Holy Moly is on fire this week. Firstly with that godawful XFM film bloke's pervy answerphone message, and then with this, Graham Norton's (unprinted) letter to the Evening Standard.
I'm Graham Norton and I shared most of page 11 in your paper yesterday with a lime tree. As dull and irritating as this must have been for your readers, imagine how much more dull and annoying it was for me. Essentially the entire story is a work of fiction and perhaps that is why it took two of your reporters to write it.
Happily since you are a quality paper, you managed to include two facts. I live in Wapping and someone has made a planning application to chop down a lime tree. From here on your ace journalists seem to have lifted quotes and even the picture of a tree from an article that appeared in my local paper The Docklands last week. If only your reporters had checked some, or indeed any, of the facts. The first clue that The Docklands isn't the Bible might have been the photograph that you reprinted yesterday. The caption says that it is the lime tree in question. Look again. Oh that's right, it is clearly a photograph of a plane tree.
Apparently I described the tree as an eyesore. Who, apart from someone who had a tree stuck in their actual eye would refer to any tree in this way? Didn't your crack team of investigative journalists find out that I'm a financial supporter of Trees For Cities?
I then go on to complain about things falling on cars and vehicles. Apart from policemen and newsreaders, has anyone uttered the word 'vehicle' aloud in the last 25 years? The journalist then heard me describe how the tree blocked light from the flats. Mmm. I live in a terrace of single family homes. Unless Tower Hamlets has seen fit to build some low-budget accommodation for asylum seekers in the branches of the actual tree, I can't understand what flats I might be referring to.
The bottom line is that there is no dispute about this tree and if there is I have nothing to do with it.
My only argument is with lazy, stupid journalists who insult their readers with this sort of dreary rubbish. No wonder your price is going up to fifty pence if you have to pay two people to read a free local paper and reproduce every fictitious word of it.
Tree lover and fact fan,