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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Just earning a crust

Journalism is a glamorous job... sometimes. And sometimes they ask you to dress as a pie.

Patrick Hill photo
Patrick Hill

Cumbrian journalist Paddy Hill has just tasted the pastry-based part of the job.

The Carlisle hack was assigned to cover David Cameron’s visit to Dumfries last week for the Daily Record.

The Record wanted to address the Government’s decision to impose VAT on pies and pasties – the so-called ‘pasty tax’.

And the paper had an interesting angle.

“They wanted me to dress up as a pie,” Paddy tells Reiver. “But thankfully for me pie costumes don’t seem to exist.”

Plan B involved greeting the Prime Minister with a tray of pies instead.

“I was going to ask him ‘Would you like one of these pies? Don’t worry – we’ve paid the VAT on them.’”

Unfortunately for Paddy, Mr Cameron’s security team scuppered the plan.

“I couldn’t get near him,” says Paddy.

“They told me to put the pies on the ground and said ‘don’t pick them up.’ It was pretty heavy-handed.

“I think they were worried that I was going to throw them.

“One of them said ‘If you throw a pie, I’ll get sacked.’

“I said ‘Yeah, but if I throw a pie I’LL get sacked!’

“I put them on a bin and hoped we could get a shot of the pies in the foreground and Cameron in the background as he left.

“But that didn’t work either. We’d been told he’d be leaving through the back door. But he left by the front.”

All in a day’s work for Paddy, who steered clear of the Prime Minister during his visit to Cumbria the following day for fear of upsetting the security team again.

The incident can be neatly summed up in a tabloid-style headline: Paddy’s Pie Hell.

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