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.
”’MANY Harry Returns,” declares the Star, and we can only concur. For the ginger prince is now a man, and a nation rejoices. But not for the new Prince Hal the dubious pleasures of the Rattlebone Inn.
|Tired of waiting for Harry ‘The Eighth’ to turn up, Rattlebone Inn regulars turned to booze|
For like his Shakespearean namesake, he has put his hellraising days behind him, in favour of nobler pursuits. No wild celebrations for him. No siree.
”My father offered me a birthday party at home, but I turned it down,” he reveals. Instead, the paper reports, he spent ”an uneventful day relaxing with Prince Charles”.
And like a ”magic eye” picture, you can stare at those two sentences and see whatever you like.
‘WITH Ian Huntley not due back in court for a while, there comes news that we trust will keep the baying mob that followed his every move intact.
|”What are we protesting about today?”|
The Sun reports that Detective Constable Brian Stevens, who read a poem at the service to mark the lives of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells, has been arrested on suspicion of child porn offences.
He and one other police colleague have been arrested following an operation that targets users of US pay-per-view websites.
It’s the kind of story that were it not in black and white would have the mob foaming in outrage that such a thing could be made up.
”Where are these journalist sickos who pass this stuff off as entertainment?” they ask. ”Hang them!” ”Kill them!” ”Maim them!” scream the mothers and the children they fight to protect.
According to Sun, Stevens visited a website that contained pictures of children as young as five.
And if that doesn’t get you on the first train to Cambridgeshire for a day out with the kids, then the Mail’s news that the children were ”as young as a few months old” should.
But before you go, ask yourself whom you are travelling with? That train driver looks a bit shifty, and what business is it of the ticket inspector if your child is under sixteen, a ”minor” as the twisted pervert puts it.
And, in any case, not all the teachers have been given a clean bill of mental health by the Government yet, so what irresponsible parents are even sending their children to school in the first place?
Safest just to call everyone a paedophile. That way the children will retain their innocence for a little while longer.
‘ABUSE against the young touches even the upper echelons of our society, and so it is that the Star features Gareth Gates in a heart-wrenching piece entitled ”Day I Met Mr Nasty”.
|Gareth’s hair was lethal at close range|
But this story doesn’t start on a bus ride to school or in the pet shop. It begins on a sunny day at the Pop Idol TV studios.
And in Gareth’s own stammering words it sounds all the more painful.
”I sat there waiting my turn,” says Gareth. ”I wasn’t really talking to anyone. I was listening to what everyone was saying – and all they were talking about was this nasty guy who was on the judging panel.”
And when young people began to stream from the audition room in floods of tears, Gareth began to worry. He worried so much that he began to stutter, and when he was called up, he took 20 seconds to even say his name.
But, whether out of fear or fortune, he sang, and when he had finished the nasty man leaned forward and said: ”You’re going to London. Well done!”
But Gareth returned to tell his tale, albeit slowly, and Mr Nasty went to America to see some more eager-to-please young talent.
‘OTHER children just learn from their parents, and not all of what they learn is good.
|”Psst. Got any smack?”|
So when the Express writes ”Harry does a Diana”, we peer through our fingers over the banisters and fear the worst.
But the Diana he’s doing is not a tumble down the stairs nor is he sharing a bed with the playboy son of a wealthy Arab. What he is doing a la Diana is working with the ”sick and needy”.
The Prince turns 18 on Sunday, and in readiness for the big binge, he chose yesterday to attend a young offender’s football programme at West Ham United.
Soon schooled in the best way to hotwire a car and turn one ounce of cocaine into three, Harry went to Kid’s Company, a charity based in Camberwell, South London.
And the Mail says that while he was there a ”teenage boy” was marched off the premises after rolling a cannabis joint.
And Harry? Well, he was looking forward to his party, and lashings of fizzy pop, jellies and whatever his new mates care to bring along.
”’TECHNICALLY, the only sexual assault that has taken place is upon my client,” argued Craig Hilton Bell’s counsel, ”though clearly at his own request, and we therefore request leniency.”
