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Last Refuge Of The Scoundrel

‘SO, what is it that this country stands for? What have we been fighting for centuries to protect and enjoy?

”When you grow up, you could look as ugly as me”

Well, who better to ask than the 29 people pictured in this morning’s Star – the football thugs whose hooliganism could see England thrown out of the Euro 2004?

Police released photos of the dirty two and a half dozen who raced onto the pitch during England’s 2-0 victory over Turkey at the Stadium Of Light last month.

And the FA says it will impose life bans on any of the hooligans identified.

If not them, then who better than the army major with the prestigious King’s Royal Hussars, who is currently in hot water after being accused of having affairs with three military mistresses – as well as bragging about bedding Andrea Corr?

Perhaps, we should inquire of Brendon Frearon, the burglar who was shot by Tony Martin and who, says the Express, is suing the farmer for £15,000 for loss of earnings.

Or maybe the scientists who have discovered that real life in Britain is in fact worse than EastEnders.

Although the murder rate in Albert Square is slightly above the national average, the researchers tell the Express, the figures for rape are accurately represented.

And, claims the research in the New Scientist, scriptwriters on the soap actually downplay subjects like infidelity, prostitution and deceived fathers.

However, they do admit that it is not all realistic – for instance, it is inconceivable that someone like Sonia Jackson would ever get laid in real life.

Posted: 15th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment


After The Flood

‘EVER wondered where the Mirror’s 3am girls get all their gossip from? Try picking up a copy of the National Enquirer.

Britney couldn’t stop clowning around

This morning, they ”reveal” that Justin Timberlake is seeing backing dancer Staci Flood, a mate of his ex-girlfriend Britney Spears.

”She’s his booty call,” they quote a source as saying. ”She’s crazy about him and she’s sure it’s just a matter of time before she wins him over completely.”

It’s funny, but we could have sworn those were the exact words a source used to describe Staci to the Enquirer a week ago.

The Star splashes a picture of Justin’s new woman on its front page and watches the US heart-throb lavish thousands of pounds on her to celebrate.

”Justin was shopping like there was no tomorrow,” said one onlooker. ”He was buying everything from sexy lingerie to expensive jewellery.”

Another source said Justin was smitten and didn’t want his new relationship to go the same way as his old one with Britney.

”He told Staci everything with Britney turned into a circus,” said the source, ”and he doesn’t want the same thing to ruin things with them.”

So, first up, Staci has to shave her beard off…

Posted: 15th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Flirt Alert

‘LINDA Barker spends her TV life redecorating other people’s homes, but she might now have to spend a bit of time patching up her own marriage.

Changing grooms?

According to the Star, the ‘flirty’ 41-year-old gave her husband the cold shoulder when she emerged from the Australian jungle after a fortnight of I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!

The paper says hubby Chris Short thought she was playing to the cameras when she flirted with winner Phil Tufnell on the show.

‘But instead of the romantic reunion he had hoped for when her stay in the jungle was over,’ it says, ‘a tanned and lithe Linda barely acknowledged her other half.’

The Sun hears Linda admit that she did fancy the Middlesex cricketer – ‘I fell for the twinkle in his eye – I defy any woman not to.’

But it claims her husband is not jealous.

‘I don’t mind if other men fancy my wife – I don’t blame them,’ says Chris.

‘She’s sexy, she’s beautiful but, best of all, she’s mine. I can see the attraction like everyone else.’

But what about your wife fancying other blokes, Chris?

The Star tries to stir the pot, quoting a friend of the couple as saying: ‘It was a completely different Linda who came out of the jungle, one none of us had ever seen.

‘Her flirting went into overdrive and Chris is concerned about what his wife has become.’

Back to the Sun and the answer would seem to be a millionaire.

The paper claims Tuffers, Linda and John Fashanu could each scoop £1m from their exposure on the show.

Tuffers has already sold the serialisation rights to his autobiography to the Mirror, which this morning regales readers with stories of the spinner’s five-in-a-bed romps in Australia.

‘I was like Billy Bunter with the keys to the tuck shop,’ he says of the incident.

Posted: 14th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Having A Ball

‘IT has been a few days since we last had an update on Zoe Ball’s marriage to Norman ‘Fat Boy Slim’ Cook.

If at first you don’t succeed…

So, we are pleased to learn that the two are still together, although this is another relationship the Star is desperate to consign to the bin.

