independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Kim Bielenberg: Streaks on a plane – Rihanna’s rowdy world tour trip crashes and burns

What could possibly go wrong? A global pop star takes 150 journalists and fans on a plane on a seven-day tour of the world and plies them with drink.

Rihanna’s 777 tour on board a jet has been described as a “Spinal Tap-type disaster”, but on the other hand it has given her oodles of publicity.



For that she can thank an Australian gentleman of the press who seems to have gone beyond the call of duty in his desire for an interview with the singer.



At one point he dutifully ran down the aisle of the plane stark naked, while a crowd of boozed-up onlookers hollered “I need a headline!” and “Just one quote!”



His boss must have been overjoyed as the streak has since appeared on computer screens all over the world.



Early on, everything seemed to go swimmingly on Rihanna’s jaunt, and the star poured drinks for passengers and announced classily on the intercom: "There’s an emergency. Code 777. Everybody buckle up your seat belts! LET’S GET DRUUUNK!"





But later on she seems to have been less forthcoming and she reportedly sought refuge in a special “panic room” on board as the sleep-deprived hacks vented their frustration.



The plane was reported to contain “an extravagant amount of champagne”, and the inflight food was described as “strange”, ranging from German meat chips to a lot of salmon and coleslaw.



Mark Kavanagh, an Irish journalist travelling on the plane for The Irish Daily Star, reported: “The bad behaviour from some journos was perhaps understandable, considering all the sleep deprivation, travel exhaustion and booze.”



The woman from MTV Mary Choi complained of “bedlam” on board and that the plane “now smells like a (cinema food stand)”.



She added: “The people next to us just rolled up to their seats with tumblers filled with whiskey and then one of them promptly spilled it into his seat back pocket.”



In other words, it was just like an average package holiday charter flight from Dublin to Spain back in the good old days, before airlines came over all strict.



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