Fishing Lines: Sharks can really get up your nose

Life has not always been a bowl of gooseberries for Ms Westbrook, best known for her role as Sam Mitchell in EastEnders. Disciples of the tabloids will recall a horrific photograph showing the septum of her nose missing.

Allegedly it went walkies after she had inhaled large quantities of a white substance that was not sugar or talc. But she missed her septum. It was an old friend. What fun can it be, picking your nose when you have to use your whole hand rather than one finger?

Anyway, she went to see an expert on noses, who came up with a remarkable remedy. Instead of offering a fake septum to match her impressive fake breasts, he took the homeopathic route. Ms Westbrook sports a perfect nose now, grown from shark cells.

I'm a bit dodgy on the technical side, but it seems that shark cells were implanted into her skin, and this encouraged her own cells to reconstruct the missing part in the middle. An article I read claimed it was the first time in the world that such surgery using shark bits had been performed on a nose.

Bad news for sharks, of course. Soon everyone will want to boast shark links with some part of their anatomy. Some species are already endangered, especially those used for soup, where the fins are cut off and the rest of the fish, criminally, is dumped.

But you can see the benefits. Sharks are superb predators due to their keen sense of smell. Lemon sharks can detect one part of tuna extract in 25 million parts of seawater, research has shown. Blacktips and reef sharks can sniff out concentrations as low as one part in 10 billion. A great white can detect a single drop of blood in an Olympic-sized pool.

No wonder sharks were once considered merely giant swimming noses with teeth. But that's misleading. Sharks have six senses, rather than our sorry five. They also receive sensory input through electroreception, a sensitivity to electric fields.

As author of the legendary Catch More Sharks ("How did he get away with this rubbish?" - The Bookseller), I know all this useful technical information. Doesn't help me to catch more sharks, but it's great stuff for frightening small children at night. I am, however, unable to tell you which of the 360 or so species of shark generously donated its cells so Danniella could have more than one nostril.

I will ask my friend Neil Blincow, once of the National Enquirer, to monitor her behaviour. If she puts on lots of weight, it was surely a whale shark. If she slobs on the beach all day, I'd reckon a basking shark. If she exhibits signs of wanting to bite the postman, there are white pointer genes at work. If she starts drinking heavily, a six-gill may be to blame.

Whichever type is sharing her body, I suspect she will be eating a lot more meat. And she'll smell a lurking paparazzo a mile off.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Voices
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
Sport
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
News
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
Extras
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Voices
voicesBy the man who has
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Sport
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?