Bell’s unusual case prompted the judge to acknowledge the mitigating circumstances, having heard how he had committed an estimated 300 offences while pretending to have been injured by a cricket bat.
Under pressure of losing his job at the Commonwealth Bank, Bell discovered that he could only become sexually aroused if his testicles were fondled by a woman.
To this end he made appointments with female doctors all over Queensland, asking them to examine his testicles. Complaints were made after he became ”visibly aroused” during one examination.
”You are the first person in the history of Queensland ever to be convicted of procuring a sexual assault against himself, and for that reason I have decided not to pass a custodial sentence” said Judge Michael Forde. ‘
‘PRAGUE is currently at the mercy of the so-called Obese Family, a ruthless gang of pickpockets.
”It’s a military operation,” said Bruce Jefferson, ”and if The Obese Family chose you, there is nothing you can do about it. They’re so fast, the victim can’t even see what’s going on, so he has no chance.”
The gang operate on trams, and their method is simple but unusual, as another witness explains: ”First, an innocent-looking pregnant woman gets into the tram and demands a tourist’s seat, and when he stands up, five hugely obese men quickly move in and surround him with their stomachs.
”Within seconds, the gang is rifling his pockets, and his valuables are dumped into a carrier bag, which is handed to a slimmer youth. He flees from the tram, often screaming ‘The Obese Family has struck again’ in Czech, while the tourist is detained by a wall of blubber until the next stop.
”The five fat men are usually so noisy that the tourist usually doesn’t even realise what’s going on until it’s too late. He just thinks that the tram is particularly crowded. And when The Obese Family are on board, it is.” ‘
‘RIGHT, who wants some? Iraq? Stitch this! Afghanistan? Have some of that! Bosh! Now, who fancies a pint? If only life were that simple. If only our leaders would just see sense and SORT IT OUT.
|Mail reporters were delighted with their new company cars|
Or, to put it another way, if only the world were more like the Daily Mail. And if only a woman could be more like a man. And if only this woman would stop pussyfooting around and tell us what she really thinks.
What’s that? There IS such a woman? And she DOES spell things out, in a ”provocative but passionate article”? Jees, that’ll be worth a read – what’s it called?
Something big and ballsy, we reckon, something like: ”Damn the fainthearts and the naïve: bomb Iraq and, if necessary, take on Iran, and Syria and Saudi Arabia, too!”
And what’s the name of this modern day Boadicea? Melanie Phillips? That’s ironic, because there used to be a bleeding heart liberal called Melanie Phillips who wrote for the Guardian until a couple of years ago.
What’s that? It’s the same woman? And she knows where we live? And she’s got a million followers who pass around her propaganda in their Airwick-scented breakfast nooks?
And they’re mad as hell and not going to take it any more? Oh, humanity!
‘WITH World War III just around the corner, perhaps it’s worth considering a move to somewhere quieter. And where better than another planet?
|”It looks familiar – I just can’t quite place it”|
The Moon would be nice, but it’s a bit too accessible for our liking. So we’re moving to the other one, the new Moon that has just been discovered by Bill Young.
The Sun reports that Bill discovered ”Moon No 2” while doing some sort of routine survey of the skies (and certainly not while enjoying a sly peek at his neighbours).
He noticed an unusual planet passing over Mrs B’s roof, and adjusted his telescope to observe it more closely.
Having established its existence to his own satisfaction, he reported his find to the boys at NASA, whose fancy equipment had somehow failed to pick it up.
”This must have been captured by the Earth’s gravity this year because otherwise it would have been detected much earlier,” said a spokesman, in a steady, confident voice.
So that’s cleared up the new moon. Now, what about the million-ton meteorite just behind it?
‘ONCE upon a time, our grandmothers tell us, money used to burn a hole in your pocket.
|All that glisters…|
Now, thanks to technological progress, it makes your hands itch instead.
Scientists have warned that the new Euro coins contain 320 times too much nickel, and the Mirror reports that this could cause problems for people with sweaty hands.
The Star and Sport, whose readers are particularly at risk in this respect, maintain a suspicious silence on the issue.