It claims that 32-year-old Zoe spent the whole evening at Blur’s concert at London’s Astoria chatting to a mystery man, while Norman, 40, looked on unimpressed.

‘Zoe was paying more attention to a stocky guy,’ an eyewitness tells the Star. ‘She was talking to this guy and wasn’t giving her poor old hubby the same attention.

‘Zoe wasn’t snogging or getting too intimate, but he was definitely getting the attention all night while Norman just stood and watched.’

Of course, in the world of the tabloids, merely talking to a man who is not your husband is the equivalent of a steamy affair.

But Zoe does have previous – the original split in her marriage came after she confessed to having an affair with DJ Dan Peppe.

And Zoe’s dad Johnny Ball is on hand this morning to tell the Mirror that the affair with the dance DJ was ‘very silly’.

As anyone who has seen a photo of Peppe would confirm.

Posted: 14th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Hitting A Bum Note

‘LISA Scott-Lee has ambitions. She wants to be the new Kylie. And she reckons she’s got the bottom to do it.

‘I am a cheeky girl…’

So, ‘like the Aussie pop princess’, the 26-year-old former Steps star decided to capitalise on her best asset as she gyrated on stage at G.A.Y.

‘She left little to the imagination,’ says the Mirror, ‘as she pouted and preened her way around the stage, setting off her ‘raunchy’ look with a dodgy medallion and a strange laced-up white leather cuff.’

The Sun reckons Scott-Lee has memorised Kylie’s every move for the performance in what the Star calls ‘a last-ditch attempt’ to promote her new single.

Let’s hope the British public gives her the bum’s rush she so richly deserves.

Posted: 14th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Courting Couple

‘WELL, we now know who – and what – was responsible for Jessie Wallace being voted Sexiest Female soap star – PC Dave Morgan and a speed redial.

Whale spotted off Southend

Copper Dave met the EastEnders actress when he drove her home from court after a drink-driving hearing…and now, according to the Sun, they are dating.

‘Jessie, who plays wild Kat Slater in the BBC1 soap had an intimate lunch with the cop at an Italian diner in London’s Covent Garden on Sunday,’ it says.

‘She beamed from ear to ear as hunky Dave playfully squeezed her bum.’

Is it any coincidence that this tale should come out on the same day as the nominations for this year’s Police Bravery Awards?

As the Sun says, ‘life on the street as a police officer can be very dangerous’.

And never more dangerous than when encountering a bum that’s so big it needs its own postcode.

The Sun shows the happy couple proceeding in a northerly direction in central London, with one eyewitness revealing that Jessie ‘looked like the cat who had got the cream’. And a lot of cream at that.

The 28-year-old copper met the actress at Chelmsford magistrates court back in September when he shielded her from waiting photographers.

A friend of the 31-year-old actress said: ‘It is such an incredible story it could have come from the show itself.’

In which case it will soon end in tears – and the Vic. Which would be a shame because we would like to know what happens if you cross a Kat and a pig…

Posted: 13th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Frosty Dawn

‘THINGS are not so rosy for I’m A Celebrity winner Phil Tufnell and his girlfriend Dawn this morning.

Tuff love

The Express reckons the 32-year-old fitness trainer gave her fella a frosty reception when he emerged after a fortnight in the Australian jungle.

And the cause, claims the paper, was Tuffers’ constant flirting with Linda Barker.

‘As the clock ticked round to the final eviction, John Fashanu found himself something of a gooseberry as the rakish cricketer and TV interior designer cosied up in their rainforest camp,’ it says.

‘Referring to each other as ‘babes’ and ‘baby’, the pair continued to flirt and tease each other with innuendos.

‘They effectively sidelined Fashanu by disappearing off together for trolls in the forest and did not fight shy of regularly hugging each other.’

The paper says Dawn confided to friends that she did not enjoy the show ‘because of her boyfriend’s notorious roving eye’.

But none of the other papers seem to see any frost between the couple.

When Tuffers was reunited with Dawn, the Star says she proudly ran up to him and gave him ‘a huge hug and kiss’ as the other contestants lined up to sing the winner’s praises.

Sian Lloyd said he was ‘a deep thinker’; Chris Bisson called him ‘a real jester’ and Catalina said he was ‘the funniest person in there’.

But the best was from Danniella Westbrook, who commented: ‘He had the face of a winner.’

In other words, he has all his own nose…

Posted: 13th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Boxing Day

‘AND that is more than former I’m A Celebrity contestant Darren Day may soon have with ITV apparently keen to stage a bout between him and comedian Craig Charles.

