On the 25th March, former Daily Star journalist Richard Peppiatt came to The Herbert Gallery in Coventry for a talk called ‘The Daily Star Ate My Profession!’
Mr. Peppiatt began by telling us that he had left the Daily Star as he could not continue with the newspaper’s extreme right-wing views of supporting the English Defence League (EDL) and taking an anti-Islamic stance. However, the Daily Star claimed that the policy was never against Islam, and strongly opposed extremism.
Everyone who attended the talk was given Peppiatt’s resignation letter, which told us where his problems stemmed from. It started with the ‘Muslim only loos story’ last year. They were set to be taxpayer funded according to Richard Desmond’s publication, but that wasn’t the case – The Daily Star had simply made the majority of the story up.
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They invented many more stories – Two that were mentioned were that Matt Lucas was on suicide watch following the death of his former partner Kevin McGee, and the other was that Kelly Brook was seeing a hypnotherapist in order to stop her from taking so long to get ready. Peppiatt said he got a£150 bonus for just for making that story up. Though making up stories didn’t bother Richard, it was the anti-Islamic stance, separating ethnic minorities and publishing stories that stirred up racial hatred did. They also ‘took the mick’, by having Peppiatt dress up in a Burqa to gain a reaction from people (which they also fabricated) and to try and get a perspective of being a Muslim for a day.
Enough was enough when the newspaper started to champion the EDL – He stated that had he stayed with the Daily Star long enough, it most probably would have eaten his profession. However, he got out before it was too late, and he is claimed that he is currently looking for more journalistic work.