Sunday, April 29, 2007

Punter loses thousands on “grate gambling site”

Following the summit on Internet gambling we talked to people who find wagering too much of a temptation. This is the story of one woman who did not wish to be named, Marge Billingsworth.
"It all started one afternoon when I heard about a grate gambling site. It was so easy to get access to, I could play all day without having to travel to a casino or even to my local newsagent for scratch cards.

"I would play for a few hours a day. Initially I was just doing £10 a throw, but then I realised it was more exciting doing £30, then £60 and more. By the end of the week I was completely hooked. I would sit on the kerb and throw the notes towards the drain. Some would flutter harmlessly to the side, others would land across the grate, but as I threw increasingly large bundles of cash into the sky, more and more would fall into the sewer.

"The thing is there were no warnings at all on the grate. No one told me that I could so easily lose thousands of pounds, nor that I would develop a bad case of piles from sitting on the cold pavement.

"There needs to be more regulation to save us from ourselves and from doing things that are, well, obvious to most people. Friends tried to help me – they said that if I talked to someone or took advice from a professional that I would probably be sectioned as frankly if I can’t cope with something as straightforward as gambling then how can I realistically take part in society?

"I was one of the lucky ones, I discovered Internet gambling, now I can sit in the comfort of my own home playing poker without any risk of piles. Other than the piles of debts I am accumulating!"

Friday, April 27, 2007

Call centre workers “indecent”

37 workers have been suspended from an East Kilbride based call centre following allegations that the employees of the ’Phone for IT’ support line indulged in lewd behaviour. The accusations surfaced after videos of several naked call centre agents appeared on the video sharing website, YouTube.

Bill Hargreaves a retired Civil Servant from Manchester said that he had always found ’Phone for IT’ to be helpful and informative.

“Oh yes, it was always good, personal service. Whenever I had a problem getting my laptop to come up I would contact ‘Phone for IT’,“ commented Mr Hargreaves. “The first thing they always wanted to know was if it is a problem with a program or with the computer. The call centre girls were very keen for me to give them that right up front and they were always more interested if I said it was hardware.”

Mr Hargreaves initially expressed surprise upon hearing the allegations, but after some thought he said that it did make some of his conversations a bit clearer.

“Now that I think about it the girls do always say ‘bear with me’ a lot, and she would say that I should hold on a little bit longer and she would be right with me,” he said. “However I had no idea that what she meant was ’Bare with me’. If I had known that I may have called back more often.”

Fred Billingsworth Director of Customer Services at ‘Phone for IT’ has said that they are investigating the circumstances surrounding the appearance of the video on YouTube.

“We take such allegations extremely seriously,“ he said. “You can rest assured that we will get to the bottom of it and that all of our company’s employees will be debriefed as part of a deep and thorough internal probe.”

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Liverpool’s ‘08 car sharing scheme

Liverpool is currently alive with developments and programmes to celebrate its selection as the European ‘Capital of Culture 2008‘. Today, the City Council unveiled details of its new car-sharing programme to help residents and visitors alike move around the city in a fast, simple and environmentally responsible manner.

“We have always had probably Europe’s most advanced car sharing scheme,” explained Councillor Kenny Billingsworth. “Previously it was a bit more informal. However now we have produced a detailed guide to not only how the system works but also how to get the best out of it on your visit to the city or to one of our many exhibitions.”

