Dwarves and red tops: a short history of media infatuation

Verne Troyer

The party Pippa Middleton attended before the 'gun incident' featured strippers and, crucially, dwarves

LAST UPDATED AT 10:43 ON Tue 17 Apr 2012

LATEST breathless reports from Paris claim that before getting a lift to the Gare du Nord from a friend who apparently pulled a pistol on a photographer, Pippa Middleton had attended a French aristocrat's 30th birthday party, described variously as "extremely debauched" (the Daily Mail) and "wild" (the Sun). What made the bash so remarkable in the newspapers' eyes was that the entertainment featured strippers – and dwarves.

What is it about dwarves and the tabloids? Here are some of the headline items to have made waves in recent years...

– The Sun , April 2012
Jenny Thompson, the prostitute known for her affairs with footballers Wayne Rooney and Mario Balotelli, was reported to have added a dwarf to her list of conquests. The Sun claimed Thompson slept with 4ft 5in Harry Potter actor Josh Bennett after a drunken night out, and then admitted it was a big mistake. Bennett, however, claimed size didn't matter: "Jenny seemed genuinely attracted to me and comfortable with my size," he said. "I don't know if she'd ever slept with a dwarf before, but she didn't seem fazed."

The Sun, June 2008
Actor Verne Troyer (above), best known as for his role as Mini-Me, the tiny comic sidekick to Austin Powers, found himself embroiled in a sex tape scandal in 2008. His ex-girlfriend Ranae Shrider leaked what The Sun called a "stomach-churning" 50-minute video of the couple to the gossip website TMZ. Kevin Blatt, the 'sex tape broker' responsible for 1 Night in Paris, attempted to sell the video, but was subsequently taken to court by Troyer.

Metro, July 2009
Two wrestling midgets were found dead in a Mexican hotel room in 2009 after being drugged and robbed by suspected criminals who posed as prostitutes. The Metro explained how the two 36-year-old brothers, known as 'La Parkita' (Little Death) and 'Espectrito II', had reached prominence in the "world of Mexican midget wrestling" as a tag team.
The pair had picked up two women after filming a TV fight show and taken them to back to their hotel. It was believed the women belonged to an organised crime gang and spiked the wrestlers' drinks.
Sunday Sport, August 2011
The Sunday Sport's front page story explained how 35-year-old Peter Foster, the "itty-bitty porn star who hit the big time" by looking like TV chef Gordon Ramsay, had been found dead in an underground badger tunnel in Tregaron, west Wales.
But when the Cambrian News pursued the story, they found quite a different picture. The Ceredigion coroner confirmed that no-one had been found dead in the town, the paper reported in September, adding that it looked likely Peter Foster "did not even exist".
The Sun, September 2011
During an infamous night off from the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, Mike Tindall and some of the England team ended up "watching a dwarf-throwing contest" in a bar, according to The Sun. The ex-captain was subsequently fined £25,000 after a Rugby Football Union investigation into his behaviour on tour.
The story became so influential that in October last year a dwarf blamed the England team's behaviour for an injury he sustained in a similar incident. The Metro's headline read: 'Thrown dwarf Martin Henderson demands apology from Mike Tindall'.

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