Director: Tom Jenkinson, Rich Peppiatt
Screenplay: Rich Peppiatt
Starring: Rich Peppiatt, John Bishop, Steve Coogan, Hugh Grant
Running Time: 55 minutes
BBFC Classification: 18
Ex-tabloid Journalist Rich Peppiatt has launched a slur-campaign against his former bosses at the Daily Star and all other related tabloids; spurred on by a loathing for their debauched practices and a desire to expose their hypocrisy and generally devious behaviour.
What ensues is a light-hearted documentary that is fairly lo-fi in its approach; Peppiatt utilises many ‘fringe’ techniques at whim; shoddy costumes, jovial pranks and an all round cheeky sensibility. The amateur approach works in his favour, when contrasted with the slicker performance of the editors he comes up against, who seem lubricated with an abundance of PR-spin to be used whenever the occasion calls.We bear witness to a series of visual gags, ranging from leaving a sex toy on an editors doorstep (much the annoyance of his ‘ghoul’ style security), to a projection of a particularly racy porn film on the outside wall of the Daily Star. All too aware of the myriad occasions where they have hurled individuals into a public spotlight of embarrassment, they seem to handle their own blunders with an oily expertise, much to Peppiatt’s annoyance. Regrettably, none of the sharks seem to rise to his bait. Still, this film works as a laugh at their expense and it is rather satisfying to watch.
Initially a fringe theatre show which thrilled audiences in Edinburgh, Rich’s campaign works well on the big screen, aided by well-known and notoriously anti-tabloid celebrities Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan, as well as industry experts who still don ‘the white hat’ in an industry they care greatly for.
Rich is a likeable mouth-piece for this revolution. His one-man campaign for justice bears resemblance to Russell Brand’s current crusade in its utter disbelief in the formal system. Instead of playing their game, he reverts to school-boy antics to gain attention.
A jovial jaunt into a prankster’s revenge party; the documentary is not interested in highlighting a redemption path for the tabloid giants, instead Peppiatt revels in their embarrassment and dances a jig of delight when he manages to shame them, albeit briefly.