”’WILL They Strike Today?” asks the Daily Express on its front page. And the answer, gauged from the TUC Conference in Blackpool, is: no, but they’ll have a bloody good grumble.
|New pictures of call centre supervisor revealed|
Tony Blair addressed the conference yesterday, and delivered a few desultory words on union rights, told the delegates to behave themselves, and came to life only when playing to the (TV) gallery with a speech about Iraq.
Judging from the reception from the hall, the speech appeared to be about as welcome as the proverbial fart in a lift. The Star’s cartoon shows Blair addressing the assembled trade union malcontents. ”Why take on Saddam?” asks one, and there are echoes of ”Why?” around the hall. ”Because he’ll be easier than you lot,” replies Tony, wagging his finger angrily.
Presumably this is intended to indicate that Saddam is just about the most dangerous thing imaginable, yet even he pales into insignificance beside the massed ranks of organised labour.
The effect, though, is the opposite, and merely suggests that the Iraqi ”monster” is no more threatening than a bunch of trade union ”leaders” who can’t even influence their own political party.
So why attack Iraq? Tony Parsons gives it to us straight in the Mirror, in a column entitled ”Shame on you self-loathing, American-hating liberals who make me sick to my stomach”. The reason why is that, whereas ”once we were told” that Saddam ”set up rape camps in Kuwait”, we are now told that he likes Quality street. ”Remember, remember, September 11,” he concludes.
Admittedly, we were told a lot of things about Saddam. We remember how he killed the Kuwaiti babies by disconnecting the incubators, and covered all those poor cormorants in crude oil? Neither of these actually happened, of course, but they were good stories nonetheless. We don’t remember being told about Kuwaiti rape camps, but even if they don’t exist, someone would have to invent them.
Parsons may fear a strike from Saddam, the Express may fear a strike from Bin Laden, and the Star may fear a strike from the Amalgamated Wheeltappers, Boilermakers and Call Centre Operatives Union. But the most likely strike will come courtesy of Bush and Blair, with God – and Tony Parsons – on their side.
‘TODAY, on the 365th day of remembrance of Nine Eleven, the badger community will also be mourning the death of one of its own. As with human beings, it is illegal to kill a badger in this country unless you have official permission, so the Mail’s picture of a prostrate furry corpse is particularly disturbing for those of us who believe in the rule of law.
|”And this was after they’d pulled the eyes from cats and stuck them in the road”|
But the reason for publishing this upsetting picture is not simply to upset animal loving Mail readers as they nibble their toast and marmalade in their Airwick-freshened breakfast nooks. It is to point out once again the incompetence and callousness of the lower orders.
”Workmen painting road couldn’t be bothered to budge a dead badger” complains the headline, and sure enough, there, across the dead creature’s stomach, is a white line, perfectly aligned with the road markings on either side. ”I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” said salesman Chris Crabtree, the father of four from Congresbury, North Somerset who photographed the scene.
The Mail itself is less surprised. ”It is not the first time that council workmen have decided to cut corners to get the job done quickly,” they remind us. And it won’t be the last, just you mark our words.
‘EVER wondered what it’s like to snog Christine Hamilton? No, us neither, but here’s the Sun to tell us anyway. ”Snogging Christine Hamilton was like kissing an octopus,” it declares in very big letters.
|”I thought he was a highly convivial and interesting man and I was very glad to meet him”|
This is the verdict of ”hunky Aussie Shane Dilena”, whose nightmarish experience came hours after the self-styled battleaxe was voted off I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!.
Shane was a member of the camera crew and says that the assault took place in full view of husband Neil. He doesn’t say whether Neil was crouched in the wardrobe, watching through the keyhole, so it’s safest to assume that he was.
”She straddled my legs and rubbed herself up against me,” says Shane. Eventually, Neil said, ”Christine, stop molesting that young man”, but his voice must have been muffled by the clothes surrounding him, because she appeared not to hear.
The following day she pursued him at a beach bar and arranged to meet him later – an arrangement he did not keep. Never mind, Christine will always have the pictures to remember him by. And thanks to the Sun, so will we.
‘PET cemeteries are scary places rarely talked about. Mummies are scary objects often talked about. But now a cemetery for animal mummies has been found, a new horror movie is surely in the making.