The pamphlet entitled ‘Your car, our ride’ contains many hints, tips and maps to local hospitals and solicitors. Advice on the transport initiative includes :-
  • The Car-sharing area is designated by environmentally friendly kerbside markers made of recycled car window chips next to car parking areas
  • Whilst most makes and models are available in the scheme, it is best to choose a car that you feel most likely to be able to drive unobtrusively through the city, especially as some of the scheme’s more modern vehicles have sensitive alarms that can cause first time users embarrassment with local law enforcement officers
  • Should the car not already be open, use one of our handy ‘Remote Unlock Token’ devices found in a nearby builder’s skip
  • It is advisable to wear gloves at all times. There may be broken glass present in the vehicle and the finish of the car is spoiled by fingerprints.
  • Upon reaching your destination do not worry about finding another scheme user to pass a car on to. In the event it is not be needed then it will be dismantled and disposed of by an experienced team of motor vehicle recyclers who operate on a citywide basis. The hubcaps will probably be recycled before you come to rest
  • Liverpool will be a very busy city during the 2008 Year of Culture, so you may find that accommodation is difficult to find. However please do not be tempted to sleep in your car. Not only will this prevent it from being available to other scheme members but you may suffer frustration if you wake up to find the vehicle has come to the end of its life and is being burnt out.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Red Card at Player of the Year ceremony

The footballing world was thrown into controversy as, for the first time, a player has been sent off from an awards ceremony.

Chelsea‘s Didier Drogba was sensationally shown the red card following an off the stage incident. Both he and fellow nominee Cristiano Ronaldo, of Manchester United, were at last night’s Professional Footballers’ Association ceremony, and were awaiting the announcement of the Footballer of the Year award. Many pundits have said that this year’s selection was too close to call after excellent seasons from both men and their respective clubs which in turn are running one and two in this year’s title chase.

"As the announcement was being made, both players lunged for the trophy from the side of the stage," said an onlooker. "Drogba was closer but suddenly Ronaldo crashed to the floor and rolled onto the stage."

There was pandemonium as fellow players rushed to the Portuguese winger’s aid and at this point apparently both players squared up to each other.

"Ronaldo was shouting and gesturing that Drogba has pulled his dinner jacket," explained the eye-witness. "There may have been a push, it was wasn’t clear but suddenly Drogba fell to the stage clutching his head."

"Both men were committed to winning the trophy in what was a fifty-fifty contest," commented Harry Billingsworth, Football journalist with The Sun. "I think the host was unsighted by a group of photographers. However, to his credit, he went over to the side of the stage and had a long consultation with one of the waiters running the line of service."

Onlookers were shocked as Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore proceeded to issue a red card to the Chelsea striker. Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year trophy after he proceeded to take the microphone and plead his innocence with an embarrassing show of tears and praying gestures whilst looking to the sky like an upset puppy..

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Builders snap up designer tools

The last few years have seen an increase in large, well-appointed and sophisticated four-wheel drive pick-up trucks on the nation’s roads. Contrary to perceived wisdom they are not driven by selfish, power crazed and environmentally ignorant middle-class mothers on the school run. Instead it is the country’s builders and onsite engineers, plumbers, painters and decorators bidding to shed their dirty, paint-covered images in favour of a modern designer look.

Indeed, the growth in demand for these sophisticated work vehicles has spawned a growth in designer tools and clothing for the construction industry.

"I used to have a Toyota pickup. It was white and beaten up, had vinyl seats and didn’t really like cold weather. All the lads took the Mickey so I got a Mitsubishi Shogun Elegance," said Gordon Billingsworth, a bricklayer from Chatham. "Of course, now I have to bring two sets of overalls and a change of shoes. I don’t want any dirt on the carpets. And I never park it on site anymore, far too muddy."

This was just the start he says, now Gordon, and several of his workmates can be seen on building sites sporting shiny chrome trowels from Yves Saint Lauren hanging on their ‘Rocha. John Rocha’ leather tool belts.

"I feel much more empowered now," explained Gordon. "More confident as a craftsman. I don’t dress for the other builders, I dress for myself and my own self esteem."

There has always been fierce competition in the building trade, and Gordon says that this is showing in how the men present themselves.

"Oh, definitely. I know I was gutted when one of the lads came to work in a new pair of steel toe capped boots by Jimmy Choo," he said. "If I am honest, that was the reason I spent £800 on the Louis Vuitton Hod."

