Saturday, October 06, 2007


THE Liverpool Echo’s longest-serving journalist Joe Riley faces the sack thanks to the £114million Culture Company.
Its £90,000-a-year (with performance-related pay, eds) Director of Communications, Paul Newman, aka The Invisible Man, made an official complaint about Riley to Echo Editor Alistair McRae.
Newman, who lives in Hertfordshire and commutes to Liverpool during the week, branded Riley “a disgrace to journalism and a disgrace to Liverpool”.
(We shall return to this amazing accusation from this invisible man whose name we keep forgetting, eds).
So what caused the astonishing outburst from 'snitch' Newman which has led to Riley’s suspension and has journalists agog at (the unholy) Trinity Mirror?
Quite simply, Joe Riley fell asleep during the premiere of Jimmy McGovern’s extremely disappointing play, King Cotton at the Liverpool Empire.
While other bored members of the audience were walking out of the Empire half-way through to do something infinitely more interesting like catch a bus, or count the pigeons, Joe had forty winks.
He had been on duty, apparently, since 7am that morning when he had also been at the launch of some obscure Culture Company event.
However, Mr McGovern, (who we had previously admired, eds) was sitting a few seats away from the Echo scribe and took umbrage at him dozing off.
Precise accounts vary but there then followed an unseemly and noisy confrontation at half-time in the bar at the Empire with McGovern tearing into Riley with a four-letter tirade.
For some obscure reason, which has still not been satisfactorily explained to us, self-styled PR photographer Carolyn Hughes phoned the Echo editor from the foyer of the Empire. (Jesus, what the **** did it have to do with her? Are these people all in the pay of the Liverpool Stasi? eds)
Anyroadup, unsuspecting Mr Riley wanders into the Echo the next day and all hell is let loose.
We should point out at this stage, that we would have no sympathy for Mr Riley if he had gone on to pen a review of King Cotton after snatching forty winks during the first half.
But he didn’t.
Like the old trouper he is, Riley admitted he had fallen asleep and suggested that fellow Echo scribe Katherine Jones, who was also at the premiere, should do the review instead.
Fair enough, you might think.
But oh no…
McGovern appeared on the Roger Phillips programme later that morning and was allowed to whitter on about Riley like a true luvvie for the best part of 20 minutes.
(Gosh, this is better than Corrie, isn’t it? eds)
Riley’s only offence, of course, had been to find McGovern’s play so interminably dull that he had dropped off. (A view which we also share, eds)
Meanwhile the snitch Newman, self-appointed guardian of journalistic ethics and moral arbiter for Liverpool, had fired off his ‘Riley’s a disgrace’ missive to McRae in a clear effort to get him sacked after 38 years unblemished service to the Echo (surely cause for a proper disciplinary investigation? eds)
Riley was duly suspended and appeared last week at a disciplinary hearing, the outcome of which we await with bated breath.
(This is the good bit now, eds)
We have some things to say about Mr Newman, (right) whose career in Liverpool has been distinguished by consistent incompetence, failure and invisibility.
(Oh goodie, eds)
The first is this: be very careful about making complaints about the personal behaviour of other people in a work-related situation. People in glass houses...
We are reasonably sure that your wife and family would not be at all happy if a complaint was made about your own personal behaviour in a work-related situation. Know what we mean?
(ermmm, we think so, eds)
Secondly, if you paid more attention to doing your job which the people of Liverpool are paying for through the nose, then you wouldn’t have time to fire off self-righteous, poisonous little missives to editors.
Thirdly, we are sure it has not been lost on our readers, that Mr Riley, for all his faults, has been one of the few local journalists to give your bosses at the £114million Culture Company and the city council, a difficult time.
You saw your chance to try and do Riley in and thus remove a thorn in your side, didn’t you rat-face?
Well, we hope you are thwarted and that Mr Riley returns from a hopefully relaxing suspension to his desk, unbowed and undeterred.
And we hope Newman’s disgraceful role in this nasty little episode is not quickly forgotten by journalists on Merseyside and elsewhere.
(another cracker, we love it when he gets all angry, eds)


Anonymous said...

what a twat!

puzzled said...

why on earth should the echo pay any attention to newman anyway?

Tori Blare said...

This just shows how under the thumb the so called voice of the people ECHO is.
I don't know why people still buy it?

if Riley gets the sack then that would confirm who the real power people of the ECHO are.
I don't think he could legally be sacked for that anyway, however it just shows that freedom of press really does not exist in the ECHO therfore Liverpool, the truth behind this is he has upset the new leaders of the Council, the so called Culture Club.

Anonymous said...

Riley must have done more than this, surely?

Anonymous said...

who approved newman's complaint then? or was he acting without any authority?

Derek said...

A nastier shower of bastards you'd be hard put to find. And what's it got to do with that Carolyn Hughes anyway? Or is she still sucking up? Nasty!

