Computer Game Marriage For Happy Couple
MARIE AND JAY Coulbeck were married via alter ego computer characters last month, and have now vowed to stay together in “real life”.
The Coulbecks met as the characters they created when they joined 3D chat room IMVU.
Marie’s character “Goddess of the Orient” was befriended by a handsome avatar called “Gunner,” sparking a whirlwind romance.
It was only after their characters got engaged in the game that the couple exchanged their real photographs and it became clear neither had been entirely honest about their looks – but by then they insist they were already in love.
Marie, 44, described the anxious wait for a response after emailing a picture of herself and admitting that at a size 28 – 30 she looked nothing like her size eight alter ego Goddess. But Gunner, aka divorced fork lift truck driver Jay Coulbeck 41, had also created a rather flattering virtual image of himself and the couple arranged to meet a week later. They haven’t spent a night apart since.
Marie said: “I was terrified when I sent him my photo. I created her to represent the slim gorgeous woman I want to be, but thankfully Jay said I looked beautiful anyway. He was my dream man in IMVU and he’s turned out to be my dream man in real life too. I never thought when I created that avatar it would lead me to love”.
The couple arranged to meet at Marie’s home in Staffordshire, 90 miles away from Jay’s in Lincoln. Jay comments: “No we haven’t been back on the game since. Why do I need to now I’ve got her for real?
“We actually think the game is a bit silly now, but thank God we both joined or we would never have found each other.”
Audition For Rats Sees Robson Win The Role
THE CHARACTER in the lead role in a new London exhibition is being played by Robson … the rat.
The rat not being his character, but his very being. The rodent stars in Rat Walk, a feature at the London Dungeon suggesting days of the Black Death and the rats effect in the day.
Robson was one of six rats auditioning to co-star with the Dungeon’s Rat Catcher in the exhibition, which opened in time for the Whitsun holiday.
All six had acting pedigree, with ancestors including Jasper who appeared in Sweeney Todd, Ludo who scuttled around on the set of Hot Fuzz and Nancy who starred in BBC1’s Sherlock.
But Robson was a clear winner and the judges unanimously crowned him the top rat.
“Performing is at the heart of what we do and we hold regular auditions to find the best actors for the horrible character roles we have here at the London Dungeon,” explained general manager Ben Sweet.
“But auditioning for rats is definitely a first. We do already have a family of rodents living here, but they are not performers.”
Regular Customers Finally Photograph The Pub Ghost
A DIFFERENT kind of spirit has been haunting the Apsley House pub in Southsea, Hants, and has finally been caught on film.
The “friendly ghoul”, is thought to be the ghost of a former barman, and even tops up their drinks for them. And, at a recent retirement party for one staff member, regular Paul Morgan says he finally photographed the mysterious phantom.
Morgan, 47, said: “I was taking lots of photos with my iPhone because it was a fancy dress-themed party. I took a few of a group of friends and it was once I looked at them a while later I noticed something strange in the background. I took two shots in a matter of seconds. You can’t see anything strange in the first, then a face appears in the next. It is very weird. I showed my kids and they couldn’t believe it. There was no one near at the time.”
Landlord Paul Wicks added they had nicknamed their ghostly regular Reedy – after actor and legendary drinker Oliver Reed.
“People say they have seen the ghost at the bar and that they feel things – cold spots things like that,” he said.
‘Ugly’ Words From Samantha Brick Stirring Trouble
CRITIC Samantha Brick stirried up more trouble last month by describing Mary Beard as being “too ugly for TV”.
Brick, a 41-year-old journalist, has previously provoked anger among women and disbelief among men with an article entitled “there are downsides to looking this pretty”.
Apparently, the furore appears not have dented her appetite for controversy as she has now waded into the row between Beard and the TV critic AA Gill.
Writing in the Daily Mail, she said: “When the acid-tongued TV critic AA Gill wrote a highly uncomplimentary review recently suggesting TV presenter Mary Beard should be kept away from the cameras because of the way she looks, I can’t say I was entirely surprised.
Brick said: “While there is no denying that Beard is a supremely intelligent and fiercely ambitious woman, there is absolutely no chance of her becoming a successful broadcaster in prime-time slots on flagship TV channels. The plain truth is that Ms Beard is too ugly for TV.”
She went on to add: “The greatest tragedy isn’t Ms Beard’s wild hair, ungainly posture or make-up free face: it’s the fact that the BBC didn’t offer her guidance on her appearance in the first place.”
The remarks drew renewed criticism of the former television producer on the newspaper’s website, with many describing Brick as “delusional” and “hypocritical”.
One reader commented: “Samantha Brick you are right, some women are too ugly for TV, but the ugliness is the type displayed by you.”
Accidental Dambuster Tourist Given Civic Reception
DAVID WILSON and his wife, for a split second, could be forgiven for thinking what wonderful, unbelievable hospitality a Norwegian town displayed on a recent visit.
But, they were soon to realise that the civic reception really should be unbelievable, as it was meant for someone else!
Second World War hero Captain Paddy Gingles, of the Dambuster 617 squadron was expected for the preplanned event in Tromso, and the couple were mistaken for their revered visitor. Captain Gingles was famous after bombing a Nazi warship off Norway in 1944.
The mistake evolved after Wilson, 47, had travelled to the town to research Captain Gingles, his great uncle, who died more than 20 years ago.
Wilson, a salesman from Penarth, near Cardiff, said: “We were given a full welcoming party. It was all a bit embarrassing really. It was a classic case of mistaken identity – but when I explained the confusion they took it very well.”
