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Sleuth 21/12/2012: Robinson, Rooney And Extraordinary Stories

Absurd but real Manchester

Published on December 21st 2012.

Sleuth 21/12/2012: Robinson, Rooney And Extraordinary Stories

SleuthSleuthSleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week, it's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. He's several people all at once. We give £25 for every story/rumour and piece of absurdity you find for us to publish. Sleuth sometimes even gets serious. We ask for the money back if any legal action follows. Follow Sleuth on twitter @mcrsleuth

Sleuth’s Nick Robinson Meets Wayne Rooney - The Awkward Moment Of The Week

So Sleuth was at the Manchester United UNICEF charity dinner this week. Thousands of pounds were raised but Nick Robinson, political editor for the BBC, had his profile lowered. He was guest speaker and compere. His political anecdotes sailed over the football audience’s head while his interviews with players fell into a hole of cringe.

Nick Robinson's bald cheekNick Robinson's bald cheek “Can you tell me where I can get implants?” he said desperately to Wayne Rooney as he struggled to make the audience smile.

Wayne Rooney gave a silent and angry stare, since it was the second time his hair had been the butt of Robinson’s jokes. Nobody in the audience laughed. There was a chilly silence.

Sleuth felt almost sorry for Nick Robinson. His public speaker diary was looking as bare as the top of his head.

"Stop talking about my barnet!"

Sleuth’s Christmas Gift-giving Of The Week

With Confidential at the United UNICEF party was competition winner and Confidential reader Darren Johnson. He’d brought his mate along, and here is the latter with the raffle prize he won - a fine example of Amy Winehouse memorabilia. Sleuth could almost hear Nick Robinson humming ‘Rehab’.

Amy Winehouse winnerAmy Winehouse winner

Sleuth’s Knee Feelers Of The Week

Sleuth was at an event at the Whitworth Art Gallery on Wednesday. One of the galleristas was telling Sleuth about the joint Whitworth Art Gallery and Manchester Art Gallery Christmas do. Apparently one of the parlour games had been knee-feeling. In this activity a person is blind-folded and he or she is tasked to feel the knees of a row of male and female colleagues, and then he or she has to guess to whom the knees belong. Very avant garde, thought Sleuth, wondering if he should call the police.

Sleuth And The Manchester Confidential Christmas do

Meanwhile Sleuth has no recollection of the Manchester Confidential Christmas party apart from suddenly waking up, as if from a nightmare of many years, in the Press Club in central Manchester.

As everyone knows the Press Club was invented by a Protestant God and built by Satan, as a reminder of how easy it is to waste your life doing utterly pointless activities. It was 3.30am and Sleuth was clutching a can of Red Stripe (the Press Club beer selection features a massive range of Red Stripe). The Confidential Christmas party had started in Neighbourhood in Spinningfields at 2pm the previous day, thirteen and a half hours since, and at 3.30am everything seemed pretty pointless.

Now, the rule of the Press Club is that when you become aware you're in the Press Club you must go home.

Sleuth's drinking companion was a glazed looking Kelly Ormesher, designer, technista, organ-grinder of Manchester Confidential. It was ridiculously late. “One more?” said Sleuth.  

God, no, I'm in the Press Club and it's 3.30amGod, no, I'm in the Press Club and it's 3.30am

Sleuth’s Curious Picture Of The Week

Thanks to @OnePablo for this from Chapel Street, over the river in Salford.

Clear the arearsClear the arears

Sleuth’s Soap Dispenser Machine Of The Week

This was in The Liars Club and was found on the Confidential Christmas do which means it may well have been in some other venue and Sleuth’s forgotten.


Soap dispenserSoap dispenser

Sleuth’s Tannoy Announcement Of The Week

Sleuth was waiting at the Metrolink station at Firswood this week. The trams were late. The tannoy suddenly lurched into action and squeaked. “We’re sorry about the delays this morning caused by...er...delay. There are problems at Derker station resulting in...er... delay,” said a woman. There was a pause, or even a delay, and then she said a fraction before turning the tannoy off, “I really don’t know what to tell them.” Firswood Station rocked with laughter. Metrolink it seemed were as helpless as the passengers.

