Tabloids | Anorak - Part 255

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.

Peacock Shows Off His Bird

‘SHE’S had a rough time recently, what with her baby being born blind and her having a cancer on the end of her finger, but we are happy to report, courtesy of the Star, that Jordan is in love.

What tanning salon worker could resist?

Not just with fame, either – for the paper has a picture of her with Matt Peacock, ”the hunk who has put a smile back on the face” of the besotted, if pneumatic, glamour model.

And we can safely say that 19-year-old Matt, who works in a tanning salon in his native Stockport, is the perfect gentleman, as well as the envy of his mates.

”They were totally in shock when they found out,” he says. ”They had pictures of her on their walls and took them down to be respectful to me – but I told them they didn’t have to.”

It’s little touches like that which, we’re sure you would agree, mark out a gentleman of true class…

Posted: 30th, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

Gooding Gooding Gumdrops

‘A GENTLEMAN is not how one would describe Kylie Minogue’s on-off boyfriend James Gooding, who yet again is up to no good in the Mirror.

Proof that Davinia was up to no good

The Essex ”rotter” has apparently spent a THIRD night with blonde ex-Hollyoaks star Davinia Taylor at her north London home, while the Aussie songbird is in New York attending the MTV Music Awards.

In case Gooding had forgotten what his belle looks like, the Mail obliges with a picture of her in a flowing white outfit, which (the paper says) ”bestowed upon her the image of a Greek goddess” – beside a picture of Britney Spears in a black leather outfit which ”carried the distinctly less innocent overtones of bondage gear”.

But back in Blighty, the evidence is building up against Gooding with the Mirror publishing incriminating pictures of him and Taylor. Admittedly not together, but you can’t have everything.

In one, 26-year-old Gooding is shown smiling (a clear sign of sexual intercourse having taken place in the previous couple of hours), while 24-year-old Taylor is wearing shades – prompting the Mirror’s 3am girls to suggest that it had been a long night.

If more proof were needed, the paper is only too happy to provide it in the form of a picture of Taylor in a London nightclub on Wednesday night wearing a denim skirt. We rest our case, as they say…

Posted: 30th, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

DIY Surgery

‘THE NHS might be bad, but spare a thought for those on the hospital waiting lists in New Zealand.

Ted Matthews, 72, was forced to slice his own finger off after getting fed up with waiting for surgery on his gangrenous hand.

Mr Matthrews, of Timaru, developed dry gangrene in his hands and toes after heart surgery last year, and had just received a letter saying it could be up to six months before he could have an operation at Christchurch Hospital.

He told Television One News that he just ”whacked” the finger with a pair of scissors and ”chopped it off”. He has since lost another finger, which fell off of its own accord. ‘

Posted: 30th, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

Women Is Winners

‘THE music of Janis Joplin is not to everyone’s taste, as Judy Davidson and Fay Howard have discovered to their advantage.

The two great grandmothers were on a desert trek in outback Australia when they came across a pack of 35 rogue camel bulls. They were trapped for three days by the camels, which attacked and charged at their camp.

But salvation came in the form of a Janis Joplin recording, which they played at full volume to scare the animals off.

The pensioner adventurers were eventually rescued by a station owner and his wife. ‘

Posted: 29th, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

Not Good For The Game

‘WHO’S that bloke behind the hedge? ”What bloke?” you ask. ”What hedge?” That bloke over there, peeping out from behind a hedge on the cover on the front page of the Daily Mirror.

”I only nicked the toilet roll. The rest was down to him”

Looks familiar, doesn’t he? And so he should. Normally he is seen sitting in front of a wall of sponsors’ logos when Manchester United PLC has an important announcement to make.

But today he is in the papers for what we in the football world call ”all the wrong reasons”. ”MAN UTD CHIEF IN PEEPING TOM QUIZ,” shouts Britain’s only serious tabloid. ”Edwards ‘caught in ladies’ loo’.”

