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Mary Portas, Peter Andre's Erotic Fiction, And Parliament

Sleuth 14/09/2012

Published on September 14th 2012.

Mary Portas, Peter Andre's Erotic Fiction, And Parliament

SleuthSleuthSleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week, it's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. He's several people all at once. We give £25 for every story/rumour and piece of absurdity you find for us to publish. Sleuth sometimes even gets serious. We ask for the money back if any legal action follows. Follow Sleuth on twitter @mcrsleuth

Mary Portas Stokes The Fires Of Regeneration

Sleuth learns that Mary Portas, the current guru of shopping regeneration, was in a fun mood during a North West business meeting this week. Stockport is one of the towns across the country that has been given £100,000 from the government’s Portas fund to help regenerate its retail centre, but it was another urban sprawl 25 miles south that was the focus of debate on the train up for Portas. She told guests at the business meeting that the ticket inspector had been staring at her for ages after checking her ticket, so she said, “Can I help you?” “Yes,” said the inspector, “when are you coming to Stoke, it’s shit.”

Stoke And Man Sporting The 'Stoke-Look'Stoke 2012, with man sporting the 'Stoke-look' featuring fashionable small racing dog

Sleuth’s Unfriendly Sign

Sleuth was wandering past the Quaker Friend’s Meeting House on Mount Street this week. “That’s not very friendly,” said a chum about the sign outside.

Unfriendly Meeting HouseUnfriendly Meeting House

Sleuth’s Facial Hair Of The Week Winners

The winners this week are Tony Cross of Manchester Astronomical Society with sideburns, and Matthew Frost of Manchester University Press with moustache. Tony is a 71-year-old Teddy Boy and recommends The Millstone on Thomas Street on a Monday for it's rock'n'roll night. The pair came across each other at the launch of the third Modernist Magazine at Manchester Art Gallery. This magazine celebrates Manchester's modernist buildings. Apparently both Tony and Matthew's facial hair are due to be 'listed' next week.

Rock around the faceRock around the face

Sleuth Invites Parliament To Manchester

The Palace of Westminster (House of Lords and House of Commons) is closing for a £1bn upgrade to rid the building of asbestos. Sleuth reckons Parliament should relocate to Manchester for the duration of the repairs, the 'real' second city and all that. There are numerous empty buildings across the city into which the expensive institution could relocate. Sleuth’s wondering which building to use though. City Tower? The Town Hall Extension? London Road Fire Station? The upper floors of the old Midland Bank above Jamie’s? Sleuth's already recommended that David Cameron could flat share with Confidential's publisher Gordo in his flat in the city centre.

Sleuth's Old Lime Bar Story - Indians And Fish

Sleuth has learnt that the site of the former Lime Bar at the Booth Street Clarence Street junction in the city centre - up from Croma and Piccolino - is about to be transformed into an Indian fish restaurant. How curious. More updates as the story develops.

Sleuth’s Best New Domestic Fashion Of The Year

This is the trend for Asian households to decorate their houses in showers of lights for weddings. This on Manchester Road, Whalley Range. Beautiful.

The Bright HouseThe Bright House

Sleuth’s Favourite Demolition Of The Week And New Favourite Building

Isn’t it lovely to see piss-poor architecture biting the dust? Here’s the old BBC building, Stalag Oxford Road, disappearing. Let’s hope something more interesting takes its place. Meanwhile Sleuth loves StudentCastle rearing up on the left of this picture – the editor has an interview with Stephen Hodder, the architect, going up on Confidential next week. Apparently the grey colours on StudentCastle are a pantone of grey to reflect the atmospheric conditions of the city. Sweet - if a little obvious.

Tear it down, build it upTear it down, build it up

Travelodge’s Book Remains

The news about the most frequently left books at Travelodges across the country has intrigued Sleuth. The top three books are Fifty Shades of Grey, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Hunger Games. Sleuth wonders if with the first book people on a budget are re-enacting the sexual domination scenes – it could be a campaign for Travelodge, ‘Bondage on a Shoestring with a Belt Strap’. And with The Hunger Games maybe guests are gently commenting on the famously ‘restricted’ food offering in Travelodges.

Happy PeterHappy PeterPeter Andre’s New Novel – An Extract

Sleuth loved this passage from Lynda Moyo’s interview with Peter Andre, a man famous for...er...something.

‘He (Andre) even said he’s considering writing a male version of the popular erotic fiction’ Fifty Shades of Grey.


Sleuth has exclusively learnt the working title of this new work of fiction.

It will be called Fifty Shades of Orange.

The original textThe original textHere’s an extract from the opening scene - maybe.

“Do it again,” she said breathlessly.

So across her naked body I stuck more autographed pictures of my oiled naked torso. These were taken in low sunlight to show off the ridges of my abs on a beach in the Seychelles.

“Harder,” she said pleadingly.

“Not bloody likely,” I said, “I’ve just had a manicure.”

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

AnonymousSeptember 14th 2012.


Good to see the back of the 'old' BBC building on Oxford Rd.

Its architecture was monolithic in a sinister style, very appropriate for a state broadcaster funded by threats of fines and criminal records, and which mainly provides junk broadcasting to keep the population off the streets.

And the building was a focus for lots of rentamob demos, which will hopefully now go to Salford Docks.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 15th 2012.

I recognise this comment - the same almost word for word as one posted on the MEN site by one of many right wing nutters that seem to inhabit readers' comments section on that website.

StephSeptember 17th 2012.

I wasn't a fan of the Student Castle when it was being built, it seems a bit boring and too big for the space it inhabits. However when I was down there on Saturday it looked great with the lights on and people moving around in the reception.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Ob1September 17th 2012.

I think the student castle building has more character than Beetham tower.

AnonymousNovember 24th 2012.

Ian Simpson would say he is not into character being a modernist. Form follows function and all that. But I expect we will find that's what the ST architect thinks too and the frippery of forms at the top have
only functional purpose and not a "new utopian ideal of spiritual harmony and order"

AnonymousNovember 24th 2012.

best seem then Steph where you can't see it ?

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