The burial area was found near the sacred city Abydos in the south Egypt, about 350 miles from Cairo. The settlement’s vast complex of tombs and temples was apparently seen by ancient Egyptians as the gateway to the underworld.
Archaeologists also found eight small limestone coffins which contained the mummified remains of rodents – thought to be rats – about 10cm long. What wonderful villains they would make, eh? ‘
‘LACHRYMOSE larcenist Edward Hardy burst into tears when a shopkeeper told him to get lost as he was trying to rob the shop.
Hardy had pointed a gun at the 60-year-old grocer and demanded the money from the till, but when Stan Tilotson refused he started sobbing and ran out of the shop. ”My heart sank when he refused,” he later told police.
Sentencing Hardy to 19 months in jail, a judge said: ”Never was there a more unlikely robber.”’
‘TONY Blackburn claimed his sole reason for taking part on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here was to get fit. But the 59-year-old DJ will soon be able to afford all the treadmills and personal trainers he wants as he stands to make £1m from the show.
|Another dose of TB|
The Star says his ”Mr Nice Guy” manner, which helped him win the show, makes him an adman’s dream – and he has been swamped with offers from ad agencies and TV chiefs since it finished. Not to mention newspapers, with the Mirror (the paper that these days eschews celebrity tittle-tattle) claiming the exclusive interview with the king of the jungle.
And what has Tony got to say about his experience? Well, he reveals that some of his fellow contestants used to argue a lot and occasionally use ”tasteless” language – and he liked logs. ”It was torture out there,” he tells the paper. ”It was like being in a prison.” Which is where most of Tony’s fellow DJs from the 1960s are currently languishing.
But not our Tony-tastic hero, whose mother congratulated him on behaving like the perfect gentleman throughout his ordeal. ”And I’m glad she said that because I think it’s something this country has lost,” he says.
Is it really too late for a second TB in Downing Street?
‘TOMORROW the papers are likely to don black mourning clothes as they celebrate the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, but for now they are content to feast on their usual daily diet of sex and celebrity.
|What would you rather wake up to?|
The Sun may have ditched its Page 3 girl for a week or so in the aftermath of 9/11, but since then its defiance against Osama and his cronies has more often than not taken a 36DD shape.
And this morning it is the turn of Big Brother winner Kate Lawler to occupy the most famous berth in British Tabloidland – ”frolicking topless in the sun” while on holiday in Spain.
Take that, Bin Laden!
Kate’s chest may not stretch much further than her vocabulary (”wicked”) and it is not exactly of the Sun’s normal 36DD variety – but it was enough to leave fellow holidaymakers ”gawping”, especially when at one point ”she and girl pal relaxed in a pool on airbeds and KISSED”.
What do you think of that, Mullah Omar?
”A couple of blokes came over to chat them up but didn’t get very far,” an onlooker told the Sun. ”Kate seemed more interested in her brunette girlfriend. They spent a lot of time holding hands.”
So – as they say in Wapping – up yours, Saddam Hussein…
‘A YEAR ago, all the talk was of the clash of civilisations and whether the Christian world and Muslim world could co-exist. Today, all the chat is about the clash between the boys and the girls on Popstars: The Rivals – and the need to keep both sides apart. Not because they might come to blows, however, but (says the Star) because producers are worried that they may all jump into bed with each other.
|”I’ve never had any rivals for my affections”|
After three series of Big Brother and barely a kiss to show for it, why TV bosses think the 20 boys and girls left on the talent show won’t be able to keep their hands off each other is a mystery.
But a show insider tells the Star that finalists will be banned from any hanky-panky. ”It goes without saying that there will be some good-looking, hunky guys and some very sexy lasses making it through to the final,” they told the paper. ”The last thing we want is for couples to form and then we end up with hysterical girls crying because their new boyfriend has got the boot.”
Or hysterical boys crying because their new girlfriend has got the boot. Or indeed hysterical girls floating topless on lilos and kissing other hysterical girls…
‘MOST of us suspect that there is more than one Saddam Hussain. The stand-ins pose and posture, while the real deal is out of town, living it up as a Saddam Hussain celebrity double at the Sands casino is Las Vegas.
|Early strain of TB|
And so it is with our very own TB. While Tony Blair talks to George Bush, a new TB entertains the troops. And, in reply to his hearty salutations, we salute ”Hi, guys” to Tony Blackburn.
