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Sleuth 08/06/07

George Michael admits guilt and a German is almost relieved

Published on June 8th 2007.


Sleuth 08/06/07

Man at the top
Sleuth was a guest at the Annual Dinner of Manchester Art Gallery on Wednesday. The prize draw at the end of the evening offered cocktails for four in Ian ‘the Man in Black’ Simpson’s top floor flat in Beetham Tower. Sleuth was surprised when Manchester’s most commissioned architect didn’t stand up come the big moment. “Why doesn’t he announce the winners himself?” said Sleuth to the lovely duo of Virginia Tandy, gallery boss, and Val Young, chief fundraiser who likes to style herself ‘Valerie from the Gallery’. “He’s shy, likes to keep out of the limelight”, they replied sashaying to the stage in a flurry of ball gowns. Shy? Ian Simpson? The man who’s built himself a flat you can see from sixty miles away, is shy? The man who will nest almost six hundred feet above the city at the crown of a huge phallic symbol and peer down on us like a demi-god, is shy? Sleuth wondered if there was a shrink in the room to explain it all.

Brand disaster
At the same do Sleuth also had a chat with a dapper Peter Mearns, Director of Marketing at North West Development Agency. The talk was all about an upcoming food and drink festival in the town in which he resides. “So which town is that?” said Sleuth. “Mold,” said Mearns. “Hmmm,” said Sleuth, “The Mold Food and Drink Festival. Do they specialise in Stilton?”

George Michael upstaged
Sleuth was invited to Room at the top of King Street earlier this week for a drink with Zoe Vaughan-Davies, aka ‘Honesty PR’ as she never lays the bullshit on. This is a quality as rare in PR as a Conservative councillor in Manchester. Her buddy Anna Greenwood from the Comedy Store was with her, hovering ecstatically near the ceiling. Anna’s a DJ with Guilty Pleasures in her spare time, and her elevated mood was down to the fact she’d just been offered the biggest gig of her life. Apparently George Michael’s people admire the clubnight at the city’s One Central Street and want them to DJ his gigs at Wembley this weekend, and at the City of Manchester Stadium next Friday. “That’ll be in front of 90,000 people in London. Each night. It’s absurd,” Anna said bubbling over. Well done to Guilty Pleasures, thought Sleuth musing that the name was perfect for George Michael and his clandestine habits.

Tarred, feathered and plastered
Anna has a plan for George Michael. When Guilty Pleasures’ boss, Sean Rowley, accepted the gig he called Anna and both decided to wear costumes. “I got carried away. I was thinking Studio 54, New York, Bianca Jagger on a white horse. It had to be an Indian headdress didn’t it?” she said. Sleuth didn’t follow the logic but gallantly offered the services of Manchester Confidential in finding said headgear. It wasn’t easy, the days of Cowboys and Indians are over. Back at Room for City Loft’s extravagant launch of the Milliners Wharf development up on Pollard Street, Sleuth presented the only such item currently for sale in this whole city. “Thanks,” she said doubtfully, trying it on and wondering if it was suitable for wearing in front of 90,000 people. “It cost £2.50,” admitted Sleuth, “but it’s very rare.” “Hmm,” said Anna, “thanks again, but Flic Everett is going to make me a proper one.” Sleuth had to admit that writer and retailer La Everett is probably better qualified for this sort of thing but still went off to the bar to for a sulk.

Huge face problem
Knocking back the Cusqueña beers, Sleuth was joined for a brief moment by the aforementioned Zoe Vaughan-Davies who’d organised the event. Given the name of the City Loft’s development, Milliner’s Wharf, the event had been themed on hats. “I learnt something from this,” she mused. “The woman who supplied the headwear said people with monstrous faces shouldn’t wear tiny hats.” Ah the eternal verities of life. Sleuth pondered the correct method of telling people they have a monstrous face.

