Two cross-dressing cage fighters have become worldwide internet sensations thanks to their local paper.
The Northcliffe daily has enjoyed a massive surge in traffic while the two martial artists, Daniel Lerwell and James Lilley, are now finding themselves in high demand from the UK and global media (left), including the ABC network in America.
The video, secured by reporter Nino Williams, has had over 150,000 views on the Evening Post website thisissouthwales.co.uk, which also enjoyed two record days of visitors last week.
Web editor Paul Turner told HTFP: “The success of this video, which has appeared on news programmes in countries including Korea and New Zealand, is not really a surprise to us.
“We knew it would be huge, not just because it has men in drag defending themselves very successfully against two thugs, but because it is being seen by many as justice being seen to be done in a very public and humiliating way.
“While we would not wish to condone violence in any way, the reaction of the hundreds who have commented on our stories on this incident online is overwhelmingly that justice has rarely been sweeter or more amusing.”
Daniel told the paper: “I always buy the Evening Post, and I saw the story on the front page in the morning, but I didn’t realise it was me at first.
“My phone hasn’t stopped ringing since. I think there were about 10 of us in all, and we were all in drag.
“I saw these boys go up to James and start calling him names, and then he was hit.
“I was shocked at first, and thought who are these pansies? But I wasn’t really thinking, it was just instinct really.”
septic (12/10/2009 10:03:39)
Calm down dear. Management egos apart, how much hard cash has it made? Let’s hope it helped sell a few more papers.
It’s good to hear of someone actual watching the usually terminally-boring local paper videos and I really did enjoy that one.
Anon (12/10/2009 12:54:32)
Worth pointing out that the evening post didn’t even have the story first – the metro did.
Shouldn’t our local papers be getting this kind of thing before anyone else.
Times have changed.
Paul Turner (13/10/2009 10:03:15)
I think you will find that the South Wales Evening Post had the story first and we had the only copy of the video. The Metro and the rest of the world’s media followed on afterwards. I don’t think the Metro has enough reporters to have one in every magistrates’ court in the land on the off-chance a great story might come up.
EP (13/10/2009 10:05:50)
get your facts right – The South Wales Evening Post broke this story a day before The Metro or anyone else ran it.
This is a classic case of a local paper getting the story first and the whole world swinging on its coat-tails