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.

Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.