It transpires that the police have been ”quizzing” Martin Edwards concerning allegations that he peered under a cubicle door in the ladies’ toilets at a luxury health club. Mottram Hall, which is near Prestbury in Cheshire, is a regular haunt of Manchester United players, most of whom use mirrored shoes and video cameras for their voyeuristic adventures.

Edwards, by contrast, is alleged to have got down on his hands and knees and stuck his head under the door. A woman in her forties is said to be ”distressed”. In a terse and taciturn statement, Edwards insisted that ”I’ve nothing at all to say”, then disappeared back into the hedge.

Posted: 29th, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

Follow The Van

”’IT’S DISGUSTING.” Direct and straight to the point. We like it. The words are those of ”Mum Rhonda Bailey, 28, who threw eggs at the van carrying [Maxine] Carr to court last week”.

Toys R Us Peterborough sells out of new ‘Hang ‘Em High’ garden swing

They appear in the Star’s front-page story, which tells of how egg-throwers like Bailey have been cruelly denied their sport now that the lily-livered authorities have decided that she can communicate by video-link.

”Full story: Page 7” we are promised, but on turning with trembling fingers to the designated page, we find that there are no further words from Mum Rhonda. Is this the shortest interview ever published? Maybe she is saving her words for use on placards: ”ROT IN HELL” (3), ”BRING BACK THE ROPE” (4). Or perhaps words simply fail her.

And on the subject of words, the paper reports that the Rev Tim Alban Jones, vicar of St Andrew’s church in Soham, has been giving careful thought to the memorial service for Holly and Jessica. ”Forgiveness is at the very heart of the Christian gospel,” he avows, ”but it’s not the appropriate time to be going into this type of theological question.”

Indeed not. We humbly suggest our one theme for the sermon: String ’em all up – let God sort ’em out.

Posted: 29th, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

Caught In The Web

‘GOOD news comes in the Mail this morning – 1.7 million people have visited the Targeting Fraud website, part of a multi-million pound campaign to catch ”benefit cheats”. News is that 11,802 suspicious cases were reported and 2,734 were considered strong enough to be ”accepted for action”, of which 673 were investigated.

Bank of Yorkshire unveils new £20 note

As a result, four people were prosecuted. We calculate that each of these prosecutions cost £3.75 million, plus the additional expense of the court case. And that, we think you will agree, is money well spent.

However, the Conservatives beg to differ, and we suspect that the Mail supports their view. ”These figures are devastating,” says Tory work and pensions spokesman David Willetts. ”They show very clearly that the Government’s over-spun initiatives have no real effect on the level of benefit fraud.” There’s no pleasing some people, it seems.

First an intensive investigation shows that there are just four frauds at work. Then they are prosecuted. Then they are left to rot in a gibbet. It’s all very well for the Tories to carp from the sidelines, but what’s their alternative? A deafening silence ensues.

Posted: 29th, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

Big Brother Inmates Sue For Distress

‘WHEN the fame begins to fade, and the invitations to envelope-openings dry up, a former Big Brother contestant’s thoughts turn to… legal action.

”What’s wrong with dis dress?”

”Housemates set to sue,” says the Star, and what’s more, it looks like they’ve got a good case. Experts reckon that there could be some big money payments for emotional distress, trauma, and all the other nasty side-effects of TV exposure and trial by tabloid.

”I’ve yet to find one who doesn’t have a strong case,” says libel lawyer Mark Stephens. ”It’s clear to me that they’ve all been damaged.”

Too true, Mr Stephens, too true. But what of us millions of viewers left damaged by the experience of Tim’s chest, Adele’s nose, Jade’s arse and the rest? Who speaks for us?

Enterprising lawyers can contact us at the usual address.

Posted: 28th, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

Cold Comfort Farm Produce

”’FOR better, for worse. For richer, for poorer… FOR GOD’S SAKE PUT THAT CHICKEN DOWN!… AT ONCE!… Sorry about that, it’s just that he’s been doing this sort of thing a lot lately…”

An orgy waiting to happen

One can only speculate about the conversation at the marriage guidance office when Ian and Jean Curtis came in for their appointment.