Friday, April 20, 2007

Archivists discover “Handbook for Women”

Today researchers revealed the discovery of a text that was believed to have been lost to man. It is a rare modern copy of the fabled ‘Handbook for Women’.

"This book is one of the founding texts of our civilisation," explained Dr Bill Billingsworth of the Sidcup Centre of Pantheonic Studies. "It can trace its origin back to the time of Cleopatra and is a text as powerful and complicated as it is controversial. It is no surprise to find the modern version has a ‘for dummies’ edition.

The book, which is given to all girls upon reaching puberty, is said to be the most divisive work of literature in existence. It is a handbook detailing how to behave as a ‘normal‘ human female. Of epic proportions, at some 7665 pages, its discovery may finally provide scholars with insight into behaviour that has long been thought to be completely irrational, if not borderline insane.

"Without doubt, this book has caused more sadness and anger than Chairman Mao’s ’Little Red Book’ or ‘The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State’ by Friedrich Engels," commented Billingsworth, emphasising the importance of the research being undertaken.
"Getting hold of this may well be the Rosetta Stone of gender relations. If we can decipher it then ordinary men will at last be able to predict the seeming random effects that their actions have," he said.

Research is, however, proceeding slowly at the Sidcup Centre, a specialist in the study of ancient documents.

"The behavioural science community has been struggling a bit," lamented Dr. Billingsworth. "The version of the text we have discovered is written in reasonably straightforward English, although the sense and meaning of the central themes appears to change with every page. Frankly, it’s rather difficult to understand."

What little progress has been made in getting to grips with the work has revealed sections on behaviour, sex, and money.

"It contains powerful formulae and relational diagrams that we are only just beginning to grasp. The chapter on use of the words of ‘No’ and ‘Maybe’ runs to 238 pages, 43 pages of which are covered by a single flowchart. Still at least it contains pictures. The chapters on Economics are an almost impenetrable mass of conflicting thoughts and theories as to the value of material goods. It makes ‘Das Kapital’ seem accessible. Unlike Marx, however, this ‘Female Handbook’ seems to be devoid of logic and mathematical rigour, pays scant regard to the means of production and instead focuses on acquisition."

It is believed that the bizarre logic around material acquisition can be understood through empirical behavioural observation of the concept of ‘Sales’.

The companion text ‘Being a bloke’ has also been uncovered but was found to be easily understood by both expert and laymen alike. It is distributed in the form of a Beer Mat printed with the bullet points ’Women, Beer, Football, Food’ written in large, friendly letters.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

EA announce new Football Tie-in

Today computer game giant Electronic Arts announced that it was discontinuing its line of Champions League tie-in football games, to be replaced with a game focussing on other football tournaments.

"UEFA Champions League 2007 will be the last in the series of our video games following the top levels of the professional game," said Joyce Stitch, Product Director for EA Sports. "However, the avid gamer need not despair as we will be continuing our award winning football games with the launch of ‘Nationwide Conference 2008’".

The gaming community expressed surprise and some dismay at the news. Kallum Smythe (aka ‘Mr Bloggy’) said that initial reaction to the news had been muted. "We are always keen on the latest games, the improved graphics and player features always add to the atmosphere," he said. "But unless something goes horribly wrong with their careers, it looks like we won’t be able to play as our heroes Ronaldo or Ronaldhino, instead it will be Ronnie Bull of Crawley Town FC."

EA Sports was adamant however that what players might lose in top level panache, they would gain from the extra money afforded to game development by the cheaper licensing.

"Players will get the opportunity to not just enjoy the normal fast-paced real-time excitement of controlling the players, but the career mode will be completely overhauled," said Ms Stitch. "It will include a simulation of working on a building site, or other jobs that the part-time players undertake. There will also be improved player dynamics with advanced mud simulation for goalmouth scrambles as well having to be careful about your player‘s stamina if he has a crafty pre-match fag or pint."

