Last week I was reading Heat magazine – I don’t care if it’s shallow, the Hoop of Horror has been making me feel better about my armpit stubble every Tuesday for the past 10 years. On the cover was the rather attention-grabbing headline: “Rebecca’s Secret Tragedy” referring to Rebecca Ferguson, one of the contestants on this year’s X-Factor. Now, I don’t watch the X-Factor but thought “Ooh, I love a tragedy, especially a secret one, so I will read on”. Using exact excerpts from the story I will now summarise what her secret struggle involved, starting with the title:
“REBECCA’S SECRET STRUGGLE REVEALED – The X-Factor fave’s close friend exclusively tells heat the tragic truth that the humble singer has been hiding from the nation.”
“Just last year the struggling single mum had to put her dreams on hold to help look after her ten-year-old sister – as well as her own two children – when their mum fell ill.”
“Rebecca faced three separate bus journeys every morning, then another three in the afternoon – with her own kids in a pram – to take her younger sister to and from a school some distance from their Liverpool home. It was a long journey that took many hours out of her day.”
“It was really difficult for Rebecca, but she knew she had to do it for her mum, even though she had kids herself. Rebecca’s so sweet and would make all this effort because her family is so important to her. She’s completely selfless and would sometimes just eat crisps outside of the school gates as she wouldn’t have time for a proper meal.”
Get. To. Fuck. Seriously. Is this serious? A tragedy? She had to catch a few buses and then stand outside a school eating crisps? Paedophiles have to do that every day and I don’t see them getting any sympathy, what makes her so fucking special? I was so incensed at this careless misuse of the term ‘tragedy’ that I felt compelled to write a letter to Heat magazine telling them so (I am definitely getting old. Up until last month I had never written a complaint letter in my life, I have now sent two). Anyway, here it is:
I quite like your magazine. You are the only reading material aimed at the female population that contains any form of banter. Apparently girls don’t have a sense of humour so all the other magazines thinks it’s best to just distract us with articles about shiny things, make-up and how shit and fat we look in comparison to the androids of the celebrity world. Now, although your interview with Nicole Scherzinger last week did make me feel a bit shit and fat, I was instantly cheered-up by Rumor Willis’ camel-toe and the immense photo of that Essex pseudo-retard, Amy Childs, falling out of a bar.
Speaking of last week’s issue, I had better get on with the actual point of my letter: I can tell you right now that Rebecca from the X-factor categorically did not endure a ‘secret tragedy’. She had to get a few buses and eat some crisps outside a school. How on God’s earth can you claim to ‘reveal’ her secret struggle and then give me this? What did she struggle with exactly? Did the bus driver ask for the exact fare which, tragically, she did not have? Were her crisps Golden Wonder and not Walkers therefore by buying the blue packet she had tragically bought salt & vinegar instead of cheese & onion?
So that you never make this mistake again, I have supplied a list of actual tragedies for you to refer to every time you are unsure as to what constitutes an actual ‘tragedy':
-Hitler and/or The Holocaust
-The Fritzl family
Unlike iTunes, I didn’t get a reply and unlike Classic Rock Magazine, I didn’t get published. Heat magazine – Shut the hell up.