Official: the dognapping saga now has all the elements of the perfect Evening Standard story. The phone lines in the news room are red hot. Journalists are being recalled from the foreign and politics desks to lend support. It's the biggest story possible.
Liz Hurley has lost her dog.
And it may have been dognapped.
Equally, it may have run under a bus, fallen into a hole or have been abducted by aliens, but that's not stopping London's newstrolls whipping up a froth under the headline LIZ HURLEY'S DOGNAPPING FEAR.
3. Liz Hurley.
Like we said, this is to the Standard what the Holy Grail is to a mug tree.
Liz Hurley was distraught today over the disappearance of her eight-month-old black labrador.
It comes after the Standard revealed an increasing number of dogs are being stolen in London, some at gunpoint.
"Some" at gunpoint? "One" at gunpoint, guys, come on. Exaggeration is one thing, but that's outright distortion. (Incidentally, the front page story about dognapping yesterday is still not online, as far as we can tell. So no link. Sorry.)
Now that la Hurley has been dragged into this sensational developing story, it is hard to see how it might be further improved. Londonist has some ideas, though:
- Happy dognapping slapping. Dog owners have their pooches swiped on the street, are belaboured about the face and neck, and the whole incident is captured on video phones for the entertainment of witless youths.
Effect on the ES news desk: Loss of bowel control.
- We discover that dogs are being stolen by motorists in order to afford the new £8 congestion charge.
Effect on the ES newsdesk: Hallucinations. Some may enter a silent order of monks.
- It emerges that Ken Livingstone is stealing the dogs to satiate his blood lust after the death of London's last motorist.
Effect on the ES newsdesk: Spasms; howling at moon; hair loss.
- The Olympic Bid fails solely because of dognapping. IOC brand London "world capital of dog crime"; Blair forced to resign.
Effect on the ES newsdesk: Gibbering, gnashing of teeth, foaming at mouth; sacrifice of office interns.
- The Grand Slam. Ken is stealing the dogs, slapping the owners, and capturing the incidents on a video phone held by Cherie Blair. When it emerges that his actions are endangering the Olympic bid, the Queen orders that he is brought to justice by Fathers 4 Justice.
Effect on the ES newsdesk: Spontaneous combustion. Former Standard journalists rise from the dead to assume control.