More bad news for controversial Fall frontman and greatest living Mancunian Mark E. Smith as we can reveal he is currently being held by police on charges of common assault and causing an affray after a misunderstood song request at this year's Television Puppet Character Convention ended in shameful violence. The singer was involved in a real-life Kicker Conspiracy whilst performing to an audience of children's favourites and their sidemen and women when a song request was mistakenly perceived to be a call to help out a damsel in distress.
No stranger to bad publicity Smith, who has recently been revealed as the real-life father of both GMTV weathergirl Claire Nasir and newsreader Penny Smith, had been invited to perform with his band at the annual Puppet's convention at the G-Mex centre in Greater Manchester. All had been progressing well as the band ran through classics such as How I wrote Elastic Man, Rowche Rumble and Bingomasters' Breakout, until the band offered to play requests chosen by the celebrity audience. Smith, renowned for losing his hearing and becoming rather argumentative after several bottles of vodka-laced milk stout, is believed to have misconstrued Shari Lewis' request for the band to play their 1980's classic "Hit the North" as a plea for him to weigh in and sort out Basil Brush sideman and honorary president of the Hull City Southern Supporters' Club, Roy North - a man renowned for his keen interest in the ladies after one or two crates of ale and who some eye-witnesses suggested may have been getting over familiar with the American puppeteer and creator of characters such as Lamb Chop and Hush Puppy.
Before the 70s children's favourite could explain himself and the innocent reason behind his having his hand half way up Ms. Lewis' skirt, Smith is alleged to have "weighed in" to the Hull-born Children's presenter, informing him, "I'll give you 'you can't leave it there Mr. Roy', you soft Yorkshire get." The singer is then believed to have rounded on North's Television puppet partner, telling Basil Brush himself "you can have some too you poxy vermin - I'll set me bloody dogs on yer, yer mangy bit of scrote." before dousing the lovable comic fox character in Pokey-Pola. Smith then turned his ire on a shocked Shari Lewis, yelling at her "and that goes for you too, Dirty Gertie from Number Thirty..." Before he could confront the nearby Derek Foulds, North's successor in the role of human foil to the anarchic fox puppet, security guards were able to separate the singer from a puppet mellee thought to have involved Rod Hull, Emu, Gordon the Gopher and Bernie Clifton wearing his famous "I'm pretending to ride a comic ostrich" costume.
The show's organisers are hoping that the adverse publicity will not force them to cancel next year's convention, despite fears that the proposed co-headliners, Roland Rat and Keith Harris and Orvil might be shaping up for an Oasis-Blur style war of words over their prospective chart successes in the run up to the event. This week's NME featured a stinging attack by Harris on the self-styled rodent saviour of GMTV. "That Rat's done nothing since he had a hit with that poncey Rap thing - and he bombed in the States. But he will keep giving it all that about being a f***ing superstar - the tossing great tw*t. We'll see how clever he is with my hand up his f***ing arse", said the lovable children's entertainer.
Mark E. Smith is currently awaiting bail so that he can resume his role as Buttons in the pantomime Cinderella at the Alhambra Theatre, Lewisham.
Love on y'all (and "boom-boom!")