Dog watches dog 25.11.04

Moustache can’t hide that feeling

If there was a competition for Best Picture of Celebrity Failing To Hide How Much He Hates Journalists, this would win it.

Cold Feet star James Nesbitt ( and sometime philanderer, exposed
more than once by tabloid hacks) does his best to pose happily with the
Daily Star Sunday team, victors of a soccer quiz to launch Granada’s
new DVD Eat My Goal . But even the Zapata moustache can’t hide the
thinness of that smile.

Reverse auction craze takes off

Look out for more “reverse auctions” in the nationals after a
Scottish family this week won a £20,000 dream holiday on Antigua for
just £5.60.

The Scotsman’s reverse auction, one of the first to be run in a national, attracted 20,000 entries.

Run over seven days, readers entered bids of between £500 and £1,
with the aim of being the lowest unique bid by midnight, Saturday.

Ben Wallace, promotions manager of The Scotsman , said interest in
the competition built up over the week: “It started quite slowly, with
just 1,500 bids on the first day; but once people started getting
e-mails and messages saying that their entry was not the lowest unique
bid, I think the excitement about the auction became quite infectious.”

The Scotsman’s auction was run in conjunction with British Airways Holidays and QXL Smartbids.

Express sports desk down to its last £20

Ignominy beckons for the many sports desk suckers at The Sun and The Daily Express.

They were among a number of national teams to be given a pot of cash
by online gambling company Betfair, with the aim of trying to win money
for charity by using their immense knowledge of all things sporting.

The 29 teams have 10 days to gamble their way to a charitable fortune, starting with a stake of £250.

After a frenetic opening to the competition, the Express & Star
in Wolverhampton is riding high at the top of the table, having
increased their stake to a whopping £448 after just four days. Just
behind them, on £431, is the Irish Times .

But languishing tragically at second bottom of the league is the
Currant Bun crew, whose pot has fallen by more than £200, to 46 quid.

Like many a mug punter before them, they got a bit excited on the
opening day and blew almost all their stake on Arsenal beating West
Brom. (The Sun backing Arsenal? That wouldn’t have happened when super
Gunner Piers Morgan was in the enemy camp).

Still, at least they’re spared the real embarrassment of being last.
That honour goes, so far, to The Express who have just £20 left in the

Their team started with a big win at Aintree but have backed a
procession of duds ever since. With seven days to go, will they chase
their losses and end up shirtless? Watch this space.

A degree of favouritism …?

Greg Dyke, who is going to be installed as Chancellor of the
University of York on December 3, has made three nominations for
luminaries to receive honorary degrees at the same ceremony.

One is Helen Boaden, now the BBC’s Director of News, who was
controller of Radio 4 when the station was mired in the political storm
which led to Mr Dyke’s resignation as Director General of the BBC
earlier this year.

Also nominated for honours by the new Chancellor will be writer and
broadcaster, Lord Bragg, and Chair of the Campaign for Racial Equality
Trevor Phillips, both former colleagues of Greg Dyke at London Weekend
Television in the 1980s A case, you might say, of scrolls for the boys
(and girl).


Practice makes perfect repetition

Readers of Tuesday’s Evening Standard who had been at the BSME
awards on Monday might have had a sense of dèja-vu on reading Piers
Morgan’s column in the paper. It was, joke for joke, an exact replica
of the speech he had given at the awards bash the night before.

Good to see he’s already learnt one of the key freelance rules: maximise the use of your material.


Closer look at pix reveals a mystery

What would Sherlock Holmes have made of The Intriguing Case of the
Diverted Pictures , involving those arch rivals of the celebrity
magazine world, Reveal and Closer ? Dog hears rumours of shady goings
on involving a set of exclusive celebrity pictures that had been
promised to Reveal . But someone, somehow, tried to divert the red-hot
snaps to the Closer offices. Whispers suggest the involvement of a
cunning freelance, who tried to re-route the pictures by supplying the
wrong address. And the plot thickens with the existence of an audio
tape featuring a key conversation at the heart of the mystery.

Reveal ‘s publishers, NatMags, will only issue this statement: ” …
an incident did occur. It has been dealt with satisfactorily and we
have no further comment to make.”

Is there more to this than meets the eye? As the great man probably wouldn’t have said: “It’s a lame celebrity, my dear Watson.”

A Mark Twain moment for John Luby. Not dead, but “studying in Birmingham”. Some might say that amounts to the same thing.

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