The Front

I Raking through the dustbin of gossip and trivia

It’s stupid cupid

time again

I Dear sweet Jesus, it is that time again. Valentine’s Day. that disease of untruths and commercial lies that is unfurled on the mentally challenged every year. Insider has been spending a lot of time at the local library recently, due in large part to a community service order for crimes involving a salami love heart and a rusty crossbow (but that '8 another story). Anyway. between cleaning out the municipal loos and wiping the ned spit off the communal Spectrum ZXBt, Insider has been researching Saint Valentino and it seems this pillar of consumerism is indeed based on a hill of melting sand. Turns out that Valentine was the Graham Norton of his time. so obsessed was he with usurping the moral rule of the Roman Empire. Apparently when Emperor Claudius ll discovered that young single men make better soldiers. he forbade them from marrying. But the Christian Valentine decided to disobey these rules and helped to secretly marry hundreds of young couples (always with a cheeky wink and a glass of mead). Valentine was eventually executed for his crimes (a fate that does not await Mr Norton) but Pope Gelasius was so impressed by the buzz surrounding this impish rule breaker that he made him a Saint in 496AD. on the proviso that Valentine's day could be marketed to extract the urine out of soft bralned peasants and inbred aristocrats. Church collections were bolstered by the sale of warthog and dill weed and history's truly bad poets got a millennium reprieve to go on and set up a sugar lard card factory called Hallmarkius. It was the beginning of

Pipes of peace

I More Scottish people (doing ridiculous Burns night related things). Pipe Major Roderick Deans (apparently very well known on the bagpiping circuit) and chef Jonathon Machin commandeered the cruise ship. the

Burns madness

Hebridean Spirit, and led it to the Maldives islands for Burns Night. A Burns supper was then prepared, presumably in some demented desire to

recreate the not so glory days of Scotland’s colony-owning days in the . Straits of Dorian (look it up, proud Celt). The major and the chef sent i these wacky pictures to anyone who was puoriie and lazy enough to g publish them. Insider. of course, grabbed the opportunity with both hands. I

2 the great dumb down, the eternal

hoodwink, the embrace of stupidity.

You can even spend your child's tuition fees on celebrity signed Valentine cards by entering an auction on eBay (the roster is stunning: Ant & Dec. Dale Winton, Tess Daly etc). The money does. however. go to those nice people at RNID. Far worse is artist Prudence Emma Staite's chocolate portraits of celebrities (pictured). available for a cool £150. Staite claims to be 'tracing the history of food and how it has influenced the artist' No. love. You are a medieval greed box who trades in arcane traditions and mythology.

I Mogwai instrumentalist Barry Burns declared to a nonplussed audience at a Zagreb concert last

Cracking Croatia

week that he'd ‘love Croatia to beat England. Please destroy those bastards.‘ He was. of course. referring to the Euro 2004 finals in Portugal later this year. Insider knows that this is only really national football

your average card

team rivalry banter. but come on, it's a

pretty cheap way to increase your I record sales in a war torn country. The | last time Insider checked with its three ' illegal Croatian immigrant tiddlywink , partners, Mogwai were about as popular as Milosevic '3 Own 5 Salad Cream brand in the homeland. whereas

carrying Camden rent boy cannot get enough of the sassenach- halter and his men.

I Insider is immensely pleased to see that The List comedy review writers have been upsetting fat comedians and their waddling agents again. The first thing to come out of Daniel Kitson's mouth at a recent date was: ‘So apparently I've ended my brief love affair with The List. That's the way it goes with paper based lovers . . .' A little bit paranoid/self obsessed/ bathetically annoying. are we? And about asfunny

as a


artery. You’re

1" chucked


that there is no

photo of me

hanging on the at Check-Point Charlie.’ David Hasselhoff reveals how gutted he was at being denied full credit for

i i ‘I find it a bit sad walls in the Berlin Museum his part in bringing down the Berlin Wall. What a man.

‘Since you don’t have any regard for objective journalism, kiss my ass and try to be front and centre at the concert next month.’ Fred Durst invites his favourite music writer on Rock Sound magazine onto the guest list.

‘Three weeks before I got into Atomic Kitten, I had to sell my parrot for 20 quid to buy Tampax; that’s how bad it was. He was called Alfie and I used to sing ‘Rockin’ Robin’ to him and he’d nod his head along.’

Kerry Katona-McFadden recalls the good old days.

‘I hated it. I spent the whole time hiding in the toilets. In the end, I got the sack.’

Poet Don Paterson on his former life as a sub-editor on DC Thomson ’3 Commando magazine.

'I am sorry that anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunction during the halftime performance of the Super Bowl.I

After copping a fondle of Kylie, Justin Timber/aka has now been caught mauling Janet Jackson's breasts at the Super Bowl.

‘He was calling me bruised and wary and l was like: “You know, I’m a guest on your show and I’m here to talk.”’ Meg Ryan breaks her

silence on that

legendary non-chatty

chat show appearance I with Parkinson. It‘s good to talk

5—19 Feb 2004 THE “81' 9