Archive for June, 2009

Charlotte Church’s name linked to drugs via a badly written news article

June 30, 2009

Pop singer Charlotte Church’s name has been linked to the supply of class A drugs by being involved in a poorly-written news article detailing the arrest of her former boyfriend on suspicion of supplying heroin, despite the singer having had no contact with him for years.

The article, believed to be of the tabloid variety, sensationally used bold typeface whenever mentioning Charlotte Church’s name or that of any class A drugs, such as heroin, crack cocaine, ecstacy, methamphetamine and ketamine. It also cleverly implied, through a historical relationship between the two, a secondary link between the good name of Charlotte Church and that of the seedy underworld of class A drugs.

The article then went further by explaining how Scotland Yard had said Kyle Johnson, ex-boyfriend of Charlotte Church, was being held in custody after attending an East London police station by appointment. It persisted with its’ frankly weak story by concluding with how the 24-year-old ex-partner of Charlotte Church has been on the run since January after police found high-grade heroin worth £10 million at a house in Forest Gate, east London.

The last paragraph of the visibly tired tabloid story limped to its’ pathetic close by mentioning a quote from a spokesperson for Charlotte Church, who stated: “Charlotte Church has no involvement with this case whatsoever and wishes to go on record by saying that has never taken, and has no interest in drugs whatsoever.”

Glastonbury ‘best ever’ again

June 29, 2009

This year’s Glastonbury Festival has been confirmed as the best ever by scientists, who have carried out extensive testing throughout the weekend.

Peter Ian, who was leading the investigation, said yesterday: “There were loads of AMAZING bands playing and the atmosphere was incredible – better than the last time I went. The weather was fantastic, too. You couldn’t ask for any more, literally, it was the best EVER.”

Another scientist, Tony Mick, was able to back up this extraordinary claim: “As scientists we have an obligation to use facts as evidence of proof. The facts are that Bruce Springsteen played amazing – FACT, Blur were incredible – FACT, Dizzee Rascal was sick – FACT. As for Status Quo – the nation loves them, and that’s an undeniable FACT.”

Glastonbury supremo Michael Eavis agrees: “Springsteen performed probably the best show of his entire life. He’s a proper, old school rock performer. Good as gold, he is. You know, he only finished his set 10 minutes ago and he’s out there with a shovel and a bin bag helping them clear up 1650 tonnes of rubbish. What energy that chap has got at 58. Amazing.”

Scientists also managed to confirm that last night Blur transported fans back in time to the days before the recession – by playing the songs they had written over 10 years ago, when the economy was thriving. “Songs like There’s No Other Way, Song 2 and This Is A Low had a statistically significant effect by drawing in a massive crowd, the majority of whom we could prove had watched when Blur played Glastonbury 11 years ago. Whilst we were unable to find out from every audience member whether they had watched the band before, there was definitely an overriding feeling that most of them probably had – they seemed to all know the words, anyway.”, confirmed Peter Ian.

Eavis added: “I know I say this every year but this is the best one ever and it has now been scientifically proven beyond any doubt. I don’t think we can ever do it better than we did this year.”

UK ‘best place to score coke’

June 25, 2009

The UK has topped a recent UN poll as the best place to score cocaine – comfortably surpassing its Dutch rivals by quite some distance.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said the UK is the outright leader throughout the whole of Europe when it comes to ‘charlie’ – with a dedicated fanbase of more than one million committed users.

But unfortunately, the rise in its popularity has meant that traffickers have been increasingly forced to bolster the drug with other agents such as dental and veterinary anaesthetics in order to satisfy the hefty demand.

Peter Ian, a drug trafficker covering the south of Wales said: “The cost of a kilogram of cocaine has increased by 50 per cent from £30,000 to £45,000 since 2007. The problem is that – due to the increasing risks of bringing cocaine from the Caribbean and the West African coast to the shores of Britain – the unit cost has inevitably had to rise and thus we’ve had to become a bit more creative in order to maintain our margins, which have taken quite a hit, so to speak. After such a large rise in wholesale cost, if you subtract the costs of petrol, labour, admin and overheads we’re only just breaking even on a retail price of £50 per gram – not exactly something you could pitch successfully on Dragon’s Den, is it?”

When asked about recent police seizures revealing substances being passed off as cocaine as only 5% pure, Mr. Ian insisted: “5% is not a level we would drop to in my area – we would normally try and ensure the consumer gets at least 20% cocaine at the end of the line, so to speak.”