Jason Billingsworth, an avid gamer, played a preview of the game on his XBOX 360 and said he had mixed views about the new features. "Well, like, it was OK. Judging the ball in the mud was quite fun, and you know, you got, like, to run into the car park to retrieve the ball if it goes behind the goal at some of the grounds," he said. "But it got a bit dull when my player was pulled off at half-time to go and work on the burger van."

Monday, April 16, 2007

Religious letter “bemoans newcomers”

An ancient letter, said to be well over a thousand years old, has been uncovered in a field in Wiltshire and, say scholars, sheds light onto the early conflicts in the religious history of Britain.

“The text is written by a Druid, sometime around 1500 years ago,” said Bill Billingsworth from the Sidcup Centre for Pantheonic Studies who consulted on the translation into English. “We aren’t exactly sure who the letter is addressed to. It may be to a fellow Druid, it may even be text to be read out. A sort of parish newsletter, if you will.”

The letter describes the conditions that this particular Druid and his fellow Celts are living under as Christianity grows within 4th century England. The new religion with its newly ordained Saints and Bishops is growing rapidly and spreading into the provinces which dominates the main parts of the text as shown in the following excerpts.

“Indeed these followers of the Christ do travel the land. They breed quickly, so much quicker than the Celtic. They bring with them their new and strange customs. They pray long and loudly and encourage others to turn away from the faith of the Land and the Forest.”

The text speaks that the new religion’s followers are not only vocal and evangelistic, but that the tolerance of the native Druids is being abused and this will only dilute of traditional Celtic and Druidic values.

“Must we not speak of our own faiths, our own traditions lest we offend those new? Should we not be able to challenge the customs of the Christians? If they come to Angleland should they not follow our ways? They come, verily over here, building their large church buildings, and calling to prayer each Sunday morn with a cacophony of bells. What is wrong with a quiet gathering at an imposing stone circle? Lo it is not, as they gain power throughout the land.”

“It seems that the Druid, whose we know only as ‘Little John’, also foresees perhaps the end of of the practice of significant Druid festivals.” explained Mt Billingsworth.

“In some parts of the East from where The Sun is born , I hear, they, the Christians, are fefusing our 12 day celebration of the winter festival of Yule, banning it from their schools and their communal dwellings and instead want to celebrate something called Christmas.”

The text ends with the lament as to the future of the druids, Britain and a call to others to take heed.

“Soon if these Christians have their way I won’t be able sacrifice a goat in my own land, this land of ours, this Angleland, verily it is going to hell in a hand cart. It is political correctness gone mad I tell you.”

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Refugees flee France

Many hundreds of asylum seekers from all over the world are collecting in and around Calais and the small French town of Sangatte. They have travelled thousand of miles form Asia, the Middle-East and sub-Saharan Africa having each saved up several years wages to pay for their flight from civil war and genocide and each of them has the same aim. They want to get out of France.

“Yes, I escaped from Darfur, from the war and the killing.” said Salva al-Mahdi. “I travelled through Libya, a perilous crossing to Corsica and then finally through France. I cannot stay, it is terrible here.”

His feelings were echoed by many. All of whom dream of escaping the horrors of France and making their way across the Channel to the UK.

“I was tortured for 6 years in a Yemeni jail,” said Abdallah Mujawar. “But it was nothing like this. I dream of escaping France and getting to Britain.”

The French authorities are said to be embarrassed by the situation developing on the Brittany coast as thousands of illegal migrants - men, women and children who own only what they can carry and have suffered the most severe privations imaginable - risk life and limb to get away from French culture and society.

“They risk everything, hiding in lorries, trying to sneak aboard moving trains in the Channel Tunnel,” explained Jean-Claude Facturations-Valeer from the French Interior Ministry. “They just don’t seem to want to stay. We have baguettes, horsemeat, snails and every so often we aren‘t rude. I don‘t understand it.”

“I remember when I last talked to my wife, she is making her way to me here soon,” said a tearful Mr al-Mahdi. “What possessions we had were destroyed in fire. Our little place, it wasn’t much, was ransacked by looters. My daughter had been raped and my brother was killed late at night during a riot.” he said. “I asked her what we could do. She said it was my fault that we had come to Paris in the first place. We must escape.”

