Part 3 of an occasional series into the cock-and-balls-in-a-blender-awfulness of 'Ooh, weather happened' stories masquerading as news.
Basically there is a template for the classical tabloid 'It was a bit warmer than we were expecting!' story. It goes a little bit like this:
1. Mention temperature in Fahrenheit. Makes it sound bigger and more exciting.
2. If possible, have a graphic of a thermometer with a giant '85 degrees!' symbol at the top. Bonus points for a badly drawn cartoon of a sun, wearing sunglasses, perhaps perspiring due to the heat (even though he is, to all intents and purposes, the fucking sun, and therefore would be rather used to warm temperatures, you would have thought).
3. Have some pictures of people on a beach somewhere - the whitest place you can find. Bournemouth is good; less saggy flesh than Eastbourne.
4. Well I say 'people' but let's not kid ourselves - I mean 'nubile young women exposing quite a lot of flesh'. Bonus points for the use of the word 'frolicking'.
5. Some spurious load of toss about 'how people cooled down'. Another excuse for skimpily-dressed young 'beauties' taking to the 'surf'. Note how these words are only ever used in these kinds of stories.
6. **very important** You have to mention somewhere warm that Britain has been hotter than on this one particular occasion. Good examples are 'Sweltering Bognor even hotter than Corfu!' or 'Sizzling Margate even warmer than Cape Town' when it's winter in the southern hemisphere and therefore not really the most unexpected thing in the world. This is pretty much the sine qua non of shite weather stories.
So with this rubric in mind, let's see how well today's Mail fares after a slightly warm day happens in the UK in - wait for it - June, ie summer.
Bournemouth hotter than Barcelona as Britons bask in blistering heat
Kerching! Well done that sub - though sorry to see you ran out of Bs for the alliterative headline. Bournemouth, Barcelona, Britons, bask, blistering... heat. Schade.
The flood warnings last week seemed a world away as temperatures topped those in parts of Spain Monday.
Yes, there was weather last week. And there was weather this week! Exciting! I like the 'parts of' Spain; there's something refreshingly weary about the whole affair, as if whoever's writing it is aware of the inherent silliness and the crushing defeat of their hopes in journalism. "So it's come to this," you can imagine them saying, weeping a little as they type the words.
After a week of severe downpours, temperatures reached 80f (27c) in some areas of the country, putting Barcelona in the shade, where it was 71f (21c).
Kerching! Fahrenheit! Slightly cool weather in Barcelona SHOCKA!
Across the country people and animals resorted to unusual methods to cool down.
Cooling down methods - kerching! People and animals too! Saucy!
Hundreds of naked cyclists took to the streets of of Brighton and York on Saturday in an environmental protest.
Oh, so that wasn't about the weather at all. But is that reason enough not to show a young woman in her pants in the paper, completely ignoring the message of the protest? I think not!
Wendy Halstock from Eastleigh, Hampshire, said: 'I came down first thing for a day on the beach hoping to get a bit of a tan.'
Insight, there. I wonder what kind of Paxman-like technique was used by the reporter to try and extract that information? Quality stuff.
A 13-year-old boy died in Preston after getting into difficulty in a canal.
Oh... OK. Is it me or does that really not quite fit in with the rest of the story? Bit of a sombre note.
What we need to finish this off, then, is a collection of batshit insane comments from the usual suspects. And... kerching!
Look out, look out the global warming freaks will be about!
Hooray! That's the shit, right there. What a wonderful piece of journalistic excellence this was. Take a bow!