‘Wow! It’s 2.5%’

The two are due to clash on July 16, according to the Mirror, after ITV decided to pick up the celebrity boxing series, The Fight, from the BBC.

The Beeb pulled out after the British Boxing Board Of Control labelled the fights dangerous and irresponsible, but ITV seems to have no such qualms.

The Mirror says it will work with the International White Collar Boxing Association to make sure the bouts are evenly matched.

‘We’ll make sure that the people are about the same size,’ an ITV insider says. ‘The BBC kept shoving big people in against far smaller people.’

Which is exactly what the British public wants to see. Roll on Lennox Lewis versus Paul Ross…’

Posted: 13th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Serial Offenders

‘THE British Soap Awards are normally associated with two things – the appalling dress sense of the guests and EastEnders winning all the awards.

Liz Hurley will sleep well tonight

This year was an exception – EastEnders was thrashed by Coronation Street and, er, that’s about it.

The Mail looks on in horror at the dresses on display, publishing a veritable rogues’ gallery of poor taste.

‘Call it the Liz Hurley effect – from obscurity to fame in one frock-fuelled photo opportunity,’ it says.

‘And if it worked for Liz, shouldn’t it work for every unknown actress slogging away at showbiz’s coal-face, the thrice-weekly soap opera?’

The answer, you might have guessed by now, is a resounding ‘no’. Instead bored paparazzi were treated to ‘a parade of underdressed, over-made-up young women, all as cheap and tacky as the glitzed up venue’.

Joint winners of the worst outfit award were Liz Avis (Brookside’s Laura Stevens), ‘who put her nice white frock through a shredder in the hope of a Hurley’, and Jodi Albert (Hollyoaks’ Debbie), ‘who had melded inspiration from both Raquel Welch’s cavewoman look and the camp Madame Jojo’s version of Annie Get Your Gun’.

If that doesn’t quite conjure up the horror that was on display at BBC Television Centre on Saturday night, this surely will: Jessie Wallace (EastEnders’ Kat Slater) won the Sexiest Female award.

And Shane Ritchie was voted Sexiest Male.

While Suzanne Collins (Brookside’s Nicky Shadwick) was getting the prize for showing most tit to the Sun, Brian Capron (Corrie’s Richard Hillman) was making a bigger tit of himself in the Express.

The 53-year-old actor, who has had bit parts in Birds Of A Feather and Casualty, insists he is not a soap star, but a serial dramatist.

‘I think we should be called a drama serial, not a soap,’ he said. ‘And it should be Coronation Street, not Corrie.’

To which there is nothing to say except that Corrie won the Best Soap Award – and Brian was voted Best Soap Actor.

Posted: 12th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Diet Another Day

‘STARS attending next year’s British Serial Drama Awards (as it will no doubt we known) should start taking lessons from Countdown’s mutton dressed as celebrity lamb, Carol Vorderman.

‘Baaa’

Ms Vorderman has already shown that she can compete in the Bad Taste stakes with the worst dressed soap actress or serial dramatiste.

This morning, she shows the Mirror how she can fit into the shocking creations she has been known to wear with her 14-day detox diet.

‘Like many women, I have a love-hate relationship with summer,’ she says. ‘I’ve stood in front of the mirror trying on those little vests and shorts and been confronted by a grey, blobby mass.’

Having kissed her husband ‘good morning’, Carol continues: ‘I know how easy it is to make the transition into that summer wardrobe far less painful.’

If you don’t fancy that, turn to the Mail, where starting today is ‘the diet that helped Kate Winslet lose four stone’. As we recall, it’s called The Airbrush Diet.

If that’s not enough, you could follow the diet that helped Kate lose an unwanted 12 stone – the Divorce Diet.

Or you could just follow the example of Friends star Matt Le Blanc, who the Mirror says ‘looks more chunk than hunk’ as he bares his chest on honeymoon.

Posted: 12th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment


The Prince And The Posse

‘PRINCE Harry spread-eagled on his back – it’s enough to make any self-respecting Sloane bray with excitement.

Ginger boy pulls – latest!

But while they have to content themselves with a picture in the Mail, the Sun informs us that the third in line to the throne could already be taken.

It says Harry is ‘very close’ to party-loving society beauty Laura Gerard-Leigh and had enjoyed a string of dates with her.

Laura, who is doing her A-levels at the prestigious St Mary’s school in Calne, is a member of the Glossy Posse, a group of polo-playing pals who hail from the Gloucestershire area.

