Genius moments: March 2008
Tuesday 23 December 2008
The cruellest cut
When the Royal Opera House dug up an old photo to promote a production of Verdi's Rigoletto in which Juan Pablo di Pace had long ago appeared, there was something amiss – namely, di Pace's penis. Di Pace's lawyers demanded the ROH withdraw the offending image, which features di Pace, naked, centre-stage in a chorus scene, because his manhood had been airbrushed to within an inch of its life. The ROH acquiesced and cleaned up the poster.
Good hair day for McCartney's lawyer
It was billed as the divorce battle of the decade – a multimillionaire Beatle separating from his money-grabbing wife. But when Heather Mills discovered that she had not obtained the divorce settlement she had hoped for (a "mere" £24.3m), she decided to take her revenge – on Paul McCartney's barrister, Fiona Shackleton. Observers witnessed Mills pouring a bottle of High Court water over the unfortunate lawyer. The former glamour model later said she had "baptised" Shackleton. As it happened, McCartney's legal team still had the last laugh. Shackleton had gone into the final day's proceedings looking a little bouffant and emerged, thanks to Mucca, immeasurably sexier.
Blues and twos
Joshua Brookes was just two years old when he found his mother on the floor of his Wigan home. Terrified but undaunted, Joshua phoned 999, crying "Mummy won't wake up." An enterprising operator asked him what name Santa put on his presents; Joshua then stood on a box to open the front door to the paramedics. The boy's mother, who suffers from a heart condition, made a full recovery.
The mother of all fathers
When pictures of a pregnant Thomas Beatie circulated the internet, most of us cried "hoax". But Beatie was for real. Born Tracy Lagondino, the bearded Oregon screenprinter kept her reproductive organs when she had surgery to become a man. His wife, Nancy, had had a hysterectomy, so Beatie agreed to "mother" her child after a trip to the sperm bank. Susan was born on 29 June. Beatie is now expecting a second child.
...and now over to the giggling Ms Green
A Charlotte Green fit of the giggles on the Today programme, and a vintage one. Following the broadcast of a snatch of the earliest known sound recording, a murky blast of someone "singing" Au Clair de la Lune from 1860, Green lost her composure. The problem was that she corpsed in the middle of an item commemorating the death of screenwriter Abby Mann. James Naughtie did the gallant thing and stepped in to rescue her. The BBC switchboard registered, it was reported, 33 appreciations of Green's breakdown.
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- 2 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
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ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
UK weather: Warning for more snow and ice as freezing temperatures and gales hit Britain
Three killed at South Korean nuclear reactor days after hackers target country's atomic agency
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
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