And their issues clearly remained unresolved, because Jean is now filing for divorce after she caught her 47-year-old husband lying on the sofa dressed in a blouse and rubber stockings.

That’s a bit harsh, you might think. Lots of red-blooded heterosexual men enjoy a bit of transvestism – especially those who have been in the armed forces or the police.

Given that Ian is a former military policeman, the odds of him enjoying the occasional cross-dressing session must have been particularly high.

And under normal circumstances, Jean would not have batted an eyelid at this sartorial tomfoolery.

But on this occasion, there was a twist. Another bird was involved, and it wasn’t that strumpet Mrs B from the off-license.

No, sir. For, as the Sun delicately puts it, Ian was busy ”having sex with a FROZEN CHICKEN”.

Jean had been putting up with Ian’s erratic behaviour for some time, but this was the last straw.

”My jaw just dropped,” recalls Jean. ”I said, ‘You dirty b******, that’s my Sunday lunch’.”

Our resident marriage counsellor writes: Jean was understandably distressed to discover Ian in these unusual circumstances, but her response indicates that she was annoyed about her dinner being spoilt, rather than showing concern for her husband.

A frosty situation does not require a frosty reception. Wives in similar circumstances should try to lighten the atmosphere with a joke, such as, ”Is that a maggot in your hand, or are you just glad to see me?”

Posted: 28th, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

VA Day

‘PROOF that they do things a little more slowly Down Under comes today from the South Australian government, which has only just officially declared the Second World War over.

After 57 years, the government recently discovered that it still held extraordinary wartime powers, including rationing food, searching homes and government regulation of water, fuel, gas and electricity.

State premier Mike Rann said the government had to revoke the Emergency Powers Act of 1941 because it is in breach of national competition laws.

”It is a quirk of history that World War 2 was never proclaimed at an end in this state,” he said.

”The Act was supposed to expire at the time that peace treaties were signed, as they were at the end of World War I. However, peace treaties were never signed because the Axis powers surrendered.”

Posted: 28th, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

Darren Day Unzips His Fly

”’TERROR Palmer-Tomkinson” shouts the Sun, announcing ”SCREAMING IT GIRL’S MAGGOT HELL IN JUNGLE”.

Darren Day – Uncovered

And in case you don’t believe them, they have the picture to prove it. ”Here it comes…” says the caption, as we see the so-called squeamish socialite with her mouth wide open.

Come on girl, pull yourself together – when you enter a celebrity endurance gameshow set in a rain forest, you expect the occasional shower of creepy crawlies.

But although Tara displayed admirable stoicism while being covered in eight buckets of maggots during the already-legendary I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, there was one ”challenge” that remained beyond the pale.

As another story on the same page indicates, fellow contestant Darren Day has made a spectacle of himself by stepping naked from a cold river and complaining that chilly water was ”shrinking his manhood”.

”It looks like a maggot because the water was cold,” insisted the multitalented cockney. ”Don’t worry, it’ll perk up later,” he added, massaging his groin.

Tara’s screams will haunt us forever.

Posted: 28th, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

Lucky Stars

‘IN the tabloid world of cover-ups and the uncovered, celebrity rules. And the event that’s getting the papers excited is ITV’s new game show: ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here’.

Tara dresses practically for her outback ordeal

For those of you who didn’t realise that eight of our celebs were missing (the gaping void in light entertainment being blocked by TV recidivist Vanessa Feltz and her agent) the news is that an octet of the most untalented are right this minute in the Australian outback learning to survive on nothing but the rich oxygen of publicity.

There was some food but, as the Express reports, the survivors scoffed most of the rations that were meant to last three days in just two hours. So having gone the breatharian way, the celebs are free to turn on each other.

