WAGatha Christie Reveals The Faustian Pacts That Fuel Tabloids

What a day for Twitter yesterday. Two England strikers' wives at war and after an intriguing plot was hatched to uncover a source leaking to The Sun. Perhaps the best part of yesterday's celebrity spat was the great British sense of humour coming up with the "WAGatha Christie" hashtag that trended all day.

For the uninitiated, "WAG" refers to "wives and girlfriends" to describe the glamorous mix of partners accompanying football's top stars.

That's what makes WAGatha Christie so hilarious, because Coleen Rooney used top-notch detective skills to find out who was leaking her family's secrets. In so doing, she revealed as much about the tabloid press as she did the fellow WAG she accuses of breaking a confidence.

The culprit in question is Rebekah Vardy -- who, as her short Twitter biog starts off by explaining, is mostly known for being married to England striker Jamie Vardy, although there are references to supporting charities and taking part in I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here

Anyway, Coleen dropped a Twitter bomb yesterday explaining that she had a private Instagram account in which she shared updates with close friends and family, far away from the public account that the rest of the world has access to.

Details kept leaking from the private account to The Sun and so Coleen got to work, earning the title WAGatha Christie. She whittled down the following as she posted fabricated stories that could not have been seen anywhere else. When it got down to one person, and a new made-up story got out, she knew she had her girl. 

To balance this up, Rebekah Vardy has responded that it was not her and that various people have had access to her Instagram account over the years. She also mentioned that being pregnant meant this was bad timing for her.

So, someone with access to the account is almost certainly the culprit. The crowd on Twitter have made it pretty clear who they think it is and, not to give away the end to a great "who done it," they are not exactly believing Rebekah's protestation of innocence.

While the spat is interesting for the mob on Twitter, particularly now former glamour model, Danielle Lloyd has joined the fray, it is even more telling for what it reveals about the way tabloids source celebrity gossip. 

A friend of my family is a fairly well-known actress, I won't say who, but she was complaining about similar stories appearing in the tabloids and eventually found it was someone she was starring alongside in a soap opera. She hated the betrayal, but also didn't understand the motive. It turns out the person involved, who will be fairly familiar to British television viewers, has been doing the same thing to other people she had worked alongside.

This is what Coleen is suggesting has happened to her, and she was clear to point out the motive might not be money but to keep a good relationship with the press.

Celebrities who are not exactly A listers need the support of newspapers. If they cease to appear in the tabloids every time they have a row with their partner, open a supermarket or wear a skimpy bathing suit, they realise that the public is losing interest. 

Anyone, such as I, who has worked in the papers will tell you this is exactly how it works. It is the Z list celebrities befriended by bigger names who use that access to tease out stories to become a friend of a particular newspaper that receives them with gratitude and then gives wonderful coverage of their next outing in a daring outfit. It isn't always a case of money changing hands, but rather a Faustian pact.

Next time you read "a friend of x" or a "source close to the family," you may consider this could be someone they trust who wants to sell a story -- a broke cousin perhaps -- or it could be someone who has no interest in money, but wants to keep on the right side of the headline writers. 

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