Does Liam Gallagher have no right to go shopping in peace?
Ex-Oasis man and Nicole Appleton pop out to the shops. Do we really need to know that, asks Nigel Horne
I DO NOT carry a torch for Liam Gallagher, but do the tabloids help the cause of press freedom when they publish a set of photos like this?
There is nothing salacious about the pictures. No telephoto lenses were necessary and no one is topless – it's too damned cold for that. But do a married couple not have the right to do what Liam and his wife Nicole Appleton are doing without being dogged by a paparazzo?
The pictures show the former Oasis frontman and the former All Saints singer out shopping. The accompanying text states that they have "hit the town" for a "spend up". This suggests they were parading up and down Bond Street. Actually they are on their local high street in north London. He's a neighbour and I recognise the stores in the photos.
The text accuses Liam of looking grumpy and suggests that Nicole, by linking arms with her hubby, is "dampening his hard man image somewhat". To which I'd say, you'd look grumpy, too, if you were trying to shop with a camera stuck in your face. And even a hard man needs to take his wife shopping on occasion.
There are, of course, celebrities who get their agents to ring the press and tell them they'll be visiting this or that shop/nightclub/hotel if they'd like to get some exclusive snaps. But the people who do that sort of thing do not then embark without make-up, wearing Wellington boots, as Nicole did.
If the photos had shown Gallagher wrestling with a street-trader, or driving dangerously (it was just up the road from where George Michael infamously drove his Range Rover into Happy Snaps), or stopping to give a poodle a good kicking, then that would be a fair cop.
Granted, Liam and Nicole spent more time in Zadig & Voltaire than they did in the Oxfam shop, but basically this is a newspaper report that tells us only that famous people go to the shops, too. It is entirely inconsequential - and simply adds fuel to the public perception that newspapers have no respect for people's privacy.
Without public opinion behind them, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg would not have had the clout to drive through their plans for what the Daily Mail calls a "chilling media crackdown".
Fashion note: while she wore wellies, he was wearing red velvet slippers. Once a rock star, always a rock star. ·