Radio Daze
Sleuth also had a chat with part of the BBC Radio Manchester team: John Ryan, boss of the station, Toby Whitehouse, the best-looking male radio producer in town, and Becky ‘the Princess’ Want, broadcaster par excellence. They were looking forward to the rescheduling on Monday when Eamonn O’Neill and Diane Oxberry take over Terry Christian’s breakfast slot, with the Manc motormouth taking the reins for the early evening Drive show. The Princess will be doing the 2pm-4pm show which includes the Property section on Thursdays. Sleuth thinks she may have engineered this to her own advantage. The Princess is partial to champagne in the same way as Sleuth’s colleague Gordo is partial to pies. Property launches normally overflow with bubbly and this one was no exception with 200 plus bottles disappearing on the night. The Princess claims she knows nothing about 195 of them.

Hands-on treatment
Changing tack completely Sleuth was entertained by another example of cultural confusion this week. There was a party of German businessmen in town and Sleuth was guiding them around in his usual ambassadorial role. They loved the place. They’d liked the buildings, the shops, the art galleries and so forth. “And the people are really friendly,” said one. Too friendly perhaps. A member of the party, Hauke had returned to his hotel one afternoon, hankering as Germans frequently do, for a sauna. The hotel didn’t have one. He remembered he’d seen a place which he thought might have a sauna round the corner in Chinatown, after all it did advertise itself as a ‘massage parlour’, and went to investigate. “I thought it did not look clean from the outside,” he said. “But when I went in it was very clear that it was for sex. A woman asked me if I wanted hand-relief.” Hauke paused, “and I don’t think she meant with beauty creams.”

Call to arms – WIN £25.
Dear readers, Sleuth wants to give you money. Anybody who sends in a Sleuth story to editor@manchesterconfidential.co.uk
which we then subsequently publish, will receive twenty-five English pounds, yes £25. Any stories, scandalous or curious, any insider tales from the public or private sector which you think we need to know we will welcome with open wallets.

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

Mike BarnettJune 8th 2007.

Gilles - you mean fewer mistakes, not less mistakes.

GillesJune 8th 2007.

Thanks for the offer of supplementing my income with £25. But just like you Partridge, I find it easier to criticise than create, and like you, I'm no journalist. As Mike recognises!

Peter XJune 8th 2007.

No, I am Sleuth

MorrisseyJune 8th 2007.

I am Morrissey and I have exploding powder kegs between my legs.

GillesJune 8th 2007.

Sorry for the delay George: I was just taking my medicine. You've neglected to tell me what the point of it is? You've merely said another publication's diary is equally bad. I agree. And I'm presuming you mean, stop posting on it? How could it improve your life if I stopped reading it: you wouldn't know.

LoxieJune 8th 2007.

Ooer!..all getting a bit bitchy and fractious for a Friday afternoon 'aint it?Why not just sort it that when the next party full of free beer and minor celebs is on in town, Gilles can go along on behalf of Man Con and either ignore everyone or poo poo the whole affair and bugger off home with a feeling of moral superiority and self satisfaction of being above such frivolity, OR get smashed on free booze with me and Gordo and chuck nibbles and nuts at passing posh folk! ..Always a winner with me mate!Mind you I am a bit shallow! Wahey!!!!

George HansonJune 8th 2007.

So are you going to stop reading it Gilles? I think it would be better for all our sakes. Diary and famous people? This is Manchester and there aren't enough. Look at the MEN Diary, how many times do we see Hollyoaks z-listers.

GillesJune 8th 2007.

Miranda, thanks for the kind words but I could not. This type of column, where the champagne always 'overflows' - naturally - in tandem no doubt with waterfalls of idiotic tittle-tattle, is completely without point and rather distasteful. Added to that, is Sleuth's vain presumption that we want his views. Are they informed? Witty? Profound? Exposing injustice? Nope, nope, thrice nope. Who is he? The writing style is not Gordo's. Can anyone mail in and unmask the man in the mac?

GordoJune 8th 2007.

Andm whats all this about product placement? Is this something about the case of cusquena beer that keeps arriving in Sleuths office next to the gents?

ShaJune 8th 2007.

No, I am Sleuth

GillesJune 8th 2007.

ps. Mr T. I've never had 'an' lofty comeback in my life

BoJune 8th 2007.

unlike some of the other articles on this site.

Mr TJune 8th 2007.