For the original TB (TB1) it must be like looking into a mirror, as Tony Blackburn (TB2) beams out from the Mail’s front page.
The rent-a-hair is from the same range, the grin is uncanny and picking Australia for the photo shoot pays more than passing nod to Blair’s love of the jet-set life.
The only thing is the woman in his arms, and in his face. That’s not shy, demure Cherie but Tory girl Tara Palmer-Tomkinson.
The Sun explains what’s going on, splitting its front page in two, with TB1 on one side (To Saddam: ”Your time is up.”) and TB2 on the other (”I don’t believe it…I’m just delighted.).
And when TB2, who has just won I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, says ”It’s Tarzan-tastic mate!”, we begin to think. Why not send old radio DJ TB2 to the Gulf in place of TB1? It might just be the wake-up call Saddam’s been dreading.
‘TELL any TB it’s for chari-dee and watch them sit in a vat of baked beans for hours.
|Downing Street guards had orders to shoot this man on sight|
Tell TB3 that he can get in a good dig at his enemies and, most likely, make a few bob as he does it, and hear him spill his guts to the Mail.
TB3 is Tony Booth, who just like TB1 is wont to do can be seen in the Mail proper sidling up to Cherie.
But this TB is the ”father-in-law from Hell”. He’s ”crude, rude and indiscreet”. And over the next few days TB3 will be revealing the ”secret life” of Britain’s first family and the ”bitter private battles” at the top of new Labour.
And for a taster, Tony recounts a tale of a dinner date chez TB1 on the night of the 1987 General Election. Having turned up to the family house late, TB3 popped out to have cigarette with his daughter Lauren.
And they spotted a red light pricking their jackets. ”I had watched enough action movies to know what that red dot means – the night sight of a gun,” writes TB3.
Was Cherie, an ardent non-smoker, going to, er, smoke the smokers? ”I could just make out two figures in the bushes.” No! Surely not TB and Cherie…
But rather than telling the aggressors that the tax on cigarettes does much good for the national coffers, Tony ”called out that we were family, not foe”.
But that was then, and now he wants to tell us all about it.
‘FOR those who keyed ”VOTE TONY” into their phones on I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! it’s only a short step to repeating the process when the next General Election comes by.
|Hair by Burke, dress by Disraeli|
But for the rest of us, voting is not a trivial matter and should be reserved for the more important things, like which is the Best Soap (EastEnders), who is the Best TV newcomer (Alex Ferns) and tossing up the whether Changing Rooms really is the Best Lifestyle Show on TV (you the voters say it is).
The Sun has some other results from the annual TV Quick Awards, including a gong for GMTV in its unquestionable position as Best Daytime Show.
And why stop there? Having seen how popular TV shows are, it can’t be long before a presenter makes it all the way to No. 10.
And that means voting for GMTV blonde girl Esther McVey, in her new guise as Tory hopeful. ”About two years ago I thought the country was in such a mess, I would emigrate to Spain or France,” says she who will be leader.
”But then I thought ‘No, I must stay and try to make a difference. Disraeli is such an inspiration to me.”’
Indeed, with his blonde highlights, flawless complexion and saddlebag-free thighs, he was an inspiration to us all.
‘WE cannot all be blessed with the looks and talent of Darren Day or Jenny Frost, but some of us can luxuriate in a full head of hair. Not Prince William, though, who is losing his matinee idol looks as quickly as his barnet – and would be well-advised to find himself a future queen before he turns into Prince Edward.
|”Please Lord, let that be the only thing I have in common with Uncle Eddie”|
As a staunch supporter of the monarchy, the Mail keeps a particularly close eye on such things and it has noticed that recent pictures of the 20-year-old second-in-line ”show that the back of his head is starting to reflect the light rather than absorb it”.
And this, says the paper, at an age even younger than Edward was when the world was first alerted to the shocking news that he too was going to be a slaphead.
