This Friday, February 5th, is the launch date for The London Weekly, the latest freesheet to clog up Tube carriages from Epping to Ealing and all points inbetween. Yet just three days before commuters get their greedy mitts on the rag, there remain more questions than answers about the paper's provenance
After doing a bit of research on TLW's celebratedly inept website, reporter James Ball plunged into the Byzantine world of the newspaper's ownership, and has turned up more dead ends than a Shoreditch smirting paddock. Read the excellent analysis for the fine print, but his diligent work throws up more unanswered questions than Tony Blair's showdown with the Chilcott inquiry: the journalists writing for it and the puppetmaster(s) controlling the whole enterprise are obscured in a miasma of uncertainty, there are confusing and contradictory accounts of when the website and the paper's name were first registered, and the only address that can be traced goes back to a west London P.O. box. A three-pipe problem, certainly.
As Ball notes, there's nothing specific to suggest that the paper is "anything other than what it seems". But various conspiracy theories are already abroad. One suggest that it is a cynically-manipulated SEO gambit. IanVisits wonders if the hands of the furtive Barclay brothers are behind the project. And more than one Londonista has suggested that the whole thing could be a spoof by Chris Morris, a fall-back plan should his new film turn out to be a bust.
We'll all find out by Friday, when, if all goes to plans, the first copies of the London Weekly are pressed into commuter flesh. Drop us a line if you manage to get hold of one.