Silly season almost-true story puts Brum in the headlines

  1. So it all started with a bit of holiday season flammery in the Birmingham Mail. Former Black Sabbath manager Jim Simpson wanted Birmingham Airport renamed in honour of Ozzy Osbourne:
  2. Reading the piece carefully, I’d wager it was prompted by a letter from Jim in response to some previous articles in the Mail about plans for a Sabbath inspired music festival in the city.
  3. That’s pretty standard practice in a quiet newsroom in the dead zone between Christmas and New Year. Extract the choicest bits from Jim’s letter, phone a rentaquote councillor, and you’ve got more than enough for a tidy page lead (and the picture library’s full of old Sabbath pics, too.) It doesn’t hurt either that your interweb chappie always tells you how good Sabbath-related tales are for your Google-juice (whatever that is).

    But then the whole thing takes off (pun intended). And in the process, puts Birmingham, its airport, its status as the birthplace of the global heavy metal movement, its very name, and even that of a back bench councillor from Sutton Coldfield on the world map. Even Usain Bolt ‘s ‘big up’ Birmingham eulogy didn’t get this much airtime outside of the city.

    First, the nationals, as bored as their regional cousins, pick it up:

  4. Then it went, errr, mental:
  5. Notice how Jim is now ‘leading the charge’ (he only wrote a letter), and ‘council chiefs are in talks’ (no they’re not). Hey ho, since when have facts needed to get in the way of a good headline?

    And finally – you know a story’s really made it when the satire sites start having a go:

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