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Sleuth 16/07/2011

Desperate Council parking ploy, going to the Doggs and Confidential bids for BSkyB

Published on July 15th 2011.

Sleuth 16/07/2011

“Manchester Confidential will bid for BSkyB.” 

Confidential has confirmed that it will be seeking to buy BSkyB.  

Speaking last night in the Manchester Festival Pavilion, Rupert Gordo and Rebekah Schofield held an impromptu press launch to announce that they would be making the city the centre of the hub of a new media empire.  

Rupert Gordo said: “I can confirm that it’s time to complete the portfolio of digital and broadcasting companies we’re now so well known for. 

"For Manchester it’ll be a return to the good old days when we were the second media centre outside London. Of course with London Confidential now up and running and with BSkyB muscle behind us we intend to rule that city as well.”  

Rebekah Schofield told the assembled reporters, surprised revellers and Roger Stephenson, “We’ll be pursuing an independent editorial line, building on our considerable record for impartial, vigorous, reporting. We’ll be calling all the people in this Pavilion later with further information. We have your numbers – which reminds me, could Mr Jenkins at the back leave off pawing the young PR lady, his wife has left several messages asking him to come home.”  

Rebekah Schofield was also asked about balance with news coverage.  “All our stories will have balance until about the eighth pint then we and the stories will lose balance and we’ll make things up. Unlike other Manchester based media we feel we have a clear responsibility to keep establishments such as The Castle Pub, Cicchetti, The Mark Addy, Harvey Nichols, Black Dog Ballroom, Zaika, Vertigo, The Malmaison (another forty establishments were listed) in business.”  

So how were the pair going to celebrate their surprise bid for BSkyB?  

Rupert Gordo said, “I’m going to buy myself a new young wife. The present one is in her forties now and I could do with one a good deal younger.” 

Rebekah Brooks-Schofield said, “I’ll enjoy moving to Manchester now I’ve resigned and will run whatever I’m given responsibility for with all the integrity for which I am so very famous. I'll always be right as usual.”  

Prime Minister David Cameron has given approval for the bid, “We want someone running BSkyB with clear links to the Dutch entertainment and leisure industries.” 

Nick Jaspan of media and marketing website How-Do.co.uk will be running an incredulous follow-up to this story later in the day.

Other Sleuth news 

Dog v Dogg

The Black Dog Ballroom in the Northern Quarter is to change its name. Sleuth hears that to celebrate Snoop Dogg's Manchester International Festival headline performance of Doggystyle, the NY speakeasy-format Black Dog Ballroom, under Afflecks, has been renamed, with an extra G. The owners of the newly christened Black Dogg Ballroom have invited the star to meet Bruce, the bar's mascot black Patterdale terrier, after the show in the bar's secret members' pin protected Ballroom. Sleuth meanwhile has requested that the Manchester International Festival force the Apollo Theatre - where Snoop Dogg is performing - to rename their VIP bar area Sleuth Dogg. 

Picture4 - CopyBlack Dogg Boarded

Sleuth thinks the Black Dog(g) is getting a bit obsessed about Bruce. There’s a Mark Kennedy mosaic of the little chap due to appear next to the bar’s entrance. It’s currently lurking behind a board as the building owners Bruntwood forgot to get the requisite planning permission. Sleuth learns that the little fella's image will be out in the open soon though. 

Sleuth’s Street Recognition of the Week

Sleuth got off the new Chorlton tram in St Peter’s Square this week and saw on the nearby hoarding surrounding the Town Hall Extension refurbishment a familiar face. This was of a dramatically back-lit Matt ‘the Bike’. Matt ‘the Bike’ has been a cycle courier in the city centre since the invention of the bicycle in 1839, and edits the occasional Manchester mag, Belle Vue. He’s quoted about his love of the city on the hoarding but pictured without his bike, yet still titled Matt ‘The Bike’. This may be a tad confusing for people and visitors who don’t know of him thinks Sleuth. They might think it some token of sexual prowess that needs civically commemorating. 

Whitworth Park 010Manchester’s stolen conversations

Sleuth’s good friend Atalanta of Flixton was stood waiting for the train home recently at Deansgate Station after her Spanish lesson, when she was pleased to overhear the following conversation between two women.

Both were sat texting when A said, "Eh, have you heard what the Beckhams have called their baby?"

B:  "No, what?"

A:  "Harper Seven Beckham"


A:  "Harper Seven?"

B: "Yep."

[another pause]

A: "Harper Seven?

[yet another disbelieving pause]

A: "Seven?"

[yet another disbelieving pause, but she didn't pause her texting]

A: "Fuck me, what are they gonna call their next? Apollo 13?" 

Sleuth’s most worrying graffiti of the week

Sleuth found this apocalyptic script while walking down Rochdale Canal from Ancoats. He’ll be back next week with an aerosol to add: ‘Love everybody’. The week after it’ll be ‘Tickle everybody’. Don’t worry folks Sleuth is determined to reverse the negativity down on the towpath. 

