Dog watches dog 09.10.03

Fame Academy telephone fiasco

There was much excitement down in the West Country on Saturday, as local pop chanteuse (as the ever with-it Dog is sure the young persons would describe her) Alex Parks found herself in the live final of Fame Academy, the BBC’s magnificently successful (surely, disastrously overhyped – Ed) talent show.

Quite rightly, that morning’s Western Morning News got 100 per cent behind its local lass with front-page coverage, explaining that viewers would be required to vote for the winner by telephone as Parks went head to head with co-finalists Carolynne Good and Alistair Griffin in the live showdown on BBC One.

At stake was a £1m record deal and a flat for a year in London.

Accordingly, the WMN prominently printed the number to call for its readers to vote for the Cornish Crooner. There was just one snag. The number it printed was wrong.

And so it was that editor Barrie Williams had a rather busy Saturday afternoon touring local radio stations explaining the error.

No doubt harsh questions were asked in the WMN newsroom, but Dog has already identified the only possible explanation. They must have called 118 118 to ask for the number.













Was Derren Brown’s tasteless Russian roulette stunt for real, asks Dominic Wells, editor of The Times TV supplement The Eye, in an online comment on 7 October.

“Personally I believe it was,” he says. He then lists several, er, compelling reasons why.

Perhaps Wells should have read the story also published in The Times online on 7 October, which quoted a police chief in Jersey, where the stunt took place: “There was no live ammunition involved and at no time was anyone at risk.”


Gilligan fits Bill

News reaches the kennel from the US that Jayson Blair, The New York Times journalist who admitted to plagiarism, has inspired new storylines in not one but two television cop dramas.

Dog wonders whether scriptwriters here might not follow suit with notorious UK journalists.

Skin-head haircut, scruffy appearance, inability to produce a notebook in court… yes, Andrew Gilligan would be a natural on The Bill.


You’ve got a lot of Front, says King

A letter to Front magazine, which Dog presents without further comment.

Jonathan King (FF 8782)

HMP Elmley


Kent ME12 4AY

Dear Eoin McSorley (made up name)

I just wanted to thank you profusely for the honour of coming third in your fabulous Britain’s Biggest C**TS! But, surely, I deserved to be top? Can you please explain why UN is censored in big type but not in small? This muddles and confuses me.

Also – to correct you on a small amount of detail – I’ve never owned or driven a Bentley, I’ve never tried to fiddle with underage boys (I’m innocent of my convictions and am appealing them), I made superb records and the inevitable corruption of the music industry set in because I was, unfortunately, forcibly removed from it three years ago.

But niggles aside, I’d like to thank you for this prestigious award from my peers.

It’s always worth more coming from lesser achievers, though you are doing well and I’m sure will make the list soon.

And, of course, I’d like to thank God…



Helen’s incomplete curriculum vitae

Monday’s Daily Mail carried a fascinating profile of Bridget Jones author and mum-to-be Helen Fielding – fascinating for what it left out.

After covering her Yorkshire childhood, Oxford education and short career at the BBC, the Mail explained: “Deciding she wanted to write, Fielding left to work as a freelance journalist. In 1995 while she was working on a national newspaper, Bridget Jones’s Diary was created.”

Pity the Mail chose not to insert a line between those two sentences about her freelance work.

Where was Fielding to be found in 1989/1990 shifting as a feature writer and which newspaper must be kicking itself for not having spotted the star within its midst? Why the Daily Mail of course.



As an NUJ delegate to the Labour conference in Bournemouth, lobbying on behalf of pensioners, 82-year-old Member of Honour Jim Brennan also agreed to model a protective jacket now being considered for photographers covering demonstrations. As the picture shows, the prototype worked very well for comforting a delegate’s offspring during a break in the proceedings.

Very sensible of the Racing Post to run a panel explaining to readers where they could buy the newspaper in France last Sunday, the day of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. But the relentlessly logical Dog has one question. How would you know about it unless you’d already bought your copy?













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