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Sleuth 28/09/2007

Oldham goes mad, Martin Amis gets it wrong, Mayweather heavyweather

Published on September 28th 2007.

Sleuth 28/09/2007

Hot job
Sleuth discovered this sign on the Shere Khan restaurant in Rusholme. Staff required? At what level though? With the group chief executive, Nighat Awan, under arrest by police investigating the smuggling of illegal immigrants into the country, which she denies, Sleuth wonders if the vacancy note applies to a position at the top of the organisation.

University teaching
Sleuth was at the Martin Amis, Will Self, John Banville lecture at St Ann’s Church this Monday. The event took place to launch the University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing. Having recruited a heavyweight literary figure such as Martin Amis as their first Professor of Creative Writing Sleuth loves the ambition. Not that Amis’s closing words were appreciated by the new department which is centred on teaching creative writing courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. “My opinion of writing would go down if you could teach it, it’s something that comes naturally” Amis said to anguished looks from Co-director John McAulliffe.

Food for thought
Sleuth likes to read the Big Issue in the North. This week, the head chef at Manchester 235’s Linen restaurant Ryan Jackson had a recipe published in the food and drink section. He chose roasted wood pigeon and blackberry couscous: a classic, budget dish of the homeless. Next week the Big Issue folk will be sampling foie gras at the Piccadilly soup kitchen and asking the big question: White Alba Truffles, just how cost-effective are they for crack addicts?

Mad Oldham
The biggest idiot award of the week goes to Oldham which is consulting over renaming itself. And the biggest joker of the lot is the ludicrous Liberal Democrat Leader Howard Sykes. He said, “the name Oldham annoys districts such as Chadderton and Saddleworth.” Or indeed his own ward of Shaw. Sykes suggests renaming the town and the borough after a "local river". Great idea Howie. Unfortunately Oldham doesn’t have a river. It’s on a hill.

More Oldham
Sleuth hears one suggestion for countering the ‘often negative brand of Oldham MBC’ is Edge Town deriving from the town moor, Oldham Edge. What type of edge though, edgy or falling off the edge? Maybe they should go for broke and call Oldham, Barcelona. The most amusing thing of all is the sum of £50,000 which is being spent with marketing and design bods Hemisphere. As one Confidential writer noted, “you couldn’t even get a conservatory for that.” Rumours that Scunthorpe and Penistone are thinking of adopting the name changing idea and calling themselves Snatchthorpe and Membertone have yet to be confirmed.

Folk rocked
Sleuth’s musical sidekick was watching folk indie star Jeffrey Lewis at The Roadhouse on 22 September. Just as the US singer was about to start a woman next to the stage ran on, picked up a keyboard and went to hit Jeffrey over the head with it. A fast-thinking photographer rescued him and the woman was escorted out. She then spent the next hour or so amusing herself throwing eggs at the smokers outside. Turns out the woman met the band two years ago when they advertised for an Italian tour driver. Thinking she must be Italian, they discovered she’d flown from England to Italy and hired a car. After a few days of nuttiness, they had to give her money so she could get a flight back home.

You tube fun
Sleuth’s been sent an amusing little knick-knack which proves the abiding appeal of the Northern Quarter - courtesy of the Observer.blogs.guardian.co.uk

Coming up next week on Manchester Confidential

Food and Drink special report: Does Australian beer kill?
News: Jowata - how can a restaurant survive without customers?
Health and Beauty: Can Nancy Dell Olio be rendered down to a face cream?

Sport: The return of boomerangs
Main feature:
Should web-articles ever be over 500 words long? Gordo investigates in 1500 words.

And remember if you have any CCTV coverage of incidents which may or may not be criminal then send them in and we’d love to publish them without any substantiation and create a really alarmist story.

Craig Charles in Akbars
Gok Wan in Piccadilly Gardens
Monty Pansar (or a man in a turban) at the Lowry
Worzel Gummidge in Spear Street
A dog just like Lassie in Platt Fields Park

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

SleuthSeptember 28th 2007.

Red Fred, white Alba truffles come from Northern Italy near the town of Alba. They smell of the male pig sex hormone and thus sows used to hunt for them. Now dogs do the hunting instead as the sows would eat the truffles - not sure what this says about the sex lives of pigs. By the way who eats for free?

The Real Rod HullSeptember 28th 2007.

If any towns are in need of rebranding then it's Nob End in Bolton, and the town of Bell End in Worcestshire!

wayneSeptember 28th 2007.

Where will I be able to buy that face cream?

AntSeptember 28th 2007.

Regarding the recipe for wood pigeon, although it isn't a 'classic, budget dish of the homeless', it isn't the homeless that buy the Big Issue is it? Sure, the guy could have told us how to make soup or a decent sarnie, but that could be seen as derogatory towards those who the magazine are trying to help, or pointless to the people that buy it.

JohnSeptember 28th 2007.

I think Manchester City Council shouldn't be left behind by Oldham's imaginative renaming initiative. Might I suggest the Peter Street area being rebranded as " The Louts' Quarter" ?

Bruce and SheilaSeptember 28th 2007.

What's wrong with Ozzie beer? We've drunk it all our lives and we've still gone at least ten percent of our brain cells left.

Bruce and SheilaSeptember 28th 2007.

See we can't even spell got

Gillian NuttallSeptember 28th 2007.

You couldn't write it. I have been asking Howard Sykes for over a year to get involved with the problems my family face in Shaw, the hooligans gathering in gangs, the drug dealers, the drunks, the idiots who ride up and down on off road vehicles, the list goes on. He rarely has the courtesy to respond to any of my correspondence, yet he can find time to think of a new name for the town. If I were not so angry, I would fall off my chair in hysterical laughter.

SleuthSeptember 28th 2007.

Martin you're right but even you must know all about the hurly-burly of magazine writing and the need for concision. Needed a comma or two perhaps. Maybe you could have a go with capital letters at the beginning of sentences. Sharon you know that last sentence of yours went too far.

JohnSeptember 28th 2007.

The residents of the charming hamlet on the hills above Hebden Bridge called Slack Bottom could well be very interested in a rebranding exercise

Martin AmisSeptember 28th 2007.

how postmodern: an illiterate (non) sentence about writers. maybe you should attend the classes eh? "Having recruited a heavyweight literary figure such as Martin Amis as their first Professor of Creative Writing Sleuth loves the ambition."

JaneSeptember 28th 2007.

I was Jowata's customer last year and found it expensive and slightly odd. The sides added up so quickly I might have well as gone to the Lowry and stayed the night

Red FredSeptember 28th 2007.

what's a 'white alba truffle'. sounds pretentious and I ain't ever seen one. do educate sleuth, we're don't all eat for free or can afford post resties

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