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Crazy blast from the past with the Sultan of Stink

By GEORGE DEARSLEY

I managed to help quite a few people up the ladder of fame. But the strangest was Paul Oldfield (aka Mr Methane), from Macclesfield, Britain’s only professional passer-of-wind. 


For his newspaper debut in 1990 in the Manchester Evening News, I photographed him in my living room astride my daughter’s rocking horse. She was so traumatised she never rode it again.


He regularly rang me to offer tips which often led to national paper stories. For example, he got a gig to entertain staff of a major perfume company … L’Arome. But after my story appeared the bosses cancelled the event (paying his fee) and I got another great page lead! As they say, it’s an ill wind…


When he later appeared on Britain’s Got Talent, Simon Cowell told the then 43-year-old: "Paul, you are without doubt the most hideously offensive person I have ever met".


Paul, who is 6ft 7in tall, left school at 17 and did a variety of jobs including being a car park attendant and train driver. Five years later he devised his signature routine.


One of his first television appearances was on the James Whale Show. On another occasion, on foreign TV this time, he met Sweden's new female foreign minister Margaretha af Ugglas and promptly gave her a rendition of God Save the Queen, from his back passage. Alimentary, my dear minister.

Asked by me in a newspaper lifestyle quiz if he could recall his first kiss he said: "Yes, it was a Salford kiss and put my lights out."


Eventually the story ideas dwindled and his calls stopped. My career as an unpaid PR for the Sultan of Stink was behind me. Paul once told me his ultimate ambition was to run a farm in the Lake District. I wonder if the appeal was the thought of all that muck spreading.


30 April 2024