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Friday, 8 February, 2002, 15:00 GMT
Amazing tales from Planet Tabloid
Planet Tabloid logo
News that is out of this world
This week George the Liverpudlian parrot who is scared of heights, the scandal of "beardism" in the pop music business, sexual deviancy in Germany and mass OAP skunk-weed manufacturing in North Wales. But first, the news...

If you are rich and famous it's tough to protect yourself from burglars... even when you are in prison.

This week thieves broke into Ford Open Prison, the Sussex detention centre specialising in white collar criminals.

In the past Ford Open has played host to a clutch of upper class inmates including Ernest Saunders, Gerald Ronson, Jonathan Aitken and Anthony Parnes.

Daily Mirror on the Queen's accession 50 years ago

...No wonder the crooked classes are scrambling to break in.

"Security wasn't jeopardised," a spokesperson for Ford Open Prison in Sussex told The Sun.

The robbers were "after inmates' cash" the paper reports.


The Beard Liberation Front has been in the news again. Originally set up partly to campaign against the trend for New Labour politicians to shave off their beards, the organisation has now turned its attention to pop music.

Hear'Say singer
The Front claims that the manufactured pop group Hear'Say are guilty of Beardism, claiming that audition hopefuls were turned away because of their face fungus rather than singing ability.

Previously BLF leader Keith Flett has claimed that there is a "beardist conspiracy" afflicting the whole country.

Hear'Say singer
Wrong (NB picture faked in interests of higher truth)
Feeling under the feather

It is not widely known that parrots can suffer from fear of heights.

But it's true if Liverpool's Evening Post is to believed. Local African Grey parrot George was sitting in a tree when he suddenly had an attack of dizzying vertigo.

George then fell out of the tree and broke his leg. Proud owner Janet Rose told the paper: "He is awake and looking at us, although he hasn't said anything yet."

Going out is the new staying in

Time Out magazine, front cover

"George is like a baby to me. He sits at the table with us every Sunday dinnertime and I make Yorkshire pudding especially for him," Ms Rose further explained.


A missing cat in Norfolk has been found after two years thanks, in part, to the work of a psychic who specialises in imagining where missing pets might be found.

The latest sexual perversion in GERMANY involves naked couples firing blanks at each other from starting pistols. The trend was discovered after police were called to investigate gunfire in Hamburg
What happened was that the cat, Toto, disappeared from Richard and Jill Hollis Grave's home after climbing on to the back of a furniture lorry.

The psychic tracked down the cat to the West Midlands, according to the East Anglian Daily News.

The paper described the story as "a fairytale".

Rolling news

"Home working" - the growing business of getting poor people to assemble components in their living rooms for pin money - is set to get another boost in North Wales according to the Rhyl Journal.

A would-be Cannabis Café operator plans to use local old age pensioners to roll joints for a living.

Nice work if you can get it...
The Welsh entrepreneur says senior citizens could expect to make as much as £3,000 a year as part of the industrial-scale Camberwell Carrot manufacturing operation he has in mind.

He told the paper: "I want to sell ready-rolled joints and this would be a good source of income for pensioners".

"They would be supplied with the ingredients and the papers and they could roll the joints while they are watching Coronation Street or Emmerdale."

It is also suggested that OAPs can put gardening skills to use by growing the weed from pre-supplied packets of seed.

But police poured cold water on the scheme by announcing they will throw everyone in jail the minute they have any evidence.

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