Wagatha Christie Trial hits ‘Beatles’ moment on Day One

Charles Christian
3 min readMay 11, 2022

WAGs libel case is a hit from Day One — Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are history

The libel action being brought in the London High Court by Rebekah Vardy against Coleen Rooney — otherwise known as the Wagatha Christie trial — started this Tuesday (10th May) and already looks like becoming a classic.

OK, background for people not fascinated by UK celeb culture (and the Daily Mail is running rolling news coverage of the case online)… Coleen and Rebekah are both WAGs (= Wives & Girlfriends of famous English footballers). Coleen thought Rebekah was leaking confidential information to the press, so set up an elaborate sting on her private Instagram account. (This is where the term ‘Wagatha Christie’ came from — she was acting like a detective in an Agatha Christie novel — geddit?) Rebekah said the allegations were defamatory and after over three years of accusations and counter accusations, the case has finally come to court. Now read on…

My favourite moment so far was when Rebekah was asked to explain what the TLA (three letter acronym) FFS meant in her message exchanges with Caroline Watt (Vardy’s former agent although apparently now missing in action but that’s another story).

With the court’s permission, Rebekah explained that it meant For Fuck’s Sake — not to be confused with WTF (= What the Fuck) and WTAF (= What the Actual Fuck).

This must go down in history as one of the best legal explanations of stating the bleedin’ obvious (and an indication of just how out of touch judges and the legal establishment still are) since a judge in the first half of the 1960s asked “Who are The Beatles?” — to which a barrister replied “I believe they are a popular beat combo, m’lud.”

By way of some further icing on the cake, Marcel Berlins (for many years the legendary legal correspondent for The Guardian newspaper) once reported he had been unable to track down any reliable attribution (in terms of who said it and in which case) for the “Who are the Beatles etc” exchange and concluded it must be an urban legend. Others have suggested it may have been the late Judge James Pickles. However while it was the sort of comment the frequently controversial Pickles could have made, in the mid-1960s he was still a relatively obscure and far-too junior member of the Bench to have attracted such attention.

Meanwhile the UK economy is tanking and the war in Ukraine rolls on but at least we have squabbling WAGs to keep us amused.

Who are the Beatles?

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Charles Christian

Journalist, editor, author & sometime werewolf hunter. Writes, drinks tea, knows things. (he/him) www.urbanfantasist.com + www.twitter.com/urbanfantasist