Dubowitz 087Sleuth’s black bird of the week

Sleuth loved Damon Albarn and Rufus Norris’ Dr Dee opera in Manchester International Festival last week. Marvellous show, click here for our review. He especially liked the live raven that flew from the back of the Palace auditorium to the stage as part of the show. Sleuth learns that the raven is called Scooby.  Apparently later in the week it solved the mystery of the Palace Theatre ghost along with some interfering kids – turns out it was old Mr Grimshaw the caretaker who was trying to scare everybody away from the theatre so he could get to the ancient gold mine beneath. 

Street Art Msc 007Sleuth’s favourite hat of the week

Sleuth spotted this man in Whalley Range just after a sudden shower of rain. It wasn't going to keep much of him dry thought Sleuth, but it was very jolly.

Rose Garden 036Sleuth’s desperate Council measure of the week

Confidential has been campaigning to stop the city council’s daft notion of extending on-street parking charges to seven days a week and later into the evening. The Councillor in charge, Nigel Murphy, claims that we need the extension as a traffic calming measure to ease congestion - click here. Confidential and most of the readers think Manchester hardly has traffic congestion in the sense London or Madrid has. So when Sleuth saw this on the Central Library portico he wondered if the Council hadn't lost it: taking point scoring about parking and congestion to ridiculous extremes? 

Whitworth Park 029

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week, it's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. We give £25 for every story/rumour and piece of absurdity you find for us to print. We ask for the money back if any legal action follows. Follow Sleuth on twitter @Sleuth


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23 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Simon SmithJuly 15th 2011.

I'd rather have BSkyB in Manchester than the BBC.

At least I can choose whether or not to buy Sky TV without worrying about a fine and a criminal record for the heinous crime of using my own TV in my own home.

Why is it we can choose to buy trash TV from private broadcasters but we are forced to buy it from the government? And just why is the government involved in making junk entertainment like Eastenders and Casualty anyway?

1 Response: Reply To This...
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Simon TurnerJuly 15th 2011.

Hilarious comment above. Is the Government involved in making Casualty? If so, can it be arranged for Michael Gove to fall under a lorry real soon.

AnonymousJuly 15th 2011.

To be fair about the car on the library, it's probably just someone getting in first nabbing the spot, once the parking charges come in it will probably be the only free place you can park in the city after 6pm

John NuttallJuly 15th 2011.

Confidential should definitely take over BSkyB only Gordo could rival Rupert Murdoch as the truely unacceptable face of capitalism

Andrea TimoneyJuly 15th 2011.

Are the council just on a mission to piss all the MCR residents off?! Who the f*ck authorised the use of our beautiful, iconic central library as adverstising space?? Seeing my favourite building in the whole city prostituted out to Peugout is disappointing to say the least!

Simon SmithJuly 15th 2011.

How is the government involved in the making of Casualty, Mr Turner?

It funds every single penny of its manufacture.

The government levies a tax on TV use and gives the revenue to the BBC. Some of the cash is used to make Casualty.

Like all taxes, if you don't pay the TV tax you face criminal prosecution.

To make sure the BBC makes exactly the kind of dross the government wants it to, the government appoints every single one of the BBC's controlling body and has a big say in the appointment of the most senior executive BBC staff.

AS I said above, I'd much rather have Sky in Manchester than the BBC's vast new canalside venture. Investment from a successful, multi-billion private corporation like Sky would be a real coup for the region. Investment from the BBC is effectively just government dictated relocation of public sector jobs from a rich region to a poorer one, and highlights the relative weakness of our economy.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
John NuttallJuly 15th 2011.

Spot on Simon, these people who bang on about the wonders of public spending just don't get it, it's THEIR money, extorted under threat of incarceration with bugger all say in how it's squandered

Simon TurnerJuly 15th 2011.

"Squandered?" The license fee is how much? £3 a week for all the radio channels BBC1-5, 6Music etc. Plus BBC's 1,2,3,4. Plus iPlayer etc, plus BBC online, plus local BBc stations and local news. You think that's money "squandered?". And you're recommending SKY??? The output of most Sky channels makes EastEnders look like King Lear. It's about £13-£18 a week for Sky if you want the sports, and I can't think why you would want Sky if it wasn't for sport. AND they're not publicly accountable. 4 or 5 times more expensive.

Simon SmithJuly 15th 2011.

Mr Turner, £3 per week for such trash might represent good value to you, but don't assume it does to everyone. If you want the BBC's dross I have no objection to you and other like-minded people paying for it, but I object to being compeleed to chip in to subsidise your taste in TV and radio.

If you want trash like Eastenders, Casualty and lots of teenage radio stations I'd be grateful if you'd pay for them yourself with the help of others who enjoy the same rubbish.

AnonymousJuly 15th 2011.

Is this true?

Mark GarnerJuly 15th 2011.

What man in a hat?

SleuthJuly 15th 2011.

Dear Anon, course it's true. We need a TV channel to really push forward with our agenda. We'll be dining at No10 soon. You just watch us gu

CBJuly 16th 2011.

Sky doesn't have a comments page on their website for every bored crank to whine and whinge on.

Jeanvd shared this on Facebook on July 21st 2011.
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