The World Drug League Table for the 2008-09 season revealed that the popularity of cocaine in the UK has risen dramatically since the mid-90s, and has consolidated its position as the connoisseur’s drug of choice over the last two years.

The report states: “The UK thus continues to be – in absolute numbers – Europe’s best cocaine market, thanks to the tireless dedication and commitment of all personnel involved in its distribution.”

“Unusual” Wimbledon betting alerts suspicion

June 24, 2009

An online bookmaker has been forced to report a case of dubious betting to tennis authorities – after a flood of wagers appeared to back Tim Henman to remain at the tournament into the second week.

Betfair said the flood of betting on the Englishman that occurred during his commentary stint on the match between Austrian number 26 seed Juergen Melzer and American Wayne Odesnik was “unusual”.

There is no suggestion of foul play yet, but the company was forced to inform the Tennis Integrity Unit (yes, there really is), which is expected to listen to his entire commentary in order to determine whether the speech patterns were sinister or simply reflected fans’ indifference to the importance of the overall result.

Betfair’s Mark Davies told Radio 4: “We have never before seen such a rush of betting on one particular commentator during the course of a single game, especially in this instance where the commentator in question is such an unfancied outsider. Don’t get me wrong, Henman’s charm and warmth on the microphone come across well, but is it enough to carry him through against the more robust technical knowledge of guys like McCenroe and Becker?

“It did look quite suspicious at one point when he slipped up during a routine description of Juergen Melzer’s unconventional serve. Not many commentators would make such a mistake, especially in the opening round. There were quite a few posts about it on our forum, as many people found it strange how he appeared to crack when seemingly under no pressure whatsoever. They speculated that it was a deliberate ploy to encourage a flood of betting, which of course it did. It was shortly after this that we decided to alert the TIU.”

The TIU will meet towards the end of the week to discuss their findings. If Henman is found guilty of wrongdoing he could face disciplinary procedures including a fine of 50% of his match fee and a possible commentary ban of up to 12 months.

ESPN buys rights to Soccerball

June 23, 2009

The Disney-owned broadcaster ESPN are said to be “excited” after their acquisition of broadcasting rights to live Premier League Soccerball matches until 2013.

“This is by no means a sell-out of the Premier League and we welcome ESPN as a UK rights holder,” said Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.

“They have a formidable amount of money and I am sure we will enjoy taking as much of it from them as possible. Hopefully they’ll be good for it as well, unlike those shysters over at Setanta. We could never get in touch with them and we always found it suspicious that they only had a PO Box address – they didn’t even have email. In the end we found that Setanta was actually just a husband and wife operation run from a caravan.”

The Premier League were forced to invite bids for televised games after Setanta only managed to pay £220 out of the £30 million monthly installment due. “We thought it best that we opened the bidding to proper, registered companies rather than finding ‘broadcasters’ from adverts in the News Of The World magazine.” Scudamore added.

Scudamore welcomed the fact that an alternative source of enormous revenue was found quickly. “The speed at which we have been able to conclude this deal means that my preparations for building a new annexe will be able to continue without interruption,” he said.

“Fans and clubs will have certainty over the amount of money they will need to pay for the broadcasting of Barclays Premier League matches over the next four seasons, though that could increase at any point.”

ESPN International head Russell Wolff said: “Premier League Soccerball is one of the world’s most valuable commodities. This move demonstrates our commitment to our stakeholders and our ongoing commitment to delivering big financial returns to them.”

As well as losing all Premier League games, Setanta suffered another blow last Monday when the Scottish Premier League took out a repossession order on their caravan.

“We also took ownership of three homeworking scam operations they were running from their business ‘premises’, but we may end up selling them on as the SPL wouldn’t wish to be associated with the idea of promising great things to ordinary working class people, only to ultimately rip them off.” said SPL boss Lex Gold.

“It’s a shame, as the couple that ran Setanta, Debbie and Mike, seemed like really nice people”, he lamented.

MacIntyre uncovers violent world of ice skating

June 23, 2009

Donal MacIntyre is set to release a no-holds barred book uncovering ice-skating related violence amongst rival supporters of contestants on the television show Dancing On Ice.

The Irish journalist – who cleverly infiltrated in the TV talent show this year as a contestant – said his new book Bollocks To Bolero concentrates on the ugly crowd battles throughout the celebrity dancing programme, but includes other elements such as foul play between judges and numerous instances of score-rigging.

