This week’s Wankley Award concerns the media feeding frenzy around the split of very photogenic pair Olympic swimmers Stephanie Rice and Eamon Sullivan.

So photogenic that their photoshoot to promote a brand of underwear was also given saturation coverage. The media so wanted the golden couple to be our Posh ‘n’ Becks but alas, it was not to be.

Only a month after their joint six-figure advertising deal with Davenport was announced, the couple is kaput.

News of the split filtered out on Tuesday after both swimmers changed their status to “no longer in a relationship” on the Facebook networking website. Bless.

Newspapers everywhere gave prominence to the end of the love affair with the story bumped up from the Sports pages to the General News sections. TV News bulletins also gave it high priority.

Difficult to pick a winner but The Daily Tele‘s Jim “Love Guru” Wilson wins by a length for providing relationship advice: “Why on earth would you go down that path just over a week until the biggest moment in your career? It was a mistake on their behalf and there is no doubt the split should have been kept quiet until after the Games.”

The only saving grace in the saga was that it led to some puntastic headlines — Rice in China being too good to resist. The Canberra Times excelled with: “Rice on the menu as media pack gorges on drama”

Surprising that all managed to refrain from going with ‘Sullivan not having Rice in Beijing.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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