The site in Wapping, London, where the once popular Sunday paper the News of the World was created is to be turned into a theme park to celebrate that paper’s huge achievements throughout its 168 year existence.
It’s been such a part of British life that parent company News International believes there will be a sense of nostalgia for ‘the greatest Newspaper in the world’, and it’s bound to attract a lot of attention from its old audience which is known to largely consist of people who’ve forgotten they’ve ever had sex.
To enter ‘Newsofthe World’ is to enter a magical kingdom where nothing is quite what it seems. An adventure to the darkest recesses of the human psyche and then at the same time touchingly human, albeit without too much of the humanity. All you need to bring with you, the brochures urge, is a suspension of your own disbelief.
Visitors will be guided around by actors wearing large grimy rubber hands and huge rubber heads of Rupert and James Murdoch and of course Queen Rebekah Brooks which smile constantly, although they will remain in character at all times. Since that will mean having to prove they know nothing about what went on at the News of the World they are expected to keep getting lost and having to re-cover their tracks.
You will see the desks where many ground-breaking front page exclusives that were launched on an unsuspecting public began their existence, and nearby are the desks where teams took it in shifts to chop down the subsequent apologies to fit in a small column at the bottom of page 56.
You can experience the full magic of this enchanted place by picking up any of a bank of phones and listening in to the voicemail of your favourite celebrity, fallen soldier or victim of crime. With over 4 thousand to choose from there is definitely something for everyone.
And all the while a heady mixture of projected images of scantily clad women, celebrity nipples, footballers with their trousers down and one or two murders will have people gasping with delight, shock and awe.
The park will open every Sunday morning and at the end of your tour what better way, the brochures suggest, than to finish the experience with a traditional Sunday lunch, which you can pay for with copies of the actual wads of luncheon vouchers frequently given to members of the Metropolitan Police. But as always there’s a twist, as actors dressed as Sheikhs will offer you lunch for free and then after you have had your fill and said your ‘thank you’s they’ll report you to security who will have you arrested for theft.
Yes indeed, with glamour, intrigue, surprise, horror, suspense and great headlines, this theme park will be the must-see attraction of the year. News international has confirmed that preliminary planning has also begun for ‘Sun World’, ‘The Sunday Times Experience’ and ‘The Wall Street Journey’, just in case.