Thursday, 7 April 2011

Making up stories about celebs with the Star and Mail

According to the Daily Star, the most important news for today is this:

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.


  1. The Daily Star's creepy obsession with the "x-rated action" makes me wonder if they're trying to position themselves in the Daily Sport's old spot.

  2. I think they're trying to raise the profile of Desmond's rags to almost the level of the gutter. Any day now, they'll almost get there.

  3. You know you're getting quality journalism when the paper is gloating about the demise of the Daily Sport, whilst simultaneously angling to catch their former readers.

  4. Not withstanding the Star's shoddy journalism, Private Eye have been dropping large hints about Mr Clarksons private life for some time now. is the headline not more an attempt at winding him up rather than a plug for a dating website?

  5. Nice to see them cashing in on the defunct sport, although most Sport 'readers' will see the price of the Star and not bother. I wonder if the Star took on any of their staff?

    Re Your tweet about Big Brother and the Star.

    It's on Channel 5 now, so the winner has almost certainly been decided already. It'll be the blonde haired, massive chested girl with loads of make up on who Desmond has had his eye on since she first appeared in the Star with her tits out. She's probably already signed the exclusive rights to sell her entire life to OK magazine and will no doubt become the new Jordan. She'll have already agreed to have sex on screen with the "fittest lad" in the house to boost the ratings and the Star already has the front page set up for the day it happens to boost sales. The Express is getting ready to condemn it all with an article that promotes the show endlessly.

  6. anon1 - Well, the person the Star has written about today as favourite to win is 'Essex Amy' - she already has her column in Desmond's new! magazine and is managed by a company that likes to flog stories to the Star about their, ahem, 'talent'.

  7. Ahh, so she's already well into the process!

    I didn't realise he also owned Now! but I suppose it makes sense. OK!, To the casual reader has a certain level of prestige about it, like the Express compared to the Star. Now! caters for the "OMG, Look at Cherlys Bikini Line" or "look how fat Kim Kardashinobody has become, ROFL!"


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