The Sun says the two have been chums for years, but romance only blossomed last month.

A friend says: ‘They have a lot in common.’

‘Like Harry,’ explains the Sun, ‘she also enjoys drinking and smoking and is a well-known party animal in the posh bars and clubs of Chelsea’s Kings Road.’

And if that’s not enough on which to build a future, we don’t know what is.

Posted: 12th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Sent Packing

‘FOLLOWING Adam Faith’s ‘Wot a way to go story’, the Mirror takes up the banner of sex and celebrity.

Later that night, Grant, Anthea and John met up with Ainsley Harriot

In the spotlight is John Leslie, the overly-tall former presenter of Blue Peter and latterly This Morning.

Leslie’s seen out on the town, heading towards a play called The Rat Pack.

Wise heads will have already spotted the irony in this story, as Leslie’s modern life seems to ape the antics of the great hell-raisers, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.

And so it is that the Mirror spots Leslie’s own pack of showbiz pals walking behind him through central London.

The swingers are, in no particular order, Anthea Turner and Grant Bovey.

London had best watch out when these this three get in the groove. What with Leslie’s height, Bovey’s tan and Anthea’s way with chocolate, who knows what mayhem will ensue.

Posted: 9th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Blood Hounds

‘EVERY Berliner and Malaysian master chef knows that a puppy need not be just for Christmas.

Thanks to Tiddles Coats, Rex could be the cat he always wanted to be

When combined with the pelts of 41 little puppy pals, your pooch can be warm and comforting – something to snuggle up close to every day of week.

This development in canine care stems from the Mail’s front-page story about the ‘scandal’ of the fur coat made from 42 Alsatian puppies.

Having been invited inside the paper, readers are confronted with the ‘horrific trade’ in cat and dog fur.

The story goes that cats and dogs in Belgium are – allegedly – being killed to make coats, blankets, and the lining for gloves and ski boots.

This is clearly an outrage. Surely these animals could be put to better use, like lagging the boiler and car-seat covers.

And while we wait for the next catalogue, we note that today’s range, apparently, includes a blanket made from the furry parts of four golden retrievers.

Just think, when the chill wind of winter bites, you don’t have to move to get that spare blanket – you can just whistle.

Posted: 9th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Bad Faith

‘MANY men of Adam Faith’s vintage – he was 62 when he died – have need of drugs and potions to make them vigorous and enduring when entertaining a young lady, or the wife.

Who needs divorce – when you can just get him a much younger girlfriend

But not Adam Faith, who stayed as rock solid as a mighty oak and twice as stiff as Prince Charles after a date with his 22-year-old lover Tanya Arpino.

For Adam, as the Sun says on its front page, had died. Rigor mortis, nature’s very own Viagra, was to set in, and Faith was to be buried.

The details of what induced Faith’s fatal heart attack are not given in full, and the Sun just allows itself to say that ‘heartbroken’ Tanya was in the ageing popstar’s hotel room when his ticker gave way.

‘It was like watching a horror movie – but you can’t switch it off because you’re in it,’ says Tanya, who may also have been unable to get up and put the kettle on.

The Star shares the story of how ‘TV Adam Faith died romping with babe, 22’.

And it is tale that Mancunian singer Mick Hucknell would be well advised to take heed of as the Sun brings the rather unpleasant news that the ginger crooner is dating a 17-year-old schoolgirl.

A photo of could-be killer Claudia Kinsey is provided. She looks harmless enough – but who knows what pain she will being Mick?

Posted: 9th, May 2003 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Ready Steady Cook

‘WHAT’S the betting that ”Corrie cracker” Tracy Shaw would have been first on the phone when Channel 4 announced they were going to do another series of Celebrity Big Brother?

Former Rear of the Year Tracy Shaw sets out to prove she’s no one trick pony

But the oft-engaged blonde will have to battle it out with ”telly babe” Catalina (who?) for the role of resident beauty in the house.

So says the Star, which this morning unveils the line-up for the new series, which is set to go on air for a fortnight in November.

TV bosses says they have got an ”ideal blend” of celebrity – and the paper reveals how they did it.

Take one part of Tracy and one part of Catalina, and grind down to form a powder.

Separately, puree former Spice Girl Mel B, former Boyzone singer Stephen Gateley and former EastEnders actor (and legendary lothario) Michael Greco, making sure you eradicate all lumps (sorry, Jimmy Gulzar).

