You may never have heard of Helen Carroll. And if you have recently done business with her, you may wish you had never heard of her. This is because Ms Carroll, whose Twitter bio claims that she is a “national newspaper and magazine journalist” who is “Always looking for case studies and great stories”, she is, in reality, looking for stories that will fit the agenda of just one major national newspaper.
Helen Carroll: desperately seeking desperate punters
And the level at which her stories are pitched can be deduced from this headline: “Our life in eight BRAS... that’s how many the average woman owns - and here three share the revealing stories behind their choices … A third of women own eight bras and yet wear only wear two - says survey … Women tend to hold on to bras for all kinds of emotional reasons … A bra worn every day should be replaced every six months, expert says”.
Ah, the sound of pointless clickbait combined with the mildly judgmental attitude towards a readership that is known to have a majority of women. Yes, Ms Carroll is on the lookout for case studies and great stories … that will suit the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and his obedient hackery at the Daily Mail. The Mail pays good money. It fits everything to its Middle England agenda. So that is what its freelance contributors provide.
So who is in Ms Carroll’s sights? Or perhaps that question should be more on the lines of “who should be wary of an approach from Ms Carroll and bodyswerve it like the plague”? Well, it seems the Mail is about to get all judgmental about drinking Prosecco: “Are you a woman, aged over 35, who has done something you regret after drinking Prosecco? Good fee paid on publication”. Yeah, right. Not half as good as Ms Carroll’s fee.
Seriously, who in their right mind would reply to that? Well, apart from someone who was desperate enough and didn’t know what a complete and absolute shower the Mail was. What else is in the Carroll line-up? “Looking for people in their 20s and 30s who moved in with grandparents for financial reasons”. Ah, right, there’s going to be a why-oh-why article about how expensive house prices are. The ones that the Mail keeps talking up.
Ooh look, a really judgmental one: “are your parents spending your inheritance having a ball in their retirement”? If my folks want to spend money, that’s their business. It’s their sodding money and they spent decades earning it. Christ on a bike, that’s just nasty. And another old chestnut: “I'm looking for married couples who separated and then got back together”. Yeah, so you can drive the poor souls apart again. Next.
Can it get worse? It surely can: “Looking for separated parents whose children stay in the family home while they take turns to look after them”. Why oh why won’t they think about the children? Except for the ones who can’t afford to buy a house, the ones who are jealous that their parents aren’t destitute, and the ones who fall over after downing too much Prosecco. Don’t call us Ms Carroll, and we won’t call you.
Did Helen Carroll not make the grade as an estate agent? Just a thought, you understand.