Watching Coronation Street on Friday, for a fleeting moment it felt as though Norris Cole, the nosey newsagent, had stumbled across a plan which could save newspapers everywhere.
Norris, if you didn’t happen to catch Friday’s episode on the off-chance you have a social life at the weekend, is currently locked in a battle with Sylvie Cropper, the mother of Roy Cropper, who runs the Roy’s Rolls cafe. She has decided to up the cafe’s profits by charging for every extra, including sauce, UHT milk and using the bathroom, not to mention skimping on portion sizes and refusing to let people dawdle over a cup of tea.
Needless to say, much outrage has ensued, but Norris sought to get his own back when Sylvie came in to the newsagents to buy a copy of the Weatherfield Gazette.
“That’ll be £5 please,” said Roy.
“£5? It’s only 50p,” replied Sylvie.
“50p if you are the only person reading it. But this is for the cafe, is it not?” said Roy.
“Yes, it is,” answered Sylvie.
“In that case, it is £5. 50p for each person who reads it.”
A solution for newspapers at last! Indeed, when I stayed at the Mint Hotel in Westminster last week (lovely hotel, lovely staff, naff rebranding from City Inn in my opinion), there was a copy of The Guardian in the bar. In the time I was in there, it was read by at least seven people. £7 instead of £1 for that copy? The accountants would be heaven.
A pay-per-reader plan? Probably not something we should spend too much time dwelling on. But a nice idea for about a second.
Roy, meanwhile is currently locked in the toilets at Roy’s Rolls for the night after refusing to pay to spend a penny.