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Sleuth 05/03/2010

Elvis everywhere, Canned hookers, David Beckham mania, Norman Musa is the fastest chef in the land and Stephen Ireland's customised motor

Published on March 4th 2010.

Sleuth 05/03/2010

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week. 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.

Norman Musa: Manchester's fastest chef
Sleuth was in Ning on Oldham Street slurping a delicious green curry this week. "Is Norman Musa here, your lovely chef?" he asked, "I want to compliment him for this great meal." "No," came the reply, "he's just been made the Lotus Formula One team's official chef." The latter petrol-heads are largely financed by Malaysian money and Musa is perhaps the country's top Malaysian chef. But don't worry Ning fans, he'll only be away part of the year, the Oldham Street restaurant is still base camp, and at least we now have the fastest chef in the land if nothing else.

Elvis is humanity
Sleuth was co-presenting with Tony Livesey on Radio 5 on Wednesday night on Oxford Road. It was the fiftieth anniversary since Elvis Presley had spent an hour on British soil, so the BBC, had got an Elvis Impersonator into the studio from Eccles, aka Disgracelands. Nice fella, called Elvine Priestly, but in all his gear, close up, he was terrifying. Some people have a fear of clowns, Sleuth now has a fear of Elvis impersonators. For reasons Sleuth can't remember there was also a mathematician present. The Elvis guy said in 1977 when Elvis died there were only about 200 impersonators, now there's supposed to be something like 90,000. Sleuth could see the mathematician thinking. "According to that growth ratio,” he said, “the whole population of the planet will be Elvis impersonators by 2040". Sleuth is waking up sweating, looks like he'll have to become what he most fears.

New Islington fun
Sleuth was present at the formal donation of £4.4m from the NWDA to complete public works in Urban Splash's New Islington development, especially round the park and canals on Thursday. The assembled property press were there chatting about the upcoming MIPIM property convention in Cannes next week. “Last year,” one hack said, “I noticed the recession had really hit home. Cheshire Escorts didn't send any girls over - first time ever.” “What on earth would Cheshire Escorts go out there for?” said another. “Er...brokering million pound property deals of course,” said the first hack wondering if his fellow journalist could be that innocent.

Ritual humiliation of suits
Sleuth thinks maybe PR people and photographers are Marxists attempting to undermine democracy through making middle-aged men in suits look stupid – remember William Hague and the baseball cap? At the New Islington event above, Eddie Smith (New East Manchester), Paul Lakin (NWDA) and Tom Bloxham (Urban Spash) were made to wear ludicrously gaudy wellingtons sporting a fruit print – apparently a street in New Islington will be called Tutti Frutti. They then had to sit on a pier and splash their wellies in the water of the canal. “Do we really have to?” Bloxham asked like a five year old being made to eat cabbage. Here they are in the picture below. Suits are great but only go with other formal wear. You evil Marxist photographers you. Sleuth supposes that at least the Urban Splash boss was living up to his company name.

Beetham Rhythm
After expensive works were recently completed aimed at stopping the bizarre whistle coming from the 'blade' of Beetham Tower, Sleuth has an announcement to make. The whistle is back. A resident was woken by it this Friday morning. The whistle by the way sounds like a steam train coming down a tunnel while doing a ghost impersonation: it dominates the southern part of the city centre. Sleuth thinks maybe it's time to get rid of that odd blade feature and put something else up there, something with more practical application. Sleuth suggests B of the Bang.

Bizarre sex sells
Sleuth was reading his local paper, the soon to be Oldham Evening News, this week, when a story caught his eye. Aside from the fact the story was from Devon which seems a little distant to Manchester, it went: 'A huge stock of bizarre sex props including a Nazi uniform and clothes pegs were discovered by police during a raid on a suspected brothel.' Eh, thinks Sleuth? Clothes pegs? Did they find other alarming household items, maybe some forks, or some dusters? The story went on: 'Officers made the shock discovery after neighbours reported 'unusual activity' around the house in the quiet village of Lee Mill.' Maybe the occupants were just putting out the washing thinks Sleuth.

Beckham frenzy
Confidential gets lots of unusual requests. This is one we got this week, cut and pasted as written. 'Hi M.C. Have you any idea WHEN AC Milan's plane is arriving next week and where will they be staying? Hilton is fully booked, but I can't see the team being there - not that anyone would get even 50 miles near the drive. Yes I'm after David's autograph. Final option is to 'jump' the team at OT, who should be training over there 9th March. Nope I'm not a wanna-be-wag, I'm a granny that has got pretty much everyone apart from Heinze & Rudd on my grand daughter's shirt, and of course David Beckham. Please can you find out. Jo x (The mad gran :).' Sweet in a way, but on Jo, mad gran's Facebook, the gran looks more like a mad fan and she's become male as well. Is the strange man trying to catch us out? It certainly takes all sorts eh?

People's History Museum opens in West Bromwich
Sleuth went to Leftbank Cafe for lunch, the groovy restaurant of the People's History Museum. Paid. Got the receipt. The address on the receipt was The Public, West Bromwich: Britain's biggest recent white elephant of a museum/cultural attraction. The Public was designed by Will Alsop who also designed the Chips building in New Islington. The Public cost £65m and gets no visitors. None. Well maybe occasional school groups forced to go in. Perhaps, thinks Sleuth, The Public doesn't need the till any more because nobody's buying anything there, so they thought they'd donate it to Manchester's fine re-opened museum. All very odd.

World Cup disaster
Confidential correspondent and ex-MEN writer Neil Sowerby's world cup is over. On a travel assignment to Amsterdam for Manchester's best magazine he tripped on paving and broke his metatarsal. Despite the setback most football pundits believe he's still ahead of Michael Owen in the England pecking order for South Africa.

Stephen Ireland customises cars
Sleuth, while counting pennies out of his piggy bank to buy himself the odd pint or two, often wonders what it would be like to have so much money you don't know what to do with it. Stephen Ireland has the solution. The Manchester City midfielder has put his £100k plus Audi 8 motor into Autotrader (click here). But the motoring magazine also talks about the £250k Bentley that Ireland bought his girlfriend Jess Lawlor for a birthday present. Bless the lad, he changed the classic B badge of the Bentley brand to JL, his girlfriend's initials.

Sleuth's lies to tell tourists part nine
The Lord Mayor of Manchester's chain is made up of twisted fragments of ex-Manchester football players' hair. It is of no value whatsoever.

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

AnonymousMarch 5th 2010.

a wind farm disguised a BOB perhaps would be more PC on Beetham... would warm Ian Simpson's olive trees

Oscar WMarch 5th 2010.

As a dapper chappy one should always say no to the admonishments of snappers. Otherwise you end up looking - forgive me ladies - like a right twat.

AnonymousMarch 5th 2010.

Do the Cheshire ladies have testimonials from any golfers of footballers?

AgricolaMarch 5th 2010.

Apparently the Cheshire ladies like a golfer to be able to putt a hole in one quickly and efficiently before moving on to Russian prop developers who may want to impress them with the size of their yachts.

NeedtoknowbasisMarch 5th 2010.

What do Cheshire Escort girls actually offer?

KevinMarch 5th 2010.

I miss B of the Bang.

William ShakespeareMarch 5th 2010.

Ning makes me sing, it's food does something, that gets me dreaming, of lunching.

AnonymousMarch 9th 2010.

The mad gran was just on BBC news!!

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