A pummelling for the prince of the pommel

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.ukThornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
I reckon it all started to go wrong for Louis Smith when he parted company with the lovely Lucy of Towie fame.

Since then he’s gone from being the poster boy of the British Olympics team to a gaffe-ridden celebrity who is in danger of losing the public’s good will.

Accused of being a sore loser after he was pipped to a gold in Rio by his team-mate Max Whitlock, he’s now found himself in hot water for mocking Islam in a video.

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Despite a fulsome apology, the leader of the Labour group on Peterborough City Council Cllr Mohammed Jamil has said he has withdrawn his support to give Louis the freedom of the city.There is also talk of lost sponsorship, a ban from the sport he loves and has graced for many years, and even that he should be stripped of his MBE.

It is becoming a textbook cautionary tale of our times. It has all the elements – sport, social media, celebrity and religion.

And, of course, it’s ridiculous.

Louis was at a wedding, with friends and in high spirits. He was silly. He said sorry.

That really should be the end of the matter but people are hooked on outrage, some seem to almost enjoy being offended.

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And that’s why Louis needs to be careful. His time in gymnastics is drawing towards a close and if he is to carve out a lasting career in the entertainment industry he needs the support of the public.

Perhaps he needs a good woman (I apologise if by saying that I’m offending anybody) to keep him in line.

Now where is Lucy’s number?

Smoking gun

The maternity unit at Peterborough City Hospital is launching a pilot scheme to help pregnant women give up smoking.

It turns out that Peterborough is above the national average (surprise, surprise) for women who smoke during pregnancy.

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Whilst I welcome anything that helps, I find it amazing that it is illegal for someone to smoke within 50 yards of me in our cavernous new office yet a woman can smoke with a child inside her body.

Knowing what we know now about smoking it is nothing short of child abuse.. and it should be against the law.

Cool for cats

As music reviewer for this newspaper I get sent a lot of albums but I can safely say I’ve never come across anything like Music For Cats.

A press release trumpets that it is the first ever major deal for music aimed at animals rather than humans.

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I thought it was a joke and it was just a ruse to put together a compilation album and get a bit more juice out of hits such as Tiger Feet, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, What’s New Pussycat (I’m on a roll now).

But no this is five “cat-friendly’’ compositions composed by a cellist with America’s National Symphony Orchestra.

A spokesman for Univeral Music, who have Elton John, Kanye West and U2 on their roster, said without a hint of irony: “We’re thrilled to be part of this world-first project and break into the massive untapped market of non-human fans.’’

In Britain there are more than nine million cats with their owners spending four billion pounds on them. So what do I know?

Apply yourself

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I saw an article about interviews and how the most dreaded question was: “what’s your biggest weakness? and added tips on good answers.

I’ve always wanted to reply: “Well, I’d be a fool to tell you that’’ but I never dared.

I guess, then my answer should have been: “I’m a scaredy cat.’’

A fine idea

I’m right behind Tesco’s decision to fine motorists who park in disabled and child and parent bays. Those who do are lazy, selfish and inconsiderate.

However, I do think the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.

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Anyone caught faces a fine of £70, or £40 if paid within 14 days. Why not make it £20 or £10 if paid promptly?

And just in case there are any Premiership footballers shopping at Serpentine Green with more money than morals keep doubling it for repeat offenders.

Just not funny

Trust America, not content with inventing and exporting junk food, they have now given us the creepy clown craze... and I’m not talking about Donald Trump. One has already pounced in George Street but ended up being punched on his red nose. Violence is never the answer but...

Diary Of A Bad Dad

We had one of those domestic emergencies that until you have kids you don’t even contemplate.

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Schoolgirl T got her hand trapped in the car door. Cue a bucketful of tears, screaming that could wake the dead and a rush to the care centre in Thorpe Road to make sure no bones were broken.

At the centre, an ashen faced Mrs T was told with at least five people in front of her it would be at least an hour and a half’s wait. Not an easy message to give a five-year-old in pain and shock.

Thank goodness then for the kind-hearted people who were waiting to be seen.

One man who overheard the discussion with the receptionist piped up: “If I’m in front of her, she can go before me.’’ He added: “And I’m sure that goes for everybody else too. Nobody wants to see a little girl in distress.’’

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The receptionist checked and sure enough everybody else offered to let them go to the head of the queue.

Thankfully, there were no bones broken and by the time we were home Schoolgirl T was proudly showing off her bandages.

It was a kind, caring gesture from the patients for which we were all grateful. But surely the NHS should have the nous to prioritise a child in pain and not leave it to up to patients.