Fox (n): carnivore of genus vulpes; crafty person; scavenger; (vb) to confuse; -ed (adj): to be drunk.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Money can't buy me love.

CELEBRITY weddings give me a sinking feeling. And not just because I'm fairly sure their divorce rate is worse than the 1 in 2 the rest of us have achieved.

It's because they inevitably involve a web of secrecy which I then have to find a way through. Not because I give a damn someone off the telly has married someone else off the telly, but because they've signed a six-figure magazine deal to pay for an extravagant shindig in return for exclusive coverage and if there's one thing which gets Fleet Street's gander up it's telling us we can't report something.

But seeing as it gets sales up too, everyone's a winner.

So when the rich and famous get hitched muggins here has to locate the venue no-one wants to confirm, blag details of the menu, the cost of the flowers, sweet-talk the DJ, find who's making the dress, flatter the caterers and suck up to the extended family. On the day itself I have to be up at the crack of sparrow's fart, file running copy throughout the day on a phone that's losing its charge, help the photographers trespass and hide and get their shots before writing their picture captions for them because they don't know how to spell anyone's names, and wangle details out of every last guest who leaves until the wee hours of the morning, all while trying to outwit my rivals and outflank a security detail who usually blunder about with fists and expletives flying and make the whole event a lot more intrusive and violent than it needs to be.

It's usually such an arse-ache that it makes me long for the days of local newspapers where I wrote wedding reports from forms filled in by the happy couple who willingly provided all those details because they wanted it in the paper.

Because what the famous forget is that weddings, by law, are a public event. It's a public promise which makes love a part of the State, and that is why you have to be married in a licensed venue with public access, and your intent to marry must be posted in public weeks beforehand.

That's why Carina Trimingham, the bisexual lover of beleaguered Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, is likely to lose at least part of the legal case she has brought against a newspaper for reporting the fact and photos of her civil partnership with a woman, and on whom she cheated with Huhne who was himself cheating on his wife. Trimingham says her wedding was "an inherently private" event, which flies in the face of logic, law and simple common sense. She and Huhne made public promises which they betrayed with their private behaviour, and that makes them fair game.

When you get wed you want to shout it from the rooftops; it's only when you get caught out you want to brush it under the carpet.

So thank heaven and praise be for Sir Paul McCartney whose wedding on Sunday showed that 50 years of fame and fabulous wealth make you much less of a pillock than someone who's had it for five minutes.

He got married in a register office for a few hundred pounds, told his 30 guests to take pictures but asked them to "politely refrain" from sticking them on the internet, walked down the steps with his bride in front of well-wishers and the Press, answered questions, winked and waved before releasing one official photograph for newspapers to use in return for a donation to his favourite charity.

Which seems like a graceful and sensible way to carry on. The happy couple got their perfect day, the Press got their pictures and story, and Heather Mills will have been absolutely furious at all of it.

Perhaps he should do an instruction manual.