As you try to work out what the headline actually means, Star hack Nigel Pauley explains:
Jeremy Clarkson has been offered £1million to become the face of an adultery website.
Pauley names the website, includes their motto, and repeats lots of quotes from a 'spokeswoman' - it all sounds suspiciously like a copy-and-paste job from a press release. Except for the inevitable (and hardly necessary) 'last sentence clarification':
A spokesman for the Top Gear host said: “Jeremy is on holiday with his family. We won’t be forwarding this offer on to him.”
So the Star gives a dating website some free publicity with a front page story about a 'deal' which isn't a deal at all.
The Clarkson non-story comes two days after this:
'Full exclusive story' about these 'red hot nights' inside. Except Emily Hall's article reveals:
Amy Childs has angrily slammed rumours that she’s the reason Peter Andre split from Elen Rivas. Amy Childs made it clear she is not in a relationship with the singer, fuming: “We’re just good friends”.
So there are no 'red hot nights'. The 'full exclusive' is that they didn't happen. But that's not even the Star's 'exclusive' because at the end, in a plug for one of Richard Desmond's magazines, it says:
Read Amy and Peter’s columns in this week’s edition of new! magazine, out now.
The cross-promotion between Channel 5, the Star and Express and magazines such as OK! and new! - all owned by Desmond - has become ridiculous. And the news that Channel 5 will screen 'reality TV' dead horse Big Brother for the next two years has led to feverish excitement in the, err, Daily Star. The rag has published ten totally unrevealing articles about the show in the last week, including four front pages. They've run lists of 'celebrities' who are 'being considered' for the show along with anonymous quotes from 'TV insiders' - and it isn't even starting for another four months. Imagine what it will be like when it is being broadcast...
The Star has been so desperate to drum up interest, two Star hacks (Paul Robins and Peter Dyke) wrote this drivel - possibly one-handed:
Big Brother is set to be the raunchiest ever as horny housemates get the chance for sexy romps.
Frustrated Big Brother contestants will be allowed to make “booty calls” with their partners in a shock new twist when the show returns this year.
For the first time, housemates will be able to phone up their lovers for no-holds barred sex sessions.
And fans will get to see all the x-rated action under the radical plans to transform the spy on the wall programme.
Radical plans to transform the programme into something seen on Desmond's 'specialist' channels, apparently.
However, on 31 March, the Star was absolutely convinced of one thing. Cheryl Cole was definitely going to host the new Big Brother. They even put it on the front page:
'Cheryl's new B Bro babe: Sexy star snubs X Factor' sounds certain. A done deal. Here's Nigel Pauley again:
Fed-up Cheryl Cole could sensationally snub X Factor supremo Simon Cowell by accepting a £5million deal to host a new-look Big Brother. Geordie babe Cheryl Cole is wanted for the role made famous by Davina McCall when the show returns later this year.
'Could snub'. 'Is wanted'. In the first two sentences, the front page headline is proved to be garbage. Indeed, the Star admitted it was nothing but 'rumours' the next day, with Emma Wall claiming:
Cheryl Cole has fuelled rumours she will be the new Big Brother host by talking about her love of all things British.
How the second equals the first isn't quite clear. But it filled a bit more space in the paper.
Pauley also claimed:
A TV insider said...“There is going to be a real buzz around Big Brother and we’re confident [Cole] will want to be part of that deal.”
It seems that neither the 'TV insider', Pauley, Wall, or anyone else at the Star bothered asking Cole about it, however. If they had, they might have got the same response that the Guardian received:
"Cheryl has not been approached, and she has no interest in presenting Big Brother," said a spokesman for the singer.
Still, at least the Mail knows exactly the way Cheryl Cole's career is going. Look at their oh-so-consistent reporting of whether she'll be a judge on the US version of The X Factor:
25 February - 'can she?':
28 February - 'snubbed':
3 March - 'in the balance':
5 March 'in the running...despite claims she's been dropped':
20 March - 'shattered':
22 March - 'yes':
29 March - 'new blow':
4 April - 'yes':
No doubt the next article the Mail produces will confirm once and for all that Cole has indeed got the job. Or hasn't. Or is still waiting to find out. Perhaps they should just wait, too.