Fry some former Big Brother presenter Richard Bacon, with a hint of Graham Norton, until soft.

Add the powder and the puree and two pints of water and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally.

As the mixture starts to thicken, flavour with Lenny Henry. For special occasions, try adding a sprig of Dawn French or a pinch of Kathy Burke – and there you have your ”ideal blend” of celebrity.

Serve immediately – to your dog.

Posted: 24th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Mushroom Cloud Over Iraq

‘TODAY, Tony Blair publishes the dossier that he says proves ‘nails’ Saddam Hussain and justifies war.

Fairies complain of invasion of privacy

The Mirror publishes a picture of the Iraqi dictator beside a massive mushroom and says: ”OK, Tony. Prove it.”

But Tony can prove it. The Sun says that the Cabinet ministers who have seen the document have now swung behind the Prime Minister and the need for military action.

Even war wobblers Clare Short and Robin Cook were run by the damning proof contained in the 50-page dossier.

We at Anorak have also seen a leaked copy of the dossier and would like to offer Mr Blair our unconditional support for the forthcoming hostilities.

Intelligence reports, satellite photos and the evidence of informers all point to one incontrovertible fact – Saddam has been picking mushrooms without a licence.

Posted: 24th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment (1)


Chewing The Fat

‘WHAT EVERY WOMAN NEEDS TO KNOW. This morning, these words are once again plastered on the front page of the Mail, bringing the dossier of things every woman needs to know (2002 version) to considerably more than the 50 pages of Tony’s dossier of death.

A turkey neck is not just for Christmas

So what does every woman need to know this morning?

She needs to know about liposuction. It’s the fastest growing cosmetic surgery, in fact it is the most commonly performed operation in the United States (not that you’d have guessed from the line-up on an average Jerry Springer episode).

But is it ”a dieter’s dream or deadly vanity”? The Mail has the answer, beside a consumer test of five of the best backpacks (which can be used to carry your unwanted flab home).

But is this something that every woman needs to know about? Lisa Riley and Vanessa Feltz perhaps, but Calista Flockhart and Jennifer Aniston?

Next week, breast implants – and what every woman needs to know…

Posted: 24th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment


The Frog’s Prints

‘IT may be a humble puddle, but for pilgrims in Thailand, it is the footprint of Buddha.

The foot-shaped pool, at a waterfall in Pungna province, is attracting crowds who are leaving flowers and incense at the site, which is said to be guarded by a frog.

They ask the frog to predict lottery numbers, and there are fears for its health, as people are rubbing talcum powder into its skin, hoping for numbers to appear.

”I have ordered my officers to control the area,” said Jamnong Suksawad, the head of the national parks commission, ”but people think this is a holy place and we are powerless to stop them coming.”’

Posted: 24th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Baby Love

‘THE hunt goes on – for Milly Dowling’s killer, if not for foxes, with the distraught parents of the 13-year-old vowing not to rest until ”the monster responsible for this ghastly crime” is brought to justice.

He’s loving Rachel instead

However, the Star is interested in a ”crime” of a significantly less ghastly nature – and it knows the person responsible.

”Robbie: I Ditched Nic For Killing My Baby” is the front-page headline, with the Robbie in question being Mr Williams, formerly of Take That, and the Nic being Ms Appleton, formerly of All Saints.

The paper claims that the relationship between the two popsters dies the day she decided to abort their unborn baby.

A pal tells the Star: ”She took his child away from him and he cannot forget that. The relationship was never the same after that, a terrible wedge was driven between them by that selfish decision.

”People say their hectic commitments and his boozy lifestyle drove them apart, but the reason was the abortion.”

Nicole Appleton claims that it was former All Saints manager John Benson who persuaded her to have the abortion at a private New York clinic.

Band mate, Melanie Blatt, who was also pregnant, refused to have an abortion, but Nicole finally caved in – a decision that cost her Robbie’s love.

”The abortion must have symbolised everything he hated about how this business can control your life,” she writes in her autobiography. ”It so overwhelmed me that he had lost his child. I wanted to weep and weep.”

What, then, must the parents of Millie Dowling be feeling right now?

Posted: 23rd, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Pool Party

‘CELEBRITIES don’t come much more self-obsessed than Michael Barrymore, who has been feeling very sorry for himself since he suffered the trauma of someone dying in his swimming pool.

