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Sleuth 15/02/2008

Peveril of Peak goes up for sale and sex toys on local radio

Published on February 15th 2008.

Sleuth 15/02/2008

Peril of the Peak
Sleuth got frightened when he saw this for sale sign outside the glorious Peveril of the Peak. He got in touch with one of the Swannicks who run the pub. “So how long have your family been at the Pev?” asked Sleuth. “Thirty seven years,” came the reply. “So why are you selling up now?” asked Sleuth in a breaking voice. There was a pause, “Oh, we’re not anymore. We’ll get the sign down as soon as possible. We’ve decided we've been here so long we’ll stay on after all,” came the reply.” Phew - what dreadful teases though. But if you had worries that the Pev was going to turn into an alcholic youth club under new management, at least now you can put them aside.

Skinned alive
Confidential sometimes creates a storm with the readers who rant in. Sometimes people agree with us, sometimes we get told off. You good folk immediately spot the slightest error or irregularity and pull us up on it. Sometimes we even agree with you. But we’ve never been told off as savagely as this. And the object of the anger? Why it’s the old Manchester Guardian, aka the Guardian, over a blog from a young writer of TV teen shock drama Skins, concerning his travels east. Click here

Raunch radio
BBC Radio Manchester got all saucy after midnight on Valentines. They covered sex paraphernalia, including sex toys, at Manchester 235, the casino just off Deansgate. Sleuth was talking to Becky Want, sassy presenter of the show before hand. “We’ve got a couple of women testing sex toys to see if they’re any good,” she said. Sleuth who can be a bit of a prude, pulled a face, “they’re not going to bring them in are they?” he asked. “I’ve told them they can if they disinfect them first,” replied the unflappable radio pro.

Family affair
Sleuth was intrigued by all the Valentine's events this Thursday. Confidential even had a competition for the Lonely Hearts Club at Moho. This read ‘Win a night away from annoying Valentine's couples’. Going through the entries there was one from a Mr Matthews and one from a Mrs Matthews (we’ve changed the name), totally separate entries, but same postcode, same phone number, same everything. Sleuth reckons they should check each other’s diaries before making these sorts of arrangements in future. That sort of clash can be so embarrassing.

Toilet assault
This week Confidential did an article about public toilets (click here) and scallies (click here). Both coalesced on Tuesday afternoon at the public toilet - one of those Tardis-like affairs - in Stevenson Square. As a Sleuth informant passed by, the girl half of a pair of n’er-do-wells was trying to crowbar the lower part of the toilet door open, whilst a boy was trying to crowbar the upper part. Maybe they didn’t have the few pence necessary to spend a penny? Maybe they thought this was a portal to a different, kinder world? Either way there was an almost epic degree of pointlessness about it.

Size matters
Sleuth thinks that many Manchester restaurants have shortcomings. But the Oriental Buffet on Whitworth Street might have reached a new low. Have a look at this picture, it reads ‘Children under 4’11’’ half price’. Obviously they’re concerned that larger children will eat too much - do they measure kids on the way in? And what about adults under 4’11”? As a test case we asked if we could bring in some dwarf friends. “No,” they said. “What about dieting dwarfs?” “Nope.” “Really thin ones?” “No.” Ones which have already eaten a big meal?” “No, no, no.” Here we show a picture of seven guilty looking short men trying to cash in on the kids' half price deal. Apparently they’re all blaming Greedy.

New for City
Nice scoop for the MEN on Thursday about the City Council’s campaign to get the 440,000 plus people of Manchester to suggest ways in which the administration should spend £438m. Only one person has called the hotline. This means that if just a few more people call with a consistent message it must have a strong chance of being accepted. Sleuth has told all the Confidential staff to call and suggest a big civic sponsorship for Manchester Confidential to provide portals, communications and 21st century democracy within, and between, the various communities in the city. Done with a bit of humour of course. Gordo could become mayor, and work together with Sir Richard Leese and Sir Howard Bernstein to spread peace and love. Our first idea was to ask for a highly visible police force and street lights brighter than a sluttering birthday cake candle but that would have been silly.

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

BetFebruary 15th 2008.

Maybe Mr and Mrs Matthews were acting out the Pina Colada song??

Ian HislopFebruary 15th 2008.

We get all our stuff from Sleuth.

Leonid StadnykFebruary 15th 2008.

I'm the world's tallest man at 8'6" and when I went in for some all-you-can-eat fun, they charged me double!

JonathanFebruary 15th 2008.

Flic, I'd love you to write for us again. Do you want to do a well-known Manc restaurant for me?

FlicFebruary 15th 2008.

I have sympathy for the poor 19 year old Guardian writer boy. Having been attacked surprisingly violently for an uneventful restaurant review on this very site, I entirely agree that democracy is far too important to be left in the hands of the people.

Missing the pointFebruary 15th 2008.

Errr, Private Eye is good, Sleuth is not...

FlicFebruary 15th 2008.

Yes James, my next review will read, "went out, had some tea, it was dead good and there was loads of chips, then went out to play with my mates." I've really come on with the whole writing thing.

Jonathan Schofield - editorFebruary 15th 2008.

I love the Guardian and I don't mind the MEN but the whole point of this column is to be cheeky - it's not a comment about the writing anywhere - and in any case the Guardian thing was a blog and the reaction was funny. Dear Biggest Fan we might fail in your opinion but hey you know we're just trying to lighten things up in the city. And by the way you're wrong some of the writing on here is excellent. Take Sleuth as you would Private Eye perhaps, and relax.

Biggest fanFebruary 15th 2008.

Glad to see that the Editor feels that some of the writing on here is excellent. This suggests that some of it isn't. Which is which?

DescartesFebruary 15th 2008.

£438m would be perfect for putting a Jetsons like motorised floor everywhere - I've waited for that my entire life (that along with self drying clothes, hoverboards and Nikes like in Back to the future).

GordoFebruary 15th 2008.

Leave Flic alone you swine

Biggest fanFebruary 15th 2008.

If your readers expected to find the same standard of writing here as they would expect to find in the Guardian, undoubtedly they would be even more savage and eloquent in their critique. Nobody really expects Manchester Confidential to be any good, so nobody really gives a toss when our expectations are confirmed. I expect that most Guardian readers are permanently disappointed too - but at least there's a legacy worth lamenting there. And is it a reflection of the current blandness of life in Manchester, or the lack of imagination of your journalists, that you find time and space to pen quite so many smug swipes at the Guardian Media Group each week? I don't like the Guardian or the MEN either, but look to yourselves. How was that for a savage critique then?

JamesFebruary 15th 2008.

Just found your review Flic, it was quite vicious wasn't it? The attacks that is not your comments. Have you changed your writing style now? Made it less flowery as a result?

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