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Speed Read: Christmas crackers & royal disasters

Every week we visit Pizza Express in Woking to delve into the latest news to find the stories we just can’t ignore – this week we couldn’t get a table though, no idea why…

For as long as this Speedster remembers, Prince Harry has set the bar for royal gaffes – less we forget him admitting to dabbling in marijuana, dressing as a Nazi at a costume party or having to apologise after footage of him using racially insensitive language during his army days was leaked to the press. This week, Prince Andrew made that look like child’s play.

Yes, it’s arguably the biggest PR disaster of the year as the current Duke of York agreed to an interview with BBC’s Emily Maitlis on Newsnight to discuss his relationship with late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and clear his name in regards to allegations of having sex with a teenage girl. The result? An absolute car crash.

In truth, the entire Speed Read could be dedicated to the interview but we’ll focus on the lowlights that have defined what may be looked back on as the most iconic interview of the decade, for all the wrong reasons.

  1. Prince Andrew still doesn’t regret his friendship with Epstein – he went so far as to say the relationship had “some seriously beneficial outcomes”
  2. His language choices – apparently the term “unbecoming” is now a synonym for sex offender
  3. He ‘stopped being able to sweat’ after being shot at in the Falklands – photographs of him sweating during nights out, seemingly disproving this claim, have since been plastered all over the media
  4. His dress sense – the prince claimed an image of him and Virginia Guiffre was fake because when he goes out in London, he always wears a suit and tie
  5. He’s been to Pizza Express in Woking – his claim that he couldn’t possibly have slept with the teenage girl in question as he was at the Italian restaurant chain resulted in too many spoof reviews for Trip Advisor to handle. Our personal favourite? “Love this place. I had a cracking pizza here in 2001. I remember it was 2001 because it was very strange a guy next to me had an American Hot pizza with extra chillies… not a drop of sweat came off him. Very odd”

This unsurprisingly raised the ire of the Queen who has ‘sacked’ Prince Andrew and stripped him of his £249,000/year salary according to the Mail Online. Odds on him being on I’m a Celebrity next year?

That’s more than enough on the royal debacle though and I’m sure there are plenty of you out there dying to hear the latest on the general election. Hey, I can hear you groaning at the back – don’t worry, I’ll keep it short and sour…

First up, the Liberal Democrats who hosted its ‘serious’ manifesto launch at a nightclub this week. It seems an odd choice, but given the party that will ensue if it is successful in cancelling Brexit (sorry, I had to drop the B bomb at least once) it makes perfect sense. Leader Jo Swinson was conspicuous by her absence at this week’s TV debate as is coverage of her party’s policies. Safe to say, it’s not going well.

The same can’t be said for the Labour Party as Jezza Corbs is plastered across almost every national newspaper this morning to mark the launch of his manifesto. Not the Daily Star though – it bucked the trend by running with “Flare thugs destroyed my boobs”.

Of course, depending on the publication, the manifesto is either the radical change this country needs, or an “£80bn raid on your wallets” (Daily Express). What we really want to know is, will we need to rebrand to the Thursday Speed Read if his plans for a four-day working week comes to fruition?

Sadly, we can’t completely ignore the Tories, as the party’s idiocy which saw it rebrand its verified Twitter account as FactCheckUK during ITV’s election debate as an attempt to disprove many of Labour’s claims was sadly as juvenile as it was effective. Tweets using the Conservative Party’s handle were viewed six times as frequently as those mentioning Jeremy Corbyn.

700 words in and everything feels a little depressing, so let’s drop a C bomb to liven things up. Christmas is little under a month away and although it’s undeniably too early to listen to Slade and The Pogues in the office, the media has certainly started getting into the festivities.

This week saw Which? research reveal the laughable complaints made about deliveries during the Christmas period last year. Apparently, more than half of online shoppers had at least one delivery go awry with one package being dropped in the loo after it was pushed through a bathroom window. That’s the courier’s reputation in the toilet!

Jesus has also had increased exposure this week as we gear up for his 2019th birthday. A church in Mexico has unveiled 6.7m tall, 900kg statue of baby Jesus which strikes a scary resemblance to circa 1980s Phil Collins. Maybe something happened on the way to heaven. (If you don’t get that reference, you need to listen to more 80s bangers!).

Jesus popped up in the Daily Star on Thursday too, as apparently a knitted baby Jesus was one of the strangest things stolen from a pub this year. Other items include a goldfish, an Alan Partridge poster (AH-HA!) and a dead customer’s ashes. Not exactly items that spring to mind when you fancy a pint.

The word count is once again running away with me so I’ll leave you with the news story that put a smile on my face that is likely to last all weekend. Nobody’s favourite band Coldplay has announced it won’t be touring its new album due to climate change concerns. So, if you live in earshot of an arena you don’t need to worry about being bored to tears by the dull strains of Every Teardrop is a Waterfall. Hurrah!

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