Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Alfie Patten - The Price of Fame

Alfie Patten has packed into his short life so far the entire plot of a TV mini-series. He has achieved national notoriety, assumed parental responsibility for a baby and discovered that his girlfriend was, in common parlance, cheating on him, all by the age of 13.

And now this child, who became, fleetingly, the face of ‘broken Britain’, will doubtless be plastered yet again all over the tabloids (I’m too squeamish to look), courtesy of Max Clifford or some similar low-life.

For a few short days, the media frenzy will begin again, with journalists queuing up, cheque books in hand, to get the inside story on the ‘extremely distressed’ adolescent, although I suppose we should be relieved that the DNA results were not, as was at one time suggested, unveiled on national television in a scene that would surely breach some statute on child cruelty.

And the saddest thing of all is that this child’s welfare is in the hands of people who not only condoned under-age sex, but allow, or even welcome, the tabloids into their home. It is surely only a matter of time before someone manages to sell the film rights to ‘The Alfie Patten Story’ or turn it into a 'cutting edge' series for CBBC and the whole sorry business becomes front-page news again.


  1. When I was 12 I went to Nuneaton and back on my bicycle. It may not have been as exciting, but it was a lot healthier.

  2. In retrospect it was always more likely that the real father would be the one who had started puberty.

  3. Ross: Maybe, but when did the Sun ever let a little thing like logic get in the way of a good story?

    Demetrius: mens sana in corpore sano - if only young Alfie and the fragrant Chantelle had followed your example!

  4. On Radio 2 this afternoon, they had some paid-up member of the Righteous wibbling on about what a terrible tragedy it was for the child and how disgracefully the media and parents had behaved and how they should now receive 'help'.

    Took me a while to realise she was talking about Alfie. Not the unfortunate offspring of the fecund Chantelle and (insert name here).

    Oh, and Max Clifford was apparantly exhorting the media to leave Alfie alone now...

    Bit of a cheek, I thought.

  5. I can't imagine Max Clifford coming over all altruistic, even after his pious comments about her Jadeness.

    Presumably he's protecting his own interests.