Daily Mail issues correction over Petronella Wyatt-mother-hit-by-cyclists column
Unpleasant coincidences plus a mix up on dates leads results in eerily similar columns
The Daily Mail has issued a correction, (or possibly a clarification) regarding last month's column by Petronella Wyatt in which she told how her mother was knocked over by a cyclist twice in a month, suffering a broken arm in the first incident, and how one of Petronella's friends had stifled laughter on hearing the news; to top things off the unfortunate Ms Wyatt also had her bag snatched by bicycle riding bandits.
Some readers of that piece pointed out that much of it bore a striking similarity to an earlier column written by Ms Wyatt in February 2010 recounting how her mother had been hit by a cyclist and suffered a broken arm, and how an insensitive friend of Petronella's had stifled a laugh when told the news. Some even wondered if the second column was merely a re-hash of the first.
After a month of sleuthing the Mail's Correction's and Clarifications team today reported that it was all a silly mistake on the part of a no doubt over-worked sub-editor.
An article on September 9 said the writer Petronella Wyatt’s mother had accidents with cyclists twice in a month and Miss Wyatt had her handbag snatched by a gang on bicycles in 2012. In fact there was an editing mistake and the snatch actually occurred in 2008. Miss Wyatt had previously mentioned it in a similar article in 2010 about her mother being struck by a cyclist at that time.
So, now that's all clear it was just a set of unpleasant coincidences leading someone to edit Ms Wyatt's words in to coincidentally similar columns and it only remains to wish Ms Wyatt's mother a full recovery and to observe that Ms Wyatt has some rather unpleasant friends.