Dog watches dog 07.08.03

‘The Douglases invaded my privacy’

Shy and retiring freelance showbiz writer and author Rob McGibbon was appalled to find himself caught up in the privacy-seeking antics of Hollywood reclusives Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

The publicity-hating duo were in Majorca to help promote the island’s bid to host the 2007 America’s Cup. The press were out in force to record their quiet, understated arrival but the couple only managed to invade McGibbon’s sunshine privacy, as these two local daily front pages show.

McGibbon, who currently has nothing to promote, said: “I have steadfastly managed to keep a low profile throughout my entire career and then this happens.

I was devastated, shocked and appalled when I saw the newspapers the next day. I have suffered real personal distress and surely there is a case for damages. But £1m is not a lot of money to a freelance like me.

I want my anonymity back.”

No doubting Woman’s Ownership of these Daily Mail ‘must-reads’

It’s a slight spin-off from the Campaign for Real Exclusives, but a Woman’s Own insider urges us to note the increasing frequency with which stories from the magazine are rapidly being “adopted” by the Daily Mail.

Two stories from the 28 July issue found their way into the pages of the Daily Mail in the same week.

Our mole points out that the Mail ran “No justice for my twin” as a spread the day after Woman’s Own hit the news-stands with its “He took your life, but he won’t get the kids” feature.

“And then our exclusive story about the TV weather girl Fiona Farrell, ‘The question no parent should have to ask: Will you take care of my son?’ was spread across pages 24 and 25 of the Daily Mail six days after we first featured it.

“At Woman’s Own we are used to leading the way in the coverage of fantastic ‘must-read’ stories and we’re flattered that the Daily Mail obviously agrees. It might be nice, though, if it occasionally acknowledged the source of its ‘inspiration’.”

Dead Hugo leaves station miserable

Dog’s refined readers will need no reminding that Victor Hugo (1802 to 1885) spent many years in exile on Jersey and Guernsey. A year after celebrating the bicentenary of his birth, Jersey hosted an exhibition of photographs taken by the great novelist’s son. Most of the island’s media managed to cover this at the right time.

Much bemusement, then, at the museum in question, when a BBC Radio Jersey journalist followed up the story by calling to request an interview with Victor Hugo’s son … who was sadly unavailable, having died more than half a century ago.


Dumping on Derry

It’s always encouraging to see newspaper editors doing their utmost to alter the public perception that we’re all a bunch of vicious back-biting scoundrels grappling in the dirt.

So how uplifting, then, to see a delightful editor’s note on the letters page of The People’s Northern Ireland edition.

Under a frankly rather odd letter from “PA” of Derry City, who explains why he finds the weekly Derry News a “boring, tired read”, the editor adds the following twopennyworth: “You’re right. The People is fantastic isn’t it? Whereas the Derry News is a bag of shite that shouldn’t grace the floor of your worst chippy.” Classy.


Shedding light on the heart of Darkness

Wonder which of these images rock god Justin Hawkins (the lead singer of “cock rockers” The Darkness, as Dog, of course, knew) prefers to show his mates? The NME version, or the Take a Break version?


As promised last week, here is the final word on Boobtubegate.

Relentless research from the neversleeping kennel team unearths this testimony posted to obscure website in July 2000 by a customer known only as JaniePorno.

“I was delighted to see a free gift on the cover of this month’s Company that I actually wanted and have got a use for!” gushes Ms Porno, before adding. “My pink boob tube tops them all! I’ve had it on nonstop, despite the fact it looked like a hairband when I took it out the packet, it actually fits. Speaking of free gifts from magazines, it also goes exceedingly well with the pink flip flops I got free with last month’s Cosmopolitan. I would like to see more of these types of useful gifts!” Maybe it’s time for Company editor Sam Baker to rethink last week’s mea culpa, after all.

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