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I found something to laugh about

I giggled stupidly while watching the BBC television news last night. "Why?" I hear your cry. Was it, perhaps, one of those cutesy cheerful end-of-news stories in some sort of "and finally" report? You know the sort of thing:

And finally, Lawrence the flatulent impotent turtle has found a novel solution to his problems. His owner, Mary Montague, has connected a tube from his arsehole to the base of his penis. So, every time Lawrence farts, he inflates his private parts. His owner is delighted and hopes she'll be able to mate him with next door's turtle, Persephone, once they've worked out how to mask the smell in order to get her in the mood. [Anchor man's witty comment] Mrs Montague's solution has certainly taught us a thing or two, goodnight, and don't have nightmares.

No! It was not one of those reports. This is the BBC news after all. Nor was I confused about the difference between the real BBC news and the pastiche offered by Alistair McGowan, who has put words into the Welsh newsreader's mouth (I'm sorry I cannot remember his name) like:

From Merthyr, this picture forger is known as the Merthyr Faker...

No, last night's bullet was comical because it related to tabloid speculation that Ulrika Jonsson and football manager Sven Goran Eriksson are connected in more ways than just via their unnecessary double s's in their surnames. Speculation about their alleged affair, has been in the tabloids for a few days. However, the BBC cannot be seen to be getting its hands dirty by reporting on the Ten O'clock News that they may be having an affair. No, the BBC must maintain the moral high ground. So, what do they do? Well, they report on the tabloids and other newspapers having a field day. Yes, they tell the story of the media attention in a vain attempt to divert from the fact that they're adding to the rumours.

The report, which can still (at the moment) be seen on the BBC website (although this link shows the last news, so you're not guaranteed to see the report in question), goes as far as showing you the pages of the tabloid which refer to the allegations and telling you what they say. However, the report takes pains to emphasise that it's only talking about the existence of the media attention... cop out!

I feel sympathetic towards Ms Jonsson. She may be a little over exuberant on TV sometimes, and she may come across as one of those unseemly ladettes, but let's look at what the lady has going for her:

All in all, I would rather that the BBC had either kept quiet, or gone the whole hog and just told the story. Still, it gave me a laugh!

21 April 2002
Ashley Frieze