I have become involved with the Gutter Press. Much like Margo and very much against my will.
|The Good Life: Barbara, Tom, the divine Margo and Jerry.|
And it's The Sun, The People and The Mirror.
The puppy did its business. Smiling provocatively up at his little furry bottom from Page 3 of The Sun was Nicola, 27, from Basingstoke, who was concerned about the government's policy of Afghanistan despite the fact that she was wearing just her underpants and was plainly cold.
I came over all Margo.
"Why can't we have something decent, like The Telegraph," I shrilled at Brian, while daintily wrapping perky Nicola around a pile of little turds.
"Because I get this free from work," Tom, I mean, Brian, said. (That jumper has gone to his head.)
|Where have you put all the newspaper? I need to pee!|
I confess. I'm a newspaper snob. I prefer the what used to be Broadsheets (and are now Berlin size). I like my papers free of Nicola and her perky attributes. I also like my papers free of Jordan and her sexy romps with whichever husband it is at the moment. I also like my papers free of all the ins and outs of the soaps I don't watch and the soap stars who aren't celebs to me because I've never heard of them.
I don't trust them - particularly The Sun - and I have good reason for this. I once wrote a story about Mick Jagger who came on holiday with his son (who was then eight) and his Dad. The three of them stayed in local hotels, walked the Coast Path and went to Oakwood. It was then the paper's policy of not bothering celebs who holiday here (so as not to put them off coming) and despite varied phone calls from the public we ignored our rock star until he'd gone home.
Only then did I phone the hotels (complete co-operation from the first, a 'we don't give out guests' details from the second) and I wrote the story in retrospect about their exemplary behaviour, how polite, how lovely and how charming they had all been. I even interviewed the chef of the first hotel about what he had given them to eat. He remarked that the only incident during their stay had been when Jagger junior accidentally dropped his bowl of cereal at breakfast.
I wrote the story accordingly. Then The Sun pinched it. By the time they had finished it Mick Jagger's son had 'inherited his rock star father's wild ways'. He had, gloated The Sun, thrown a rock star style tantrum at breakfast and had chucked his cereal about. The entire story was twisted into 'Sun speak' and bore little relation to what actually happened. I know The Sun didn't speak to anyone at the hotel; the staff had all been threatened with the sack if they spoke to the press again. I was the only journalist they talked to.
I'm still furious. In fact I've decided that using the Red Tops as a venue for my new puppy's toilet habits is the best use of them. After all, they're full of crap anyway.
* I say 'again' in the title of this blog because at school they tried teasing me by calling me Margo (for some reason). I was far too flattered (I've always adored Margo) so, disappointingly they gave up. Perhaps if they had persisted I'd be known as Preseli Margo now rather than Preseli Mags. Is it too late to change?