AmoladAmoladSleuth's Manchester Novel Of The Month

This is Amolad from Paul Carroll, the founder of Communique PR. Carroll's written a picaresque novel satirising advertising and the cult of vicarious tears (in the novel the government has set up a People's Remembrance Day). It's a right laugh but gets in a few cunning jabs as well. The only problem with it is that for some unaccountable reason Sleuth is not mentioned. Naughty. The book is published by Troubadour at £8.99. 

Sleuth’s Wine Of The Week

Sleuth was in Bakerie Winestore this week tasting champagnes with Neil Sowerby, the d’Artagnan of wine and travel and Lucy Hope, chanteuse. Dale, the manager was giving out good advice too. Apparently the bargain wine of the week - according to him just about anywhere in the world, is this one pictured below. Bakerie Winestore is a very handsome unit and well worth a trip. You can find it in The Hive building in the Northern Quarter. To get there you go to Stevenson Square, walk up Lever Street, scratch your head, look around, and then get hopelessly lost. You eventually end up in the Press Club at 3.30am in the morning with someone in the technical department saying, “One more, just one,” while vigorously waving a can of Red Stripe.

Wine of the weekWine of the week

Sleuth’s Male Member Story Of The Week

The tables and desks in the Bakerie Winestore’s cafe are come from a school. Cheeky boys had over the years defaced the tables with names and tags but also with a number of phalluses (or is it phalli?). Sleuth hears that in a selective burst of censorship, Alison, the boss, made the poor staff sand off the phalluses but leave the other graffiti. Political correctness gone mad, thinks Sleuth. Here’s a picture of a person on a Sleuth tour for those crazy Northern Quarter people Madlab wearing a pig’s mask in the room.  

Bakerie, desks and pigmanBakerie, desks and pigman

Sleuth’s Massive Male Member Story Of The Week

Every seven days or so Sleuth is stopped in the street by policeman, firemen, concierges, knee-feeling gallery staff, contortionists, American football players, Nick Robinson, Wayne Rooney’s hair, the complete cast of The Hobbit and asked "Where can we see the largest representation of a male member and arse in Manchester this week?"

Why,” says Sleuth, “that would be in John Rylands Library. It’s more than three feet long and by Herman Makkink from 1971 and called Rocking Machine. It’s there to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of A Clockwork Orange the book by Manchester writer Anthony Burgess.

"And it's really drawing people's attention. Just a couple of weeks ago I was showing an elderly American couple around the city and they loved the old buildings of Manchester especially John Rylands Library. "But what's that?" exclaimed the dear old lady from Denver as we passed Rocking Machine. "Er...well...Have you ever been to the Press Club?" asked Sleuth, developing a sudden desire for a can of Red Stripe." 

Makkink loveMakkink love

The rear of John Rylands LibraryThe rear of John Rylands Library

Sleuth’s Banned Phrase Of Every Week
The editor has banned the use on Manchester Confidential of the phrase ‘with a twist’, as in ‘it’s traditional French food with a twist’ or ‘it’s a 1970s' club night with a 1990s' twist’.

He’s banned it because ‘with a twist’ has become trite and hackneyed and because he’s a word fascist.

Sleuth wholeheartedly agrees. So Sleuth finds himself in some difficulty when he's asked by people what is a screw? “Er...well,” says Sleuth, “it’s like a nail with...er...a twist."

Sleuth’s Bad News Of The Week

The world ended today. This came about because the world had been very bad and it was our time. We know this because the ancient Mayans of Central America had made a cunning calendar that told us we were going to die, rather than for example bothering to invent a wheel - or a digital watch. Because the world has ended, you exist only as a figment of Sleuth's imagination. You lucky buggers. 

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AnonymousDecember 22nd 2012.


Garry ReynoldsDecember 31st 2012.


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