According to authoritative sources, Alexander Lebedevedobadub, former KGB spy and paint-ball gun retailer, has paid over the odds for his recently confirmed purchase of the London Evening Standard.
Rumours within media circles are that Alexander, or Alex as he is known to his friends, or just "A" to people he used to threaten in the Cold War days, paid £1 for the London Evening Standard. However, according to Mick O'Reilly, a vendor of the Evening Standard outside Waterloo station, this is well over the odds.
Mr O'Reilly says that the Russians are usually very careful when it come to buying things in the UK, nearly always insisting on a discount. On the many occasions he has been at car boot sales and serving Russians, if the asking price is a £1, they'll always say "I'll give you 50p". In fact, he has it on good authority that the first English words Russians are taught before emigrating to the UK is "I'll give you 50p".
Mr O'Reilly went on to say that he was taken completely by surprise that Mr Lebedevedobadub had paid £1. He said that when he sells his own copies of the Evening Standard outside Waterloo, the most he can get is the cover price of 40p. And even then he struggles, because in December 2008 it was only 35p, and people have long memories.