As a starving Tony Blackburn watches Rhona Cameron’s leg turn into a haunch of venison, and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson into a post-prandial toothpick, the Star sees the war develop.

Apparently, Nigel Benn and Uri Geller are ”at each other’s throats”, and er, that’s it. Which leaves the Mirror to question what is really happening out there in the wilds.

”Two weeks of utterly absurd D-list nobodies who have redefined the word celebrity..Please, please, please get them ALL out of here,” says the headline. We doubt we will have any such luck, which means two weeks of the Mirror, a paper that redefined serious news, talking about the horrible programme.

Posted: 27th, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

Wanting For Nothing

‘ASIDE from this two-week hiatus, so surrounded are we with the cloak of celebrity that it comes as no surprise to read the Express’s tale that most of want to live abroad.

The delegates made do with meagre basic rations

A survey by YouGov reveals that 54 per cent of adults are ”seriously considering a new life abroad”. Which could be news related to the front page of the Express, on which the headline ”Asylum: Scandal Of Huge Cover-Up” appears.

That story is not about Brits seeking solace overseas, but about foreigners coming here, or, more precisely, how this Government is letting them.

Not that Tony and his chums are listening just now, having themselves taken a trip to foreign climes. ”It Makes You Sick,” says the Sun on its cover, as Tone, Prezza and 68 other liggers tuck into ”mountains of lobster, oysters and fillet steak” at a conference to talk about tackling world hunger.

Tony might be planning to dice his crustacean into a few thousand pieces and toss the pieces to the needy, but the rest of the delegates at Earth Summit in South Africa have their eyes locked firmly on their plates.

Which means they’ll be spared the unpalatable sight of the poor and hungry starving to death across the road.

Posted: 27th, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

It’s Not So Grim Oop North

‘MORE evidence that the world is not as it should be is found in the Mail, where the nation’s one remaining Z-list celeb tells us all about it in her column.

Vanessa frolicked by the seaside on holiday

”I write this at a waterside table in the sunshine, sipping an aperitif on my summer holiday,” writes Vanessa Feltz, for it is she. Gripped, we read on. ”Where am I? St Tropez? A Grecian isle? Actually, I’m in gorgeous Manchester.”

Readers scurrying for an atlas to find a Manchester other than the grim and grey one in England’s north, need not bother. It is that Manchester to which our diarist pays homage.

But Vanessa’s rose-tinted vision might be attributable to her delight at being the one minor celeb left in town. At times like these, Vanessa could see beauty in the bottom of a Bridlington sewer works.

Like crop circles that feature every year in the Sun (and this year is no exception, as the paper once more instructs readers: ”How to make your own crop circle”) we know our celebs are man-made with little or no star quality.

But they do fill the papers, and that makes more and more of us want to get out of here, and as far away from Britain as possible. ‘

Posted: 27th, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

A Hard Pill To Swallow

‘WHILE British politicians struggle with the issue of drugs, an MP in Thailand has come up with a novel way to dispose of drugs and raise money for the government at the same time.

Chai Chidchob of the Chart Thai party says that drugs confiscated by the police should be sold to boost the state’s bank balance.

The Bangkok Post reports him as saying that confiscated methamphetamine pills could be sold either in the country or abroad for less than 1p per tablet.

”The government would earn a lot of money and stop borrowing foreign loans,” he suggested.

Strangely enough, his novel fund-raising idea has been dismissed. ‘

Posted: 27th, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

Equal Opportunities

‘IT might not always seem like it, but this page is usually written by a nine-year old girl called Kelly.

Supposed genius, but not a single GCSE to his name

However, such are the rising standards in education that we can afford to be picky and Kelly has been sacked without notice and is to be replaced by Geetha Thaninathan, a six-year old girl who has just become the youngest person to pass a GCSE.

Geetha, like us, recognises the importance of a formal education and certificates, and her O Level in information technology gives her the edge over her rivals. The Mail says that Geetha finds it all ”very easy”, although her C grade does allow room for improvement.

