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Episode 10 February 2024



In 2019, ‘Wagatha Christie’ gripped Britain as Coleen Rooney accused Rebekah Vardy of leaking stories about her to the tabloid press. Despite the huge media attention given to this social media scandal, and a trial that ended up in the High Court in the summer of 2022, with Rooney emerging victorious, the inside story of how and why this extraordinary moment in British culture came to pass has never fully been told - until now.\n\nThis programme explores the secret workings of the tabloid press, public relations, agents and the ‘WAGs’ themselves that led to the high-profile public bust-up between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy. With access to key sources who didn’t give evidence at the trial, it reveals that far from being a simple argument between two friends, this is a tale about the complex nature of celebrity in Britain today.\n\nGoing back to Baden Baden and the 2006 World Cup, where the obsession with the wives and girlfriends of England’s footballers first began, it tells the story of the rise of the ‘WAG’ phenomenon and the accompanying ‘gold rush’ experienced by the tabloids. With the stories of their glamorous private lives dominating the front pages, a demand for more and more ‘WAG’ content was born, and with it an industry of publicists, agents and paparazzi. The documentary hears from the team behind Rebekah Vardy, who were instrumental in spotting an opportunity to launch her as a new kind of ‘WAG’. Working closely with the press and The Sun in particular, it shows what was really going on behind the scenes, and how celebrity – and the industries that support it – now operates in 21st-century Britain.\n\nExploring the motivations behind each of these high-profile women, and the treatment they’ve faced online and in the press, it examines why ‘Wagatha Christie’ and its subsequent trial at the High Court became such a big story. With contributions from ‘WAGs’, journalists and media professionals, it looks at the fallout for all those involved.

Source: BBC 3

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