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Sleuth 07/09/2007

Identity theft, pedalos, marriage and a brave new festival for the city, plus you can win free beer

Published on September 7th 2007.

Sleuth 07/09/2007

Familiar face
Manchester 235, the casino, entertainment and jolly good eating establishment off Deansgate had a shock last week. They found out they'd been the victims of identity theft. The Leo Continental Hotel, located in Secunderabad in Southern India has decided to borrow the Manchester venue’s website in its entirety. Not only have the same graphics, font and colours been used but also a CGI of the Italian dishes available at 235’s Numero restaurant - www.leocontinental.com.
Fortunately Manchester 235 had just re-designed its website so the potential for people from, say, Timperley, getting lost and ending up in Secunderabad has been reduced.

Sleuth read this signboard with interest. How long was she kept on for?

Multiplication tables
Sleuth attended the Circle Club debate on the successes and failures of Manchester International Festival (MIF). He had a chat with Anne Tucker, a thoughtful and passionate event organiser, well-known nation wide and famous in Manchester for her work in Platt Fields Park and for the much missed Streets Ahead. She loved the festival but had this point to make: “The total budget for festivals in this city is just under £1m, the budget for Manchester International Festival was closer to £7m. Ok less than a third of this was public money, but was a festival of eighteen days really seven times better than all the others put together?” Given its impact, Sleuth possibly thinks so, as does Manchester’s Creative Director. “This was an opportunity to sell the city through the arts,” Peter Saville had said earlier. “You have to understand that a different type of event aimed at a purely local audience simply wouldn’t have achieved the same coverage.”

2009 depends on David Gale
The Circle Club debate on Tuesday attracted the big guns. Along with Peter Saville, the Creative Director for Manchester, was Alex Poots, the Festival Director. After about half an hour Poots left whilst the panel (the jovial and astute Kevin Bourke of the MEN, the clever Ali Dunican of the Green Room and the utterly professional Helen Palmer of MIF) was still speaking. Peter Saville, who co-opted himself onto the panel from a sofa in amongst the audience explained the Festival Director’s hasty exit. “He wanted to stay but he’s having dinner with Sir Howard Bernstein right now seeing if we’re going to have a Festival in 2009.” Sleuth learns the venue was City Inn, let’s hope chef David Gale, really turned it on that night.

Initial confusion
There were lots of emails flying around about the MIF debate. At the same time there’ve been lots of messages flying around about MLF - Manchester Literature Festival which is coming along in October. This led to some confusion in the Manchester Confidential office. Perhaps in 2009 we should the run the two concurrently, call it Manchester International and Literature Festival. Or MILF. That should attract a diverse and more mature level of audience and performance.

Ex-poster boy
Norwegian footy player Solksjaer’s retirement so early in the season last week seems to have taken the Manchester United hierarchy by surprise - particularly the merchandising arm of the club. The announcement came out as a press statement for the British media but as a press conference for the Norwegian media. At the very moment the Scandinavian journalists gathered at Old Trafford, the other players were being assembled for another official team photo elsewhere in the stadium. Ole had been very prominent on the front row of the posters prior to the hasty re-photographing. How inconsiderate of the merchandising business plan to retire just two weeks into the season.

City centre parking made easy
Manchester Confidential has always appreciated the City Council’s parking policy. Here’s one of their snazzy new surveillance vehicles enjoying a splendid abuse of power in the Northern Quarter.

Young love
Saturday was New Islington festival and a smorgasbord of fun in this rapidly changing district of the city. There was the obligatory stage for the local youths to rap about their life experience: country walks, reading with daddy, making lemonade with mummy, helping homosexual friends come out, that sort of thing. At one point Sleuth’s attention was caught by a young lady on stage in a tracksuit which didn’t quite cover her mid-region. “Ian,” she bellowed into the microphone, “come up on stage, let’s get married, I love you.” There was no movement in the crowd. Nobody came forward. “Ian, you’re a fucking wanker,” said the maiden, “you’re finished”.

Where’s Sleuth
Romance aside Sleuth loved New Islington festival. Amongst the many good things were some performing gorillas and the Mixtape Morris Dancers dressed in Burberry – Urban Folk was the theme of the festival. Sleuth’s favourite part was the new boating lake. Indeed he spent all weekend repeating like a half-wit the phrase ‘pedalos in Ancoats’. So poetic, so unexpected. As a result here's a little challenge for Manchester Confidential readers. Click on the picture below and find Sleuth – then fill in the box to win six bottles of Marble Arch brewery’s fine ales which were present at the Festival.

Click on the pic below to find Sleuth and win beer.

To be in with a chance of winning the beer enter your details in the form below.

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