Paris, Paul Dacre and Jeff Whitley’s confessions

Whatever the French can do, the English do better. Or just differently.

You heard earlier this week about Clément Koch’s black comedy for the Parisian stage, entitled and set in Sunderland and owing something to his observations while a student at Durham.

Since Salut! Sunderland‘s piece appeared – see here – it has been in The Times and Independent and on the Today programme – Sunderland apparently described there as being on Teesside – as well as on Ready To Go and the Newcastle pages at

The BBC rang me early from Newcastle to do a short interview on a breakfast programme. Last I heard was that it was being discussed by Hawksbee and Jacobs on TalkSport.

Imitation is a great form of flattery but M Salut trusts that commissions are in the post. There is one journalist who need not pay since he alerted me to the play in the first place, but I had better not name names in case my article appeared before his.

And now Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail, has enlivened the Leveson inquiry into press conduct, defending tabloid and mid-market newspapers’ conduct in these terms:

“The Hampstead liberal with his gilded life-style understandably enjoys The Guardian, a paper that deals with serious issues. But does he or a judge have any right to deny someone who works 10 hours a day in a Sunderland call centre and lives for football, the right to buy a paper that reveals the sexual peccadilloes of one of his team’s millionaire married players – a player who uses his celebrity to sell products to him and his children?”

Clearly he was not talking about Jeff Whitley, who has admitted to snorting cocaine when at Cardiff City (though not while playing, merely after being given paid leave because of his drinking). But if it wasn’t cocaine, what exactly was he on when he took that kick – if it can be described as a kick – in the penalty shoot-out in the promotion playoff v Crystal Palace?

We must surely be told.

Monsieur Salut

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3 thoughts on “Paris, Paul Dacre and Jeff Whitley’s confessions”

  1. Heard about the Parisian play on the beebs “Five Live” show this morning.I listened with interest having read about it here on Salut(so well done), it seems the story has legs.

    They interviewed the playright and he said he loved the North of England,particularly the women, I think he used the word “rustic”(or something similar) but also warm and funny.He described a Friday night on the town as “electric”.It has all certainly put Sunderland on the map.As the saying goes any publicity is good publicity.

    As to watching Whitley and Robinson the effect was more akin to being shot by a dart of rhino tranquliser.

  2. When I heard about the Whitley revelations I immediately began to wonder whether he was snorting cocaine when he was playing for us, but forced to conclude that it would be unfair to blame such ineptitude on illicit substances.

    Watching him though it would have probably made the whole experience considerably more tolerable had we all been given a snort ourselves just before kick off. Watching both him and Carl Robinson in our midfield was probably akin to being doused with tear gas.

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