The winner of the 2010 "The Daily Star" award for the most fantastical "silly season" story goes to the Sunday Express:
MAN EATING GIANT SQUID DEVOURING FISH STOCKS
I squid not. A report by the Express Enviroment (sic) Editor screams " Deadly sea monsters have awoken from the deep to cause carnage among some of the world's richest fishing grounds."
This wouldn't be out of place in a 1950's Horror B Movie tailer.
The "news" report continues "Millions of killer giant squid are not only devouring vast amounts of fish they have even started attacking humans. Two Mexican fishermen were recently dragged from their boats and chewed so badly that their bodies could not be identified even by their own families."
I suspect this is not so. More likely disgruntled drug traffickers.
Other frighty stuff in the Express's report - how much does the editor get paid for this rubbish? - "Hunting in 1,000-strong packs the giant squid can out-swim and out-think fish. Scientists believe they coordinate attacks by using pigment cells to communicate...A single female is believed to be able to lay 30 million eggs, each one capable of becoming a giant killing machine."
“They are the most opportunistic predators on the planet. They eat everything in their path. One Humboldt squid in the course of two years can eat 27,000lb of fish. What is going to be the impact on the environment?”
You do wonder how this stuff gets to see the light of day. Until we learn that Channel Five has a programme this Tuesday called "Nature Shock: Killer Squid". And Channel Five is owned by Richard Desmond the owner of Express Group.
So this isn't even a bad news story - it's an ad.
I wouldn't mind except I am rather partial to the squid. Not to eat. No, I am captivated by them.
A few years back my wife and I went to Kew Gardens in West London. They had an aquarium. or at least a special exhibition on octopussies. Why, I have no idea - although in one of the pavilions they had koi carp you could stroke - maybe they thought a squid could be house trained.
There were loads of tanks with squid in them. They weren't at all fazed by the crowds and people snapping them. Not a bit of it. These delightful creatures were stationary in the water their tentacles outstretched, taking in the scene with those huge brown speckled eyes.
Occasionally there'd be a slight ripple along their bodies as they adjusted their position. And then amazingly in a matter of seconds they'd semaphore - they'd flash as, what appeared to be fluorescent lights, moved up and down their bodies.
I was transfixed - by the huge set of suckers that had entwinned me - sorry, a Daily Express moment. What I couldn't get my head around was how short were their lives - a couple of years. All that effort, that complexity, that beauty. But I suppose if you ain't got long to get noticed you invest a huge amount in display.
Which in a neat way comes back to the Express, its stable mates and their diet of celebs.