Dog watches dog 04.03.04

Coincidence, Mr Camacho?

Hop offTara Wallis contacts the kennel with this tale of a novel piece of public relations.

“Hello Dog”, (she writes, with a friendly greeting so rare in kennel correspondence).

“Here at Teletext Holidays we strive to answer questions from viewers for our travel Q&A service that we update daily.

“One letter that arrived read: ‘I read recently that a new UK-only budget airline called Hop has been launched.

Are there any flights between Luton and Blackpool and how can I contact them?’ It was signed T Camacho.”

It wasn’t until Wallis researched the answer that she discovered that someone named Tony Camacho is actually chief executive of a new airline. Called Hop. That flies between Luton and Blackpool. What are the chances of that being a coincidence?

A place for Superman to get his tights on – at The Sun

The Sun office at Fortress Wapping has been given a carpet of many colours after the formerly dingy editorial floor received a complete makeover worthy of TV’s Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.

Remarkably, the shade changes as one saunters around from department to department.

For instance, it is blue around the newsdesk, chrome for Bizarre, red for the walkways and a slightly bilious shade of green for the nervous-looking Guinness-loving hacks on the Irish desk.

One wag remarked: “It rather matches the Irish editor’s face when he discovers Richard Littlejohn or some other columnist has written rude things about diddly-diddly land!” Apparently, though, management resisted demands for shag-pile carpet in the area where kiss-and-tell reporters sit.

The editorial floor has also got an old GPO red telephone box.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t yet have one of the Fifties-style “insert four pennies and push button B” phones installed.

But, as a touch of authenticity, it is already covered with little cards advertising the tantalising services of various ladies of the night.

Yummy, Miss Whiplash awaits…

Critic stripped by Villager people

An Edinburgh restaurant has bitten back in nouvelle cuisine fashion at food critic Richard Bath after a particularly vitriolic review in Scotland on Sunday.

Within days of the savaging, staff at the Villager took revenge by putting up a sign behind the bar and in their menus, saying: “Richard Bath wears ladies’ underwear”, adding in small print “(allegedly)”.

The tit-for-tat bunfight was seized on with glee by the Daily Record which turned the storm on a dining table into a page-three lead – headlined “Ate Mail”.

Bath, whose day job is sports editor of SoS, took the cross-dresser jibe on the chin, admitting it was “pretty funny”.

He told the Record: “I said pretty much all I wanted to say about the restaurant in my review. For the record, I don’t wear ladies’ underwear but what can I do? I would have to go round there in my undies to prove it to them.”

Press officer makes Lidl or no sense

I-Cheng Chan, a reporter on the Evening Herald in Plymouth, was doing a story last week about a woman who had her handbag stolen in Lidl, the cut-price supermarket chain from Germany. She was amazed to discover the supermarket had no CCTV cameras in the store.

Chan called the Lidl “press office” and asked a woman called Karen for a comment. She said she couldn’t comment as it was company policy not to speak to the press. Chan respectfully asked what the press office did if it didn’t speak to the press. She said it was only on very rare occasions the store would comment.

She explained further: “Somebody needs to take the calls to tell members of the press that Lidl does not give comments to members of the press.”

Very logical, those Germans.

Several members of the Dog team are looking for new jobs after a gaffe in last week’s column. In the piece on the game being played by those japesters at Westminster – I’m A Lobby Hack… Get Me Out of Here! – we said Bill Jacobs works for the Lancashire Evening Post. He, of course,works for the Lancashire Evening Telegraph. Sorry Bill.

Express sport needs to Brooke up its ideas

“There was a touch of World Cup style at Windsor on Saturday as New Zealand’s 1995 winning captain Zinzan Brooke made his debut for the Home Park club.”

So said the Windsor & Eton Express in February anyway.

Dog is sure the South Africans, who actually defeated the All Blacks to win the Webb Ellis trophy that year, would not quite agree.


“Don’t overload the point”, said a page-lead headline in the 19 February edition of The Press, Barnet, on a property piece about the dangers of plugging too many appliances in to extension cables from your mains electricity supply.

The accompanying three-column picture demonstrated the point, showing a mass of tangled cables leading from a six-way extension cable. And where was the picture taken? From underneath a desk in the editorial office, of course.

From the Scottish Daily Mail. Vicious lot, those Scottish nursery teachers.

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