Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player

The Platell Game

Saturday, 30 August 2008

It’s Saturday today, which means I can play my favourite game:

What’s Amanda Platell’s opinion?

This is how it works. You get Amanda Platell’s column from the Daily Mail. Then you take a piece of paper to cover the page and slide it gradually down, item by item, reading only the first line of each. So you only get the basic opening facts.

  You then get 5 points every time you correctly guess that Amanda is FURIOUS AND DISGUSTED by the subject or person involved. 5 points if you correctly guess that Amanda LOVES THIS TURN OF EVENTS. Minus 5 points each time you’re wrong.

  You could never play this game with Lynda Lee-Potter, who had a fairly consistent set of opinions. But there’s no knowing which way Amanda Platell will jump; you just know that she’ll jump.

  So, using today’s column as an example:

      1) Michelle Obama has revealed that her father, despite suffering multiple sclerosis, always made the effort to hobble across the room on his walking sticks to greet his wife with a kiss when she came in. Have a think…

Did you anticipate that Amanda Platell would be delighted by this news, showing how older couples have a respect for the institution of marriage that the selfish young have lost? If so: minus 5 ! Amanda thinks the revelation is “MOST INSINCERE. Funny how Obama deemed her poor old pop more important to voters than her qualifications as a high-flying corporate lawyer.”

        2) The Duke of Sutherland is selling a pair of Titian paintings, for £100 million, which may be “bought for the nation”. Have a think…

Did you guess that Amanda would be horrified at the waste of national funds which could be so much better spent on schools and hospitals, typical of a fey and elitist government? You would be wrong! Amanda wants the paintings bought – but “it’s too much to hope that New Labour would cut back on the guff and leave us with one genuinely worthwhile legacy.”

    3) John Sergeant, the political journalist, has been announced as one of the contestants on Strictly Come Dancing. Think think think…

Does Amanda consider him to be an overweight, dribbling old leftie who’ll look revolting on the dance floor? Lose 5 points! He is “a gloriously eccentric character to be cherished and cheered.”

  If you’re a Daily Mail reader, please feel free to revisit this thread in future weeks and post your own “Unexpected Amanda Opinions”. But watch out for the traps. Here’s an example from a column in July:

    4) Sarah Jessica Parker has reportedly had a mole removed. Rack your brains…

Did you guess that Amanda would be horrified to hear of any woman having vain and unnecessary cosmetic surgery, when God made us with imperfections and that is the true meaning of beauty? Or did you guess that Amanda reckons SJP should have even more work done, the ugly old cow?

  It’s both! “Now you see it, now you don’t. No, not Sarah Jessica Parker’s movie career, but her trademark mole. How silly and how sad. Too many models and actresses these days are flawlessly pretty. I’ve always believed true beauty was in the imperfections. Still, I expect this won’t be the end of the matter. If SJP’s had the mole done, it can’t be long before that nose gets fixed, too.”

  On this occasion, whatever you guessed would be points-neutral.

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Add Comment


Andy W at 11:03 am on August 31st, 2008

I think I would pwn this game.  While of course her reasoning is going to be arbitrary to the point of randomness, an informed guess along the lines of Labour/The Democrats/The BBC are WRONG whereas Tories/Republicans/The Duke of Sutherland are RIGHT would bring home the bacon.  Just ask yourself “What would DY say” ?


Dave at 1:08 pm on August 31st, 2008

I know how I’m going to be spending my Saturday mornings from now on. I’ll have to do it online though because, as fun as it sounds, I don’t think I could force myself to actually buy a copy of the Mail…

Ian at 10:25 pm on August 31st, 2008

I could be really good at this game, I just have to see what my opinion is and then pick the complete opposite. She sounds like she was giving advice to Neville Chamberlain in the run up to the war. Hitler, invade Poland and have a strange human rights policy with that little cute moustache? Neville, are you out of your mind?.....

Started reading your book, it’s pretty good although the rest of the book will have to be spectacular to live up to the opening paragraph (possibly the funniest opening paragraph I have ever read).

If I’m ever at an EPT event that you are playing in would you do me the honour of signing it?

Victoria Coren at 11:54 pm on August 31st, 2008

Of course I would! If you’re thinking of coming to an EPT, let me recommend the London event: PokerStars are adding £250,000 to the prize pool this year, guaranteeing a £1,000,000 first prize. (Personally I found that half that amount is really plenty to be getting on with, but what the hell, if they’re offering…)

  That reminds me, I meant to post something about the book. I’m going to do that right now.

Ian at 10:20 am on September 1st, 2008


I’m trying to qualify (without paying, it’s the credit crunch you know.) If I can get to the satellite I may have as much chance as anyone else but as I’ve gone out 3 times to 1 out it gets a little annoying!

Mind you it’s not just the internet. Local pub tournament: all in with QQ against chip leader with 77 on the bubble (2nd stack), someone has thrown away a 7 pre flop, out came the other one, got up to 10 outs by the river but no joy, at least I’m getting the chips in ahead so I must be doing something right…..

Can’t stand London (don’t take it personally), may go see some friends in Warsaw if you are playing that (let me recommend the InterContinental to stop in having paid £23 for a room last weekend, health club views are magnificent, mexican’s not bad either).

Victoria Coren at 3:23 pm on September 1st, 2008

I think I probably won’t make Warsaw, though I’ll be at plenty of the others - but many congratulations on getting a bad beat story into a thread about Amanda Platell….. !

Ian at 9:49 am on September 2nd, 2008

Bad beat? Is that what it is?

Just part and parcel of the game…...

Victoria Coren

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