Revenge is a dip best served very cold

Birmingham Post reporter Shahid Naqvi was winched in to the air and dumped in the North Sea during a trip to Shetland following an article he wrote saying the islands were the most depressing place in Britain.

Naqvi's article, which caused waves among islanders, led the local tourist board, Visit Shetland, to invite him back to experience the more positive elements of island life.

His original article blamed declining industry, poor weather and isolation for widespread depression in the islands and prompted a local media backlash, led by the Shetland Times, which resulted in Naqvi becoming a famous face in the islands.

To allow islanders to get their revenge, Naqvi agreed to be plunged into the sea courtesy of the tourist board. He said: "It was good humoured.

Everyone I met knew the story and recognised me in Lerwick. It was like being a visiting celebrity. We walked into this pub and everyone was looking at me and I thought I was going to get lynched, but they were just teasing me and came over for a chat.

"I was also winched up and thrown into freezing cold sea. I genuinely really liked the place, it was windswept, but far from being depressing, there is a very strong sense of community and identity — I had my eyes opened."

Naqvi is preparing a feature about his experiences for the Post and Shetland Times while Times editor Jonathan Lee is penning an article for the Birmingham Post.

Lee said: "Shahid was a great ambassador for Birmingham and we were delighted to have him here. Hopefully he has returned to Birmingham with a more balanced view. There will always be people who say it should never be said, but on the whole we can safely say he's been forgiven."

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