Tabloids | Anorak - Part 257

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.

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

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

This Was Your Life

‘AS Ian Huntley’s name joins that of Ian Brady, Roy Whiting and many others in the annals of the nation’s most despised, there is no shortage of people stepping forward to say how they once knew the man now charged with killing Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

More of Huntley’s strange relatives

The Mirror has, perhaps, the most bizarre, as one Lisa Huntley screams out: ”Oh, no, not my cousin.” Having read reams of stories about the family (Ian Huntley’s first wife, Claire, left him to marry his younger brother Wayne), it’s possible that in the Huntley family cousin, brother, mother and sister could be one and the same.

But whatever the convoluted connection, Lisa says she feels ”sick to the bottom of my stomach”. So sick is Lisa that she tells the Mirror of her sickness, attracting the kind of exposure that most people trying to escape the stigma of a connection with Huntley would avoid.

But still the Huntley reunion goes on. In the Sun, there’s Laura Fenty, who met and fell in love with Ian Huntley just after her 15th birthday. It’s sensational news that comes moments after Huntley’s ”first sweetheart”, Anita Denman, told how she and Ian shared kisses when they were just 12.

And as the Sun scours the world for any other kiss chase victims of the accused, the Star introduces a new twist into the scenario, saying how scoring an own goal ruined Ian Huntley’s chances of fulfilling his dream of playing for Manchester United.

Those of you who have followed the case will need no reminding that the victims were also fans of that club, while those who read the Star are treated to a picture of Huntley in his footy kit and another shot of Jessica and Holly in theirs, something the Star feels is ironic.

Perhaps one day, the papers will be able to trace the six degrees of separation that lead Huntley to Genghis Khan, Adolph Hitler or, dare it be said, the victims.

Posted: 21st, 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

Accidents Will Happen

”’Mr Sims wasn’t invited to play by the kids, and he didn’t even come by afterwards to tell us about the accident,” said Otis Stanbury. ”They didn’t leave us any details, I had to get their number from the side of their cars.”

Mr Stanbury is father of six-year-old Yohan, who was playing football in the street in Long Eaton, Derbyshire, when door-to-door salesman Jay Sims approached them and joined in the game.

Yohan tackled Sims, who is alleged to have fallen on him, leaving him with face and head injuries and needing hospital treatment.

Just before the incident, Sims had been attempting to persuade the Mr Stanbury of the benefits of suing for injury using his company’s no-win, no-fee accident claims firm.

”At first I just wanted them to say sorry for what they had done,” said Stanbury. ”But when they started saying that nothing had happened I thought we were playing a totally different ball game.”

Jim Hackett, a partner at the Claims Centre, which is handling the case, said he was confident of getting compensation. ‘

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

Always Read The Label Carefully

‘RACHAEL STEEL is upset. We know this because there’s a picture of her in today’s Sun, with the caption: ”Rachael: ‘I was upset”’. Not only that, but she has claimed compensation for her distress.

Hours of pleasure

And what caused this distress? She looked at a packet of pills that she had purchased in the Feltham Night and Day Chemists, and noticed that the dosage label had an obscene instruction printed on it above her name.

The photograph of the packet confirms that this is so. ”Insert ONE into P—Y [letters blacked out] when pleasure is required” it says. To which one’s response might presumably be anything from amusement through to mild irritation.

But Rachael, 23, took a different view. ”It made me feel ill to think he had written it for me,” she says of the pervert/monster/prankster, who has now been sacked by the chemist.

Her fiance, Toby Butler, concurs. ”He must be a very sick bloke,” he said. ”I was so angry.”

The National Pharmaceutical Association has offered Rachael a one-off payment of £150 but insists that she is not eligible for compensation. Rachael, needless to say, is ”unhappy with how they have dealt with this”.

”I think £150 is a small amount for something that’s caused me so much upset,” she complains. And she’s right, of course.

You can’t get much for 150 quid these days – certainly not a life, which is what Rachael and Toby clearly need.

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

Thirsty Work

‘WILLIAM Hague once famously boasted that as a teenager he drank 14 pints of bitter a day when he worked as a delivery boy for a brewery. We were all most impressed, even if various low-lifes crawled out of the woodwork to dispute the claim.

Sultan was gagging for another pint

But now the crown has been stolen from his shiny head – by a draught horse. The Sun reports that Sultan, an 11-year-old gelding, drinks 15 pints a day in the course of his job.

The black shire waits in pub car parks while his owner Simon Powell heads to the bar. He steadies the glass with his teeth, then downs a pint, Hague-style, in 20 seconds flat.

”I love people’s faces when he grips the glass and swills his tongue round inside,” says Simon. ”He likes lager, Guinness or bitter and he’s such a whopping beast a few now and again do him no harm. The only problem is he never buys a round.”

Surprisingly, the RSPCA agrees that beer does no harm in moderation, containing barley and grain as it does. Indeed, one only needs to look at Hague to see a fine advertisement for its restorative qualities. ‘

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

Getting His Goat

‘WHEN a maid in Lajitas, Texas, discovered a testicle in Jim Bob Hargrove’s fridge, it triggered an immediate police investigation, resulting in Mr Hargrove being charged with the mayor’s castration.

”The mayor’s health is fine now,” said a spokesman, ”although he obviously won’t make a complete recovery.”

The mayor, Clay Henry III, is a goat who amuses tourists by drinking beer from a bottle. Hargrove is believed to have attacked the goat during the night, after it took a bottle of his beer without permission.

Clay Henry III has been in office for two years and beat various other candidates, including a dog, to win office. The first goat mayor was killed in a fight over a nanny goat and is now stuffed and on public display.’

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

Summer Loving

‘FACED with the option of Janie or Little Mo, most men would choose option C and begin to see Pauline in a new light. But Billy Mitchell is not most men, and to prove it he first gave Janine a peck on the cheek and then took Little Mo out for a walk.

The stroll around the manor took in the allotment, where Pauline and Mark were boring the weeds out of the ground, and then to the Square, where the twosome sat down to talk.

We don’t know what was said, but we, like Janine, did see Billy take Mo’s hand in his. Janine blushed. Was she falling for the weasely little so and so?

But this is the summer, and so love is the order of the day, and not one lost on Lisa, who began her vigil for the return of Phil. But Phil was late back form his hols. And when he did arrive, he ignored Lisa, going instead to look for Sam, who’d not retuned from her cancer appointment.

The same rule that allowed Little Mo to come out of prison on her own, now allowed Sam to go to the oncologist with no means of support. When someone is in need, the East End folk like to leave them to it. Or show them the way to the swings.

As it was, Sam arrived home late, to tell Peggy that the growth was benign. Great news, but it didn’t help Lisa, who was still dreaming of Phil. But at least Sam’s got rid of the annoying lump in her life. And Ricky seems none the worse for it. ‘

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

Have You Seen This Man?

‘DO YOU recognise the horrible man caught on film while abducting a small English child in France on Sunday?

Tony disguises himself as smart, but casual

Today’s Mail has two clear colour photos of the culprit. In one, the man appears deranged, and wears the rabbit-like expression of one of contenders in Monty Python’s famous Upper Class Twit of the Year.

In the other he looks furtively towards the camera as he carries the frightened child away. He resembles an ageing Tim Henman and has thinning, greying hair.

He was wearing an unbuttoned short-sleeved shirt and a pair of chinos – possibly from anorak’s popular Comfi-Slax range of trousers with expandable waists for the man with the fuller figure.

The boy is called Leo, and was last seen being carried from church in the village of Le Vernet, near Toulouse in France, where he was on holiday at the time.

If you see this monster, who is believed to use the code-name ”St Tony” when communicating with his sick friends, on no account approach him. Police say he is unpredictable and has a sanctimonious air about him that can cause nausea.

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


‘VILE, disgusting, horrific, degrading… The tabloid hacks churn out the usual bile over pages 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 and 12 this morning.

The editor of The Sun

They speak of the two corpses found in Suffolk and assumed to be those of murdered 10-year-olds Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. And of course it is all of those things, and our sympathies go out to the parents, relatives and friends of the victims.

Beyond that, there is no point in saying anything. But the tabloids don’t see it that way.

The list of adjectives with which we began could equally apply to their coverage, with its combination of prurience and self-righteous anger, all under the strap headline of the paper’s choice which appears at the top of each page (”ALL HOPE LOST”, ”WHY DID THEY HAVE TO DIE?” etc).

There are horrible, intrusive pictures of grieving relatives. There are completely irrelevant photos of the girls taken from family albums. There are furious ”hanging’s too good for them” articles by journalists quite happy to turn this sort of thing out by the yard for a nice fat cheque.

There are cartoons showing the supposedly cushy life of a paedophile in prison, drawn by idiots who are as aware as anybody that being a paedophile – or, just as significantly given the hysteria that surround the issue, a person labelled a ‘paedo’ – is about the last thing you’d want to be these days, in jail or anywhere else.

One of the pictures sums it all up: a note from some Americans, attached to a teddy, which says, ”Thank you for letting us into your hearts”.

There should have been another one, signed by every British newspaper editor: ”Thanks for inviting us into your misery to have a good cry and make ourselves feel virtuous. It’s been emotional. Signed, Piers, David and all the gang.”

Posted: 19th, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment


‘THE STAR runs a piece on page 3 entitled ”Driven wild by pure lust”. It tells how an ”ex-lover” of murder suspect Maxine Carr was shocked when she started ”flashing her boobs in pubs to show off a bumblebee tattoo on her left breast”.

The pictures were enough to make Bob blush

Shocking, you’ll agree, and not the sort of thing you’d wish to see in a family newspaper like the Star.

The Star, don’t forget, is ”the paper that supports our builders” and it knows that the lads on the sites are easily shocked. Indeed, the shocked ex-lover in question is himself a scaffolder, as the paper is careful to mention.

And he helpfully wears an ENGLAND leisure shirt so we are in no doubt that he is a normal, red-blooded man.

But if he turns to the story on page 10 (”Cracking night out”) he’ll see a colour picture of two arses, belonging to friends of Big Brother winner Kate. The girls obligingly pulled their skirts up for photographers in ”London’s trendy Emporium club”.

”GIVE US A THONG: Kate’s mates show they’ve got plenty of cheek” reads the chucklesome caption. Shocking, innit?

Posted: 19th, August 2002 | In: Tabloids | Comment