The confusion began when Wilson rang the town’s museum to say he was researching Captain Gingles’s war heroics and asked if he could be shown around. But word spread that ace pilot Captain Gingles himself was on his way to visit the scene of his bombing raid.
On arrival, Wilson had to explain that he had never even met the former pilot before he died in 1988.
Tromso mayor Jens Joah Hjort said: “This has been fun and misunderstandings happen.
“The Wilsons were sorry for the mix up but it was not their fault. They went back to Wales as great ambassadors for Tromso.”
Canadian Student Raises Charity Money, Hands Down For A Year
AN UNUSUAL idea is raising money for children in Africa thanks to a Cardiff-based student.
Neuroscience student, Julie Durmont, 26, came up with a “topsy-turvy” idea to raise money to build playgrounds in Uganda – she will do a handstand every day for one year.
And, as a bonus, because it is a leap year, she will have to pose for photos a day more than usual, while doing a handstand a total of 366 times.
Durmont, from Canada, decided on the challenge after joining a Facebook group called Handstand February.
“While I was doing Handstand February, some of my friends said that I should do this for a whole year. My response was ‘are you crazy?’,” she said.
“However, when the month ended, I was wondering “now what?” and also wanted to continue improving as I noticed that I was getting better at them.”
She found the charity East African Playgrounds online and decided it perfectly matched her ideal cause.
By last month, she had completed more than 100 handstands and hopes to finish the challenge in January 2013, in the same week as completing her PhD.
Durmont’s more spectacular handstands include one on a plane’s wing, one next to Darth Vader and another with a pole dancer balancing on her.
To donate: www.justgiving.com/Julie-Dumont
Costumed Hartlepool Football Smurf Fans Go Viral
A MOB of Hartlepool football fans have become an internet sensation following their recent away-game dress up as Smurfs!
Scores of the fans travelled to London in white overalls, blue tops, white beards, blue faces and white hats – to watch their side’s final match of the season against Charlton.
Videos and photographs of their end-of-season fancy dress spectacular have gone viral after being posted on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
Hartlepool manager Neale Cooper said: “The fans were fantastic. I got a message on my phone saying, ‘The Smurfs are invading Charlton’, and that was from someone in Scotland.
“Then I saw the pictures. The support on the day was brilliant.”
Dressing up for their trip to the capital city is a Hartlepool tradition dating back 25 years, with the fans decked out as Oompa Loompas and Morris Dancers in the past.
Organiser of last month’s 171-strong travelling army – John “Papa Smurf” Pearson – said: “It’s good craic and helps the day along.”
Generous Tom Gives Away Holiday After Being Jilted
WHEN Tom Frankenburg’s girlfriend told him their relationship was over, he had already booked a £1,000 holiday – but disposed of the trip by giving it away.
Frankenburg, of Nottingham, has uploaded a video to YouTube inviting people who think they deserve the holiday to Malta to get in touch. The 22-year-old guitar teacher and photographer received hundreds of email responses and more than 20,000 views only a week after posting the video.
“I had this holiday that I couldn’t go on. I couldn’t sell it. I couldn’t get a refund. I was pretty stuck,” said Frankenburg.
The holiday in July includes flights to and from East Midlands Airport and a week in a four star hotel. Frankenburg said he hoped his act of kindness can inspire others to do something similar.
“Obviously I can’t fix everything but I can fix it a little bit and hopefully this video will inspire you to do the same, even if it’s just a little thing,” he added.
“Like sitting next to that lonely kid at school or buying a homeless person a sandwich for lunch on the streets.”
Smart Man ‘Painted’ The Car He Could Not Afford
A CASUAL glance Chris Smart’s garage as you drive by his home would leave you feeling that the Hampshire car enthusiast had real taste . . . what with the beautiful red Ferrari sitting inside.
But, you’d be surprised to know that all he had “inside” his garage was an impressive, but much-less-expensive BMW 2 Series, and that all you were seeing was a painting on Smart’s garage door!
Smart, 32, appears to have lived up to his name after spending two weeks sketching and painting the rare 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO with weather resistant paints.
Drivers even slam on their brakes to catch a glimpse as they pass the garage in Bishopstoke, near Eastleigh. Married Chris, who studied art at college, said: “I hated the garage door before because it was really dull. I saw garage covers on the internet and wanted one unique to me. I have always loved this particular car and wanted to make it a bit of fun. People do have to do a double-take and they smile when they realise what it is. Lots of kids have been taking photographs.”
The realistic three-dimensional scene also includes Harry Potter’s broom, a KFC bargain bucket and a paint pot with Chris’ name on it. But the creative garage door hides a boring, standard garage, which contains tools, a push bike and boxes of junk.
Wife Kerry, 32, added: “Painting the car on the garage door is as close as he’s ever likely to get to it unless we win the lottery.”
Wallaby Hops It When Dog Gives Chase
ALEX POOLEY was out for a stroll with her dog when she was amazed to see a wallaby hopping towards them last month in Kent.
Pooley, 29, filmed the brief encounter as she described what she thought was a “giant hare” hopping down the path.
She said: “I was a bit surprised to say the least and the dog was off the lead at the time and he went off to investigate. They ran around for a couple of minutes and then he came back and I put him on the lead. Then I saw it hopping down the path towards us. It seemed pretty friendly and quite intrigued because it came right up to us.”
Poole, managed to film the incident on her cell phone.