Liz's four-letter word goes a long way in the Twitter era

<i>The New Zealand Herald</i> ran the story the following morning
The New Zealand Herald ran the story the following morning
The story as it ran in London's <i>Evening Standard</i>

The story as it ran in London's Evening Standard

Within hours <i>The Sun</i> had caught wind of the story

Within hours The Sun had caught wind of the story

The day Liz Hurley departed Perth wasn't a slow news day, but nothing captured people's fancy more than the moment the famous actress lost her cool and told a reporter to "f..k off".

Her fiancé Shane Warne has been in hot water for on-field incidents and his cricket team had just lost its semi-final, so tension was high as the couple made their way through Perth airport amid a throng of cameras and journalists.

Channel Ten's Caty Price, who admits she has been "overwhelmed" by the subsequent public attention, bore the brunt of that tension when she asked Hurley "what do you feel about it Liz, last night's game?" and Hurley responded with "I think you should f..k off."

Price tweeted about the incident moments later and within half an hour she'd spoken to Radio 6PR about the incident and her name was popping up on local news sites.

Being pushed by Liz Hurley and then told to f#*k off by her too .. Fair to say the Stars aren't happy this morning #bbl — Caty Price (@caty_price) January 17, 2013

Socialite Media managing director Tenille Bentley, who specialises in social media advice, said Twitter had changed the way stories gather pace.

"Previously it might have just been a little article in the paper, it wouldn't have gone as big as it has," Bentley said.

"Twitter has given everyone an opportunity to have an opinion on it. Ten years ago we didn't have the ability to have a say."

Bentley said the story tapped into the voyeurism in people.

"It's the Big Brother thing," she said.

"People are really attracted to other people's lives and seeing how they live. This is what people love.

"They will pick the dramatic juicy story over something that might be an educational piece because it seems to fuel a sense of excitement and drama in their lives and they enjoy that.

"If they're seeing that Liz Hurley is attacking an Australian, Aussies will jump on the bandwagon. It gives people another opportunity to have a go at celebs."

Price described the attention she's received as "overwhelming".

"You go to work thinking you're doing your job; for me it was just a cricket story and it's blown up," she said.

By 3pm it was national news; Price had been chased down by Nova's national drive show and The Project.

Before long it was international news; featuring in the UK's The Sun, The Evening Standard and The Huffington Post.

"I woke up this morning and a few people had tweeted me that it was in the London papers, which was very surprising, but Liz Hurley is a big deal over there," Price said.

Price has received a mixed response on Twitter. One user posted "Stop being a professional pest to folks you don't care about for money" while another posted " feeling sorry for caty and shame on rude English Liz".

"I've probably had hundreds of people get in contact on Twitter, nothing like I've ever seen before," Price said.

"The majority have been overwhelmingly positive and then of course you get the odd comments."

The incident has been a lesson for Price; who said she had "no idea at all" that it would balloon so quickly.

"An incident at little Perth airport, you wouldn't think it would get as big so quickly," she said.

When asked if she would still post the tweet if she had her time again, Price paused and was unsure about her answer.

"I suppose it was all on camera, and we were going to run it on the news that night anyway," she said.

"I suppose I would, I don't know if would have said it differently."

It was the first interview she did, with 6PR, that ended up in the London press and Price said if she had her time over she would say things differently.

"You don't realise when you say things that they read differently on paper."

Bentley said that many people don't realise how they will be perceived and how far tweets can go.

"What social media does is it keeps feeding and fuelling the fire," she said.

"You've got to be so aware of everything you're putting out there. You have to think about the implications."

While Hurley and Warne have been uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter since the incident, Price asserts that there are "definitely no hard feelings today".

Big big day!.. no hard feelings at all but thanks for support and kind words. Well done @lachy_reid who did the entire sports break solo!

This story Liz's four-letter word goes a long way in the Twitter era first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.