George Best’s apparent marriage break-up led to an old-fashioned tabloid race out to sunny Spain where wife Alex had gone for a break with two girlfriends.
With both Alex and George under contract to The Mail on Sunday, News of the World reporter Phil Taylor said he was faced with a “mission impossible”.
But he managed to track Alex down after ?ying out to the resort she was staying in on Monday morning. The subsequent News of the World front page was a ?rst-edition spoiler for the in-depth exclusive interview, accompanied by revealing photos, which appeared in The Mail on Sunday’s Night and Day magazine.
Taylor knows Alex from numerous previous encounters and was able to track her down to a bar where they shared a few drinks. His subsequent interview contained salacious details not included in the MoS piece, such as her recollection of an incident when Best allegedly cut her hair off while she slept and scribbled on her body with a marker pen. Taylor told Press Gazette: “When I ?ew out to Spain, it appeared a mission impossible as Alex and George Best are contracted to The Mail on Sunday. “But our scoop proved there’s no substitute for being there and being there ?rst. We had the story in the bag before the MoS had even touched down on Spanish soil.”
The MoS team did not reportedly arrive in Spain until the following day. But an insider hit back at the NoW claiming: “We had the real story they just cobbled something together from cuttings and previous interviews.”
By Dominic Ponsford