You ate them all :P

GillesJune 8th 2007.

Thanks George. You're spot on. I am definitely missing the point here. Could you tell me what the point of it is? And, yes, I've read diary pages. They tend to be about people you've heard of, right? And they tend to be less didactic, right?

mirandaJune 8th 2007.

That was the funniest thing I have read on here all week- maybe you should hire Gilles? If he could bear to schmooze at the freebie parties that is.

BrianJune 8th 2007.

Gilles, pick your targets hey? Your way wide of the mark here.

BrianJune 8th 2007.

Di Dactic is a gay Welsh dalek. Camp as a row of tents in a windy Welsh valley.

GillesJune 8th 2007.

You're right Loxie. Sleuth's been slain for another week so off now to get absolutely annihilated and behave atrociously. Naturally, I won't write about it afterwards in a hectoring fashion, nor regale anyone with tedious facts from every twit I meet who can sort me some freebies. Incidentally, George is so obviously Sleuth pretending to be dumber than he normally is - the mind boggles. And Sleuth's probably the editor judging by the response listing all the other articles -'the last two weeks, "we've" had' We? Why he speak for we when a columnist? I claim my ten pounds! Toodle pip.

George HansonJune 8th 2007.

Gilles, honestly stop being so childish. And stupid. Sleuth - and social issues? It's not the point of Sleuth methinks. Have you ever read any diary pages before? Simple stop reading the thing if you don't like it.

SimonJune 8th 2007.

Come on, that's a bit strong. I'm sure several people from Manchester's excuse for the pr and media industries will enjoy reading about themselves on here. However, as for the rest of us...

Mr TJune 8th 2007.

I think it means he's spent 20 minutes reading a dictionary trying to collect the appropriate amount of clever adjectives for an lofty come back.

SleuthJune 8th 2007.

Gilles, thanks for those gentle thoughts. But there is much more to Manchester Confidential than Sleuth. In the last two weeks or so we've had stories about restaurants, bars, art, architecture, theatre, cinema, fashion, health, property, visitor attractions and so on. That variety will increase as the site develops. There is plenty to read aside from Sleuth so why not have a look through those stories. Sleuth will have more variety too and hey, here's an idea. Why don't you use those sharp, well-honed, writing skills to get that £25 we're offering for good stories?

gezzyJune 8th 2007.

Gilles, time for your medicine me thinks..

Jane Way (Captain)June 8th 2007.

No, I am Sleuth

George HansonJune 8th 2007.

No I am George Hanson

GordoJune 8th 2007.

Where are the pies?

BoJune 8th 2007.

You can say a lot of things about Sleuth but at least he's not a paid for insert masquerading as an article. Or if he is paid for it's in canapes and free booze, clearly.

GillesJune 8th 2007.

Well done Partridge. Less mistakes this week. But there's still a problem. Namely, who in Manchester finds such self-indulgent twaddle interesting? Aren't blogs designed for bores? You've recited, almost verbatim, trivial conversations with non-entities I've never heard of. Or indeed, care for. Some obscure PR you find really honest. How fascinating. I met a nice bloke at the Gas station today and...no, I won't bore you with it. What's the point? The laboured riff on Ian Simpson being shy. Yawn. Anyone else out there find someone freeloading at various dinners, then recounting their dull chats of interest? Even a decent writer like A.A.Gill would struggle to make this piffle interesting. Can't your best writer Gordo have a bash? And yet more product placement: 'Cusqueno' beers indeed. Is that the one with the lemon holding it?

GordoJune 8th 2007.

What does didactic mean?

mirandaJune 8th 2007.

Though a little enthusiastic for my taste I don't see any reason to disagree Gilles- at least he is more entertaining than the actual article. It seems to me there is a split between those who want to read about vapid freeloading and those who don't (Sleuth is truly a less attractive Paris Hilton. And that's saying something.) But at least Heat et al don't advertise themselves as incisive comment- instead of telling those who don't like it to go read something else why doesn't Manchester Confidential try to live up to the expectations they have encouraged?

GordoJune 8th 2007.

Gilles for Editor!!!

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