Saturday, April 14, 2007

David Beckham completes transfer

Today David Beckham completed his long awaited transfer. Even though it has been common knowledge for some time, it was today that he finalised his move from the back pages to end his career in the entertainment and showbiz sections of the newspapers.

"This is something we have been planning for some time," said his wife, Victoria Beckham. "Ever since we married I have been planning a move away from football to a purely showbiz lifestyle."

Friends of the Beckhams say that David had become unhappy with his role as a footballer once it transpired that sending in the odd free-kick from 30 yards was no longer enough to guarantee him a place in ‘Hello!’ magazine or even onto the front pages of the tabloids.

There was a brief ceremony in Wapping as David Beckham signed an exclusive deal with ‘The Sun’ newspaper for the serialisation of the next volume of his autobiography, reputed to be for a seven-figure sum. During the ceremony, Sun football writer Andrew Haigh handed over Mr Beckham’s mobile phone number to ‘Bizarre’ columnist Victoria Newton.

Speaking after the ceremony, David said that transfer to full time celebrity was all part of his move to the American Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer team.

"I have always loved America. I have one of my footballing academies in the heart of the Mecca of celebrity that is L.A." commented the former England Captain.

The midfielder, who won every English trophy and the Champion’s League with Manchester United, was asked if his move to the ‘League One’ level of football at the MLS would stifle his abilities as a midfield playmaker.

"Plays, well I don’t know nothing about plays," he replied. "I was really hoping to go straight into movies."

Friday, April 13, 2007

Burglars “forced me to wear dress”

New Scotland Yard today urged members of the public all over the country to be on the lookout for a gang of criminals that has preyed upon dozens of victims for perhaps decades forcing them into acts of cross-dressing.

"The crimes may have only recently been reported, but our investigations have subsequently revealed a pattern that could stretch back for many years," said Detective Inspector Patrick Billingsworth. "We are warning prominent people, in business, in the media, or in the public eye in general, to take extra precautions if they are at home alone."

DI Billingsworth outlined how the gang operates and how it has struck up and down the country, from rural estates in Scotland to urban apartments in London and the Home Counties.

"We have now received several reports from men who have been found at home, sometimes bound and gagged, but always dressed in women’s clothing," he explained. "They are often discovered in this state by their wives. Needless to say the victims have not been keen to come forward, which is why the crime has gone on for so long."

Police investigations have discovered that the group most at risk appears to be politicians and especially Conservative Members of Parliament who, in addition to being forced to wear women’s clothing and sometimes underwear, are often forced to watch Gay Porn videos.

"Everyone should be on their guard, since the people perpetrating these heinous acts are some of the most brazen criminals I have ever come across. They often return to the scene of the crime," said Billingsworth. "The wife of one senior member of the Liberal Democrat party tells me that she has come home to find her husband has been victimised 7 times this year alone."

Thursday, April 12, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: Taxman probes The Apprentice

The producers of the BBC’s show ‘The Apprentice’ have been contacted by both the Inland Revenue and Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise with regards to the tax positions of the two companies that represent the teams in the show after claims that the contestants keep the profits they make.

"This series has better contestants and better business tasks than ever before," said Sir Alan Sugar. "We aim to have challenges that truly reflect modern business and challenge the contestants."

It s understood that upcoming episodes of the business based reality programme will show the contestants filing details of their Eclipse and Stealth firms with Companies House and filling in their personal and corporate income tax declarations. In an episode to be aired in three weeks time Eclipse are rumoured to have failed the task set by Sir Alan - despite earning the most money - since they had forgotten to submit their VAT returns.

The changes to the programme have been made after the Inland Revenue and became interested in the profits that the teams have been making during the series. Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise is also said to be keen on details of any VAT incurred on services offered, such as gardening or children’s face painting. The various team leaders are also understood to be taking advice as to their position with regards to National Insurance contributions as employers and all are said to be concerned over the implications of the IR35 legislation.

