Marie Sharp is best known as the no-nonsense boss of the Daily Record’s Edinburgh office. A more hard-bitten, cynical and world-weary hackette it would be difficult to find.
Or so Marie would have you believe.
Now the real Marie Sharp has been unmasked as a bit of a softie. I’ve always known this because when she was and earnest and studious young woman at college I regularly used to join her for afternoons playing Trivial Pursuits (even as I type it, I can barely believe it) along with two other pals, Steve Walker and Michelle Rodger (where is she now?).
For years Marie kept up her facade as a jaded, flint-hearted tabloid operator. Now that cover has been well and truly blown by a big, daft, slavering mutt called Mason. It was one of those racing dogs, past its prime and destined for a shallow grave until it was picked up by resuce service, the Greyhound Awareness League and from there rehomed with Marie.
Now I’m sure that for the first few weeks Mason didn’t know whether he was coming or going. No doubt Marie criticised his copy, told him not to get all emotional when asking the recently bereaved for pictures of their dead loved ones, and demanded that he come up with at least one Sunday for Monday exclusive page lead. However cracks in the Sharp facade started to show when Marie began structuring her shifts to make sure Mason got better quality walkies, then advertised for a dog nanny – who was put through a vetting process so rigorous Barbara Woodhouse wouled have failed. Then there were the fillet steak meals, paw-dicures and other pampering.
Now Marie has made the ultimate sacrifice – and embraced the Dark Side.
For the unitiated let me explain: among the newspaper hardcore (Marie is definitely hard core) there is a belief that only a chosen few can remain journalistically pure, by resisting the temptation of moving over to a cushy, well-paid (but ultimately shallow and inferior) career in Public Relations. PR is, therefore, known known as the Dark Side.
Today a press release – the staple calling card of the PR fraternity – dropped in the email boxes of various news outlets. It came from an anonymous address with a general contact number for the Greyhound Awareness League. It read:
The Greyhound Awareness League wants this Christmas is a brand new kennel to give Scotland’s ex-racers and abandoned greyhounds and lurchers a sanctuary. Please help us let your readers know how they can help make these wonderful dogs dreams come true.
We’ve attached details of our Christmas Buy a Brick campaign along with a couple of tales about our dogs.
Check out Simon, who now lives with Jim Weir in Glasgow!
If you would like more info or j-pegs please contact the GAL press office. Many thanks for your time
Now, I’m the suspicious sort, so immediately suspected zealous rescue dog convert Marie of involvement. I confronted her and she immediately confessed – though with the disclaimer: “It’s volunatry work for charity – a way to redeem my tawdry soul!”.
It’s a worthy cause, so respect to Marie for doing her bit. I’m sure her staff at the Daily Record will even forgive her the foray into the Dark Side.
However, she’ll probably have to be a bit nicer to her own newshounds (snarling news rottweillers, the lot of them) – though I suggest she draws the line at letting either Ian Dow or Jack Mathieson lick their own balls while in the office.