Dog watches dog 08.07.04

Is the Mail turning into The Sun?

The Daily Mail and The Sun last Friday both latched on to the picture of Britney Spears looking less than glamorous in what looked like an old vest, huge glasses, dangling earrings and smoking a fag.

They each went big on the agency picture of the star but the headlines took the story in completely different directions. “Is Britney turning into Bet Lynch?” asked the Mail. “So is Britney turning into Courtney Love?” queried The Sun spread.

This left Dog wondering if this is final proof that the Mail is beginning to make its pitch for readers further downmarket than The Sun.

Once upon a time The Sun would have seized on this link with Corrie quicker than you could say, “Ay oop, ducks”.


How Hall turned barefoot Brando into the Wild One

Film critic William Hall was in Los Angeles 31 years ago when Last Tango in Paris hit the cinema screens and outraged pockets of puritanical society in Britain and the US and boosted the sales of butter in France.

Don Bodie, of the Evening News in London, was Hall’s editor at the time and told the features desk: “Tell Hall to interview Marlon Brando.”

Four hours later he inquired: “Well, has Hall got him?” “He’s still on the plane.”

“Plane? What plane?” Bodie paled.

Expenses were a touchy matter on the Evening News.

“The plane to Tahiti.”

“Tahiti? Tahiti? What the hell is this about Tahiti?” “That’s where Brando lives, sir.”

In fact, his exact address was 5 Punaula Drive, Papeete, the island’s capital, and Hall found it.

But he wasn’t there long.

Brando, barefoot and wearing a blue sarong over his massive belly, spotted him and went bananas.

He yelled: “I’m going to give you to the count of three and then I’m going to punch you in the face.”

It was only a brief encounter. But it made a wonderful spread.


‘Darlings, please, please give us your free goodies’

Dog enjoys the occasional glimpse through the velvet curtains on the other side of the silk rope that cordons off mere publishing mortals from the rarefied glamour of women’s magazines.

So this titbit from a press bulletin board on the internet had the kennel salivating.

Under the heading “Can you provide goodie bag gifts for More magazine?” was a plaintive request. “Can you help?!” The message went on to explain that the “leaving party to end all leaving parties” is being organised for Wendy Rigg, acclaimed fashion director for More, who is leaving the magazine after 15 years.

Air guitar competitions, live DJs, a flashing disco dance floor, indoor golf with glow in the dark balls are all promised, as are all manner of guests from most of Emap’s magazines, publishers, models, bookers, “celebs and industry names that Wendy has built up relationships with over the years”.

So far, so exciting. But then we cut to the chase.

“Anyway, as part of this extravaganza, we are putting together some goodie bags and I wondered if you could help? This is terribly cheeky I know, but could you provide anything at all? There will be about 125 goodie bags in all and, whilst we can’t offer coverage in the mag, I’m sure that the backgrounds of the guests attending would be useful to you?”


The Sun managed to get good use out of its gargantuan St George’s flag during the Euro 2004 tournament in Portugal. Having first been draped in Lisbon’s Praca Da Figuera square, on the eve of the quarter-final match with the host nation, the massive 100ft x 150ft flag was promptly whisked to the Swiss village of Wurensol, home of the referee the newspaper blamed for England’s defeat.

There the flag – produced at a cost of £7,000 – was unfurled in a field to show how “cross” the paper’s readers were (geddit?).

But Dog can reveal the original Swiss plan was rather more adventurous. “They wanted us to drape it over his house,” says one of the Swiss unrollers. “But we couldn’t work out how to do it, so we made do with the playing field next to his shop.”

Editor? The piss-poor showbiz hack?

A letter arrives at the new Daily Mirror editor’s office.

“Dear Richard Wallace, “Just checking if you are the same Richard Wallace who was a drunken, idle, piss-poor showbiz reporter when I was editor of The Sun.

“Yours sincerely, Kelvin MacKenzie.”

Wallace’s response? “Dear Kelvin MacKenzie, “Yes, “Richard Wallace.”



Full marks to Western Counties Business News for featuring this important editorial page on news of Cancer Research’s latest campaign to raise awareness of the disease among young men.

And full marks to the advertising executive who sold the bottom advert on the same page.

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