Sir Alan Sugar was unavailable for comment as to how closely this matches his early business experience but the producers of the programme have denied any changes to the famous catchphrase to reflect the complexity of a contestant’s tax situation – such as "You’re mired".

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bank Robbers to be prescribed cash

During his keynote speech at Finsec 07, the conference on financial security, Martin Billingsworth, of Barclays UK Retail Banking, said that the time had come to consider radical ways to prevent crime by following the lead of drug abuse campaigners.

"We need to reduce the motivation for habitual criminals such as Bank Robbers and fraudsters that target the small multi-billion pound organisations," he said. "We need to remove the link between their needs and the crime they commit. If registered armed robbers were prescribed great bundles of cash on the NHS it will lead to less desire to perform bank raids."

Attendees at the conference included not just the retail banking sector, but its interested consumer groups. Tony ‘The Spanner’, who has served a total of 24 years for armed robbery and represented the Essex firms said that the move did not go far enough.

"Well I know that my members would welcome the re-assurance that we can maintain our cash dependencies without the need to break the law. It will be a great comfort," he said. "However I think this needs to be applied to other forms of crime. Burglars should have the right to be prescribed DVD players and laptop computers and as for rapists well perhaps regular session with S&M sex workers should be provided on the NHS."

Barclays was supported by other members at the conference who felt that such an opportunity would not only reduce costs but also open up other business opportunities.

"Our insurance costs would go down if the threat of robbery was removed. Further all the paraphernalia we have to pay for such as safes; bandit screens, alarms, that can all go," said Sir Arthur Nowling, Chief Financial Officer of HSBC. "Of course if the NHS wants big bundles of cash we are quite happy to sell them to it."

Tony ‘The Spanner’ was concerned over the controls in place to prevent abuse of the system by illegal immigrants.

"Well, I read in the Daily Mail that everyone in Eastern Europe is a criminal and they are all coming over here," he said. "The government would need to make sure that they were not able to get the large bundles of cash and that they only went to genuine British, tax avoiding thugs."

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Jenson Button “Religion blunts chances”

Friends of Jenson Button today revealed that there might be religious aspects to the British Formula 1 driver’s lack of success in Motor Racing.

"Well, I know Jense well," said James Billingsworth from Frome in Somerset. "Why else would I refer to him as Jense? In his seven years in F1, and in his previous career in the lower formulae, he has never really raced on a Sunday. I think that it is a devout Christian belief."

Friends believe this, rather than any question marks regarding the Englishman’s talent, is the reason for a lack of race wins and championship success.

"Oh certainly he will drive on a Sunday, but he just won’t compete!" claimed Mr Billingsworth, citing the Briton’s performances as evidence. "You never see him overtaking, and he doesn’t defend his position at all well, both of which would mark him out as a racing driver. What he does is drive neatly around, respecting the Sabbath."

Friends point out that Button’s only F1 win came at the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix in wet conditions that led a lot of other drivers to crash.

"He stayed out of everyone’s way in the race and when Fernando Alonso’s car broke he simply inherited the win," explained James. "I believe he gave the trophy away as otherwise he was worried it would be lead to idolatry".

Button has shown he will compete in Saturday’s qualifying session but seems resolute in not finishing Sunday’s race any further up the field than he starts it. It is also understood that Jenson was becoming increasingly worried that as the performance of his Honda car improved he would be a hindrance to more drivers because of his feelings about the Seventh Day.

"Fortunately this year’s car is terrible," said Billingsworth. "This puts Jenson further back on the starting grid and he need not worry about competing on a Sunday this season."

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Britons “pleased to see ex-pats go”

A new study released today claims that most Britons are pleased when ex-pats leave their native land and head to far off countries.