Barrymore – in a bit of a hot spot

The offender, Stuart Lubbock, not only sullied the pool, but did the same to the TV performer’s reputation – and Barrymore has had to disappear to Mauritius for a few weeks to get over the shock.

But the Mail has tracked him down to the Saint Geran hotel, where he is slumming it in the £4,500-a-night Villa Royal suite.

Coincidentally, the suite boasts its own private swimming pool – a must for a man who only last week claimed at Mr Lubbock’s inquest that he couldn’t swim.

That is a claim that has been disputed by everyone who saw Barrymore win an Olympic gold medal in the individual medley in the 1964 games.

Former bodyguard Steve Gilbey tells the Mail: ”He said on oath that he couldn’t swim, but the truth is he can. If he was any kind of man, he’d have jumped in and tried to save Mr Lubbock’s life. Instead, he ran away like a coward.”

Now we can just wait until he comes back to face the music – and the chances are it won’t be his kind of music…

Posted: 23rd, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Double Trouble

‘IF being Michael Barrymore’s PR adviser is the second worst job in showbusiness, what’s the worst? Being Lucian Pavarotti’s wife – and expecting twins.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house

Nicoletta Mantovani, who was his personal assistant for nine years, has confirmed that she is expecting the heavyweight tenor’s babies in February.

The Mirror says the couple are rumoured to have had IVF treatment in New York earlier this year after the mum-to-be had spoken of her desire to have kids.

”I would love to have twins,” she once said. ”For some time, I have imagined how the child we hope to have would turn out.”

And we’re all imagining how the children she now hopes to have will come out. Giving birth to not one but two Pavarottis would bring water to the driest eyes…

Posted: 23rd, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Speaking Ill Of The Dead

‘TACT was in short supply at a funeral held in the Great Pine Grove Baptist Church in Loxley, Alabama, where mourners were soon up in arms as the preacher began his service.

Orlando Bethel, who is married to the deceased’s niece, decided to depart from the usual euphemistic conventions, and denounced the dead man as a ”drunkard” and a ”fornicator” who will burn in hell.

Police were called as Bethel was manhandled. ”The fornicators didn’t like what they heard,” said Bethel’s wife Glynis afterwards, ”so they beat him up.”

Posted: 23rd, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Child Labour

‘REGULAR readers of Anorak will remember how we brought you news of eccentric road markings appearing around the country, including a yellow line that curved around a traffic cone and a white line that kept a perfectly straight path across the prostrate body of a dead badger.

North Lincolnshire Employee Of The Month – August

Now we bring news of a new sighting, and one that may explain some of the earlier phenomena. ”ELF WORKER” announces the Sun. ”Lad aged 9 lays road for council.”

And there are pictures of the young man, with his face pixelled out to protect his identity (and who can blame him if he is signing on too?).

The boy is seen walking along the street, weighed down under his tools, which doubtless obscure a rolled-up copy of the Beano in his back pocket.

He chatted to motorists who were held up by the roadworks in which he was engaged, and one of the drivers rather unsportingly took the photographs that the Sun has now published.

”The lad was working his socks off,” said the man. But don’t worry, he’ll soon grow out of it.

Posted: 20th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment


Boys’ Brigade

‘EARLIER this week we told how the Army is trying to solve its manpower shortage by welcoming back soldiers who have gone Awol.

”Honest, sir – I’m 12-years-old”

We are happy to report that the policy has been a huge success.

”Army’s flood of recruits since 9/11” trumpets the Sun, ”Record 15,000 set to join ranks.”

And whichever way you look at it, that’s an impressive number in a little over a week. But when you start to look at the story a bit more closely, things don’t quite add up.

For a start, it turns out the 9/11 in question is the one that occurred last year, and not last week.

Then it turns out that the figure of 15,000 is some sort of approximation based on recruits, applications and projected figures – none of which are much use when you need to get together a bunch of have-a-go heroes to give Johnny Foreigner a slap.

Furthermore, it now transpires that at least a quarter of the 100,000 bona fide troops currently in service are nine-year-olds looking to learn a trade and get out by the time they hit puberty.

Once upon a time there was a noble tradition of underage lads volunteering to join up, but now the ”child soldiers” are the subject of campaigns by meddlesome charities and pious politicians.

As a consequence, the Army is remaining understandably coy.

”More young people are becoming aware of the excellent job opportunities,” smiled Brigadier Simon Young, as a distant high-pitched voice barked out commands above the left-right patter of tiny feet.

Posted: 20th, September 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment