Anorak

Tabloids | Anorak - Part 30

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.

No, Manchester United’s David Beckham is not like Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere

What need of facts, Alan Shearer? No much. Alan writes of Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere in the Sun:

“The debate might well be whether Marcus Rashford can force his way into the final 23 and go with England to Euro 2016. For me, the bigger argument is what Jack Wilshere is doing in the squad in the first place. Nobody seems to be questioning whether he will now go if he remains fit through these last three friendlies ahead of the finals.

“Have we not learnt any lessons from the past when it comes to the issue of racing players back? It was David Beckham back in 2002 when he suffered a metatarsal injury towards the end of the season and still went to the World Cup.”

What we learn, Alan, is that Wilshere is fit. He’s not been rushed back to the Arsenal side. He’s fully fit and playing in the first XI. We also learn that Beckham’s injury went like this:

20 April 2002: 51 days before the World Cup, Beckham is injured by Pedro Duscher in Manchester United’s Champions League quarter final clash with Deportivo La Coruna. His second metatarsal bone is broken. Beckham makes a hard bid to get fit.

9 May 2002: two days before the World Cup, Beckham declares himself fit for the Sweden game. He says: “I’ve had a lot of treatment over the past two months and a lot of people from Sven-Goran Eriksson to the Queen have wished me good luck. The way I felt when I led training is the highest I have felt in weeks.”

2 June 2002: England v Sweden. Beckham plays 63 minutes of the game before being substituted. It is his first competitive action since the injury.

7 June 2002: England v Argentina. Beckham’s 45th minute penalty gives England victory. He lasts the full 90 minutes.  In the quarter-finals, Beckham plays as England lose to Brazil.

And how did the Sun talk of Beckham’s injury way back then? Were they circumspect?

A HUGE team of Sun readers today prayed for the hand of God to revive England’s World Cup hopes by mending David Beckham’s broken foot.

We urged our army of 10 million readers to boost David’s fitness fight at the stroke of midday by placing their hands on our picture of David’s left peg and praying for a speedy recovery.

And so many of you did.

Even bishops joined in. One said: “We’re rooting for him.”

And Canon David Meara, the vicar of St Bride’s in London’s Fleet Street, even came into the Sun’s Wapping HQ to say a special “get well” prayer as the entire office touched David’s foot on the dot of noon.

The 54-year-old Spurs fan said: “There is no doubt that prayer can assist in the healing process.”

Wilshere is no Beckham – he’s fitter.

Posted: 17th, May 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United: fan fury, Mourinho gets desperate and Van Gaal gets time

Van Gaal man united the mail sacked

 

Jose Mourinho’s PR calls the Daily Mail, which dutifully produces the headline: “JOSE PSG TALKS – Manchester United must act NOW if they want Mourinho.”

From hammer-headed Dutchman Louis Van Gaal to divisive Portuguese Jose Mourinho, United fans must wonder how it came to this, the pragmatic taking over from the dreamers. The Mail says Mourinho is the “prime contender” to replace Van Gaal “should United sack the Dutchman”.

Says who? We soon find out: “Mourinho, 53, wants a deal agreed by next week and unless United make their move quickly they could miss out on the Portuguese.” Mourinho’s desperate, isn’t he. United need not rush. The French league is one-trick pony. Man United are huge. They pick the manger. The manager does not pick them.

 

Van Gaal man united the sun sacked

In the Sun, which has spent weeks hailing Mourinho as the next Man United boss, Neil Curtis tells Van Gaal, “You’re 4 It”, a pun on Van Gaal’s United missing out on a top finish and with it a berth in next season’s Champions’ League.

Curtis says fans “protests could follow tonight’s rearranged clash with supporters fed up with United’s turgid style of  play”. They could. And then again, the could not. Perhaps those United fans who can recall life before Alex Ferguson made them serial champions will be circumspect and wait and see what happens. Winning is all the more glorious when it follows fallow years.

Curtis seeks fans’ fury but finds none. We hear from one fan who says he “admires” Van Gaal and does “think he will get it right in time”, and another who says Van Gaal has “an aversion to risk” and “no club has the divine right” to play in the Champions’ League.

Curtis never does ask them what they think of Mourinho, which given the man’s playing style might be just as well…

Posted: 17th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Harry Redknapp, angry Newcastle fans, sunshine Spurs and Arsenal failures

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United - White Hart LaneA few days before Newcastle United fans hymned their team to a 5-1 thrashing of fancied Spurs, former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp told his Evening Standard readers:

Angry Newcastle fans can help Tottenham finish above Arsenal

He went on:

Newcastle’s relegation should ensure a hostile atmosphere which Tottenham can take advantage of to secure second place in the Premier League…

Spurs…are still a top side and you would fancy them to win at St James’ Park against a team with nothing to play for under a manager who is probably going to leave… The fans up there will be angry at how things have panned out after Sunderland beat Everton and the Newcastle players will just want the season over with.

Here’s what George Caulkin had to say about the match in the Times:

This was a peculiar day at St James’ Park, where a relegated side played with the zeal of champions and their supporters sang merrily in the sunshine and when Spurs, for so long an embodiment of promise and quality, simply imploded. Old, tired, perennial failures Arsenal — or so the narrative goes — hopped above them and a campaign that has featured upset at its core ended in a suitably perplexing manner.

More expert inside knowledge from Harry Redknapp all over the media every week.

Posted: 16th, May 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United v The Sun: Van Gaal created social media and Ryan Giggs was a saint

The Sun has been telling us for months that Manchester United are to sack Louis Van Gaal and manager and replace him with Jose Mourinho. The paper’s Neil Ashton finds another reason to undermine the hammer-headed Dutchman’s leadership:

JESSE LINGARD’S video from the team bus gave an insight into life under boss Louis van Gaal at Manchester United. Discipline, once a bastion of this great club under Alex Ferguson, has pretty much disappeared under the Dutchman. Lingard’s 28-second film of the chaotic scenes inside the coach ferrying United’s players to West Ham on Tuesday is proof of that.

Lingard is a wally. Videoing himself on the team bus as it was pelted by beer cans tossed by West Ham fans and then posting the video on social media was the mark of a fool. Should United need a new coach – yes, that one with wheels and an improved SatNav – they might consider getting Lingard a car seat, such as the Mothercare Sport Car Seat in red with an integral harness, soft padded body, head support cushion, and chest and buckle pads. To blame Van Gaal for a 26-year-old using social media is madness.

 

gotcha the sun

 

As for the Sun warning against the perils of mobile phone abuse and linking it to poor leadership – the bucks tops with the boss – well, let’s just say we wish former Sun and NoTW editor Rebekah Brooks (innocent of all any any involvement in her underlings’ phone hacking and ill discipline) well in her new job as head of News Corp.

Ashton goes on.

With Lingard larking around, it showed how slack these players have become. Imagine Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs or Peter Schmeichel sticking their tongue out and shouting for “mommy” in similar circumstances.

That dressing room, which accounted for 13 Premier League titles during Fergie’s rule, used to police itself. When someone overstepped the mark or broke the rules, the big voices at United would close in on them. Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand or Keano saw to that.

To say nothing of lawyers:

 

giggs injunction herald

 

To say nothing of it being the era before smart phones and social media:

 

beckham ferguson boot sun

 

Ashton ploughs on:

When Lingard took the trouble to send his footage to some friends, who helpfully posted it on social media, his amateur video went viral.

Sadly for Van Gaal, who is still trying to figure it all out at United, it showed another side to events at Upton Park.

Ill-discipline is rife inside the United camp.

Or as Roy Keane put it:

Asked by ShortList if Ferguson ever had words over his drinking, Keane said: “Oh, of course. And quite rightly. This idea that me and Ferguson just had one bust up right at the end… We had loads! We had disagreements about my drinking, as fans are happy to report you if you’re spotted out at 3am.  But if we had a game on a Wednesday and the manager said to me, ‘I heard you were out Sunday night,’ I’d say, ‘Yeah, I go out Sundays.’ I was single, I was 21. I wasn’t a golfer. Drinking was my hobby, I suppose. I’m not giving it the thumbs up, but it was my trait. I don’t know why – because I’m Irish, maybe, because I lived by myself. Boredom kicked in.”

Such are the facts…

Posted: 16th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Jose Mourinho to Manchester United ‘in hours’

Transfer balls spots more tales of Jose Mourinho to Manchester United. The Star thunders: “Mourinho to Man Utd in hours.”

How many hours is unspecified by Luke Gardener, who made his prediction on May 13th. But he does cite his course: “Sky Sports Italy claim he will replace Louis van Gaal at the end of the season and sign a deal imminently.”

Sky Sports states: “José Mourinho will be the next manager of Manchester United.” The story is titled: “Mourinho, yes to Manchester United.”

The Indy reads that and states: “Jose Mourinho to Manchester United: Former Chelsea boss reaches agreement to become manager.”

Or as, er, Sky Sports puts it today: “Manchester United have no deal in place with Jose Mourinho, say Sky sources.”

Does writer Rory O’Callaghan consider Sky as reputable source?

 

manchester united jose

 

More transfer balls throughout the summer.

Posted: 16th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


War Chest Watch: Manchester United, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Everton, Manchester City and Liverpool transfer budgets announced

Manchester United transfers

 

As the Premier League season ends big media turns to transfer rumours. One issue is deciding how much each club has to spend on new players. With every club in line for a £99m bonus next season, you’d suppose every PL club can spend large on recruitment.

Sunderland: “Sam Allardyce will demand a summer war chest of up to £50million” – Sun

Spurs:  “Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino to be handed £60m war chest to strengthen squad” – Mail

Arsenal: Arsene Wenger £75m transfer fund this summer to bolster fragile defence and midfield” – Daily Telegraph

Everton: “£100m war chest to fund spending bonanza” – Daily Mirror

Liverpool: “Liverpool boss handed £100m summer transfer warchest… and targets have been identified” – Daily Star

Chelsea: “Chelsea to use chunk of £130m warchest to beat Arsenal to Alexis Sanchez replacement”

Manchester City: “Manchester City to hand Pep Guardiola a huge transfer chest for the summer” – Manchester Evening News

Manchester United: “Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal to get £150m war chest even without top-four spot” – Daily Express

Manchester United: “United Uncovered: Jose Mourinho’s £300m warchest” – Daily Express

Such are the facts…

Posted: 15th, May 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment


Leicester players mistake Ranieri for Manchester United hair dryer Alex Ferguson

The Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel has a statement and a question for Manchester United and Leicester City fans:

alex ferguson champgne head

 

Is it something to do with Fergie’s famous hair dryer?

 

alex ferguson champgne hea

 

No. Was it a case of mistaken identity, Martin?

Posted: 9th, May 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United, ‘Wayne Rooney hooker’ Helen Wood and restraint of trade

Who else shagged the “Roo hooker”? The Sun wants readers to know who allegedly paid for sex with Helen Wood, an adult woman who, allegedly, once had sex-on-the-clock with Manchester United star Wayne Rooney. Wood has appeared in the Big Brother house, not as a late-night sneak-in, prize or perk, but as an actual celeb. Surely she’s no longer the “Roo hooker” or even “Wayne Rooney prostitute”? Can it be right that an entire woman is defined by the little Roo that sought comfort and validation inside her ‘gagging order’?

The Mail adds:

A well-known actor who won an injunction to hush up claims he slept with a prostitute used by Wayne Rooney is reportedly to be named in the US today. The married father, whose reputation as a family man has boosted his career as a world-renowned star, allegedly paid escort Helen Wood £195 for sex. The millionaire then paid a firm of high-powered lawyers tens of thousands of pounds to stop his fans finding out.

Showbiz man has casual sex! The odd part is that he never boasted of it. But don’t name him here. The law’s the law.

But in the Sun, Helen says, “I’d like to tell my full story.”

She should sue the alleged trick for restraint of trade.

 

helen-wood-protitute-rooney-newsmediaimages

Picture 1 of 8

Posted: 4th, May 2016 | In: Celebrities, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment


Liverpool Echo on Hillsborough: PRODUCE YOUR EVIDENCE

liverpool echo original hillsborough

 

Hillsborough. We knew. The police lied and lied and lied. The media fanned the lies. The police monstered the dead. The police made the loved ones and the bereaved wait 27 years to be told the dead were innocent. The survivors were not killers. Right until the end the police lied. Until yesterday when they had to stop lying in public. Now we’ll get talk of justice and see old men and women on the TV screens. The police are corrupt. They still hide. Did the top cops in South Yorkshire police achieve rank by rocking the boat and speaking out? It wasn’t then. It’s now. They want it buried. They want it all in the past, long ago before things got so much better. They want to tell us about lessons have being learnt. Then you think about one life snuffed out. And you demand more.

 

liverpool echo now

Posted: 27th, April 2016 | In: Reviews, Tabloids | Comment


Spurs balls: Pochettino joins Jose Moutinho at Manchester United (says The Sun)

The Sun has an “exclusive”. It says Manchester United have sparked “PANIC” at Spurs. The Red Devils want to take Mauricio Pochettino from White Hart Lane to Old Trafford.

Spurs bosses are “edgy” and “concerned” that Pochettino will leave the club and head to Manchester United. They need not worry. After all the Sun has told us over and over and over that Jose Mourinho is United’s next manager.

 

Jose Mourinho Manchester United the sun

 

 

December 21: “LOUIS VAN GAAL is on his way out of Manchester United after contact was made with Jose Mourinho…Van Gaal could now be gone before the Boxing Day game at Stoke. At best, he will have that plus the home clash with Chelsea next Monday to keep his job.”

March 26: “JOSE MOURINHO will be offered a mind-boggling £60million to send Manchester United soaring back to football’s summit.”

 

March 19, 2016: “Man United transfer news: Jose Mourinho ‘wants £60m Harry Kane to be prime target’”

Atop Press: Sun Panic that all its exclusive news has been utter balls.

 

Posted: 20th, April 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: Amaral v The McCanns was an accident waiting to happen

maddie mccann tabloidsMadeleine McCann – Anorak’s at-a-glance guide to press coverage of Madeleine McCann.

Goncalo Amaral is back in the news. The former Portuguese detective has won an appeal against his libel defeat to Madeleine McCann’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann. The court order for him to pay the McCanns £395,000 in damages in April 2015 has been overturned. The Press pick up the story of Amaral and his 2008 book, The Truth of the Lie, in which he accuses the McCanns of “faking Madeleine’s abduction to cover up her accidental death in their apartment” (Star).

Daily Star (front page): “Maddie: Cop Wains Right To Accuse Parents”

“A banned book which accuse Madeleine’s McCanns parents of covering up her death will go on sale across  Europe after a shock ruling by three appal court judge in Portugal yesterday,” writes Jerry Lawton. No shock here, at least not to Anorak readers. Back in 2010, AGW told you:

The media awaits the verdict of McCanns Versus Goncalo Amaral. Much depends on it. The McCanns have taken a risk in going against the former police officer in a foreign country. While it can be argued – as they have done – that any publicity for their missing daughter is good because it keeps her name alive in the voracious media.

But it does not keep us looking for the child. It just allows us to gawp at them, the distraught parents of a missing innocent:

YOU know when an accident is going to happen. They even have corporate speak phrases for it these days: “Risk Assessment” is one.

You know when a playing kitten is going to fall from the arm of the chair, you know when the child is going trip and fall, no matter how quick you are to try and get there.

Sometimes you see disasters being created and thundering, in silent-movie slowed down train-wreck style, toward you or others and there’s little you can do other than stand and watch horror-struck by the enormity of it all.

You know the accident’s about to happen and there is nothing you can do but perhaps wonder why you knew?

It has nothing to do with sixth senses, it is because the most powerful computer known to man, your brain, has gathered in all the previous experiences you have weighed in the balance and made a predictive analysis.

That is what is so strange about the current and past behaviour of the parents of the missing child Madeleine McCann.

They have started a court action defending their reputations in Lisbon because the former chief investigating officer Goncalo Amara, is accusing them of being involved in Madeleine’s disappearance. They have also started an action seeking a money settlement for the Portuguese equivalent of libel and in addition are taking on a Lisbon-based documentary production unit for reporting on the detective’s objected to book and the case.

Lisbon was never going to be a perfect spot for the McCann’s to start legal sparring and this week they were dealt what can only be termed a body-blow when the detective’s lawyers produced evidence the UK’s top criminal profiler has said there were “contradictions” in their statements and both should be treated as possible “homicide” suspects.

No arguments, no amount of reshuffling or clarifications can change that and the facts can not be forced back into the can of worms which the McCann parents themselves have allowed to be opened.

Damage Limitation

The background PR work after the Lisbon shocker has been impressive. The McCann lawyers strode from the courtroom and counter-claimed there were tens, hundreds or more sightings of the missing girl. The UK’s Red Tops dutifully followed the thread and reported the lawyer’s statement. My experience and training gave the brain the predictive text that this looked like a smoke screen, a damage limitation. The missing fact was all these sightings came after the McCann’s themselves had been released from Arguido, suspect, status. The case was archived. It was a cold, leading nowhere, case in the eyes of the top legal and police professionals in Portugal…the responsible authorities have no clues and have suspended work on the case.

It has already been said in these columns, taking on the Portuguese legal system was going to be a minefield but there is one question:

Who is taking the responsibility for the Risk Assessment for this McCann course of action?

Whoever it was needs to be replaced or kept out of the limelight.

Mass public opinion is turning. The McCanns are slipping lower and lower down the celebs’ to be seen with list, certainly no-longer A list and slightly embarrassing to be around according to some whispers.

The McCanns are innocent. No charges have been brought against anyone…except the Chief Investigating Police Officer, Goncalo Amaral.

Wake up!

A second question would have to be: Who on earth took the Risk Assessment decision Amaral was a buffoon an incompetent, bungling, Jacques Clouseau Pink Panther type of police officer?

Come on, wake up! Police officers do not rise through the ranks to positions of authority without being good thief-takers and being very good at spotting the wrongness of something.

Amaral is tougher than the baying section of Britain’s media has portrayed.

The McCanns are becoming battered and worn by this. Just look at their recent photographs. The child is still missing, lost, gone. Arguments still rage over the rightness or wrongness of it all.

Something is judgementally wrong in the Risk Assessments taken here. This week has been hugely damaging to the McCann’s and their cause. The information given this week in the Lisbon court can no longer be ignored or forgotten. It will have a high cost and one of the costs are potential new helpers and donations to the campaign of finding the child.

No shock.

Daily Star Page 7: “Maddie SHOCK”

The Portuguese appeal court judges “ordered” the McCanns to pay  “full legal fees of the three-year hearing”. The McCanns have “instructed lawyers to appeal against the new ruling”. But the judges call Amaral’s book a “legitimate  exercise in the right to express an opinion”. Portugal was once a police state. Free speech is enshrined. The lawyers’ appeal looked doomed.

We then get a rapid-fire vox pop. The McCanns deny Amaral’s claims. A “pal” says they are “seething”. Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell says, “It is a matter for Kate and Gerry’s lawyers to deal with .”

The Sun (front page): “MADDIE: Agony for McCanns as cop wins libel case”

Page 4: “Hunt Hit By Cash Crisis – Maddie £430k Libel Loss Blow – Tec wins against McCanns”

The payment “deprives the Maddie Fund o9f cash to keep the nine-year search going”. Private cash. But not public purse monies. That continues to be spent on the search.

Daily Mirror (Page 7): “Bungling cop in libel triumph over the McCanns”

Is every policeman who fails to solve a case a bungler?

And then we get to the money. The cash Amaral was ordered to pay the McCanns never left his account. All payments – £360,000 and £76,000 in interest – was held until the appeal judges had ruled. The money never came out of the Maddie Fund, did it? It was never in the Fund.

Daily Express (Page 8): “McCanns ‘seething’ as Maddy detective overturns book ruling”

We finally hear from the McCanns’ legal aide. Their Portuguese lawyer, Isable Duarte, “said she  was ‘disappointed’ but not surprised” at the ruling.

Daily Mail (Page 30): “McCanns suffer £395k libel loss”

Page 30. The story continues – but less and less people are listening to it.

 

Posted: 20th, April 2016 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: tabloid sensation, Police PR and nothing

madeleine mccann tabloidsMadeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child.

Daily Mirror (front page): “Maddie Police: We Hope to Find Her Alive”

Well, yes. Of course they do. They’re not ghouls.

Mick Duthie, the police chief leading the “hunt” for the missing child, says, “We hope that we will fine her alive.”

Page 5: “There is always a possibility that we’ll find her…work still needs to be done.”

Got that about the possibility of news? It’s PR-speak for, “We haven’t found her.” With, as the Mirror states, £12m spent on the search so far, police are keen to show they’ve made progress. If Duthie does know what happened to the child, he’s not letting on. He says, “We want to find her alive” but “If she’s been murdered…” She might be alive. She might be dead. Maybes.

Daily Star (front page): “Maddie Search Sensation”

Oh, go on. We’ll play along. What is the sensational news?

It is news that cops “hope to find her alive”. Read. All. About. It.

Page 7: “Top Maddie Cop: New Maddie Clues”

Joe Kasper writes: “Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Duthie says detectives are still pursuing “justifiable and reasonable” leads. No. What he said was that if the police needed more money to find Madeleine McCann, they would ask for it: “There is a missing girl and is she has been murdered and if we think we have got reasonable and justifiable lines of inquiry to pursue then they should be dealt with.”

The Sun (Page 6): “Cops ‘ no closer’ to locating Maddie.”

So much for the Star’s new leads sensation.

Duthie says cops “do not have a ‘full understanding’ what happened to her or why she was taken”.

Mentions of murder: nil.

Daily Express (front page): “Police: Maddy could Still Be Alive”

No body. No proof of anything.

Page 7: “Madeleine police follow up new leads”

Number of new leads mentioned by police: nil.

As another anniversary of Madeleine McCann’s vanishing looms into view, and the news cycle picks up the PR, we learn that nothing has change. Child disappears. And that’s the sum of all the facts.

Posted: 19th, April 2016 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment (1)


Madeleine McCann: murder, belief and Mick Duthie hopes

madeleine mccann Mick DuthieMadeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child.

Daily Mail: “Detectives believe the missing youngster could still be found alive”

Progress: nil. We are still in the lyrical land of “could” and “believe”. Time moves on but the single thread story of the child who vanished in 2007 is snared. The Mail notes the words of Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Duthie. He’s been speaking with the London Evening Standard. We read:

Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Duthie, the head of the Yard’s homicide squad…

Homicide? Is that significant? We are clutching at straws. No evidence whatsoever any harm befell Madeleine McCann, let alone murder.

…said officers were pursuing “justifiable and reasonable” leads in the investigation into the missing three year-old.

Good. Get on with it. Best of luck.

He was speaking weeks after the Home Secretary Theresa May granted police £95,000 to extend the five year old inquiry for a further six months.

This is about money, then, and value in how it’s spent.

Mr Duthie, who is in overall charge of the investigation Operation Grange, said: “There is ongoing work. There is always a possibility that we will find Madeleine and we hope that we will find her alive. That’s what we want and that’s what the family and the public want and that is why the Home Office continue to fund it. There is work that needs to be done still. “

Yep. And:

The police chief admitted detectives did not have a “full understanding” of what happened to Madeleine or why she was taken but added: “That is why the work continues. “

Full understanding? Is that another way of saying they don’t know what happened to her?

He told the Standard: “There is a missing girl and if she has been murdered and if we think we have got justifiable and reasonable lines of inquiry to pursue then they should be dealt with.”

Murder. He said it. That’s grim. He added:

 

 

“The investigation continues. We go to the Home Office every six months. We have a smaller team dealing with it because we have less inquiries to deal with but we still have a job to do. I imagine that if we have not completed our inquiries within six months we will go back to the Home Office and ask for more money.”

We told you that.

He refused to give further details about the inquiry but confirmed that detectives were still examining possible links to a series of burglaries in the Algrarve area at the time Madeleine went missing.

If. Could. Possible. A child vanished. And that’s what we know.

 

Posted: 18th, April 2016 | In: Madeleine McCann, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment (1)


Using John Whittingdale to spank a free press across the Boobies

stephanie hudson page 3 john whittingdale

 

What’s John Whittingdale been up to? The Star says the Tory MP, currently working as the culture and media secretary (GSOH, WLTM 4 MTV) “had a two-year fling with a Daily Star Page 3 girl”. Will he be involving himself with other mainstays of tabloid news, buying a lawnmower from the classified section, perhaps, or appearing in the TV pages as a Britain’s Got Talent wannabe?

Whatever’s next for Whittingdale, we are more interested in his past, chiefly his five-month romance with Olivier King, a dominatrix he met on Match.com, when he was single man and before he became a government minister, though he was chair of the Commons’ Culture, Media and Sport select committee. When Whittingdale discovered the single woman’s job he called off the affair. You might have read about his squeamishness in the tabloids, but when the story was hawked around Fleet Street, no-one bought it.

Anti-free Press, pro-privacy outfit Hacked Off and the BBC thought that a shame. Andrew Gilligan writes that Hacked Off worked with the BBC to produce their story of Whittingdale and the sex worker for Newsnight – that’s the show that opted to keep Jimmy Savile’s crimes private, spiking a story on the paedophile. These champions of privacy who bemoan press invasion into private lives wanted us to know about John’s sex life.

One theory is that tabloid newspapers passed on the story to keep Whittingdale in his job? He’s not all that in favour of Leveson and plans to clamp-down on the free press. If the Press expose John as – shock of shocks – a single man who likes women, he might be replaced by someone keen on an increasingly State-regulated Press. Or maybe he was being blackmailed? Or maybe that’s all nuts because if a free press is free the politicians have no say over what goes in it. So much for the conspiracies – which rather undermine the other story about tabloids being peopled by unscrupulous bastards who name and shame before fabricating facts to support their salacious gossip. It turns out they are edited and considered publications. Who knew?

 

john whittingdale sex

 

And now about that Page 3 girl. Stephanie Hutton, for it is she, “said the Culture Secretary cheated on her with a dungeon-dwelling dominatrix known as Mistress Kate.” On pages 6 and 7 – after we’ve seen Page 3 girl Brook tell us about a love of topless ice-skating – we get to Stephanie, one half of the Boobie Twins. Stephanie say she met John on a dating site in 2013. “He told me he was a Russian arms dealer,” says Stephanie. “I don’t know if he was just being careful or trying to make himself more attractive, but it wasn’t necessary. I liked him.” She says at the Commons, he “always turned the lights out so we wouldn’t be recorded on CCTV”.

The Mirror says this caution approach to dating means Whittingdale is “addicted to danger”. The paper says Whittingdale has “been spotted with East European women at public events in the UK”. Scurrying about for anything to spank Whittingdale with that doesn’t make the phone-hacking Mirror look opportunistic and crass, we learn via a Labour MP of concerns about “powerful, middle-aged men being targeted by young women from the old Soviet Union and left open to blackmail”.

You see, it’s not about sex and privacy – it’s about State secrets and, er, sex and secrecy. Much better and in the public interest.

Posted: 18th, April 2016 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment


Britain’s Got Talent: Beau Dermott and Jack Higgins are crying cousins

JAck Higgins

 

Front-page news in the Sun: “Britain’s Got Talent ballet sensation is Beau’s cousin.” The “sensation” is Jack Higgins, 14, a young stage school ballerina who “wowed” the TV show’s judges with his dancing, causing Amanda holden to gape and stop blinking, Simon Cowell to use up the expression he was saving for when he sees the face of Mamon, David Walliams to swoon and Alesha Dixon to hail it as the best thing ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever.

The best bit, of course, was that Jack cried. Tears are the cynical BGT’s pop shot, the moment of release. (Remember Hollie Steel who sobbed half-way through Edelweiss and triggered a race to see which celeb could reach her with the comfort hug? Hollie… Oh, never mind.)

Jack said he’d been “bullied for ballet since five”. He’s been at stage school for nine years, so you wonder who had been bullying him for that long – the smart money is on the tap dancing mob or the country dancing toughs?

Today the Sun tells us that Jack is related to Beau Dermott, the stage school singer who belted out a show tune one week earlier. Their mothers are twin sisters. To help us tell them apart. Jack’s mum Debbie is the one in the T-shirt yelling “GO JACK – BGT 2016”.

Jack says, “It would be amazing to both get to the final. We are completely different acts, so it wouldn’t feel like we were competing against each other.”

Not for you, maybe. But for your mums it could be. There will be T-shirts…

Posted: 18th, April 2016 | In: Celebrities, Reviews, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comment


Madonna fury: Rocco should stick to weed and ditch the fags

madonna rocco weed cannabis“ROCCO and Roll Up!” invites the Star’s front-page headline. “Madge fury at teen son’s booze and cigs.”

We hear you, Madonna, aka Madge the Vadge. What self-respecting cool kid drinks and smokes when they could be experimenting with smarts drugs and pour grade-A medications?

Madonna, we learn, is “fuming” 15-year-old son Rocco has been “snapped under a bridge in London swigging from a bottle and puffing on a suspicious-looking cigarette.” A suspicious looking cigarette is, of course, a cigarette, a Government-taxed cancer stick. A proper roll-up contains pure marijuana, a healthy substance (see Colorado State medical advice).

 

Posted: 16th, April 2016 | In: Broadsheets, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester City: the Real Madrid fear factor

Manchester City will play Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals. The Sun and Times are debating matters.

“Ronaldo and Co con’t scare us,” says the Manchester City manager, Manuel Pelligrini.

manchester city real madrid

 

But they should scare you, says the Times.

ronaldo manchester city

Posted: 16th, April 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, Manchester City, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United: time up for magic Van Gaal

Manchester United have called “time” on Louis Van Gaal’s career at Old Trafford.

 

van gaal sacked mirror

 

So says the Daily Mirror, which adds that “even an FA Cup victory won’t stop Jose taking over”. David McDonnell says the Manchester United “hierarchy” are plotting an “exit strategy for the Dutchman and a succession plan for Mourinho”.

The Mirror, of course, is guessing. This is the paper that told readers Van Gaal would be sacked should United failed to beat Stoke City. They failed. Van Gaal stayed.

 

mirror van gaal sacked

 

Reading on we learn that the “exclusive” news of Van Gaal’s demise is not all that certain. There is a “belief the time for change is fast approaching”. And “there is a growing belief at the Reads they will soon have to strike a deal” to pay Van Gaal off.

After so much believing, it’s worth looking back at what the Mirror said yesterday, “Louis Van Gaal has a remarkable knack of getting a result when he needs it most…. He is either incredibly lucky or has a magic touch.” Or else he’s playing Stoke.

The Mirror writes him off and then says we write him off at our peril.

 

Posted: 15th, April 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Gemma Atkinson and Ronaldo: fools, horses and sex with prostitutes

gemma atkinson ronaldo sex

 

Actress Gemma Atkinson has “revealed” that back in 2007 she and “footie ace” Cristiano Ronaldo watched Only Fools and Horses on their first date together.

If never did work out. Why not? Well in 2007, Gemma was quoted in the Sun: “I did go out with Cristiano, but it all ended when he was caught shagging prostitutes.”

All together now:

God bless Hooky Street
Viva Hooky Street
Long live Hooky Street
C’est magnifique Hooky Street
Magnifique Hooky Street

 

Posted: 15th, April 2016 | In: Celebrities, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment


Giant rats found in Tooting – send for the toffs!

rats daily star

 

Big rat news in the unofficial big rat news newspaper, the Daily Star, which leads with “New Plague of Giant Rats – Nest of 2ft beasts found on housing estate.” We meet “shocked rat-catcher” – get this – Lord Dean Burr, who “snared” a  family of “monster rats” on a housing estate in Tooting, south London.

Lord Burr, “who inherited  his title after the death of his uncle”, says the big rats are too big for the traps. To paraphrase Jaws, we’re gonna need a bigger trap.

Of course, all this works on the assumption that people don’t much like rats. We can sympathise with gassed badgers and foxes being chased by deranged red-trousered toffs on sweating horses before being barbarically ripped apart, but we all want rats dead. And these hideous rats are getting larger, which means only one thing: they’ve escaped from a Tory breeding farm. The pro-hunt lobby plans to inflict upon the bien pensant metropolitan elite a swarm of fox-sized rats so terrifying that very soon wholly liberals will understand the need to control vermin.

Bans on hunting with dogs will be repealed, allowing the aristocrats to continue their bloody sport in farm, field and the underground carpark on an inner city estate.

Tally ho, Lord Burr!

Posted: 15th, April 2016 | In: Reviews, Strange But True, Tabloids | Comment


Manchester United manager-in-waiting Jose Mourinho wants the PSG job

News in the Daily Mail is that “Jose Mourinho would seriously consider the Paris Saint-German job should the French champions part company with Laurent Blanc.” How very good of him.

All that stands between Mourinho and the PSG manager’s chair is Blanc’s sacking. Sack him! Sack him him now. And sack Louis Van Gaal as well because for weeks we’ve been reading that Jose fancies the Manchester United job as well.

On February 10, the Mail told readers: “‘Jose Mourinho tells friends that his summer move to Manchester United is a ‘done deal’.”

Chances are he fancies your job too. A “source” is right now on the phone to your boss telling them that should you be sacked, Jose would consider stepping in to drive your truck, dispense those drugs or slop out your bucket (we know our readers).

 

Posted: 14th, April 2016 | In: manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Daily Mail relocates Cliff Richards Atlantic winery

Let’s bemoan the state of education that allows the Daily Mail’s Julian Robinson to miss up his seas:

A luxury Mediterranean winery that produces Sir Cliff Richard’s own brand of plonk has been put on the market – for more than £7.5million. Quinta do Miradouro and neighbouring winery Adega do Cantor in Albufeira in Portugal’s Algarve are up for grabs after 15 years of producing the singer’s wine, Vida and Onda Nova.

Anyone keen on inspecting the place should now that The Algarve is on the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Quinta do Miradouro Adega do Cantor in Albufeira

 

 

Posted: 14th, April 2016 | In: Celebrities, Money, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment


David Gest in pill-popping mystery riddle

david gest liza

 

David Gest has died and he’s all over the tabloids. The Mail invites its readers to pull up an armchair and look for clues. It is “The mystery death  Liza Minnelli’s ex in London hotel”.

Yep, poor old Dave doesn’t even get name-checked in his final moment in the light. The Mail‘s mystery seems to finding out who he was. Over page 6 and 7 Gest is “Michael jackson’s friend”.  The “62-year-old entertainer” (Express) is notable for being “Mr Minnelli”, which he was, albeit for just 16 months of his existence.

Sticking with the Express we learn that the “reality TV star” (I’m a Celebrity…, Celebrity Big Brother, Celebrity Window Shopping (call me ITV2, I have ideas)) died in a “riddle”. Only it isn’t one because police say there are no suspicious circumstance.

On page 19, Virginia Blackburn says Gest was “one half of one of the oddest  odd couples”. Indeed. His marriage to Minnelli was odd, not least of all because it gave us the most bizarre showbiz photos of all time: the one in which Gest, Liza, Michael Jackson and Liz Taylor appear to be melting.

 

hello david gest

 

“Gest in peace,” says the Sun. “Friends say he died naturally”. So much for mysteries and riddles, then – unless the Express and Mail see Gest’s passing as the chance to debate the meaning of life?

But hold on a moment – the Mirror smells scandal and leads with news of Gest’s “sleeping pill torment”. In “Gest Pills Hell” – how tasteful of the Mirror to invoke Satan’s afterlife den in the tale of a man’s demise – we hear of “friends” saying Gest was “strung out” on pills.

And then this: “The star had been planning a UK tour called David Gest is not Dead Alive with Soul.” That title was based on a moment in the Big Brother house when the announcement to housemate Angie Bowie that David Bowie was dead became truncated to ‘David is dead’. Gest was ill at the time in one of the celebrity silo’s beds. Housemate Tiffany Pollard thought Gest was the dead David. Cue much shocked faces and hand fanning.

And now David Gest really is dead. Or ‘resting’ as fellow CBB housemates call it…

 

Posted: 13th, April 2016 | In: Celebrities, Tabloids | Comment


John Whittingdale sex capers too low-brow for red-tops

Tory MP John Whittingdale’s sex life is not a matter for gossips, ‘Outraged of Hacked Off’ of tabloids. As Francis Wheen puts it:

Just heard a Today programme “debate” on the Whittingdale affair which made the Republican primary debates sound like Socratic dialogues.

In the Hacked Off corner was Evan “Dr Death” Harris, lambasting the tabloids for not printing a story about an MP and a dominatrix – even though his pressure group actually wants to stop such stories ever being published. In the tabloid corner, Neil “Wolfman” Wallis pretended that a story about an MP and a dominatrix isn’t the sort of thing that would interest red-top editors, who prefer front-page scoops about Cartesian circularity and the eternal truths.

Toe-curling imbecility and insincerity from start to finish.

Audio to follow…

Posted: 13th, April 2016 | In: Politicians, Reviews, Tabloids | Comment


Britain swamped by hidden anti-EU messages in the Express

The Daily Express says the “EU wants to control your pension”. Happily, like you, my pension is in the Cayman Islands, which is not in the EU – yet. But it does sound sinister. Talk of the EU controlling your cash is unsettling. How dare those undemocratic technocrats dip into my pension book.

 

EU vote DAily Express UKIP

 

The front-page story continues on the Page 9, whereon we learn that it’s, er utter bollocks.

Tory MEP David Campbell Bannerman says a vote to remain in the EU means the “logical thing is to have common pensions…” It’s not planned. But it might be. Having produced a non-story story more loaded than George Bush at a frat house party, the Express invites readers to calls its phone lines and vote.

 

EU vote DAily Express

 

Vote now. And vote often.

 

Posted: 12th, April 2016 | In: Reviews, Tabloids | Comment