“Let’s face it, without us they’re nothing,” says professional celebrity stalker Cynthia Flitter, as she leaves an envelope containing several secretly snatched photos of BBC news reader Huw Edwards and a collection of her own toe nail clippings on the TV journalist’s doorstep. “We validate the meaningless lives of these vacuous non-entities! It’s the only way they know that they’re really famous – when their obvious irresistibility apparently pushes some poor besotted member of the public completely over the edge!” Edwards is just one of four celebrities that the forty-two year old Farnham resident is currently stalking. “To avoid confusion, I have them all carefully scheduled in my diary – although Huw is really just a hobby, and I have to fit him in whenever I can,” she explains. “On Mondays I break into the kitchen of this well-known TV chef whilst he’s filming. I stick various vegetables, frozen fish and cooking implements up both my bottom and vagina – he later uses them in his cooking show, I believe. Then there is an infamous bisexual newspaper columnist whose doormat I masturbate over every Wednesday and make obscene phone calls to on Fridays – she also likes me to follow her around Sainsburys and make provocative gestures with the fruit and veg whilst she’s shopping on Saturdays. Finally, there’s this septuagenarian TV personality who gets sent a soiled pair of my knickers the first Tuesday of every month. Actually, I’ve been too busy with the others to wet them myself of late, so I’ve got the cat to piss on them instead – he never seems to notice the difference!” Amazingly, these latter three ‘victims’ are actually paying customers, who have engaged Flitter’s services via the on-line ‘stalker exchange’ she has set up. “It’s a bit like a dating service,” she says. “Both celebrities and stalkers send in their details and requirements, and we try to match them up!”

Flitter is at pains to emphasise that all of the stalkers are carefully screened to exclude any actual homicidal maniacs, tabloid journalists or amateur voyeurs. “I take pride in the fact that we’ve never yet had a fatality – we employ only professional stalkers,” enthuses Flitter, who believes that stalkers and celebrities have a symbiotic relationship. “They give an outlet to our obsessive behaviour, we feed their desperate need for adoration!” Flitter hopes that her ‘stalker exchange’ can allow celebrities to enjoy the status and publicity which come with being stalked, whilst eliminating most of the risks. “It’s got to the stage that no celebrity feels that they’ve really ‘arrived’ until they’re being stalked by one or more obsessives! In fact, some of them have actually recruited their own stalkers, even putting them on the payroll,” Flitter claims, pointing out that such a course of action is fraught with peril. “I think we all remember that young woman fan John Candy hired to pose as his stalker to try and boost his flagging career – it turned out she was a genuine psychopath! The inquest never established for sure whether he expired from a massive heart attack induced by her leaping out of his fridge stark naked and brandishing a huge leg of pork, or whether he choked to death when she force-fed him the leg and the rest of the pig!”

Celebrities of all magnitudes have welcomed the establishment of Flitter’s ‘stalker exchange’. “It’s not just the big names who can caught out by unsuitable stalkers. When they’re trying to get a foothold on the ladder of celebrity, many Z-listers try and encourage unstable fans into stalking them for the publicity value,” says Flitter. “Such a strategy is very high risk, and can result in the wrong kind of headlines altogether! Just look at that former Hollyoaks actor who provoked that teenage girl into stalking him by replying to her texts – he had to endure weeks of painful microsurgery after it all went wrong, frankly they were lucky to get his penis back from that dog she threw it to after the meat cleaver incident. I’m told it still bears the tooth marks!” The unfortunate aspiring celebrity found himself a laughing stock and his career on the skids after this experience. However, thanks to Flitter’s new service, he now enjoys the status of being stalked by an obsessive admirer without any of the risks. “For our very modest registration fee, we’ve hooked him up with a nice young lady from Bracknell. She just sends him mildly disturbing letters every week and occasionally spray paints an obscene suggestion on the front of his house,” she says. “His new ‘stalker ordeal’ has been featured prominently in his local newspaper, and his career has subsequently taken off quite spectacularly – he’s back to playing corpses in medical dramas! I’m sure speaking roles as murder victims who are allowed to emit a scream or gurgle as their throats are cut can’t be far behind!”

Flitter believes that experience is the key to safe stalking. “All of our stalkers are highly experienced professionals who have been in the game for years,” she says. “Like me, most of them started out small, with some kind of teenage fixation on a neighbour, postman, teacher or even just some bloke at the bus stop. That’s where you learn the basic skills – following them home, secret surveillance with binoculars, going through their rubbish, candid photos taken through the bathroom window, that sort of thing. You also quickly learn how far you can actually go without being prosecuted!” Indeed, Flitter believes that celebrities are easier and safer to stalk than ordinary people. “As they are essentially unobtainable, it’s all just like a fantasy, with no real risk of anyone actually getting hurt,” she asserts. ” Whereas, when you stalk someone you know personally, it can all too easily go wrong and end up with you tying them naked to a chair in their kitchen for seven hours and smothering them in butter!”

However, not everyone is quite so enamoured of Flitter’s stalking venture, with some sections of the press expressing fears that she is effectively ”legitimising’ stalking, and thereby encouraging legions of mentally unstable loners and social misfits to spend their waking hours harassing anything resembling a celebrity. “That’s just bollocks – if anyone is legitimising stalking, it’s the media, sending out paparazzi to doorstep gormless celebs and secretly snatch nude photos of them. They’re just fuelling the public’s obsession with celebrity,” opines Professor Bob Mincer, Chair of Erotic Creative Writing and Media Studies at the Selhurst Institute for Postal Education. “And what about reality TV? If Big Brother isn’t a celebration of voyeurism, I don’t know what is! I can guarantee that watching hundreds of hours of that every summer will result in thousands of people drilling holes in their walls to spy on their neighbours before ejaculating over their washing as it dries outside on line! I know it has that effect on me!”

Many stalkers are also furious at Flitter for ‘professionalising’ stalking and effectively freezing them out of the business. “She’s letting the victims take control by using only approved stalkers. Celebrities are now able to turn even having a stalker into just another safe and controlled aspect of their totally fake existence’s,” says Gary Peedie, spokesperson for the Guild of Independent Stalkers. “The whole point of stalking is that it brings an unpredictable edge, a hint of chaos even, into their utterly bland and meaningless lives! That adrenaline rush of fear they feel when they realise that some psycho has broken into their house and crapped on the living room carpet is the only thing which reminds them they’re still alive!”