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Today’s UK Twitter Trends (Apr. 27): Imogen Thomas, Michael Winner
We’re looking at two people who have been trending today on Twitter in the UK – Michael Winner, for a famous phrase he’s said many times, and Imogen Thomas, for a famous name she can’t say at all.
The former Big Brother contestant has acknowledged that she had an affair with a married soccer star – and was then slapped with a dreaded super-injunction, preventing her from even mentioning his name.
On ITV1’s This Morning program, the sometimes distraught former Miss Wales said she had never had any intention of telling anyone about the affair.
“I’ve been thrown to the lions,” Thomas said. “I had no intention of speaking about the man, I wish my name was protected. But I didn’t have £50,000 to get an injunction.”
MrFinMan: I kinda feel sorry for Imogen Thomas, although I can’t really blame Giggs for getting an injunction
lozrii: I feel really sorry for Imogen Thomas! She’s basically been named & shamed by some cheating s***bag but can’t do the same back!
2flamey: Use of Super Injunctions,emotional abuse by ‘mainly’ rich men. Imogen Thomas has been foolish but also treated v.unfairly,I do feel for her.
UpBeatPR: A certain footballer pays £50000 to stay out of the papers,whilst Imogen Thomas pays nothing and has more publicity than she could wish for
Michael Winner has been trending because Prime Minister David Cameron used a famous catchphrase that the Death Wish director popularized while doing TV commercials for an insurance company.
Let’s start with the David Cameron part first:
While discussing health care reform during a typically rough-and-tumble parliamentary question session, Cameron told a female opposition party member to “calm down, dear.”
He was greeted with laughs, and some surprise, and when some male opposition members appeared to be asking who the Prime Minister was referring to, Cameron said: “I said calm down, calm down dear. I’ll say it to you if you like … I’m not going to apologize. You do need to calm down.”
You can see it here:
Labour Party members called the remarks “patronizing, sexist, insulting and un-prime ministerial” and demanded an apology.
Pundits have been having a field day, especially because the phrase “calm down, dear,” while not invented by the aforementioned Michael Winner (told you we’d get to him) is very closely associated with the action movie director, who used the phrase in TV ads when he shilled for an insurance company. Here’s an example:
“Anyone who gives currency to a catchphrase associated with Michael Winner, one of the great vulgarians of our age, must expect censure,” wrote Andrew Grimson in The Telegraph. “For people of any sensitivity, Winner is a loser.”
But Winner came out swinging, from the south of France, to support Cameron.
“This phrase which I created 10 years ago has become a part of the nation’s language,” he told Sky News. “It’s used by everybody. People come up to me in the street and in restaurants saying it. It’s a totally harmless bit of fun.”
Winner noted that Cameron had used the phrase before, which, he argued, meant that the Prime Minister is more “in touch with the British public” than his critics.
DuncanStott: I don’t remember an outcry over sexism when Michael Winner / esure used “calm down dear” as a catchphrase. Sorry Lab, this is faux outrage.
gimpyblog: Does Cameron know the Michael Winner joke only works because the audience knows that Winner is a pompous, out of date, windbag?
PaulSmith7: Less worried by the sexism, more worried that our Prime Minister has started quoting Michael Winner
CllrTim: It must be a great comfort to the PM that he has the full support of Michael Winner.
MrNishKumar: How old are those Michael Winner adverts? Cameron may as well have stood at the despatch box shouting ‘Waaaassssuuuuupppp’.