One day, if she works really hard, she could be like 15-year-old Frances Astley-Jones who scored an impressive 15 A* grades in her GCSE exams. And to really rub Geetha’s nose in it, Frances also scored an A grade at AS level in pure maths.

In the Mail, beaming Frances describes herself as ”gobsmacked”, and attributes her success to hard work and a balanced life. Indeed, spending equal time on all her subjects is important, although it does leave little or no time for play.

But all play and no work makes Frances a failure, or, to put it another way, a boy. Once more boys have fared worse than girls in the exam room, and the Sun wants to know why. So it asks Jason James (3 GCSEs) to tell us.

Taking the paper’s spot usually reserved for white van men and London cabbies, Jason (overqualified for a career as either) says boys fail at school because they don’t talk enough. While girls have ”deep and meaningful conversations with each other”, boys lark around, play the fool and take education less seriously.

But five years after leaving school, Jason has seen the folly of his ways and in a Damascene moment has elicited the help of the Prince’s Trust to see him back to college.

Jason’s now studying Government and Politics, Economics and World Development at school, subjects that will make him overqualified to work in government, or indeed for this website.

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

Britney Speared

”’I SMOKE, I drink and, yes, I’ve had sex. But who cares? It’s none of anybody’s business.”

That innocent look is not fooling anyone

These are not the words of a typical male high school dropout but of pop starlet Britney Spears. Britney, who has not a single GCSE to her name, has risen to fame on an unpolluted wave of clean-living girlish fun.

But now, in an interview with People magazine, reproduced in the Mail, Britney says that her virginal image was just that – an image. And one the chanteuse is keen to rid herself of.

The Express also takes a look at the People article and notes how Britney’s home life is not apple-pie perfect, with her parents having just split after 30 years of marriage.

But the Star spots the real juicy bit,s hearing how La Spears’ crush on Brad Pitt almost got her hospitalised. Camped outside the actor’s home, Britney was so overwhelmed to catch a glimpse of her heartthrob that she fell off the bonnet of her car and hurt her knee.

Fully recovered, Britney realises that the now-married Brad is out of her reach and that she needs to look elsewhere for her man. And the lucky guy gets to smoke and drink to boot.

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

Chained And Disabled

‘IT seems that what Britney wants is a bad lad, a rogue, a cad. And who better to fill her boots than Jeffrey Archer?

For once, he has nothing to say

Of course, she’ll have to be prepared to wait, because Jeffrey is currently tied up with his other commitments, appearing at the Theatre Royal, Lincoln and Her Majesty’s, Boston, Lincs.

But Jeffrey does have some free time, and he’s using it not to chase women but to drink tea and contemplate all things Jeffrey. The Express’s photographer captures the lag in just such a thoughtful mood as he sips his drink of bottled iced tea at the wonderfully named Old Magistrates’ Tearoom.

He’s not saying much, but as we heard from schoolboy Jason James, some boys never do. They prefer to let others speak on their behalf.

Just ask Ted Francis. ‘

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

Bathroom Scales

”’IT WAS very inconvenient, ” said Tan Cheng Peng. ”When we had no choice but to use the toilet, we would use it quickly and keep an eye out for the snake.”

Peng’s family in Singapore had spent two days at the mercy of a six-foot python occupying their toilet bowl. The snake had climbed ten floors to reach their apartment and was found by Tan Kok Chy, a taxi driver, when it appeared in his bathroom.

The police were called, but by the time they arrived the snake had disappeared into the lavatory. Tan put a washboard over the top and weighed it down with a bucket of water.

The python eventually emerged and was caught and given to Singapore Zoo.’

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

Sex Drive

‘THEY say men can’t do two things at once, but this story from Canada proves it’s a myth. Police in Ontario were ”astonished” to discover that a car they stopped near the town of Barrie was being driven by a man having sex with his girlfriend.

