I’m busy watching a rather good programme about the Pet Shop Boys on Channel 4.

The pair always remind me of the 80s and early 90s for a number of reasons. For one, I remember have a really storming argument with my first serious girlfriend about the respective merits of the U2 and Pet Shop Boys versions of Where the Streets Have No Name. I, of course, was on the side of the latter.

The main reason, though, was the absolutely delicious rumour that went around school that they called themselves The Pet Shop Boys due to something unspeakably disgusting and sexual and perverse involving hamsters and bodily orifices. (It’s amazing how much in the 80s involved small mammals in inappropriate places. Remember Freddie Starr?)

Of course, when I grew up a little, I really started enjoying their music, but those playground concepts linger�

The sad thing is that, should such a rumour be circulated about a current celebrity, I’m sure no-one would blink an eyelid. Boy bands? They perform worse acts before breakfast. Or, indeed, during breakfast. Or even with their breakfast. That’s the problem with a celebrity- and hedonism-obsessed media. It takes all the sheer dirtiness out of rumours. How dull is that?

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