He said: “It’s a hard-hitting book about my time on the show and some of the revelations are quite frankly astounding. I remember a time when one of the judges, Jason Gardiner, controversially marked down one a routine involving Mark Fowler from Eastenders. During a break in filming Phillip Schofield strolled over to the judges’ desk and slapped him hard across the face with the back of his hand. Everyone was shocked into stunned silence. You could have cut the atmosphere with a knife during the rest of that show.”

On another occasion, MacIntyre described how organized violence almost led to the show being cancelled: “Both Phillip and his co-host, Holly Willoughby, were bundled backstage to safety. Riot police armed with tear gas were called in to disperse the crowds, but were unable to hold anyone back due to slippage. Eventually someone found a bag of grit backstage and police were able to both contain and then separate the rioters. Luckily everything was tidied up before the end of the ad break.”

MacIntyre also revealed the unsurprising true reason why Todd Carty (from Grange Hill) got so far in the contest – vote rigging: “Todd Carty wasn’t anywhere near as good as either Tucker Jenkins or Mark Fowler, yet somehow, the votes cast for these two contestants ended up counting towards Todd. Now, you can’t tell me THAT’S not suspicious.”

Donal MacIntyre is currently working on an uncompromising Channel 5 documentary exposing the shockingly disproportionate number of gold tokens in the crystal dome section of the pub quiz machine version of The Crystal Maze, making winning impossible.

 

[22/06/2009]

Who Gets To Be A Millionaire? No-one

June 23, 2009

A contestant who won £125,000 on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? has yet to receive their payment, despite sending several cheques to cover bank processing charges.

Peter Ian, who appeared on the quiz show earlier this year, was emailed by 2Waytraffic (who produce the series for ITV) soon after his windfall to advise him that he needed to send an “administration charge” of £500 and that payment would be made into his bank account as soon as this charge was received.

A fortnight later he checked his account and there was still no sign of payment, so he emailed 2Waytraffic back to find out what was going on. “I was slightly worried at this point, but I still had faith that they would be true to their word and send the money – they never gave me any reason to doubt them”, said Mr. Ian

A few days later 2Waytraffic emailed a reply thanking him for his payment, but the bank would only release the prize money upon receipt of a “processing fee” of £1500. Mr. Ian was slightly suspicious at this point, but sent the fee accordingly. “I thought that, although they had a bit of a cheek asking for this much money upfront, the prize money was so high that in the end it wouldn’t matter.”

Two more weeks passed and Mr. Ian still had yet to receive payment. He emailed 2Waytraffic again to ask where the money was and after another week they replied saying that everything was in hand and that they now had the money ready, but before releasing it to his bank account he would need to pay a “bank release charge” of £2000. Mr. Ian was aghast, but agreed to send them the money and took out another loan in order to cover the cost of this.

However, when Peter went to his bank on Wednesday it was still not there. He told a reporter: “There was nothing in my account. I wonder if the other winners had to pay all these fees. I’m starting to think if there was ever any prize money at all.”

A spokesperson for Trading Standards yesterday said “Scams like this have been in operation for many years and can often go to elaborate lengths to look genuine, like setting up a television studio and cameras in order to look like a proper TV quiz show. In reality, the cameras aren’t running and the ‘shows’ never see the light of day. The follow-up emails are a classical sign of this type of scam, often demanding increasing sums of money in order to secure the ‘prize money’ – by this point the victim is so caught up in the scam that they willingly pay, figuring that the money on offer far outweighs the ‘bank charges’ they are being asked for. We always try and stress to people that if it looks too good to be true, it often is.”

 

[19/06/2009]

£ormula One in £inancial cri$i$

June 23, 2009

£ormula One is embedded in its biggest crisis since the withdrawal of tobacco sponsorship with eight of its biggest name teams announcing plans to start their own championship due to the lack of money in the current setup.

BMW-Sauber, Brawn, Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, Renault, Toro Rosso and Toyota have all put their names forward to a new billion-dollar Superleague, available exclusively on Setanta Sports pay-per-view, which they hope will revolutionise the way money is extracted from members of the public.

“The teams cannot continue to compromise on the fundamental F1 values of big money sponsorship and mass advertising and have decided to withdraw their entry forms for the 2010 world championship,” said a statement.

