SQUINT slightly and they could have been two X Factor contestants in the “Overs” category.
“We don’t know where we are heading on this journey, but we can’t lie about it,” they told Dermot O’Leary, sounding like every contestant in reality TV history.
And just like X Factor champs, new EuroMillions winners Joe and Jess Thwaite have become overnight celebrities.
By waiving their right to anonymity, this couple have become, to the great British public, fair game. Money aside, their lives will never be the same again.
So on Thursday, microphones protruding from their smartly laundered outfits — and Jess flicking a perfectly coiffed blow-dry, quite possibly from her own salon — the couple smiled winningly for the cameras.
And win big they have, netting an incomprehensible £184,262,899.
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Dermot went gently on them during their inaugural press conference. The internet less so.
“Some people can’t enjoy their wealth unless they can rub it in people’s faces,” snarled one digital Dobermann.
“I am irrationally angry that the Lottery winners are a middle-aged couple who already have a huge house and their own horses, dogs, chickens and geckos,” sneered another.
“I’m not sure I’d be going public to boast of obscene wealth while the whole country is struggling to buy the basics right now. Read the room people,” declared another. And so on.
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The couple seem extraordinarily nice, and only a misanthropic socialist/Twitter user would resent them their win.
Yet the knives are out. Then there are the begging letters.
The Gloucestershire couple, who say they will swap their Hyundai hatchback for a snazzier Skoda estate, will be besieged by THOUSANDS.
Dying children, sick pets and “relatives with inoperable cancers requiring groundbreaking treatment” will be cited.
Poor Joe and Jess, because they seem like such genuinely decent people, will probably read each and every one.
Simon Cowell once told me he receives “overwhelming numbers” of begging letters every month. The problem, he added, was he never knew which were scams and which weren’t.
Were Joe and Jess to dish out the dosh to everyone who asked, they’d be destitute within a year.
Which, of course, they could also be if past form is anything to go by.
According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, 70 per cent of Lottery winners are broke within a decade.
As people questioned why on earth they’d go public with their news, a National Lottery statement was quickly shuffled out.
“Taking publicity can give the winner peace of mind and help to manage circulation of the fantastic news,” it read.
Jess and Joe Thwaite may think they’ve won the lottery of life, but I wouldn’t wish fame on my worst enemy.
KEN’S BULKED UP TO BE LIKE BORIS
OH, the indignity. Kenneth Branagh, 61, is playing Boris Johnson, a whippersnapper of 57, in upcoming TV series This England – and has been given prosthetic jowls in order to do so.
Sir Ken also sports a bulbous, bent nose, hooded eyelids and “heavy make-up” to transform – convincingly so – into our PM. Rumours of a fat suit are unconfirmed.
It’s fair to assume Boris won’t be tuning in.
HERE we are, Great Britain 2022.
Before buying a gig ticket, event website RA Tickets want applicants to fill this in as a “required field” before they can proceed . . .
A mere 57 – 57!!!! – options for what, in old money, was once male or female. Madness.
(And presumably a sad day for the excluded “two spirit” community).
PROBE A FINES FIASCO
A NATIONAL day of mourning was called for by the Left on Thursday.
Meanwhile, chez Dominic Cummings, plates were being smashed.
Because, after months of hysteria, angst and finger-pointing, Scotland Yard concluded Boris Johnson would face no further Partygate fines.
At a time when police need all their resources, £460,000 has been wasted. After all that fuss, a total of 126 fines of £50 were handed out – generating a grand total of . . . £6,300. The equivalent of 210 Sir Keir Starmer curry nights.
Since the probe was launched in January, 276,837 crimes – and counting – have been committed in the capital.
It took 12 cops almost four months to conclude Boris not touching his Colin The Caterpillar birthday cake at the nine-minute “party” was his sole punishable offence.
Can we please move on?
SHOWY TRIAL’S TRIVIAL
DAY 3,912 of Wagatha Christie and what have we learned?
A) This case should never have gone to trial.
B) Coleen can pull off “a moon boot teamed with Gucci loafer”.
C) Rebekah has a mouth like a trucker.
D) The court artist who sketched Wayne Rooney and made the poor chap look like a lumpy Russian hitman with Aunt Sally cheeks has in the past depicted Rose and Fred West, Harold Shipman and Jeffrey Archer. Which explains a lot.
If the judge, Mrs Justice Karen Steyn – who is probably wondering quite how her career came to this – doesn’t award the “winner” of this libel case a token £1 in damages, I’ll eat my (imaginary) hat.
NB. My money is on permatanned David Sherborne – “libel lawyer to the stars” – for this year’s Strictly.
PLOD’S TOO PC BY HALF
A POLICEMAN dubbed his work-shy colleague “Dolly Parton” because he only worked nine to five.
No. Evidently not.
“Dolly” – aka PC Stephen Knox – didn’t find the A4 pics of the singer plastered across his desk funny at all – and sued for sexual harassment.
Back in the day, when a joke could be just that, office bantz was what got us through and distracted us from a relatively high-pressured working environment.
I fondly recall an old boss, let’s call him Chris, taping me to my chair in an effort, probably, to make me do some work.
Ripping the parcel tape from my upper lip smarted a tad – who needs Immac? But, well, it was funny. In a sort of public schoolboy way.
Of course, in hindsight, I should have sued for discrimination and never worked again.
AS Netflix cracks down on password-sharing, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries admits she gives her kids and mum access to her account.
While I happily give my parents free rein of mine, I draw the line at scavenging exes.
For months, unbeknown to me, said ex was merrily pilfering off my subscription. I only realised when my profile picture was suddenly changed to that of a warthog.
Which was a slightly self-defeating move of passive aggression – promptly resulting in a password change and access denied.
APPARENTLY women benefit from daily hugs while men don’t, according to German researchers who all sound like men.
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As someone who baulks from all awkward social interaction – and once accidentally hugged Sharon Osbourne’s boobs when she went in for a kiss, me a hug – I disagree.