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Are newspaper stories to blame for destroying lives?

Newspaper stories, online trolls and social media have often been blamed for the negative impact it has on people’s mental health, which has seen a significant rise in the last couple of years.

Many celebrities have come forward to raise awareness of the dangers that online trolling causes, including Jesy Nelson, member of popular girl band, Little Mix.

We have just heard the tragic news that TV presenter Caroline Flack has been found dead in her East London flat. A lawyer for the Flack family confirmed that Caroline took her own life.

Caroline Flack presented many of UK television’s biggest reality TV shows and their spinoffs, from The X Factor to I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here Now!, and won the BBC show Strictly Come Dancing in 2014. There have been multiple stories in the papers over the last few months about her. Tabloids such as the Sun, which broke the news of her death, moved swiftly to delete recent negative stories that they have written about her.

Harry and Meghan’s wedding in May 2018 was marked by an outpouring of affection in Britain, but less than a year later they found themselves on the receiving end of a barrage of negative stories in the media.

They have ranged from their alleged feuds with Prince William and Kate Middleton to their celebrity-like behaviour, to the young couple’s home being renovated with 2.4 million pounds of taxpayers’ money to reports of Meghan being dubbed “Duchess Difficult” by palace insiders for her “string of demands,” and more recently, for taking frequent luxury flights.

Many royal fans thought that the harsh scrutiny would stop for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after they became parents. However, the negative reports have not stopped at all.

This has now culminated in the royal couple standing down from their royal duties and moving to Canada.

These are just two examples of how the media portray celebrity life using ‘clickbait’ to encourage readers to read on.

What are your views? Should newspapers take more responsibility for how and what they report?

Are newspaper stories to blame for destroying lives?

1384 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

What are your views?

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Slivk22
6th Mar 2020
-1
Thanks for voting!
Since 2015 daily we watch the media spread the trump crap about people that makes him appear like a God and the recipient is bullied into submission. I always believed that a leader brought people together and was positive but in his case it is all about him as if he has actually achieved anything. What an excuse for a leader, a person, or a president. But that to our media he sallies forth since they encourage and promote him and his fairy tales.
sparrer
28th Feb 2020
0
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I haven't bought newspapers for years, they tell blatant lies and twist things to sell their rag. I seldom hear/watch the news or gloom'n'doom programme as |I call it. Certainly not on BBC channel which is prejudiced toward the current government.
JOHNEFF
28th Feb 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
The media seem to think the public enjoy these salacious stories, and they have to sell papers to exist. I dont give a toss who is sleeping with who. I don't care that someone has come out as gay. There is not enough feelgood news, there must be some out there! My sister in law does not watch the news or read newspapers because it makes her depressed. I understand where she is coming from. There is far to much lying and scaremongering as in Brexit. Rant over!
Justjohn
28th Feb 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
the majority of the people who claim that their lives have been ruined by newspapers are the same people who have courted the media to achieve their aims .You have the right to a private life as long as you have kept it private . If you have courted the press and used social media to be known then unfortunately it appears that it can also cause you problems .
viking
22nd Feb 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Always two sides to these stories. Remembering a well known pap photographer confessing to arranging to meet wannabies out side nightclubs suddenly clutching the arm of a visiting celeb, also his best money earnier taking arranged leg and knicker shots of a leg climbing out of a taxi, then sharing the newspaper fee with the wannabe.
If you want more of that type of publicity then expect the very worse. So watch your dustbin !!!
Bramleyman
21st Feb 2020
0
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I used to send letters to the editors of 3 local papers until I was constantly having my letters severely cut for varying reasons, so I stopped writing.

One in particular refused to allow me to mention any local Councillor by name when lying and cut the entire article to read nowhere near what I wrote about, no matter how true I was, yet when a Councillor wrote False details, they had theirs printed, so now I no longer write to either.
NDW57
21st Feb 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
The simple answer is yes and do remember that other parts of the media aren't entirely innocent either. However, if the public didn't have such a prurient fascination with these stories the newspapers wouldn't print them. Private lives should remain that, private, unless the person says one thing in public and goes counter to that in their private lives - such as we must reduce our use of cars and then uses a limo to travel a few yards! And those in the public eye must realise they have a responsibility to behave and speak in accordance with their roles. Gary Lineker for example, is an employee of the BBC which is supposed to be an unbiased broadcaster. However he chose to express his "remainer" views over Brexit - this is not acceptable or he should at least have prefaced his remarks with "these are my personal views". Those celebrities etc. who behave in inappropriate ways must expect to suffer the consequences and set themselves up as a target for the press.
Helen Highwater
21st Feb 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I must agree with Darkstar - there is a price to pay for living in the limelight. I do think that newspapers should not be as intrusive as they are, but more than newspapers I feel a great deal of blame lies with the social media trolls who spread so much poison.
Darkstar
21st Feb 2020
0
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A lot of so called celebrities are quick to use the media and newspapers to forward their careers, but can not take any criticism. I'm afraid they have to remember, fame comes at a price.
Len33
19th Feb 2020
1
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I stopped buying newspapers, many years ago.
Amongst other benefits, it's a really good way to
avoid high blood pressure, stress, worry, panic buying,
ulcers and various other malfunctions associated with
being a moaning, miserable ol' sod!
One good thing about newspapers, though, is that they can be cut into squares and hung up in the out-building, where they will be at home with all the other sh*t.
Bramleyman
19th Feb 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I have written letters to several newspapers, only for their Editors to change what I actually wrote, making the facts read different to the REAL story. I have stopped writing.

