Apparently, there’s nothing like a celebrity romance to set the pulses racing. Every stage of it, from the first dates, through the extravagant wedding and inevitable high profile break up and divorce, they provide a veritable real-life soap opera for the public. They also provide the media with plenty of lurid subject matter, with every affair, every argument and every incident of domestic violence associated with each relationship lovingly documented in full colour, courtesy of long lensed photography. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that one enterprising tabloid is proposing to actually create celebrity romances, with the participants selling the rights to their relationship exclusively to the newspaper for its forthcoming ‘Match Made in Heaven?’ feature. “We’ll be able to present the whole thing, reality TV style, to our readers,” explains Frank Furk, Showbiz Editor of The Shite. “We’ll have cameras and microphones on them every minute of the relationship – not only will we have photo exclusives of every significant event, but we’ll be able to offer our readers live, twenty four hour video streaming, via our subscription site, obviously.” According to the journalist, the participants in these proposed celebrity romances will be required to sign contracts guaranteeing that that they will keep the relationship going for a minimum period of twelve months. “We have to be able to get our money’s worth out of it,” says Furk. “If it all goes well, then we can exercise our option to extend it for another twelve months – if it looks like it is heading for marriage, then, of course, we’d be willing to extend it even further.”

Furk concedes, however, that deciding just how long to let these romances run will be crucial to the project’s success. “It’s not that we’re worried that they might crash and burn, I mean, my God, that sort of thing would be dynamite, but just how long it will take them to reach that stage,” he muses. “If it all drags on too long, then there’s the danger that the punters will get fed up waiting for the big break up. I mean, we all remember how it all went wrong for Liz Hurley and Hugh Grant, but it took them more than ten years to get to that stage. Nowadays, social media and the like have conditioned people to expect gratification in the short term. They’d never put up with a whole decade of romance to get to that final bust up.” He also believes that that the make up of any celebrity couplings will be crucial to the success of ‘Match Made in Heaven?’. “I’m not sure that we want any significant age gaps,” he opines. “While they are more likely to generate affairs and end quickly but spectacularly, it always looks so sad when he younger half inevitably cheats on the older. Just look at the marriage of sad middle-aged game show host and self-styled impressionist Les Dennis and gorgeous young blonde bint Amanda Holden. I mean, was anybody really surprised that she sought solace in the arms of Neil Morrissey rather than Russ Abbot’s one-time straight man? But in all the fall out, it was Dennis who got the public sympathy. If we tried to create a similar relationship, I’m worried that it could backfire and leave us looking like heartless bastards for contriving to humiliate some old geezer like Les Dennis.”

Furk admits that, to some extent, the public tends to find age gap celebrity relationships repugnant. “Its like Mel Gibson once said, there’s nothing more stomach churning than the sight of an attractive young woman being pawed by some sad old man, or something like that,” he says. “Which brings us to Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones. Jesus! What a dirty old man he is – and I’m motivated solely by envy when I say that. But this raises the inevitable question of what celebrity couplings would really churn our readers’ stomachs?” The newspaper man claims that The Shite has conducted considerable research into this subject, so as to ensure that it’s first attempt at running ‘Match Made in Heaven?’ doesn’t prove to be an instant turn off for readers. “We’re realistic that we aren’t going to get together showbiz royalty along the lines of Burton and Taylor, first time out, so we’ve concentrated on the lower berth of celebrity in our research,” he confides. “We asked a focus group stuff like what if rotund ex Radio One and current Radio X DJ Chris Moyles was to get it on with Radio Two’s ginger tosser Chris Evans? Would the thought of all those wobbling buttocks and red pubes going at it hammer and tongs have you heaving up your lunch? Surprisingly, the answer was ‘yes’.”

The focus group was also quizzed about several more, utterly bizarre possible celebrity couplings, including such questions as: how about sleazy Hollywood legend Jack Nicholson playing tonsil hockey with Leonardo Di Caprio – would the thought of that make your passion wilt? Maybe sex-siren Sharon Stone strapping on a dildo and making like a bull-dyke with Sandra Bullock? Arch scientologist and superstar fat-boy John Travolta giving American gigolo Richard Gere one up the Gary Glitter whilst wearing a condom made from pure gerbil fur? “We were trying to gauge just what the typical Shite reader might tolerate, whether we could tap into their deepest sexual fantasies,” Furk admits. “Not that we’d expect to get any of those celebrities mentioned, of course. I thank that, at first, we’d be looking more at people who’d been on reality TV.” The results of the research showed that readers of the Brexit-supporting tabloid were surprisingly conservative, expressing a preference for opposite sex, non-interracial relationships.

The future of ‘Match Made in Heaven?’, however, remains in doubt, with critics pointing to the more sinister aspects of the proposed contracts, which would allow the tabloid to show significant events in the relationship involving the first sexual encounter and selected future sex acts. “As if that wasn’t bad enough, the contract also stipulates exactly what kind of sexual acts must be performed and how often,” says top celebrity lawyer Marve Hirple. “Then there’s a domestic violence clause, guaranteeing that a certain number of incidents will be allowed for the benefit of the cameras before any threats of a relationship break up are made. It’s all pretty reprehensible and I’d certainly advise any client of mine not to touch such a thing with a barge pole.” Furk refutes any suggestion that other contractual clauses exist which would prevent either party from using the tabloid’s video footage as evidence in any assault cases arising from possible domestic violence. “That’s completely untrue,” he asserts. “Nor is it true that we wouldn’t allow the contract to be broken in the event of domestic violence. We’re just saying that one party would have to present us with credible evidence that they were genuinely in fear of their lives before we’d contemplate releasing them from the agreement.”