Worse still – according to trichologist Marilyn Sherlock, there is no cure. ”A lot of people just ride through it because there’s nothing they can do about it,” she said. And ride through it is exactly what we would expect William to do, whether in pursuit of a fox, a polo ball or just a game young filly.
‘NAKED flames and petrol do not mix. It’s a lesson learned early by most motorists, but seems to have slipped the mind of one man in Slovakia.
The 30-year-old, who has not been named, says his fuel gauge had broken, so he pulled into a petrol station to see if there was any fuel left in the tank.
When he could not see into the tank, he used a cigarette lighter to illuminate it. Apparently there was still fuel in the tank – it ignited, and then the car blew up.
The blast demolished most of the petrol station in the town of Horna Streda, and two people were hospitalised.
The man escaped with burns, but has been charged with endangering public safety. ‘
‘WHO would have thought that this country stands on the brink of a war with Iraq – a war that could not only cost hundreds of thousands of lives but one which could provoke catastrophe in the Middle East? Who would have guessed that we are just five days short of the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks, the worst peacetime terrorist acts of modern times?
|”It’s like a jungle in there,” says Darren Day of his Australian nightmare|
Not the readers of the Sun, that’s for sure, who this morning enter Day 1,769 of the playground spat between Darren Day and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson. And today it is Darren’s turn to pull Tara’s hair, claiming that the ”lust-crazed toff” forced his hand down her knickers while they were in Australia filming I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!. ”Tara might be an aristocrat but where I’m concerned she’s certainly been no lady,” he fumed to the Sun.
So why did Darren tough it out in the Aussie jungle where he had to put up not only with all manner of bugs and snakes but also with a lust-fuelled stalker? Charidee, of course. And not any old charidee, but a children’s hospital in Wales – a cause with special relevance to girlfriend Adele whose brother Darren died of a heart attack on a cross-country run at the age of 15.
”The only thing that stopped me going was the idea that I might let Adele down,” the crooner said. That and, of course, a much-needed boost to his flagging profile. ”I would do anything for her, anything. She is the love of my life, the light of my life.” But, then, Tara does seem to have a good agent…
‘WITH crime levels in this country as near to zero as statistics allow and police officers sitting around in the nick with nothing to do but watch old episodes of The Bill on UK Gold, we are glad to report that what looks like a crime has taken place in Scotland.
|Hardened shoppers prepare for the opening of the new Narvey Nics|
And it is not just any old crime, but a celebrity crime – and that means that TV producers will very soon be turning it into a three-part mini-series.
The Star reports that Atomic Kitten star Jenny Frost is being investigated by police in Edinburgh after being accused of punching photographer Hazel Mall in the eye at the opening of the new Harvey Nichols store. The ”stunning singer” claims the snapper pushed her and had been abusive to her all evening, according to the Star – and it is now the task of Scotland’s finest forensic brains to sort out who did what.
A police source explained that CCTV footage could be the key to solving this baffling case. That and good old-fashioned police work. ”Some of the witnesses are still to be traced an spoken to and there have been allegation and counter-allegations by the parties involved.”
It’s at times like this that you really wish Taggart were still alive…
‘THE Daily Mail and the Daily Express have come up with some cracking headlines over the years. But not for them the snappy puns of the red-tops, or the wry sideways glances of the broadsheets.
|”Remember to blow it right between his eyes”|
Instead, they are the masters of the paranoid yet self-righteous whinge and the angrily defiant gesture.
The Mail’s ”Koreans eat dogs and I will NOT apologise for saying so” was an early contender for Headline of the Year, but now the Express has stolen a march with: ”Now you can’t be held for blowing cannabis in a policeman’s face”.
Where does one begin? The breathtaking clumsiness alone is enough to take the breath away.
Then there is the implication that the offence described is a major problem which the police have been struggling to keep the lid on, and which will now become an epidemic thanks to bleeding-heart liberals and evil drugs campaigners.
Then there’s the nagging feeling that worse is to come. Political correctness has gone mad, as we know, so the next step will surely be a new regime in which you CAN be held for NOT blowing cannabis in a policeman’s face.
And then where will we be? In Britain 2002, that’s where.