Meanwhile, I am FED-UP with daily readings about what the boring Beckhams do. I DON'T want to know what they are doing or saying.
MrsH.
18th Feb 2020
-1
Thanks for voting!
IT IS TOTALLY WRONG FOR ANYONE TO INTRUDE ON ANOTHER PERSON'S 'SPACE', AND THAT INVASION HAS TO CHANGE FOR PEOPLE TO FEEL THEY CAN BREATH FREELY AND IT IS NOT BEING MEASURED BY SOMEONE WHO IS SO CLOSE THEY CAN DO THAT EVEN WITHOUT VOLUME CHANGES.
I AM OFTEN SICKENED BY THE COMMENTS OR PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY THE PRESS, OR MEDIA COVERAGE OF TRAGIC OR PERSONAL, HAPPY OR IMPORTANT PRIVATE LIVES. HOW INCREDIBLY IGNORANT DO THESE PEOPLE HAVE TO BE, BEFORE THEY WAKE UP AND SEE THE TORMENT THEY TREAT THEIR VICTIMS WITH?!!!
I AM CERTAIN THAT IF THOSE TABLES WERE TURNED AROUND, MOST OF THOSE PEOPLE EMPLOYED TO BE AS INTRUSIVE AS POSSIBLE, WOULD BE LIVING ON A KNIFE-EDGE THEMSELVES AND WOULD SOON FEEL INCREDIBLY CRUSHED AND STOPPED FROM BREATHING NATURALLY.
Moon50
18th Feb 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I think each newspaper reflects the views of its individual readership, and since the advent of social media, this is ever more apparent. At least newspapers are regulated to a point. Social media is a free-for-all where unkind comments, unfounded allegations and general bile is unrestricted and largely unmonitored on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Tr1sh
18th Feb 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Famous people need the tabloids so they can maintain their presence in the public eye. Of course it is a dangerous alliance as while the media can build a career, they can also break it. So, yep, I guess the answer is "yes".
Malcmister
17th Feb 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Not the story that is to blame it’s people.
ElisabethR
21st Feb 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I so agree......... You can print what you like in a newspaper but its how people react to it that is the deciding factor. Read a paper on line and look at some of the comments. There lies the damage.
Retiredyorkie
17th Feb 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Journalists just print what will help sell their newspapers,