Anonymous said...

Was Newman an AHA of Sir Diddys?

Looks like the Cabal still reigning strong even without the wee one!

Anonymous said...


As ever you have got straight to the truth and behind the whitewash that toilet paper like the Echo and Daily Post and the Cover up crew would prefer us to think.

Thanks as always and please keep up the excellent work.

Joe said...

It is all a bit gob-smacking this, I have to admit. Has Joe got a decent lawyer? Perhaps good old Rexie can be prevailed upon to come to his aid? He could sue Newman for libel couldn't he? - That would be terrific!

Professor Dame Yaffle Chucklebutty said...

“By Jove and gadzooks Missus…..”
(The Professor enters stage left wearing a striped blazer, a flowing evening gown and football boots. He is carrying an upturned Homburg hat full of popcorn)
I’m just back from the theatre, ahh yes the wonderful world of make believe. All the world’s a stage I know missus, but my favourite bit is our very own Empire. To think the great Laurel & Hardy once trod that stage, now they are running the council.
“ Well, here’s another fine dock full of stunned fish you’ve gotten me into” By Jove yes missus, where would we be without the theatre?…enjoying ourselves.

Every time I rise at the end of a production, I am reminded of those wonderful lines from The Tempest, “Our revels now are ended” so I always take a bag of malteasers as well for the bus home.

King Cotton! That’s where I’ve been….take an extra bit to stick in your ears. Ha ha by Jove, It’s me own fault, being near Christmas, I thought it was going to be a panto, like Snow White or something…well I did have Sleepy sitting two rows behind me and quite a few in front. Turned out that Sleepy, was none other than Roly Joe Riley. Apparently he had been up since dawn watching a demonstration by the culture company on hitting fish on the head with small mallets or was it somebody hitting the culture company over the head with small mullets….? Anyway, they must have mistaken Joe for a little bloater and he got several whacks as soon as he walked in….hence he ends up in the Empire….wait for it missus….as a Kipper! By Jove the school of fish comedy paid off. As a boy I was lucky to get in…it was a gills only school you know.

King Cotton, I really should have checked beforehand…I saw the stuff about big bands and thought it was a show about the great bandleader Billy Cotton. If only it had been…somebody running on stage every 10 minutes shouting
“Wakey WaaaaaayKey” was just what the audience needed. All credit to Jimmy McGovern, if you need a quiet kip in the centre of town…it’s cheaper than the Adelphi. Now why hasn’t anybody written
“The Adelphi The Musical” Hey?
Martine MeClutchgone would make a wonderful Ida Downey..wasn’t that her name? Oh no Eileen, yes Eileen…imagine the set…the Adelphi dining room packed with famous celebrities and Ringo, all waiting impatiently for their dinner…Brian shouting “Just cooook will ya” and as they begin the meal they all start singing “ Come on Eileen” accompanied by Dexy’s Midnight Runs later that night. There you are Jimmy…write that!

My advice to Jim, is never write sci-fi as it often includes references to the 5th dimension so you need to get passed the 2 dimensional first. Is it true that Howard Goodhall changed his name to Howard Sodall-Todowithit so he was taken off the credits? Only joking Jim, it was a very enjoyable evening apart from that bloody Salvation Army band playing outside. Ashton Under Lyne… Ashton leaving under a blanket, so I hear!

The most inspired part of the show for me was how the action transferred to a bar, lulling the audience into thinking it was the interval but it was in fact the showdown between the self appointed representative of the oppressed and enslaved, against the sleeping scribes who document history through the echo of capitalist and cultural lackeys. “Fat, fat fatty” he cried to the sleeping dog patrolling the civil war, who in response fired a brookside, causing him to lash out with the words “baldy fat fatty… I’ll get you sacked and write a play about the injustice of it, and guess who will play you?…Sinbad!…with his head shaved!!! Cos he’s fat as well!”

Yes missus, it was the classic Jimmy Mac, we all love, back to the glory days of those wonderful poetic lines from his early career. Who can ever forget lines like, “Arrr ay Sheila….” And “ Petrochem just don’t want me Annabelle we have to live with the scum now” and “ ar ay Terry, where’s ahh Barry? Norron the bog is he?” or “druuuuuuuuuuuuugs, Billy” and my all time favourite storyline “ Free Jesse Jackson” Oh no it was George Jackson, a hapless fireman who was completely out of his depth and lost in a warren of intrigue and incompetence, ends up getting sent to the slammer…ha ha, as if?

Well all I can say about my night at the theatre missus is this, and it’s in the form of a little poem, just like you get in the Echo.

