NESSIE EXPERIMENT, OR MESSY EMBARRASSMENT?
Five’s senior programme controller Chris Shaw had hoped to make
waves by floating a mocked-up monster in Loch Ness for a documentary.
The two weeks of filming last September has finally caused a few
ripples in the press – but at the time it almost ended in disaster.
is believed to have paid close to £150,000 for the 16ft animatronic
model, nicknamed Lucy, which was floated in the loch to test the
reactions of visitors for a TV programme being shown on 28 August.
hoped that the appearance of Lucy in the loch would convince tourists
that the monster was real and lead to worldwide news coverage.
then hoped to gain publicity for Loch Ness Monster: The Ultimate
Experiment by revealing that Lucy was a model made from fibreglass and
To witness the impact of Lucy on
unsuspecting tourists, Shaw even went to Loch Ness, with a slightly
less enthusiastic head of factual and features publicity, Louise Plank.
Posing as hikers, and armed with a less than convincing ‘picnic’ of
Pringles, Minstrels and Fanta, the pair plonked themselves close to the
loch to wait for the drama. But they got more than they bargained for.
Most sightseers paid little attention to Lucy until some yells were
heard from the water.
Shaw and Plank watched in horror as rescue
services then rushed to rescue one diver who had suffered a back spasm
while trying to hold on to Lucy, which for some reason had spun out of
Fortunately the diver got out safely and Plank, Shaw and
the diving crew scurried away – leaving the secret of Lucy at the
bottom of Loch Ness until she could be retrieved.
The mysterious case of the CCTV in the canteen
It’s time to put to rest a persistent rumour that has been doing the
rounds at Guardian and Observer offices for the past week or so. The
scurrilous tale has it that a handily-placed CCTV camera captured a
journalist in flagrante delicto with a member of the catering staff. On
a table in the canteen. (As one of Dog’s informants rather archly put
it: “People have to eat off those, you know”.) Disciplinary measures,
it was said, were being instigated, while some Guardianistas were of
course up in arms about invasion of privacy. All very shocking. But is
Despite unleashing its full investigative powers on the case, the
kennel has found no evidence of the said crime – and has been assured
there is no such disciplinary action.
Dog is happy to have, well, cleared that up.
Something’s naggingly familiar about these covers of Full House,
published just two weeks apart. Perhaps the formula is working so well
it seemed a shame to change things too much. Or perhaps not.
Hooker, byline and stripper
The mysterious belle de jour – the anonymous blogger whose tales of
her life as a high-class hooker caused a media storm last year – is
about to make further waves in the British press.
Feverish speculation over the identity of the author fed many a
desperate columnist happy after the blog won a Guardian award, and
writers including Isabel Wolff, Sarah Champion and even Toby Young were
forced to deny they were the author.
A book deal followed and there was even talk of a Channel 4 series.
Now she’s about to make her return, with a new column in a broadsheet newspaper, starting this autumn.
But it’s not to be The Guardian, despite the part it played in boosting belle de jour’s profile.
The ‘London call girl’ herself explains: “I wanted a column. A big, glossy, Sunday-magazine column in a reputable broadsheet.
I was promptly informed, that was never going to happen. ‘It won’t fly
at The Guardian,’ one person advised me. ‘Half their Saturday magazine
staff threatened to walk after they offered a column to a stripper.’
And that was only a stripper.
“I was disappointed. Being too racy
for The Times, I could see. But too racy for The Guardian? The same
people who published Susie Fox?
“I wasn’t even planning to recount all the men I’d ever slept with, just the interesting ones.
Fast-forward to now. The totally wicked Sunday Telegraph Magazine chap
who edited my first major piece for a large publication has ridden to
my rescue again.
“Starting some time this autumn, I’ll have me
very own column. In the Torygraph. Getting what I wanted at long last.
Hurrah, as they say, for small miracles.”
He shoots, he scoresâ€¦
Bloody battle has been joined between Glasgow Rangers FC’s
multi-millionaire chairman David Murray and The Herald’s chief sports
writer, Graham Spiers.
Murray fired the first shot by exhorting the Ibrox supporters to
boycott newspapers which are too critical of the club. It is well-known
that Murray regards The Herald, and especially Spiers, as the chief
Newly back from holiday, Spiers immediately took up the cudgels in his weekly Sports Diary in a “quick memo” to Murray.
“I am very much looking forward to imminent and exciting Champions League experience with Rangers.
Personally speaking, I also hope that Rangers, like any other Scottish team in Europe, will thrive in the environment.
for the record, I’ll also continue to praise or criticise Rangers where
and when I see fit, if it’s all the same with you.”
Fifteen-all. Murray to serve.
Hugh Canning’s opera review in The Sunday Times. We’ve all imagined
seeing a non-existent rubber penis on stage at one time or anotherâ€¦
If you want more cash, you can whistle for it
Thanks to one of Dog’s alert spotters in Coventry for this little
vignette: a reporter sitting on the Coventry Evening Telegraph picket
line was playing a flute, presumably to while away the time as the
strike ground on. A kindly passer-by took pity, and tossed her a coinâ€¦
Still, every little helps when you’re on strike pay.