“It appears these ‘wannabe ex-pats’ have been getting on the nerves of other people in Britain so when they announce they are going to leave, most people wish them well and hope it will be soon,” explained Professor J. Scott Billingsworth.

The survey polled thousands of homes from up and down the land with consistent themes recurring throughout.

“Oh yeah, our neighbours used to constantly moan about Britain, the weather, the trains, young people, the television, the traffic,” explained Arthur MacAulay, from Falkirk, who took part in the survey. “Everyday it would be something new that they didn’t like. I was so pleased when they said they were leaving for Paxos, I offered to drive them to the airport.”

Mr MacAulay’s feelings were echoed by Martin Edenbridge from Aynsford in Kent. “The people next door? Oh they showed no interest in making anything better – never contributed to the parish council, never spoke up on planning issues, but just moaned endlessly. Bizarrely they went on and on about the schools, but they didn’t even have any kids,” he said. “Mind you, what can you expect, it took them 43 years to find the airport!”

The research revealed that most ex-pats still obsess about the country they left behind even though they only keep in touch through tabloid media.

“We collated the comments posted on the websites of the major newspapers - as well as the Daily Express and Daily Mail. We also checked the viewer's comments on 24 hour news channels.” said Professor Billingsworth. “Invariably there will be a comment from someone who left a decade ago but is using the current headline as a platform to both justify their decision and rubbish Britain.”

The research found that these constant justifications get wearing for those back home hearing about how a third-world country is actually an undiscovered paradise, an experience shared by Mr MacAulay.

“We got a few phone calls after they left going on about how great it was. Last time he was almost hysterical,” explained Mr MacAulay. “He was raving about how none of the locals spoke English, the only Doctor was at the top of a steep mountain path, they didn’t have running drinking water and the rustic supermarket was hardly open. Of course what really grated was when he patronisingly assumed I would want to join him. ‘Please call for help’ he said!”

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Princess Diana found Alive

In a shocking revelation it was today revealed that rather than having been killed in a car crash in the tunnel at the Point D’Alma in Paris, Princess Diana is actually alive and well and running the news desk of a leading tabloid newspaper.

Shiona Winlingsborth, a sixth form student who was taking part in the Daily Express’s work experience programme, made the sensational discovery but at first thought it was too bizarre to be true.

"Well, I just thought it was someone who looked a bit like her, you know. Diana’s died, she was like killed in that car crash, or something," said Miss Winlingsborth. "On my last day I took a photo of the news room and showed it to a few friends and they all recognised her."

Diana, Princess of Wales, confessed that the stories were indeed true and that she had been secretly working in the newsroom and helping to shape the Express’s stories

"When the crash happened, I realised that it was a chance to get out of the limelight," said a tearful, doe-eyed princess, speaking exclusively to the Daily Express. "However after a few months I realised that I just needed that oxygen of publicity again."

Under the pseudonym of Diana Spencer, she said she was able to get a job and pass the checking of not just the personnel procedures but the rigorous investigative analysis of her Express journalist colleagues.

“We just never suspected that Diana, was well Diana,” explained Rhys Billingsworth, Daily Express Chief Researcher . “I guess we have been focussing too much on how MI6, in collaboration with Masonic Vampires, killed her to see the truth as obvious as it was.”

"I was able to subtly plant some stories about myself, not too many, just a few to keep the headlines going. I was careful not to overdo it, " said the Princess. "I think I was only on the front page of the Express 46 times last year."

Diana said that in some ways she was relieved that the truth had come out, but also pleased that she can leave a legacy of higher journalistic standards.

"You know, before the crash, the paper was filled with paparazzi photos, but in my time on the news desk I was able to change that, now they only use ad-hoc photos from freelance photographers."

You can read more about Diana’s amazing story, each and every day in the Daily Express.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

French strike over requirement to work

Members of the French union, the Federation Sans Travail, which include tour guides and information kiosk workers from the vast panoply of France’s public buildings and cultural services, today voted for strike action in protest at the requirement that they perform a days work for their pay.

