So desperate is the tabloid end of the press to sell papers and generate clicks that no-one’s private life is off limits, and especially someone who works for the hated BBC, is popular, and has made a good living out of it. When Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker and second wife Danielle confirmed their divorce, then, it was open season for uninformed speculation and plenty of prurient analysis.
Gary Lineker: sound bloke
The Sun, knowing that anything football related is easily converted into clicks and sales, was in the vanguard: “GARY Lineker and his wife Danielle will divorce today - because the young model wants kids and he feels he’s too old to start another family … The England football legend, 55 and 36-year-old Danielle are still on good terms, but sources say they have been living separate lives for almost a year”. That means they’re guessing.
But hey, it’s an “exclusive” guess! Would the Murdoch doggies care to add anything to their speculation? “Lineker has a personal fortune of around £20 million but the thrifty couple decided to use a government website to formalise their split”. Makes a change from the dosh Wendi made from Rupe, then, doesn’t it? Not that they’re jealous, you understand. There are photos of Danielle not wearing very much, too. Because more clicks and sales.
Then, today, came the Sun’s ritual shaming: “Taxi for Danielle: Last pic of Linekers as pundit’s family is ‘glad she’s going’”. More sales. More clicks. More speculation. And, just in case you thought only the Sun was at it, more opportunities for the magpies at Mail Online to get in on the act - if only to rubbish the Sun’s latest claims.
“Gary Lineker has blasted claims his family were pleased to see him divorce now ex-wife Danielle Bux as 'complete fabrication and utter nonsense’ … The Match Of The Day presenter, 55, and his eldest son George, 23, both took to Twitter on Thursday morning to slam reports suggesting relatives were celebrating the couple's split after eight years together and six years of marriage” was the result of their social media trawl.
But the Mail is nothing if not playing both sides of the field, and so there was the inevitable poring over the marriage: “What DID go wrong for Lineker and his lingerie model? Loving tweets just weeks ago, but 19-year age gap and wildly different personalities could have been behind their split”, before doing a little shaming of their own, with “Lineker, 55, has quietly separated from his wife Danielle, a Welsh former lingerie model, 19 years his junior”. She’s the baddie - because she’s Welsh!
And, just to wring the last drops of clickbait from the story, there just had to be an intervention from pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins: “I’m guessing there is nothing friendly about this split … Anyone who has been through a divorce knows it’s not pretty … Marriages never end well. They aren’t supposed to - in fact, we hate it if they do”. Well, who knows, Katie dearest? And, indeed, who sodding cares?
Gary Lineker is a sound bloke. And he’ll easily weather these cheap and nasty attempts at speculation, shaming and stoking jealousy. Get over it, witless hacks.
I suggest you do a bit of digging on Gary Tim, you will be surprised what you might find......
I think what annoys most hacks is that they are the kind of man who would never get a date with someone like Danielle (sic?) and the women would not be paid attention to by Mr Lineker...
Same goes for the readers.
(and they are well aware if either Gary or Danielle wanted another relationship they could get one tomorrow, or they could stay single and cool - they're really hardly the kind of people who are socially desperate or "need" external validation as they are both rather pretty/successful people!)
Hence the mission by the newspapers to "prove" they are unhappy.
and so the merry day goes on...
It's more the Living Soap Opera syndrome, combined with the Everything or Nothing tendency. People in the public eye must either love or hate each other - there's no middle ground. Maximum drama must be squeezed from everything. The result is that the slightest hint of someone ignoring or not noticing someone is a 'snub', any disagreement a 'feud', the mildest criticism a 'slam' and so on. Oh, and if they like each other they're awful showbiz luvvies.
So far so tabloidese. But there is a more pernicious effect. We come to see people in the public eye as characters rather than as people. Characters up on a stage acting out predetermined roles* for our benefit and entertainment. So we say "Oh what are they like?" and "Well, I'm glad I'm not a part of it". Harmless enough when we're talking about TV stars perhaps, but when it comes to the people running the show it only further encourages the disengagement of the people from politics. And that's the dangerous thing.
*In a book, the producer of Have I Got News For You said that there were only basically so many jokes on the show - X is fat, Y is posh, Z is grumpy and so on. Just change the names every few years.
I don't see what Gary Lineker's private life has to do with me or anyone else.
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