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Sleuth 29/01/2010

Goths in the Church, Nancy Dell’Olio goes red, The BBC's lack of research, and taking a bike on the chin

Published on January 28th 2010.


Sleuth 29/01/2010

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week. We give £25 for every story/rumour and piece of absurdity you find for us to print. We ask for the money back if any legal action follows.

Sleuth asks Roberto Mancini and Sir Alex Ferguson each week for a quick thought.

Roberto Mancini
“Thadda Rooney he makea mea crya lika bambino. Next time a seea him in San Carlo I no sharea the garlic pane with him.”

Sir Alex Ferguson
“Ah keep tellin' yer ah have ni idea who this Carlos Tevez yer keep goin' on abou' is? Ah have nae met him.”

Nancy goes red
Sleuth hears that top heavy Nancy Dell’Olio, Sven Goran-Eriksson's former squeeze, enjoyed a meal and drinks in Rio Ferdinand’s restaurant Rosso after the first Manchester derby semi-final. Asked whether she was a City fan or a United fan, she was heard to say, “No, I’m a Mancini fan”, referring to the Blues' manager. More surprisingly she revealed that in Italy she was a football writer. Sleuth reckons that with her trademark heels she'd definitely not be allowed on the pitch for interviews unless it needed watering.

She likes men in scarves

Flash banned
Sleuth was at Piccadilly Station the other day. He wanted to take pictures of the plans for the Mayfield area of the city. These were on display in the main concourse. The people organising the display, Drivas Jonas, nearly fainted when Sleuth produced a camera. “No, please, we got told off yesterday about people taking pictures in the station without permission. You need a Network Rail pass.” Sleuth trooped to an office. Then he had to fill in a form. A pass was produced. “But no flash photography under any circumstances,” came the stern command. Sleuth was confused, “why no flash photography?” There was a pause, “We're not sure,” came the reply, “you're just not allowed is all.” Sleuth adores a bit of lunatic bureaucratic officiousness. He loves it so much he wants to curl into a ball and weep uncontrollably, banging his head on a floor.

For God's sake no flash - it can kill

Massive contract saves burger van
Sleuth was pleased to see Andy Gill's report from the Manchester-based regional programme BBC North West about the award of a £50m Royal Navy contract to Cammell Laird in Birkenhead. As he pointed out, not only will the jobs at the shipyard be safeguarded but it has repercussions for the future of regional businesses who service Cammell Laird and provide employment. To demonstrate this Gill secured an interview with a local business: he walked over the road from the shipyard and asked the fella in the food van who supplies the workers with hotdogs, burgers and chips. The van appeared to employ as many as two people. Sleuth thinks BBC budget cuts must be hitting the researcher budgets. Don't ask a key regional components supplier about the contract, cross the road instead. So much less trouble. Brilliant.

Eclipsing the Smoke
It's nice to be slapped on the back every now and then. Pavel Büchler, 58, and an influential figure in British art for many years since moving from Prague to establish a base in Manchester, loves it here. His entry for the Northern Art prize, an installation named Eclipse, at Leeds City Art Gallery, last week scooped the £16,500 winning prize money. Büchler said: "I'm an old man and London is far too busy for me; I love Manchester. Of all the regional cities I know, it has the least 'regional' attitude. Artists there are not chippy about the rest of the world." Sleuth thinks the latter's the key. Sleuth can't stand Mancs who whinge on about London.Well done Mr Büchler.

Best Manc party of 2010 already
Sleuth loved last week's launch of FAC251, a new club and live venue in the old Paradise Factory with Peter Hook of New Order and Mani of Primal Scream. In fact Confidential is privileged to have been given a media exclusive, two launch event tickets for our readers next Friday (5 Feb) including a performance from The Light, a one-off band, featuring the two gentlemen above (click here to apply for tickets) plus Rowetta (Happy Mondays), Howard Marks and other special guests, performing rare Joy Division and New Order tracks. It should be a feast of fun. See Sleuth last week for the full story.

Forward backward thinking
At the launch party mentioned in the story above Sleuth liked that the backing track for a video about the club renovation came from the wonderful Castlefield based Delphic. Then he remembered the new Manchester group's comments in a recent BBC interview. “We're very proud of Manchester but we were inspired by what we didn't like in Manchester, and that was Manchester refusing to move on. We felt it was in danger of drowning under its heritage. We wanted to help it look forward and were sick of the Madchester stereotypes.” Oops. Still as Mani said at the event a key principle idea behind establishing FAC251 is to provide a space for new bands to perform in – so the difficult heritage/new work circle should be squared reckons Sleuth.

Bike on the chin
Sleuth went to the Britain's Got Talent auditions on Friday - after seeing the queue for tickets he thought it would be great fun to stand with his buddy Ms Bentlegs, in a long line of people for two hours. There wasn't much talent around in the 18 acts they saw - in a quiet moment Sleuth contemplated sending Bentlegs on stage to do her four bottles of Sauvignon Blanc war-dance. Sleuth's favourite act turned out to be a guy from Portsmouth who balanced items on his chin such as knives and hats...and best of all a full bicycle. Genius, and useful if you are a cyclist caught in a busy pedestrianised street. That was good, but the man's name was even better: Jackie Chin. Talent, indeed.

Sleuth's GMP story of the week
This from the Police press office. 'One of Greater Manchester Police’s police horses is hanging up his horseshoes and retiring from the Force. Eighteen year-old Weller is being put out to pasture at The Horse Trust, a sanctuary in Buckinghamshire where horses go to retire. For the last 14 years he has helped police sports events, demonstrations and remembrance services as well as other tours of duty including patrolling neighbourhoods and visiting schools.' Sleuth wonders if the horse did all those things on his own, or did an officer go with him. He also wonders if every police officer in GMP gets a special press release of his own sent out when he or she retires. Probably not. The British and animals eh?

God is Goth
So Sleuth was on the editor's daft ghost trails on Saturday last. Guests were let into the Sacred Trinity Church on Chapel Street, a beautiful seventeenth century church, by a fabulous Goth gentleman who'd even put on smoke machines to build the atmosphere. Our spiky black-haired friend works as an artist in the still consecrated church. He paints vampire pictures, some of which he'd put on display. It was all very odd, all very Buffy. “Last night,” he said cheerily to Sleuth, “we had three Goth birthday parties going on in here all at one go.” For an explanation of how this can happen in a still consecrated space click here.

Sleuth's lies to tell tourists part two
Manchester Airport has a hangar off runway two with an alien space ship in it. This arrived after life in Knutsford was monitored from a distant galaxy for a number of years. The aliens believed from their study that humans were a highter life form as shown by the number of high-performance terrestrial vehicles mainly in red. They decided to visit for closer scrutiny. They expired upon drinking Peroni beer in Piccolino.

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

AnorakiJanuary 29th 2010.

The flash photography ban applies to the platforms where people with nothing better to do have, in the past, tried their best to dazzle the train drivers with their expensive gadgetry.

AgricolaJanuary 29th 2010.

That's no excuse, because Sleuth says it was on the concourse. It's just another example of bureaucratic control freakery that's vaguely totalitarian. I'm with Sleuth banging my head on the wall.

AnorakiJanuary 29th 2010.

It was the floor, wall banging is also banned..

Suzanne AckermanJanuary 29th 2010.

what about the goths?

SleuthJanuary 29th 2010.

Sleuth forgot the goths. The goths are back now. PS Suzyblew, not sure about that name

Smyth HarperJanuary 29th 2010.

I love british bureaucratiphilia

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