“Our, members, who staff the information desks, or patrol the galleries of some of France’s most famous and historic buildings are fed up having to deal with the public,” explained Gilles Facturations-Valeer of the FST. “Our gallery attendants are not there to simply guide the public. They simply will not stand for it. Chairs are another of our demands.”

“All day, everyday, our members have to ask questions about where this is, how to get to that. It is very tiresome,” he explained. “Constantly having to remind people not to use flash photography – well this is intolerable for an assistant at an art gallery.”

It is feared that the strike action may spread to other areas of the French economy. France’s lorry drivers are already rumoured to have begun stockpiling fire lighters and kerosene at the country’s ports, should the day of the Museum worker’s strike be nice and sunny.

It is not clear if members of the Transport Worker’s union would also be taking part in the strike, since they refused to give a statement to English speaking media.

The curators of the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay – the two institutions most heavily effected by the walk-out, said that the work to rule and refusal by FST members to provide assistance or information to members of the public would not in anyway effect the traditional image of Parisian helpfulness.

Monday, April 02, 2007

London buses concern over Iran

The escalating crisis between Iran and the United Kingdom over the detention of 15 British service personnel has aroused concern not just throughout the political and military worlds, but also for the Bus planners of London Transport.

“From what we have learned about the crisis, from the media, both countries are in dispute over the position of boats using GPS,” explained Ken Billingsworth, Manager for Bus Logistics Central London. “We use the same system to track our buses, so if it doesn’t work it could be a disaster.”

Transport for London uses GPS to locate its buses for amongst other reasons populating the electronic displays on stops that give the expected time of arrival of the next service. There have long been questions and complaints regarding the displays. Many a commuter has looked down from the sign saying their bus was due to find an empty road extending into distance.

“I mean GPS systems are supposed to be accurate to within a few metres. Yet the dispute is over miles. If they were really that inaccurate, it would be chaos. Those electronic displays could be showing any old rubbish,” explained Mr Billingsworth. “We may as well just scroll through the timetable and not bother tracking the actual buses.”

Splash Nav

In related news Belinda Willis, who famously wrote off a £96k Mercedes in a river following the instructions of her satellite navigation system, said she felt vindicated by the crisis.

“If sailors can get into troubled water following GPS, what hope has a motorist?”

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Jim’ll Fix it back after 12 years

Today repeat television specialists UK Gold announced the return to our screens of the show “Jim’ll fix it”, to be called “Jim’ll Fix it : Strikes Again”.

"The programme will be slightly revised," explained Fiona Billingsworth, Head of Programming at UKtv. "It will retain the old format of fulfilling children’s wishes but also explore those wishes from the original series that were not selected for broadcast originally."

The first episode will show Sir Jimmy Saville trying to fix it for a viewer from the final 1994 series of the original BBC production. In the episode Jim will attempt to assist Gordon from Glasgow, who now lives in state housing in London, achieve his life long ambition of becoming Prime Minister.

However TV executives stress that the format will also be updated to include contemporary wishes from today’s children. Included in the first episode we will see how Charles Thompson, 14, from South London gets on with his aim of getting an adult to buy him two Bacardi Breezers for his romantic meal with his 12 year old girlfriend Shauna at the bus stop outside McDonalds.

In episode two we will see young Arctic Monkeys fan David Cameron celebrate his 40th birthday as a roadie at one of their recent gigs - with a special surprise from Snow Patrol! We will also join young Shauna, 12, as she gets to see how an Accident and Emergency department works and the importance of modern medicines, such as Morning After pills.

In future episodes we will see young John Prescott 69. John was born in Prestatyn, but now works occasionally in the urban confines of Hull and London. John has always longed for the open spaces, so Jim fixes it for him to spend a week on a ranch in Texas. We get to experience the thrills as John gets to grips with the work and the language on his “Catley Ranch”.

It is hoped Sir Jimmy Saville will live long enough to conclude filming of all six episodes.

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