You know the feeling. A newspaper has been left on a train or in the dentist’s waiting-room. It is the type of rag which, under normal circumstances, you would never read, but there it is, you have not actually bought it yourself and you are bored. The lead story, about Chelsea love-rat Ashley Cole or troubled star Britney Spears, catches your eye. You pick it up.
Trash news, you discover, reports almost exclusively on a parallel universe of rampant celebrity misbehaviour. When the allegedly more serious press picks up one of these stories, it does so with tongs, passing them on to its readers in sniffy, censorious inverted commas. There is something faintly hypocritical about this stance because the hysterical carnival of excess recounted in trashy newspapers is really rather fascinating.
So now, as a service to readers who prefer not to sully themselves by actually reading the stuff at first hand, we present a brief summary of the Trash News headlines of the weekend.
* Tormented soul diva Amy Winehouse, currently in a rehabilitation clinic, has been finding the experience rather difficult. Reliable reports, from a bloke who knows someone who saw her in rehab, suggest that “she’s got sex on her mind the whole time now.” One of the disadvantages of celebrity drug-fuelled romps, Trash News can reveal, is that they are followed by at least 20 nights of no-nookie, self-loathing and half-eaten fry-ups. It is also reported that Amy is considering whether to write an account of her nightmare downward spiral into drugs. Publishers are expected to offer the tragic chanteuse an advance of £5m.
* In politics, the greedy, unprincipled toe-rag MP Derek Conway continues to make the headlines. Trash News can reveal that he has in the past claimed £10 a night for an overnight stay in a hotel for his wife Colette’s chocolate-brown miniature poodle. Mrs Conway has been explaining why her husband needed as much assistance from his family as he – sorry, that should be “we” – can afford. “Derek is very demanding,” says Colette. “He can’t work a video, let alone a computer.” On the other hand, she refuses to pour him a brandy, as other parliamentary secretaries do.
* It has been a busy time in the world of sport. Graham Rooney has been posing as his older brother, the Shrek lookalike Manchester United star Wayne Rooney, in order to score with girls who are out of his league. Trash News has a warning for girls approached by the potato-faced pretender: he is not the Man U take him for.
* Elsewhere in football, distraught Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Cole has turned to Mrs Posh Beckham for advice on how to deal with her husband Ashley, following his drunken night of shame with hairdresser Aimee Walton. The love-rat’s Chelsea team-mate Nicolas Anelka is also in trouble following revelations that, shortly after he married, he had a sexational fling with blonde shopgirl Natalie Merriman. The moody French soccer ace has left heart-broken Natalie with nothing but memories, some photographs of his private parts and the opportunity to confide her story to the press.
* There are several major stories from the world of acting . Megababe Sienna Miller bought drinks for her boyfriend Rhys Ifans at a hotel during a romantic, make-or-break trip to New York. Why? A source has revealed that Rhys had just delivered a marry-me-or else ultimatum. “It was as if she had some making up to do,” Trash News is told.
* Meanwhile Alfie Allen, star of the raunchy stage show Equus, celebrated a successful first night with a 12-hour champagne-soaked sex session with his girlfriend Jamie Winstone, daughter of tough-guy film star Ray Winstone. The randy couple left an after-show bash early and were not seen until 12.30pm the next day.
* Finally on Trash News, some health news. A leading Harley Street clinic has revealed that an aide to balding Prince William enquired about an anti-thinning product. On a perkier note, Big Brother beauty Imogen Thomas has announced that she is to have her bust enlarged. “There is no way that I’m going to go huge, just a little bit bigger” she told her fans. “I want all your support on this.”