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TFT Meets... Laura Barton

Long-time readers will be well aware of TFT's ebbing and flowing relationship with The Guardian's Laura Barton. During her time as the pencil-chewing face of G2's 'Planet Barton' quiz she gained a place in our journojism hall of fame although, to be fair, she *was* only obeying orders. Like some kind of quizzing Nazi.

But since then, Laura has risen through the Guardian ranks and is now in charge of (amongst other things) the excellent Sidelines, which this week launched its own rival to Cleavage Week, entitled 'Bollocks Week'.

We figured it was high time we asked her a few questions about Pink, The Guardian and everything. And, despite the fact that she was tied up in the final stages of wedding planning (today is her big day - congratulations both!), she was more than happy to provide some answers. Here are they...

27 August 2004

> How is 'Bollocks Week' going?

Pretty rubbish actually. You just can't get the quality of gonads nowadays.

> You once interviewed Pink. Is she as stupid as she looks?

No, I think that's scientifically impossible. If her stupidity were in direct correlation with the size of her ridiculous pantaloons, for example, I doubt she'd be even able to pronounce the lyrics to her seminal work God Is A DJ. Which is a pity.

> What's the oddest thing you've seen?

I once saw a man walking down Mesnes Street in Wigan, proudly carrying the naked bottom half of a mannequin. In retrospect it's not that odd, is it? but at the age of eight it blew my mind.

> What is the least useful fact you've ever learned?

Anything taught to me in Mr Chapman's maths class, 1992-1994. Particularly vectors. Also, the fact that when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914, the street he should have been travelling along, but wasn't, was called the Appel Quay. Never needed that.

> Who at school made you laugh?

Duncan Fishwick. But perhaps not intentionally.

> What is the most ridiculous thing you've ever had to do in the name of journalism?

Now then. Obviously there was the testing of the new 118 numbers, with 'hilarious' consequences. I also had to play the euphonium outside Baker Street station, and was once made to dress in 1940s' costume for an entire week. I felt like a bit of a div on all of those occasions, to name but three.

> What is the best sweet ever?

I am the only person under 60 who loves Parma Violets. And Uncle Joe's Mint Balls. My mum posts them to me by the quarter.

> Tell us something we don't know about The Guardian.

Alan Rusbridger refers to all members of staff as Bitch-ho.

> Which celebrity would you most like to slap, hard?

I'd like to kick Amanda Platell in the shins sometimes.

> Finally, have you ever been to Peru?

No, but obviously I've considered it.

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