The beauty and the beast

WHAT is it that attracts some of the world’s most stunning women to the toad-featured Rupert Murdoch? OK, the bloke’s worth way more than a bob or two, but surely that blonde bombshell Jerry Hall must have money in her own right after her successful modelling career? Whether she got any money out of Mick Jagger, after their unofficial private marriage ceremony in Bali was declared invalid, remains to be seen, but she did bear him four children, which must count for something financially.

The 59-year-old Texan was pictured beaming on the arm of Mr Toad at Vanity Fair’s Oscar party. She recently became engaged to the 84-year-old and was sporting a 20-carat engagement ring, rumoured to have cost Murdoch a mere £2.4 million. Meanwhile, it has been revealed that the former Mrs Murdoch, Wendi Deng, was divorced by Mr Toad when he found out about her secret night with Tony Blair.

Tony Blair got to know Wendi Deng in 2011 and he made business trips to visit her in her native China after that. Further meetings apparently followed with them being spotted together alone in Mayfair. Deng famously wrote how she ‘missed Tony’ because he had a ‘good body’. I suppose, if the only bloke you’d seen in his boxer shorts recently was Mr Toad, you might be forgiven for thinking Tony Blair was on the ‘fit’ side. She became infatuated by Tony and I can only think it was about ‘that power thing’. Let’s face it, if John Prescott can have an affair, there must be some credibility to that theory.


Now the enormous mouthed (not in a good way) Cherie Blair is known for her jealous streak, so Tony’s dalliance with Ms Deng can’t have gone down well. When she discovered a set of Tony’s private letters to blonde political assistant Anji Hunter trouble flared and she fought tooth and nail to have the woman removed from Tony’s close circle. In my opinion, the best solution to all this love rivalry would be to match up Cherie Blair with Mr Toad. She already looks like a reptile and Rupert Murdoch is one. Watch this space.

YOU know how sometimes you wake up with a story bouncing around in your head and you think it must have all been a dream? Well that happened to me when I dreamt that bell ringers had argued that their hobby should be classed as a sport. In the interests of accuracy I googled it, and there it was in black and white!

Campanologists say their hobby is competitive and physically difficult. They claim that the activity is a form of exercise and obtaining sports status would attract new recruits and boost funding. Bell ringing sessions can go on for three hours at a time. Tell me about it. Every Wednesday night is torture around these parts. You can’t watch the telly in peace for the clanging and clattering and they go on way past the time you’d be in trouble with environmental health for making any other sort of noise.

THANK God leap years only happen every four years. A foolhardy Helen Hartley chose February 29 to propose to her partner Mark Shepherd live on This Morning. The film crew accompanied her to Mark’s butchers shop in Ambleside where she made a gushing proposal. Phillip Schofield  and Holly Willoughby were left squirming on the sofa in London after Mark made Helen sweat saying: ‘I’ve been avoiding this’ in front of millions of viewers.

Accompanied by television presenter Alison Hammond, Helen told Mark he was ‘the best thing that’s ever happened to me’ only for him to reply that he ‘needed to think about it’. He just took a little too long to say yes. It makes great television, but the pair in question must feel like a right pair of idiots now.

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Kevan Blackadder

Written by Kevan Blackadder

Kevan Blackadder is a media consultant who runs Blackadder Media Limited. Kevan was previously editor of the Gloucestershire Echo and assistant editor of the Bristol Post. A Cumbrian who moved to the South West “for a couple of years” in the 1980s, he can’t quite believe he’s been there ever since.

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