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Home > Media

The Smoking Burrell

12 November 2002

The News of the World this week, in a stroke of pure journalistic genius, manages to link two of the biggest news stories of the year, with the revelation that Paul Burrell tried to seduce Michael Barrymore just days after the death of Princess Diana, using some of her trinkets to impress him. Barrymore is quoted as saying:

"Paul Burrell waved these rings at me - I don't even know if he'd taken them off her body. Then he grabbed and fondled me in an intimate place, kissed me and told me, 'I love you'. He went for the full snog."

Quite apart from the curious glimpse of an elite gay circle in British society (was Cliff Richard on the Common with Ron Davies?) this raises the serious question: is there a single major news story which Paul Burrell has not been involved in? Apparently not:

- In May 1982 Paul Burrell split from long-term Argentinian boyfriend, Jorge Olivera, via TELEX. Humiliated to be one of the first victims of electronic dumping, Olivera mounted a full-scale invasion of the Falkland Islands with the support of the Argentine Navy. In retaliation, Margaret Thatcher - who described Burrell as her 'rock' - ordered the sinking of the Belgrano.

- On the morning of March 4th 1988, in a Gibraltar hotel room, Paul Burrell tried to seduce Sean Savage, grabbing his rear and saying "put on your mask, Sean, and do me". Minutes later, Savage and two IRA accomplices were shot dead by an SAS hit squad.

- Jeff Skilling joined Enron in 1990, and drove it from a lumbering pipeline company into something akin to a Wall Street trading house. He was named CEO in February 2001, got drunk, slept with Paul Burrell on the floor of his office and resigned less than seven months later.

- On December 22nd of last year, Paul Burrell was seen holding hands with a young, fresh-faced Islamic gentleman in a duty free shop at a Paris airport. A few hours later, on a flight to Miami, Richard Reid tried to light a wire protruding from the inner tongue of his shoe and had to be subdued by flight attendants and passengers. In the struggle he bit a flight attendant, and was heard to shout: "tell Paul I did it for him."

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