Celebrity, it seems, sells newspapers. This sad fact of modern life has not been lost on the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and his motley collection of overmonied hacks at the Daily Mail, with the most minor of slebs plastered all over the paper and its increasingly voyeuristic website. And the biggest draw in the sleb stakes is royalty.
Actually, make that near royalty: someone who is associated with the Royal Family, but is still public property, is a godsend to those scrabbling around the dunghill that is Grubstreet. So it was seemingly pre-ordained that the Dacre hackery would home in on Pippa Middleton and claim her as their own circulation boosting asset.
And so today, Mail hack Jan Moir – her new masthead photo clearly enhanced and a creepily ineffective attempt to pass off a 54 year old as rather younger – has confirmed that her paper will from hereon in be otherwise known as the Daily Pippa. We get the full range of photos, including plenty of opportunity for leering at That Bottom, and the already tired and equally leery nickname of Her Royal Hotness (which, not being Royal, she isn’t).
Dacre’s hacks have been building up to this for some time, carefully testing their product placement: back in September 2009 she was given star billing in a typically trashy gossip piece by Katie Nicholl. Thus established in the readers’ conscience, this new entrant to the sleb pantheon was wheeled out again after Wills’n’Kate announced their engagement, with the new nickname “Perfect Pippa”.
From there, the promotion of Pippa by the Mail has been relentless, culminating after Royal Wedding day with Tamara Abraham’s gushing piece, together with yet another sick-making new nickname, “princess of perkiness”. Yet again, readers were treated to plenty of smile’n’bottom pics. And while the Moir article does little more than re-hash photos and biography (Mail hacks and original research do seem to be elusive partners), it maintains the momentum.
That momentum will see Pippa Middleton as a fixture in the Mail: not really Royal, but close enough, slim and attractive enough for hacks to generate endless fash and goss copy, and above all clean and wholesome enough for Paul Dacre, enough to remove the need to promote the likes of Charlie’s best pal Tara Palmer-Tomkinson.Yes, Pippa is the genuine sleb article – unlike Jan Moir.