“That old King Cotton, is best forgotten, music’s nice but the script is rotten.
An epic story of Lancashire mills who all faced a famine and couldn’t pay bills,
As the fight against slavery is depicted on stage it causes the author to get in a rage.
The snoring of critics gets him fumin’ then comes a letter sung by Randy Newman.
It says Old Hack Joe is a total disgrace, by the invisible man with Frank Bough’s face.
Joe is suspended, put out of reach so much for culture and the right of free speech”

By the way missus and all you avid Bloggerers, if you support free speech, then lend us your mobile phone. Ha ha by Jove.

(His musings now ended, The Professor drops exhausted into a large leather armchair as a cat screeches and darts from under his ample posterior. He nods off relaxed in front of a roaring fire, forgetting it is all central heating. As alarm bells ring everywhere, a handsome young fireman tries to wake from his nightmare as the curtain begins to fall…….probably around May 2008)

Tatty Bye everybody, Tatty bye!

The Tonys said...

My oh my, its another cracker from the great Professor. We are seriously considering publishing these, with all proceeds going to a rest home for retired bloggers. Any takers?

jase said...

i wouldn't mind a rest home

Tori Blare said...

Chuckle butty should try writing his own play, I would support that one, better than the shite other people are writing lately, making out its what Liverpool people think like, when they have been living in London most of the time!
Jimmy McGovern is creating an injustice now.
I won't be able to watch his plays now and believe in them as I know the writer has instigated someone's victimization.


Correspondent said...

Excellent post, Tony's, shedding much needed light on yet another murky bit of business from this shower of charlatans. I've crossed swords with Joe Riley in the past, but he's a paragon of virtue compared to this crowd.
Sad to see McGovern fall in with this nest of vipers (remember your socialist principles, Jimmy?). I haven't seen King Cotton, but I suspect it isn't half as instructive & entertaining as Lizzie Nunnery's "Intemperance" at the Everyman.

Tony Parrish (the first) said...

Funny there should be all this talk about plays at this particular moment in time, since I have just been approached to star in my very own magnum opus next year (not funded by the Culture Company, of course.) There would certainly be a part for Mr Riley while he is resting between engagements and I would be very interested in inviting the Professor to assist the creative process...

Prof.Y-front of House Chucklebutty said...

By Jove! It’s me again, it's like Star Wars tonight..The Return Of The Didi, the Scribe Grotty Cash! How Tickled I am to see a comment from the first Mr Parrish, the gentleman who gave my spleen a vent after I found Sir Diddy's Guardian lecture on the laptop whilst rifling through his smalls. It was noble of Mr P to allow a retired old professor like me to be ghostwriter for Diddy. Thanks to Mr P, I was able to defend Sir Diddy, his actions and good name from attacks by those who misunderstood his unique little ways. So, Sir Tony, if you require any assistance in the creative process, I’d be happy to share my medication with you, I have my own private Doctor. And have unlimited supplies of Preparation H. Yes Diddys ointment for accumulated piles of wealth.

Yes Dr M. Marmaliser can fix it and of course Sir Diddy is now in charge of the Regional Health and Efficiency catalogue. Working on new plans to revolutionise the service and rise to new heights. Cuban heels on prescription. However any artistic musing and contributions on my part would be costly. For my theatrical scripts I use only the finest Quills plucked from the rear of the Australian Robin and as you know these cost a fortune, so you will have to supply me with some new ones. And now with Avian Flu, (wasn't he a Merseybeat poet?) the Robin is unemployed and infected with the P45 virus. This rarely spotted little warbler having successfully and briefly mated with a Liver Bird, is now, as a result, only to be found caring for her precious and painfully large nest egg in the banks of Sydney Harbour.

Of course I may well be write my own play, a Brecht parody about the cabal entitled,
"The Resistible Rise of Our turd ol' Diddy"

First attempts have gone very Bradley following a lame Storey plot line but ladies and gentlemen, if I can convince Derek Jacobi to play Sir Diddy it may instead be called
"I Greediarse" with a twist on the Nero figure near the end who still fiddles while Pete Burns but tries to put the fire out himself.

Tattious Byus Everybody Tattious Bye

Tori Blare said...

Oh please tell us more about your opus Tony the first?

Tony Parrish (the first) said...

Patience my children. btw, is this randy newman chappie the same one who sells jars of condiments at my local sainsbury's? what a sauce!

Ali Mc said...

so what personal behaviour and a work related situation would randy be unhappy about if it were revealed to the liverpool public?

Vulture said...

What's the hypocrite Randy been up to then, Tony's? while away from the warm embrace of his wife and family? And who with? I think you should start naming names....

Anonymous said...

Of course the Echo run this city. Why else would it be in such a mess?

Anonymous said...

Don't expect Sexy Rexy to sue the Echo - he's a card carrying member of their team of 2nd rate journalists.

Anonymous said...

Tony, what the F**k did it have to do with Carolyn Hughes??! She's no pal of mine either. By the way, good to see you earlier today!

How the council use Ripa to spy on you....

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