“These teams therefore have no alternative other than to commence the preparation for a new championship which reflects better financial value for its participants and partners.”

The governing FIA are now in turmoil, as they desperately need to find a group of new competitors to fill the void before the new season– at present there are 6 teams on standby: Ginsters, The Post Office, Quality Street, WHSmith, McVities and Asda.

The breakaway group said their new Superleague would encourage more advertising, listen to the wishes of sponsors and form a pressure group to lobby for the return of shady tobacco corporations to their rightful place – adorning the boards surrounding the edges of molten tar.

£ormula One billionaire Bernie Ecclestone was outraged, claiming the decision represented “greed beyond comprehension”. He went on to say: “These people get right up my cock, they really do. I can go home at the end of a hard day of F1-ing with a clear conscience – can they honestly say the same?”

It remains to be seen whether the new entrants, who have all agreed to race with a £40 petrol allowance, will still be willing to commit to the rigours of a gruelling season of £ormula One motor racing.

[19/06/2009]

Petrol – better than ever

June 23, 2009

The value of petrol rose again between mid-May and mid-June – and oil-lovers believe that its overall value could increase further, provided motorists are willing to pay more at the pumps.

The average value of petrol is now 102.66p a litre compared with 97.68p in mid-May and experts now reckon that overall quality of all petrol is now higher than ever before. The latest upsurge is exceeded only by the 5% improvement enjoyed by drivers at the same time last year.

The average quality of diesel has risen around 1% since last month and is now at an unprecedented high. According to a recent survey the best quality diesel can be found in East Anglia (105.5p a litre), whereas the north west of England languishes in last place on 104.1p a litre, though this is still considered by many to be of a good standard.

BP spokesman Peter Ian said: “In negative times like these, the massive rise in petrol quality comes as a welcome respite for all UK drivers – many of whom have lost their jobs, had their pay frozen or have seen savings income collapse with falling interest rates.

“This is testament to all the hard work put in by everyone involved in the process. From the workers in the oil yards of Saudi Arabia to the UK garage forecourt attendant, without any of whom none of what we’re witnessing today would have been remotely possible. Last year, huge demand for oil and fuels from China and other developing countries placed a massive strain on the entire production line, but everyone has pulled together to make sure the needs of all countries have been met and, most importantly, continually improving the quality of its output.”

So far, the quality of a barrel of oil has doubled from a December low of $35 a barrel to more than $70 and many are hoping that further improvements can see the rising standard of oil break the $100 before the end of the year.

 

[18/06/2009]

Duff Duffy advert ruins supermarket

June 23, 2009

A TV advert involving the singer Duffy cycling through a supermarket provoked a flurry of complaints from several unsuspecting shoppers.  

Duffy, who was featuring in the advert, sparked complaints from several aggrieved customers at the local Somerfield store – some of whom were forced into taking evasive action in order to avoid serious injury.

The commercial began with Duffy coming off stage after a triumphant one hour set before having some Coke backstage and cycling wide-eyed through the dark streets and into the store, knocking several display items on to the floor, then returning to her concert in time to perform an encore.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) were concerned that many viewers were offended by the flagrant disregard for Somerfield’s Health and Safety Policy, which states quite explicitly that “supermarket cyclists should wear protective head, knee and elbow gear at all times” and that the advert could also be seen to encourage the contravention of the Highway Code, which recommends that “reflective clothing [should] be worn at all times whilst cycling, particularly in crowded indoor spaces.”

There were also four complaints about whether the advert glorified the use of Coke, leading to youngsters copying her behaviour.

Producers argued that the advert was not meant to reflect reality, but rather “Duffy’s fantasy of a special Coke dream world far removed from the grey, concrete realities of dark wet roads and high street supermarkets.”

Nonetheless, the company said that Duffy had gone through a “vigorous” production process before appearing on screen to ensure that Coke had no adverse effects on her ability to cycle on public roads. In fact, as one bystander observed, it actually served to heighten her senses and make her more alert to her surroundings. “She was certainly looking sharp during filming”, said Peter Ian in an interview shortly afterwards, “You couldn’t stop her talking about it – she was really enthusiastic about the whole thing.”

After investigating, the ASA did not uphold the complaints, deciding that, despite advertisers’ assumption to the contrary, the viewing public aren’t complete fucking cretins (apart from those who complained, obviously).

 

[18/06/2009]