Best advice is just ignore what they print
bolitholass
17th Feb 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Personally I am not interested in reading newspapers in general, as you can not belive anything that is written. Also a lot is taken out of context of what a person has said just to try to sensationalise something no matter how trivial or important it may be.
LanceFogg
17th Feb 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
MichealK12 - I couldn't have put it better and agree entirely with what you have said. As you say, if you want the publicity then be prepared for the bad as well as the good.
We seem to be living in the age of the "snowflake", where the slightest saying from a complete prat seems to cause "great mental distress" or something similar.
GET A LIFE!! If you want to live inside Facebook or Twitter don't be surprised if you meet equally false people.
MichaelK12
17th Feb 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
My observations over a period of 50+ years is that in their formative years so called “celebrities” go out of their way to be seen in public and photographed . At that time they never object to the publicity they receive. When they achieve “fame” and fortune they suddenly object to being hounded by the press and ask for their privacy to be respected! You can’t have your cake &eat it. When in doubt stay out of the public gaze otherwise ,very sadly, you can pay the consequences
DawnW92
17th Feb 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
You have to take everything with a pinch of salt in the media and social network! As my mother used to say “If you believed all you heard, you would eat all you see!” It’s heartbreaking that people’s lives can be damaged and ruined by a ‘juicy’ piece of gossip! I don’t care if you are famous or not you are entitled to privacy. Some lives must be so boring that they have to thrive on rumour and gossip that can result in some people taking their own lives!
Slivk22
17th Feb 2020
-3
Thanks for voting!
Look how the media put and gas kept the lowlife president in the White House. Since he very rarely has something positive to say why don’t those media focus on positive things leaving him isolated and alone. It would be so nice to go through a day on a positive note instead of hearing him. More stORiEs aNd sucks need to be like Our State NC magazine and Thursday night PBS on NC which exposes all kinds of AMERICAN stories about worthy every day people,
SueW318
17th Feb 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
At least not entirely to blame. We all share the blame for some of the abuses that are perpetrated. We could all resist junk newspapers who thrive on sensationalism and lies. We could be watchful of spreading rumours and fake news on social media and keep a watchful eye on friends who are quiet and non communicative, especially when we suspect they are having a difficult time. We are increasingly used to the fact that when 'celebrities' or just famous people go to trial, the press are made aware and wait outside to apprehend and photograph them. Look at Cliff Richard seeing his house raided on the tv in Portugal with the press in attendance and without his knowledge or anything but an unsubstantiated accusation. We have forgotten that in this country you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. We even have a name for these trials now 'show trials'. At the very least until the trial, celebrities should be offered entrances and exits to the court from the back entrance, especially when the press are in full attendance. Sadly we have become a nation of sensationalists and 'nasties' and this makes good press stories and people like Piers Morgan make a living out of the titillation.
Moon50
18th Feb 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
SueC62
16th Feb 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Newspapers, social media and online trolls report negatively about someone and most people immediately jump in and express their disgust etc at the individual being targeted. I recently read on FB the 'news' item that Tracy Brabin MP was speaking in the HoC wearing an off the shoulder dress. There were predominantly nasty remarks from most of the commenters. I thought it a strange choice and wondered why she 'chose' to wear that particular dress for the HoC. It was only after she had auctioned the dress for £20k, it transpired she was actually at a music event when she received an unexpected, urgent call to make a response at the dispatch box. Should she have refused on the grounds she was 'inappropriately' dressed? People are all too willing to accept as gospel, biased stories and jump to conclusions that allow them to criticise instead of considering if there's maybe more that hasn't been told. We are, these days, a nation that just loves to hate.
jacacc1210
16th Feb 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
The British press and people like Piers Morgan have blood on there hands and they care one little bit as long as it sells there gutter press and advances there careers and the money in there bank account. They tell there lies and don't care about the people they hurt or there families. Once these people are proven innocent all the gutter press do is issue a small apology in a small corner of a page that nobody looks at. It is about time something was done about this and the press and there editors was brought into line and held to account for what they say and do. They encourage the public the also write and bully people on social media as well. The media will go all out and brake laws and encourage others to brake the law just to get a grubby story.
18Williamstown
16th Feb 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
The news papers only print what they think will sell their tabloid, they have no conscience as to whether it will cause reputational damage or a personal hell. The implication of what they do is to find the most juicy side to a story and not the truth, which would probably be bland and not tantalize a reader enough to pick it up to read
MikeW73
16th Feb 2020
0
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I personally witnessed a BBC reporter saying we were in one country when we were in another.
Billythequiche
16th Feb 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
They are to blame of course, you only have to look at the aftermath of the "elite paedophile ring" debacle. The media in general should be held to account at least for untruths and an independent organisation set up to 1) decide on the merits of actionable consequences and 2) authorise free legal representation to proceed. This could be funded by a levy on all the media.
There is a big BUT here of course. Mistakes and negligence by parts of the media are perhaps the price we have to pay to maintain freedom of speech. It follows that we must have a free press. We are already seeing erosion of the basic tenets of freedom of expression ( thank goodness for the recent court ruling on "trans" comments. Student unions and universities are restricting what may be discussed or even heard.
Common sense must prevail, the excesses must be curtailed while keeping our cherished freedoms.
bolitholass
17th Feb 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
What freedom of speech, it is not allowed these days.
Billythequiche
18th Feb 2020
0
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Can't argue with that.
GwynethC8
16th Feb 2020
2
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I am not a 'follower' of this lady but was horrified by the number of vitriolic postings made on sites such as Facebook following her death.
They allow people, with nothing better to do in their lives, to make unfounded and viscous comments just to see what reaction they get.
Salacious tabloids - such as the 'Scum' and 'Daily Smell' are equally to blame as are their readers who thrive on such printed rubbish.
Have they no feelings at all for the grief of the families let alone the torment of the person who took their own life.
HappyHippie
16th Feb 2020
2
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I voted yes because newspapers just make up stories to sell papers they have no consonance, I haven't bought a news paper in years for that reason
EileenM378
16th Feb 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
I voted yes because they largely contribute to the misery caused to people who they hound and vilify to sell newspapers. But there are the people who delight in reading them and make hurtful, spiteful and cruel comments. Society as a whole has lost it's sense of kindness and empathy for people. It is a country that from govt down promotes selfishness and greed. It certainly affects my mental health. I despair of a country where some people can spend thousands of pounds on fancy shoes or bags and there are kids who don't have food to eat and for who a trip to the movies or even Mc Donald's is way out of reach. I wish for a more empathetic and caring society but can't see it happening.
Nannypink
16th Feb 2020
4
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I believe they also encourage some people to then use social media to make unkind comments
myfairlady
16th Feb 2020
4
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sadly so many people buy them.. it would all stop in a heart beat if the papers did not sell.
Gardenmad
16th Feb 2020
13
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The question is wrongly worded. It should read 'Are newspaper stories ALONE to blame for destroying lives'. I reluctantly voted 'no' because newspapers (which are selling to fewer people each year) are only one factor in people's attitudes each other. What about social media (increasing in use)? What about TV comments? What about the nastiness which crept into Parliament pre-brexit which we all saw on TV? We all think we know better than anyone else. His behaviour is bad. Her hair is bad. His tie is horrible. She is paid too much. He doesn't deserve success. Years ago we just grumbled at home, but today with the anonymity which social media grants, we are all out there on our personal bandwagons without a thought of what affect it has on others. So don't just blame newspapers, look elsewhere, and in the mirror!
LizD7
16th Feb 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I agree. The prevailing feeling I get at the moment from social media (newspapers included) is to knock down anyone or anything which is good and spitefully destroy them or it behind anonymity. People do it because they can. As you say, Gardenmad, we used to grumble at home but now nasty thoughts can be disseminated publicly and whip up more nastiness. As always, a force for good (the internet) has its bad side. my motto is " if you cannot say something nice, don`t say anything at all".
jeanmark
16th Feb 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Whilst agreeing with your comments, I have to say that pre social media such as Facebook etc., newspapers were the main source of how lives can be ruined. I worked in the field of HIV for 13 years from its early days and it never ceased to amaze me at what lengths reporters would go to to get a story, regardless of whether it was accurate and certainly with no respect for privacy or the lives of patients and relatives. They proved they had no morals if they thought they could get a 'good' story, particularly about someone associated with a celebrity and certainly had no respect for confidentiality. They never let the truth get in the way of a good story and as a result I have not bought a newspaper for over 30 years.
Marie Jane
16th Feb 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
I have not bought a news paper in years, all they do is spout hatred and on the most part lies. If the news papers cant deliver the news honestly, then what's the point of having them. The way they pick on celebrities is terrible, cruel and heartless.
swaneldo
16th Feb 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
If newspapers / social media is causing you angst, don't buy newspapers and don't open an account on social media - the whole business is supply and demand. This obsession with poking our noses into other's lives is unhealthy and unnecessary. Many times you will find that people fully use newspapers and social media when they are desperate to promote themselves and then have a hissy fit when everyone wants to know more. If you don't want your life lived in the public glare, then don't use it when it suits you and expect to easily drop it when it becomes a pest.
jane63c
16th Feb 2020
8
Thanks for voting!
Time for society as a whole to show kindness. The media and our politicians should lead the charge. Those who buy the papers that publish such stories are complicit - the Mail, Express, Sun et al only publish these stories because they sell papers.
Nonniebarb
16th Feb 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Newspapers seem to run the country...swaying opinions,destroying lives and never telling the truth. What is the matter with this nation buying such dribble.
Marie-FranceH
16th Feb 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
I also think social media is responsible as people spout venom without seeking the truth at the media's chosen "victim of the moment".
Marie-FranceH
16th Feb 2020
9
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The press and media have too much power and keep publishing the same negative stories over and over again.such as fake news and untruth about people lives just to cause hatred. It should not be allowed.
Christineloy101
16th Feb 2020
0
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Mental fortitude is a thing,if you cant handle it you dont have to put yourself out there,Megan and Harry have stepped away from it in in the uk,but is that really their plans .l dont think so
Ian123
16th Feb 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Newspapers, indeed all media, can build a person up but seem to take exceptional glee in destroying them should they err on the pathway of life.
Not much surprises me these days,, but Carolyn Flacks death saddened me.
What a waste of a life.
What with the massive publicity how could she get a fair trial?
Should any person from the establishment or with the right membership be treated in such a manner then their trial would not go ahead.
Not that I believe Carolyn’s trial would have proceeded.
Because of her celebrity status and the nature of her offence the Government has allowed the massive media coverage to continue to keep Domestic Violence to the fore.
I am not in any way playing down Domestic Violence, a hideous practice, but the mass coverage in this case borders on the hysterical.
RIP.
SilverSammy
16th Feb 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Newspapers and such certainly fan the flames, but are not to be blamed exclusively for the destruction of lives. Lives are being destroyed because humans are failing to understand how to handle freedom responsibly. Just because we have the freedom to do something, doesn't mean we should do it. It's good to have freedom, but it's good to have the kind of culture that guides when freedom is appropriate and when it is not.
Margaret Hart
16th Feb 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I don’t think Newspapers can ever be totally to blame for ruining lives as the stories come from other sources but they have a lot to answer for as they will sometimes go to ridiculous lengths which defy the truth just to get a headline and story but now there is social media which many cowards hide behind between the two they can most certainly deTroy lives and the current one is a good example. None of us knows what goes on behind closed doors so if we can’t be kind we should be quiet.
MrsPat
15th Feb 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Yes the gutter press have always ruined people's lives. Why would they hound this poor girl what a waste of life and very sad for her and her family-Disgusting.
Reynard
15th Feb 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Newspapers especially tabloids eg sun mirror star have always ruined people’s lives they don’t care who they destroy as long as they get a story an ex news of the world reporter talking about Michael Barrymore said they had so much money to throw at so called witnesses it didn’t matter if it was all lies & the same has probably happened to poor Caroline Flack unfortunately if it was a politician they would have thrown more money to keep their names out of the gutter press.
ElisabethR
15th Feb 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
Newspapers have always printed salacious stories..... It sells them. The problem today is social media. Mindless people following the crowd..... Sometimes it feels like a competition to see who can say the worst thing. I am so sorry this young woman was driven to suicide. Did she not have supportive friends? May she rest in peace.
desertdancer
15th Feb 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
would appear to me that the sort of people who appear on reality shows are just yearning for the publicity because they do not have any talent ...they live their lives on social media and when things go wrong so easy to blame someone else
Joan Fraser
15th Feb 2020
8
Thanks for voting!
I have answered No because I;m currently focused on younger people - who don't buy newspapers BUT reporting on social media is definitely a factor as is this cruel mind bending fascination with Reality TV - which is so far removed from 'reality' it can't be measured!!!!! I personally stopped buying daily papers when I really didn't want to know whose toes Fergie was sucking.......but now with media options kids (and others who are older) are blasted with such news - I've never watched the Jungle....but get it on Breakfast telly, Big Brother - no thanks- bit it's everywhere.......now this beautiful young woman has committed suicide, what a tragedy - time to get real!
Yodama
15th Feb 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
Poor girl, what a really bad place she must have been in to think this was her only way out.

We keep saying the same thing over and over again, how most of the media has descended to gutter reporting.
There is a delicate line to walk when it comes to silencing them and allowing freedom of speech.

What are their bosses doing about it,? It is time they were hauled over the coals.
If there are no facts to substantiate a story, then don't make it up...simple!
If the media feel they have to provide the more salacious type of news, because of demand, it doesn't say much for the type of people who demand it.
Sickens me!
anubis
15th Feb 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
I never read the newspapers anymore full of half truths and down right bigoted opinions anything to increase sales
ChrissieH8
15th Feb 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
The newspapers and the media are like the mafia they rule the country and not the politicians. They boost people up then drag them down without a care and ruin lives. Caroline Fkack was a beautiful sassy woman . Just how dare they? As for the trolls on line well to you Karma is coming big style !
BruceH5
15th Feb 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
Many of the dailys are mot only politicaly biased they constanrly write lies and half truths in order to support their polirical views When this is bought to light they should be fined an amount to hurt them and make them take care to report honestly
Wilf
15th Feb 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
I totally agree especially in the UK we should show the rest of the world an example-free press yes! Truthful press= absolutely.
Wilf
15th Feb 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
Newspapers have always printed the most outrageous headlines and stories. I suppose the big difference now is it is multiplied hugely by online press.
MrsPat
15th Feb 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
They exist to sell papers so will always have the most incredible headlines to catch people's attention.
mh58
15th Feb 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
Absolutely agree. Caroline Flack was alone. So little support in such a bad time. They have persecuted Harry and Megan. Tried it with Mark Wright and Michelle Keegan. Now onto Kelvin Fletcher. Where The Sun leads the others follow!
Munsterlander
15th Feb 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
They want to sell newspapers-end of. The more salacious and outrageous the more papers they sell and have always sold.

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