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PLATELL'S PEOPLE: Day by day, the fresh torment for the poor McCanns must be unbearable 

Haunted Kate McCann once said that not knowing what happened to Maddie was like an endless torture: ‘If they find a body we will be devastated but it will bring the hell of living like this to an end.’

Now, 13 years on from Madeleine’s disappearance, she and Gerry appear closer than ever to discovering the truth. And they are having to confront the belief of German prosecutors that their little girl really is dead.

Not only that, but the new suspect is unmasked as a ‘multiple sexual predator’ who has abused minors. Someone with 17 convictions, including the rape of a 72-year-old woman, who is now in prison in his native Germany.

Now, 13 years on from Madeleine’s (pictured) disappearance, she and Gerry appear closer than ever to discovering the truth

A man who lived just 25 minutes’ walk from the Portuguese holiday complex where Maddie was abducted. And who is under investigation over the disappearance of a five-year-old girl in woods on holiday with her family in 2015.

As the horrific details of Christian Brueckner’s story unfold day by day, the anguish for the McCanns must be unbearable.

To learn of his grotesque sexual predilections can only have sparked the worst kind of imaginings. To discover he was on the police radar, and possibly spotted outside the complex days before Maddie went missing must have led to a torrent of the ‘what-ifs’ and ‘if-onlys’ that have plagued them since she disappeared.

As the horrific details of Christian Brueckner’s (pictured) story unfold day by day, the anguish for the McCanns must be unbearable

But if anyone can cope with these horrors, it is Kate and Gerry McCann. Their fortitude has been astonishing. Even when they were wrongly and very publicly accused of murdering their daughter soon after she went missing, they responded with the same quiet dignity that they have always displayed. They spoke only of wanting to know the truth.

And while tirelessly searching for Maddie, they were determined for life to continue. They devoted themselves to Maddie’s brother and sister ‘to make sure their life is as fulfilling as they deserve’. Now, as learning what happened seems tantalisingly close, they face a terrible ordeal. But it is one they are prepared to withstand.

Recently, Kate said, ‘I have spent days thinking: “What would you rather: not know or find something you didn’t want to hear?” ’ Her answer was she needs to know. For closure and the sake of her family.

Coronavirus Shout-Outs

AND a big shout-down to the French Chanel fashion and perfume house which has pocketed £600 million in Bank of England cheap loans

  • To Prince Charles in lockdown telling us how much he, like all of us, misses close physical contact with his family and friends, especially his grandchildren and his father Prince Philip, who turns 99 next week. It’s touching that our future King, once mocked for hugging trees, is now lauded for longing to hug his family.
  • To the scientist suggesting the post pandemic ‘handshake’ should be Mr Spock’s Star Trek Vulcan salute. Many people cannot manage to create a ‘V’ between the second and third fingers, though a bit of sticky tape does the trick. And during this crisis, we all want to convey the salute’s meaning: Live long and prosper.
  • AND a big shout-down to the French Chanel fashion and perfume house which has pocketed £600 million in Bank of England cheap loans, despite the two brothers who own it having a personal fortune of £30 billion. Yes, it certainly stinks.

To all the PC police officers who bent the knee to protesters, please pin on your fridges a picture of the unnamed, unarmed fellow officer whose face was slammed up against the wall outside No 10 by a protester who couldn’t be identified because he was wearing a red hoodie — and then write underneath it: ‘All lives matter.’

Lady Gaga says her new hit album Chromatica is about inclusivity with all the colours of all the people — and about healing and bravery. 

Hurrah for the courage of pop’s 2020 ultimate feminist freedom fighter. 

Lady Gaga says her new hit album Chromatica is about inclusivity with all the colours of all the people — and about healing and bravery. So why did she wear a Victoria’s Secret bondage bra to promote it?

Just one question. 

So why did she wear a Victoria’s Secret bondage bra to promote it?

The Beeb has launched its answer to Amazon’s Alexa. It features a man with a northern accent — they are keen not to perpetrate gender stereotyping by portraying women as the ones who answer commands. I do not hold out high hopes — every time you ask a man to perform the most simple task outside the bedroom, his answer is: ‘Yeah, yeah, I’ll do it later.’ 

 Westminster Wars 

One surprising benefit of lockdown is how many middle-aged men look fabulous with long, curly grey hair. One exception is Michael Sheen promoting his new BBC comedy, Staged. Despite his locks being unfurloughed, he still looks like a smug little gnome. What does his gorgeous girlfriend Anna Lundberg see in him — his bulging talent or his bulging wallet?

Meghan addressed graduates at her old school from her borrowed £14.5 million Beverly Hills mansion as race riots raged across America.

‘I’m so sorry that you have to grow up in a world where this is still present,’ she said. Blinking back tears — with her hands crossed solemnly across her heart and raising her eyes to heaven — she was unfettered, the Meghan she really wants to be.

Little Britain was always going to be too small a stage. As for her performance, it was like watching a 15-year-old playing Joan of Arc in her first school play.

Pipe down, Cara

Model-turned-aspiring actress Cara Delevingne declares in Variety magazine that she struggled terribly with her sexuality before she came out first as bisexual, then as gender fluid. 

 Model-turned-aspiring actress Cara Delevingne (pictured) declares in Variety magazine that she struggled terribly with her sexuality before she came out first as bisexual, then as gender fluid

Now she wants us to know she is pansexual — attracted to another person regardless of their biological sex or gender identity. Jolly good Cara, but in the middle of a pandemic and with the world erupting in racial tension, frankly my dear, we don’t give a damn — as Rhett Butler would say. 

Unlike her predecessor Claire Foy, the Leftie luvvie Olivia Colman has not been nominated for a best actress Bafta after playing the Queen in The Crown.

One’s hardly surprised, as her slightly sneering depiction of a prickly and cold Elizabeth II was straight out of Corbyn’s Republican handbook.

 Embracing Jamie Foxx at the Black Film Festival Honours, Leonardo DiCaprio pledges to ‘end the disenfranchisement of Black America’ in movies after George Floyd’s death. Bit late mate. His recent hit, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, has a cast of more than 50 famous actors, not one of them black.

Harry Potter star Emma Watson is pilloried after posting a picture on Instagram of three black squares in solidarity with George Floyd’s death. The squares had white borders, which proved she failed to show true solidarity.

She said: ‘I’m still learning about the many ways I unconsciously support and uphold a system that is structurally racist. I see your anger, sadness and pain.’

Perhaps Emma should have retorted with her famous Hogwarts quote: ‘It would be quite nice if you stopped jumping down my throat, Harry, because in case you haven’t noticed, I’m on your side.’

 For all her silly photo stunts during lockdown, what’s not to laugh about Amanda Holden in a perfect-pink trouser suit with one sleeve missing promoting her new fashion line. Can’t wait for her next creation — a dress without a skirt. I wouldn’t put it past her.

Football news:

Coach of Orenburg Pro 0:1 with Rubin: Morally devastated, could have drawn
Kike Setien: Griezmann played a great match, understood Messi well, scored a great goal. We changed something
Barca President on the Real Madrid match: VAR always favours one team. I have an unpleasant feeling
Faty scored the 9,000 th goal in the history of Barcelona
Griezmann scored in La Liga for the first time since February with a pass from Messi
Suarez came out on the 3rd place in the list of the best Barca Goalscorers in history
Guardiola lost 3 away games in a row in the League for the first time in his career