I was reading about the phone hacking trial that has just started and it seems as though the list of alleged victims is really quite strange indeed.
Of course I can understand why they would target Princes William and Harry as well as their private secretary because they may actually do something that is vaguely newsworthy, or at least might merit sending a photographer to cover.
However, I am amazed by the number of relatives of well-known people who appear on the same list. There are mothers, brothers and sisters who have had their phone hacked. I mean, of what interest would their messages be to anyone, including their own siblings and children?
In an effort to do some research into this matter and as a supporter of press freedom, as well as someone who followed the Leveson Inquiry for as long as I could stay awake, I hacked into my own phone. Standing in the shadows – well, the clocks have gone back and it does get awfully dark halfway through the afternoon – I dialled 901 and listened to what some of my relatives have said recently.
My mother, who has taken to modern technology like a cat to water, called a couple of days ago. “Hello, are you there?” is what she said before dropping the phone back into her bag without switching it off, so I was left listening to three minutes and 56 seconds of Nokia rubbing against her purse.
The next was from my niece wondering if she could drop her Labrador round as she was going to be out all day. Quite what she was going to be doing was not revealed so that was of no interest to my investigation.
Finally, yesterday I got a text from my brother thanking me for cooking lunch for him on Sunday and complaining that his wife hadn’t provided supper when he got home.
As you can see it’s all steamy stuff in the Duff family, although I can’t believe the mother of a soap actress would really have much more to say to her daughter. “Would you like peas or carrots with your shepherd’s pie?” is hardly going to make the front page. No wonder News of the World had to close.