Shropshire Star

Mark Andrews: Voyeurs who turn Nicola's disappearance into entertainment, and Peston mourns the passing of Nicola Sturgeon

Social-media 'influencer' Dan Duffy has been fined by Lancashire Police after heading down to the village of St Michael's on Wyre, where the young mother Nicola Bulley has gone missing.

Nicola Sturgeon

Duffy, who was filming for his YouTube channel Explore with Danny, says he joined the search because he 'wants some answers'.

He's not alone. It seems the search area has become quite a magnet for weirdos wanting to take selfies or sit on the bench where Nicola was last seen.

I'm not sure what is the most dispiriting. That Duffy thought turning the search for Nicola into some voyeuristic form of entertainment would be a responsible and tasteful thing to do. Or that there are more than 200,000 people who subscribe to his YouTube channel.

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As a journalist, I suppose I should be outraged that the Indian authorities have raided the BBC's offices in New Delhi, after the broadcaster following a controversial documentary about the conduct of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

But this does not annoy me half as much as the fact the BBC can afford to maintain an office in New Delhi, while announcing yet more cuts to local radio.

Maybe it should think a bit less about Delhi, and a bit more about Dawley.

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The resignation of Nicola Sturgeon appears to have stirred a period of national mourning among our broadcast media of a level not seen since Soviet state TV announced the passing of Yuri Andropov.

“That was a truly remarkable resignation statement by Nicola Sturgeon," said ITV's Robert Peston. "Whether or not you back her ideas and convictions, she has been one of the most important politicians of this generation."

Really? I just thought she was the irritating leader of an overblown county council.

I half expected Peston to announce the day's programmes would be suspended and bagpipe music played instead.

In her speech, Miss Sturgeon said: "The cause of independence is bigger than any one individual,"

Well yes, but most things are bigger than you dear.

She called for an end to irrationality and hysteria in politics. Coming from somebody who has devoted a lifetime to stoking up division and discord, that's a bit rich.

I wonder what she will do now. She could go on Celebrity Mastermind, answering every question with 'Scottish independence!'

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All that said, credit where it's due. While I dislike almost everything Nicola Sturgeon stands for, it would be churlish not to recognise her ability to persuade people to support her pet cause.

A bit like Nigel Farage, then. Except I don't recall Peston being quite so gushing when he stood down.