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Sleuth 14/12/2007

The Russians are coming and Manchester turns into New York

Published on December 14th 2007.

Sleuth 14/12/2007

Sleuth’s 2007 Xmas e-card
Dear whoever. In a measure designed to reduce his carbon footprint, Sleuth has decided not to send out any Christmas cards this year except electronic ones. This saves on having to bother choosing and buying cards, writing and posting them. Hey isn’t all this Green stuff a splendid excuse for rudeness. So Merry whatever from Sleuth. Bothered? xx

Rusholme Russians
The first Russian restaurant in the city centre has arrived on Sackville Street. Called St Petersburg it’s an offshoot of a Liverpool venue. Confidential sales staff remember a meeting there and being offered vodka at 11am. This didn’t surprise Sleuth, he recalls taking three Russian journalists around not so long ago. It was Sunday at 2am, they wanted vodka for a drink in their hotel bedrooms, and they didn’t want to pay hotel prices. So we trundled in a taxi to Rusholme. One of the journos went into a restaurant and came back waving a vodka bottle. He opened the taxi door, there was brief conversation and then he spun round and went back into the restaurant. “What’s he doing?” Sleuth asked. “He’s getting another bottle. One wouldn’t be enough,” came the reply.

Web derailment
Crain’s, Manchester Business, a new weekly business newspaper, launches on Monday. The 32-page paper will be weekly from 4 February. For the first edition Sleuth hears that Council Leader, Sir Richard Leese, and Peel Holdings MD, Andrew Simpson, were asked to go head-to head to debate the Transport Innovation Fund (TIF). Both were happy to do so until Crain’s asked if they could video the confrontation and post it on their website. Sir Dickie, pro TIF and ever the performer, was happy to oblige. Simpson decided that discretion was the better part of valour and declined. Given all the recent boxing fever, this was a clear victory on points for the Council Leader.

Name game
Crain’s are based in City Tower in the old Piccadilly Plaza. After tarting up York Street on the other side of the complex from the Gardens, the street has been renamed New York Street. New Islington began this twenty-first century trend for copycatting names from bigger cities. Two hundred years ago Manchester went through a bout of deferential place naming, hence Piccadilly. The Victorians reversed this, too proud to pander to forelock tugging. Sleuth thinks we ought to do the same: name copying is sycophantic - unbecoming in fact.

Driven to drink
A hotline where people can report drink drivers has been set up by Greater Manchester Police. Callers can give details of anyone they see behind the wheel who is drink driving (or even driving badly). The phone line will operate 24 hours a day but will be on voicemail between 4pm and 7.30am. Sleuth loves the nonsense of this. So that would be exactly when most people are likely to drink and drive. And also, surely by the time Police respond, the culprits will have sobered up.

How don’t
Nick Jaspan, the editor of online North West media website How-do,was at Nordoff Robbins charity do at the Metropolitan pub in West Didsbury on Wednesday. He nodded at Gordo, pointed at the lady next to the gastronome, and said, “So is this your latest squeeze, Gordo, hey, hey?” “No,” said Gordo, “I think you’ll find this is Sharon and she’s the mother of the editor’s children.” “Oops,” said Jaspan.

Net gain
Congratulations to Maria Roberts, Manchester blogger and writer. She is the brains behind the blog Single Mother On the Verge, which tracks the traumas, tribulations and humour involved in being a lone parent on a south Manchester council estate. She has landed a deal from publishers Micheal Joseph to turn the idea, pitched as ‘Jane Eyre meets Shameless’, into a novel. Sleuth learns that The Bookseller magazine reported the deal involving ‘a six-figure sum’. Sadly that was wrong. “I’m not complaining at all,” says Maria, “but it was only a five figure sum, wouldn’t want to get people too excited.”

Star struck
Dr Karl Kennedy (aka Alan Fletcher) appeared in the Confidential offices this week to rapturous praise – click here to witness this remarkable event. The cultish singer from Neighbours was warbling away when the phone rang. All the office were spellbound so Sleuth answered. The voice at the other end of the phone, said, “Hello, this is Dean Martin". Sleuth nearly dropped the phone. Dr Karl in the house, and now a famous dead crooner on the blower. Turns out though that this Dean Martin is the marketing manager of Haydock Races not the deceased King of Cool.

Where is James Purnell?Following James Purnell’s faked photographs at Tameside Hospital, we ask the Culture Secretary and MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, where he’s not been this week.

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

SleuthDecember 14th 2007.


stejaskiDecember 14th 2007.

Yeah-Fair enough!

SleuthDecember 14th 2007.

Stejaski, course it is. Don't you think that the underlying motive is association with New York. Why don't they name Parker Street on the other side of the building which has also been reconfigured, New Parker Street. Not quite the same ring has it.

stejaskiDecember 14th 2007.

It was called York Street, so after they've tarted it up they called it New York Street (such is the power of Bruntwood) So its not really named after New York, is it.

eugeneDecember 14th 2007.

Thank you for recognising that fact Sleuth. Shame you missed out the key word 'always' as in "Eugene you're always right". Being a Sleuth, i think you would know this, but not too much brown-nosing for one day eh?

eugeneDecember 14th 2007.

Has sleuth been on the vodka..?quote: "The phone line will operate 24 hours a day but will be on voicemail between 4pm and 7.30pm. Sleuth loves the nonsense of this. So that would be exactly when most people are likely to drink and drive"Who drives at 4pm in the afternoon? Surely most drink-drivers indulge in wacky races between 11pm and 7 am? MOST people after all drink in the evening.. care to comment?

SleuthDecember 14th 2007.

Eugene, you're right and I'm a fool. I think I probably meant 7.30am.

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