It's like Location, Location, Location on Bizarre this morning, with Gordon announcing Amy Winehouse's move to the countryside. (Yes, yes, it's not that many days since Gordon insisted that Winehouse was hoofing off to Jamaica, where they have drugs, but the story now is that she's moving to Hadley Wood, where - supposedly - they don't.)
The trouble is, for a lead story, "woman buys house in suburbs" is a bit thin. Even when you've added in a spot of uncredited speculation from "a pal":
“It’s quiet and there won’t be all that temptation on her doorstep.
But it’s near to her home London borough of Enfield, and to Camden, so she won’t feel too isolated. That’s why she has agreed.”
Ah. So Hadley Wood hovers, surprisingly, both nowhere near and surprisingly close to Central London. I wonder if the estate agent pointed that out as he showed people around? "Also, there are both very good local schools, and there are no schools anywhere near here..."
But the pal can't fill a column on their own. What about the horrified local residents, Gordon? There surely must be horrified local residents:
Director of The Hadley Wood Association, Rod Armstrong, said: “I’m not very familiar with Amy. But knowing the people here, she’ll be made welcome.”
Oh. That's not very horrified, is it? In fact, it's more like polite uninterest.
But surely the WI will be getting up a petition. Someone get the WI on the phone:
Mavis Webber, of the local Women’s Institute, said: “It’s a nice, quiet area. Country walks will do her good.”
Incidentally, what on earth is Gordon doing telling us the names of these people? Surely they should have been "a source in the local Assocation" and "a WI insider"? How are we supposed to take these people seriously when you suggest they're genuine quotes, rather than something made up in the office and assigned to a vaguely identified "chum"?
Still, so far, the story is "woman buys suburban house; people of suburbs not that interested." But the area is represented by a Tory MP. Surely, surely, he'll provide some frothing outrage that will make this lead story a little more interesting?
And Local Tory MP David Burrowes added: “The area has no pubs, clubs or wine bars. The only nightlife is a whole lot of foxes and wild-life. Amy could take on a role in the community.”
She could. It sounds like they desperately need someone to bring crack cocaine and wine boxes back from Central London. Admittedly, the implication that Burrowes doesn't count a fox as wildlife is diverting, and might have been relevant if it was Otis Ferry moving in, but this is still quite thin, isn't it?
Surely, surely, Gordon, you can find someone who is terrified at the prospect of this force of nature moving into the former home of the founder of the Salvation Army?
Ghita Cohen, of the local theatre group, warned: “It’s mainly middle-aged people with middle-class views here and I don’t think it’s her cup of tea...
Aha! Quick, let's get this nailed down. You don't think her type should be coming round her, with her being young and related to a taxi driver - will you be getting up a petition? Having an emergency session of the Parochial Church Council?
— but I do hope she’ll be happy.”
Still, Gordon, you don't have to run this as your main story online this morning, do you? There's that Kate Moss one, isn't there?
At her birthday last month she befriended ABBEY CLANCY and PETER CROUCH, this time opera diva KATHERINE JENKINS joined her gang.
My source added: “They got on great.”
Okay. Go with the 'woman moves to more expensive house' one, then.