I’m grateful to the readers who have kindly drawn my attention to this item in the current issue of Private Eye.
Only three months into 2006, there is already a hot favourite for this year’s prize for the most spectacularly dud PR puff.
The April issue of GQ carries an “article” about the new Wembley stadium which reads more like a publicity brochure for the sports venue and its management company. Hack John Naughton can barely contain his awe and reveals that “the stadium architects employed astronomers to calculate the position of the sun on May afternoons to ensure that the pitch is not covered in shadow when the FA Cuo final is played. At 3pm on Cup Final day, only two southern corner flags will be in shadow”.
Not that anyone will notice. Just after the mag went to press, it was announced that the stadium wouldn’t be ready in time for the FA Cup Final, which will now take place in sunny Cardiff instead.
Er, not guilty, m’lud. It’s another chap with the same name. He specialises in covering what might loosely be termed popular culture. My academic colleagues never tire of showing me their (lovingly photocopied and distributed) copies of his review of Stag Night Videos! The only time our paths have crossed was when a Prosperous Sunday Newspaper sent me a large cheque made out to “John Naughton” for pieces I hadn’t written. (And, since you ask, I returned it.)