At precisely 2.04 that afternoon, Roxy Rogers had done our publicity for us, sending out a tweet blasting me and Verve FM:
I will never do an interview with @VerveFM again! @BethGeorge101 & Verve humiliated me at my most vulnerable. Not cool. #disgusted.
By 2.33pm, her words had been retweeted 956 times and, by 2.46pm, #RoxyVsVerveFM was trending. So was #whoisBethGeorge?
'This out of control,' marvelled Cam, crouching down beside Mikey at my desk as I scrolled through my Twitter feed. It was filled with two types of tweets - half hurled abuse and the other half threw praise at the faceless @BethGeorge101.
Just two hours ago, I had a dormant Twitter account that I'd set up a year ago. I'd forgotten about it after making two tweets and accumulating a grand total of three followers. The number of followers rose to four last week when Mikey started following me, and that's how Roxy Rogers must have found me. I now had 1276 followers and counting. I also had what looked like 22 million messages in my inbox. I thanked my lucky stars that I'd been too lazy to put a profile picture up. I was now that anonymous face in the London crowd whose story was 'The Woman Who Humiliated Roxy Rogers on National Radio.'
Mikey, who'd been forced to stay later than he usually did on a Friday to help weather this Twitter shit storm - or 'twit-storm' as it had become known around the office in the last half an hour - gave a low, long whistle.
'This was no spur of the moment tweet,' he said. 'She did her research to find out who you were.'
'Jesus, one of the most famous women on the planet is out for my blood.' It almost didn't feel real. One thing I knew was that this definitely wouldn't have happened in Perth. I leant back and rubbed my temples. I wished I knew how to adjust my chair the way Leon had when he'd commandeered my desk. I would have loved to have tipped back in my chair, closed my eyes and gulped down a wine. Thank goodness my Facebook profile was set to private, and that there were about a million Beth George's online.
'Look.' Mikey put his hand on my arm. 'As far as we know, Roxy hasn't elaborated on what happened in the studio. And we both know it actually wasn't that bad - it was a massive overreaction on her part to pretty much nothing and she probably knows it. As I speak, Scott's putting together a damage control piece for the next news hour and Lucas, our City Daily guy, is writing an article telling our side of the story. It'll be online by 4pm and in every newspaper on every train on Monday. For now, let's just bask in this ambiguity for a while. This is the highest traffic we've experienced in, like, forever.'
Kade's name flashed up on my phone. His voice was shrill.
'Holy shit, Beth! There's bloody paparazzi outside our office!'
I gasped, turning to Mikey and Cam.
'Kade says there's paparazzi outside,' I whispered.
Cam grabbed the phone.
'Kade, Kade, calm down. Hmm... right... well, two reporters from the London Herald and the Rise are hardly hoards of paparazzi. Just say 'no comment' to anyone who calls. Okay? Alright.' He reached over and put the receiver back on the hook. 'Listen, Scott's about to go on air.'
Cam led me by the hand to the studio window and I peered in to see Scott straightening his papers on the desk in front of him. I returned his wink with a weak wave. The music stopped, the red On-Air light glowed and I held my breath.
Scott started with the usual news stories for gay UK and, with one minute to go of his segment, he cleared his throat.
'...and a Twitter storm has erupted this afternoon concerning Roxy Rogers and a pre-recorded interview she gave to Verve FM earlier today with Michael Rollins and Lauren Brian. Her tweet, which criticised Verve FM and our online editor Beth George for, quote, 'humiliating' her, was the result of an error on our part concerning a question posed to the former star of Castle Street as part of an on-air game that was played in good humour. Michael Rollins and Beth George, who was participating in the game, referred to a film they believed she had appeared in back in 2001. Rogers took offence at the question due to the fact that she did not appear in the film because of a failed audition. We apologise for our error that caused Ms. Rogers distress at what is clearly a tumultuous time in her life. You can listen to the interview, edited at the request of Ms. Roger's publicist, after 8am this Monday by tuning into Mikey and Loz at Breakfast. And that's the news for Gay UK. I'm Scott Smith and it's just nearing 3.05.'
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