”Both occupants of the vehicle were engaged in activities other than that normally expected of persons driving an automobile,” Senior constable Norm Galestzoski told the Toronto Star. ”The female passenger was completely nude and the male driver was also in a state of undress.”

The 31-year-old man and 25-year-old woman were both charged, and reminded that such activities were best performed in the privacy of their own home. ‘

Posted: 22nd, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

Fighting Talk

‘BRITISH men are cold and incapable of expressing their feelings. But don’t take our word for it, ask any American actress – they never seem to shut up about it.

Perhaps Heather would like to take a look under the bolwer hat

Last week it was the turn of Gwyneth Paltrow, who memorably starred in Shakespeare in Love, the story of a tongue-tied, semi-literate Englishman who found it impossible to express his emotions until he met the gorgeous pouting American. Now Heather Graham is on our case.

Graham recently starred in From Hell, in which she becomes the victim of Jack the Ripper – another buttoned-down, zipped-up Englishman who kept his feelings bottled up and never allowed his anger to get the better of him.

The Express reports that Graham, who has dated ”a few” Brits, believes that when it comes to emotion, they are the dregs at the very bottom of the barrel. ”It is hard enough to get men of any nationality to speak about their feelings but with British men it is impossible,” says the actress, who has clearly never watched daytime television during her visits to these shores.

”I know it is a stereotype to call British people cold but I really do find when it comes to emotions men are of the stiff upper-lip school of thought.” Anorak decided to put the Graham-Paltrow theory to the test, and went to Peterborough, where we asked a cross-section of passers-by if they had difficulty expressing their feelings.

Pictures of the interview can be seen on the front page of all the tabloid papers this morning. The man pictured just to the right of the ROT IN HELL! banner summed up the general feeling of those we spoke to. ”*$%@ ”*% *&)£ #~/ &*”@$£!!” he screamed, pausing only to draw a trembling forearm across his foam-speckled mouth.

Posted: 22nd, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

Punch Drunk

‘IF A SEEMINGLY innocuous remark by Heather Graham can provoke such extreme reactions from Britain’s uptight males, perhaps we need a more repressive approach to child-rearing. A good place to start is by examining the kind of violence to which children are exposed, and where better to start than with the traditional seaside Punch and Judy show.

”Judy’s left me, the dog’s run off, the police beat me up – has the world gone mad?”

Punch, you will remember, is a typical cold-blooded Brit whose strongest expression of emotion is along the lines of ”I say, this mint cake is really rather good”. Except, that is, when he’s shouting his head off, hitting his wife and beating up the local policeman.

Now the Sun reports (in a special ”COUNCIL KILLJOYS” section) that ”barmy bureaucrats” in Newcastle have informed Bo the Clown that his Punch and Judy show’s old-fashioned approach to domestic violence is likely to cause offence.

The paper has sought the views of Local Conservative Euro MP Martin Callanan, whose role in this most traditional of summer tabloid stories is to provide the trusty ”political correctness gone mad” quote, without which no self-respecting article is complete. But Mr Callanan is clearly a little over-excited by the prospect, and ejaculates the phrase prematurely.

”Clearly this is the work of some politically correct Left-wing zealot,” he begins, and you can immediately see the problem. Having shot his bolt too early, he has thus denying us the pleasure of a long slow build-up, full of tingling anticipation. He could rally, and deliver a second helping, but that wouldn’t be the same. As it is, he wisely calls it a day, and when he reads the transcript, he will be also kicking himself for missing out the crucial suffix ”gone mad” – an elementary error for a man of his experience.

Chances at this level come once in a lifetime for Euro MPs, and he knows that he has made a pig’s ear of his. Let’s hope that he remembers Kipling’s words and, like a good stiff-upper-lipped Englishman, treats disaster for the impostor that it surely is.

Posted: 22nd, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

Job Done!

‘MORE evidence that Britain’s men may not be quite as coy as our American friends would have us believe. The Star reports that Subbuteo, the table football people, are to introduce a ”hooligan set” of tiny figures for acting out pitch battles.

