Some UK Tabloid Stories Are Fake: Documentary

Starsuckers exposes tabloids' habit of publishing fabricated gossip
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2009 11:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – The upcoming British documentary Starsuckers proves what we’ve always suspected: Tabloids—at least, UK tabloids—will print just about anything, including “complete and utter babble,” the director tells the Guardian. Among the fake stories he got published—and, often, reprinted around the world: Avril Lavigne passed out at a nightclub, Amy Winehouse’s hair caught on fire, and Guy Ritchie got a black eye from juggling cutlery.

The documentary team—which was never paid by any tabloid, but was promised up to $975—made sure the stories were ridiculous enough to merit some investigation, used aliases like “Neve O’Looney,” and never offered any evidence or corroboration to support the fabricated stories. Yet they fooled nearly every tabloid in the UK, some of which even printed stories that included additional quotes not given by the Starsuckers team. (Read more British tabloids stories.)

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