Too Much Culture

The News of the World: The End of a Turbulent Decade

Posted in Uncategorized by tneenan on 07/07/2011

Today The News of the World folded, its last edition will be published on Saturday. Too Much Culture takes a look back at a decade of the paper and some of its more famous stories:

2000: The News of the World launched its famous Name and Shame campaign against paedophiles. The paper would later go on to name and shame those involved in the creation of the Brass Eye: Paedophile special. Ironically, the News of the World’s condemnation of the programme was printed directly opposite a photo of an under age Charlotte Church having sex with a News of the World journalist.

The News of the World’s Anti-Paedophile campaign was however a welcome break from every other newspaper’s pro-paedophile campaign.

 2002: The news of the World broke the story that Angus Deaton was involved in match fixing on Have I got News For You. The paper revealed Deaton had received almost eighteen pounds from team captain Ian Hislop , to be given question in advance and to ensure Ross Noble would be on his team. Deaton admitted the allegations and left the show simply saying: “I regret what I have done, but Ross is great, I genuinely don’t know where he gets his ideas from sometimes. A monkey in a tank? What’s all that about?”

2005: Posh and Becks sued the paper for making accusations about their marriage. The couple took umbrage to the headline claiming: “Posh and Becks on the rocks.” As anyone knows, Posh and Becks are usually served neat.

2006: The paper was sued by Ashley Cole for printing a story about him that wasn’t true. At the time a News of the World spokesman said: “It has taken all of our journalistic skill and determination to uncover a story about Ashley Cole which is not true and we are proud of what we have achieved”

2008:The paper alleged that Max Mosley had been indulging in Sado-Masochistic sex with a woman dressed as Prince Harry. The F1 boss won litigation against the newspaper after it was revealed the costume was meant to be of popular stand-up Carrot Top. Mosley then went on to sue Joe’s Kinky Costume Emporium for providing him with inferior sex-play costumes.

2011: The paper was forced into closure after allegations of phone hacking. The paper had supposedly hacked the phones of grieving families and war widows. The paper will be published for the final time on 9th July. A shame, it was about to start its serialisation of previously unpublished pages from Anne Frank’s Diary.

Posted in Uncategorized by tneenan on 07/06/2011

The Writer’s Festival is in full swing giving advice to both aspiring writers and those entrenched in the industry. Too Much Culture eavesdrops on the drama Q&A, although the following advice applies to comedy, drama and “Sirens”.

“Writing is all about killing your babies…”

“Seriously have you ever tried writing with kids bothering you. Sometimes its like ‘yes I know you’ve done a drawing of a cat, but that won’t help me write this hard hitting drama.’ Of course I don’t really mean kill, I mean ‘keep out of my f***** face for a few hours.”

“Don’t get it right, get it writ…”

“Oh no, sorry, that should be ‘don’t get it right get it written’ dammit, I knew I should have waited and made sure that sentence was perfect before I typed it out. I’m such an idiot sometimes.”

“Keep stage directions as brief as possible…”

“Always try and keep stage directions to a minimum. Sometimes I will submit entire scripts with little to now stage directions. One script for “The Accusation” just reads: “Something cruelly tragic happens to a well know British character actor.” That was the whole script, simple, clear and direct. That’s what we should all aspire to be as writers.”

“There is no such thing as writers block…”

When I first started writing, some of the older writers sent me out to buy some tartan paint, some sky hooks and a writer’s block. When I got to the hardware store the guy behind the counter laughed his a*** off at me. A writer’s block isn’t an actual thing. I learned that one the hard way.”

“Know your audience…”

“When “my first children’s drama first aired I asked for the names and addresses of everybody who watched it. I then sent them a questionnaire asking if they liked the show. Its important to know your audience, and ignore the controller of ITV if he calls you dangerously obsessive.”

“Find your voice…”

“Not many people know this, but all the episodes of my dramas are meant to be read in a high pitched Irish accent, but do the BBC listen to my notes? No.”