Could Kendo be an Englishman?

Meanwhile the Express tells a disturbing story about wrestling legend Kendo Nagasaki, who sounds foreign but in fact has one thousand years of Anglo-Saxon blood coursing through his veins. The paper says Kendo has been ”resorting the same bully boy tactics that he used in the ring” by tearing down the ivy on his neighbour’s house.

We don’t remember ivy-tearing featuring prominently in Kendo’s ring-craft, but neither do we doubt Angela Randell’s claim that ”He’s making our lives hell”.

Perhaps if he’d had the benefit of a spell in the army, he would have a bit more self-control. Today’s Sun proves instructive in this regard, as it tells of former soldier Allan Hale, ”who won the NATO medal in Bosnia but was later court martialled over a bar brawl”. If we wished to be picky, we could debate whether one ”wins” the NATO medal or simply receives it for turning up for work.

But we don’t want to distract from the story, which provides an excellent example of the discipline and mental toughness that comes from a British military training. The paper shows CCTV footage of Hale headbutting a complete stranger in a McDonald’s restaurant (element of surprise), then kicking him in the head as he lay unconscious (efficiently finishing off the job). At no time did Mr Hale indulge in any unseemly display of emotion.

The Americans may sneer, but it was that sort of no-nonsense approach that made this country great. Good to see that some people are keeping the tradition alive.

Posted: 22nd, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

Odd Couple

‘WHILE readers ponder why, if Ian Huntley was such an obvious weirdo, neither his milkman, his third cousin twice removed or the man who works in the shop where he once bought a pack of mints bothered to come forward and claim the Express’s million pound reward, the paper of largesse turns to that other vile sink of vice, perversion and sad losers: the Internet.

Tarik’s wedding present to his new wife

Having already heard in the Sun how Ian Huntley’s first girlfriend tried to contact him through Friends Reunited, a website for sick perverts who want to ‘relive their schooldays’, the Express focuses on a 60-year-old grandmother who went in search of a younger man on the web.

Sylvia Ouhtit duly happened upon a 22-year-old Moroccan called Tarik, seducing him up in a chat room and grooming him for her own strange pleasures. She even divorced her husband, Eric Norton, so she could marry the young man.

She claims that being with Tarik makes her feel ”like a lovesick teenager”, although there is no suggestion that this Internet enthusiast has got hold of one – yet.

After many a typed conversation, Sylvia went to meet the man who called himself The Fortune Teller. And after four trips to his homeland, she married him.

But immigration officials will not allow Tarik to move to Britain, unconvinced as they are that the couple will remain together. Tarik doesn’t help his application when he asks: ”Since when has age made any difference?”

We are happy to join the Mail and ask: ”Is hanging too good for these people?”

Posted: 21st, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment

Stung Into Silence

‘WE can all agree that it has been a trying few days. But for Kym Marsh it has been sheer hell.

The nation owes you its gratitude

Newlywed Kym, who used to sing with the pop combo Hear’Say, tells the Sun of her ”honeymoon from hell”. With the proliferation of stories about Holly and Jessica, being a C-list celebrity in need of the oxygen of publicity has indeed never been more hellish.

But Kym is now able to tell the world of her trauma, and of how her miserable honeymoon was ”plagued by a series of disasters”. First, Kym was stung on the bum by a wasp, writes the ”World’s No1 Showbiz Columnist” Dominic Mohan.

Then she and husband Jack discovered that their private villa in Corfu wasn’t private and photographers were able to snap the by now distraught couple.

And Kym needs her privacy, as she tells the Sun over an entire page, illustrated by her putting sun lotion onto her bikini-clad wasp-stung body.

Thankfully, despite the obvious trauma, Jack remains ”gorgeous” and Kym’s songs have lost none of their ”edge”.

Oh, and she has never knowingly met Ian Huntley, though she did once go to Cambridgeshire. A lucky escape from yet more trauma, we think you will agree.

Posted: 21st, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment