Telstra’s recent waterlogged investor day was a boon for headline writers, which led to the Crikey-Telstra-Driza Bone headlines competition and a downpour of entries.

It didn’t take long for subeditors to find their next puntastic candidate: Sheik Hilali was like a lamb to the slaughter.

Many were taken with the “shake-sheik” homophone:

“Thick Sheik” — Daily Telegraph, 28 October

“Sheik knives” — The Bulletin, 7 November

“Shake off Hilali, PM urges Muslims” — The Australian, 30 October

“Still a lot of rattle and roll without the sheik” — Sydney Morning Herald, 30 October

“Sheik rattled, rolled” — Tim Blair, 30 October

Others took a subtler approach:

“Ill Hilaly agrees to step aside” — The Australian, 31 October

“Mufti gets a dressing down” — Herald Sun, 27 October

Tim Blair provided musical backing:

Sheik Sheik Sheik!
Sheik Sheik Sheik!
Sheik Hilali!
Sheik HiLAli!
KC & The Sunshine Band of Decadent Western Dancing Unpeople Who Must Die 

But for my money, they still don’t come close to the Daily Tele‘s Grand Final special:

“Up there Hilaly!” — Daily Telegraph, 28 September

Still, it’s easier to come up with a great title when the story is only really an excuse to justify the headline.

Peter Fray

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