Our free and fearless press thinks nothing when it comes to securing the rights to Sleb photos - well, sometimes. While papers have no problem with splashing the cash for the really big exclusives, and equally have no problem doing deals with Slebs to guarantee both sides a nice little earner, they are utterly ruthless when it comes to lifting photos.
Worse, if the tabloids were expecting to get Sleb snaps for free, and then discover that they have to pay for them, woe betide the Slebs, especially if the reason for charging is to provide funds for their local NHS. That is what has happened to Gemma Atkinson, who met her partner Gorka Marquez while a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing.
Gemma and Gorka have most recently been in the papers because she has just given birth to their first child. The birth was not straightforward - an emergency Caesarian followed by her suffering an internal haemorrhage - and it was mainly due to the staff of the Royal Bolton Hospital that mother and daughter came through safely.
So Ms Atkinson decided to have an agency charge for images of her daughter, with the money going to the hospital. Cue Olympic-standard freestyle wobbler throwing by both the Mail, and the Murdoch Sun. “Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez are cashing in on social media pictures of newborn daughter Mia ... after hitting back at claims of a 'magazine deal’” howled the Mail in faux outrage.
The inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker really trowelled on the sneering: “Gemma Atkinson and her boyfriend Gorka Marquez have been selling the social media pictures of their daughter Mia Louise for £150 each to a celebrity photo agency … The move will no doubt shock fans … [it] means the duo will now profit from the image”.
Even the news that the money was going to the NHS was not enough for the Mail: “She has since stated that she will be giving the money to NHS Bolton, but it's not clear if the agency will also be donating their fee”. Come on Slebs, hand over some more dosh if you want us off your backs! And the Sun was mining the same seam of faux victimhood.
“GEMMA Atkinson is already making money off her baby daughter Mia – just 12 days after giving birth … The Sun Online can reveal former Strictly star Gemma is raking in the cash while on maternity leave - as she’s charging people to replicate the pictures she posts on social media”. Charging people like the Sun and Mail, you mean.
And there was more. “Gemma is charging up to £150 for every picture and video of her new baby - including one of Mia rolling around on a mat, which she captioned ‘content little blue eyed peanut’ … She also asked for £150 for the first picture of Mia in a cute pink cardigan and the same fee again for a photo of Gemma in hospital after the birth - taken by boyfriend Gorka Marquez”. Not taken by a pro? The audacity!
The Murdoch goons signed off with the sneering “Gemma recently revealed she’d demanded that Gorka marry her now she’s had their baby. Let’s hope she doesn’t charge him £150 for the privilege”. There’s leaving one foot in the tackle, eh?
Tabs hate to pay if they can get it for free. They hate the NHS even more. So expect more hatred aimed at Ms Atkinson in the coming weeks. What an absolute shower.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at