In 2019, ‘Wagatha Christie’ gripped Britain as Coleen Rooney accused Rebekah Vardy of leaking stories about her to the tabloid press.
Despite huge media attention on this social media scandal, and a trial that ended up in the high-court in the summer of 2022, with Rooney emerging victorious, the inside story of how and why this extraordinary moment in British culture came to pass, has never fully been told - until now.
‘Wagspiracy: Vardy v Rooney’ explores the secret workings of the tabloid press, public relations, agents and the ‘WAGs’ themselves, that led to the high-profile public bust-up between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy. With access to key sources who didn’t give evidence at the trial, it reveals that far from being a simple argument between two friends, this is a tale about the complex nature of celebrity in Britain today.
Going back to Baden Baden and the 2006 World Cup, where the obsession with the wives and girlfriends of England’s footballers first began, it tells the story of the rise of the ‘WAG’ phenomenon and the accompanying ‘gold rush’ experienced by the tabloids.
With the stories of their glamorous private lives dominating the front pages, a demand for more and more ‘WAG’ content was born, and with it an industry of publicists, agents and paparazzi.
The documentary hears from the team behind Rebekah Vardy, who were instrumental in spotting an opportunity to ‘launch’ her as a new kind of ‘WAG’. Working closely with the press and The Sun in particular, it shows what was really going on behind the scenes, and how celebrity – and the industries that support it – now operates in 21st-century Britain.
Exploring the motivations behind each of these high-profile women, and the treatment they’ve faced online, in the press and social media, it examines why ‘Wagatha Christie’ and its subsequent trial at the High Court became such a big story. With contributions from ‘WAGs’, journalists and media professionals, it looks at the fallout for all those involved.
Hamish Fergusson, BBC Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, said: “It’s brilliant to have as exciting an emerging talent as Caroline break new ground inside such an iconic, timely British story.”
Caroline Sciama, Director, Curious Films says: “Everyone thinks they know this story of female friendships turned sour, social media mind games, multi-millionaire footballers and the dark arts of the tabloid press. But there’s a lot more to it than hit the headlines. Wagspiracy: Vardy vs Rooney reveals the truth about what really happened behind closed doors – and gets under the skin of what it means to be a ‘WAG’.”
Wagspiracy: Vardy vs Rooney (1×60’) is a Curious Films production for BBC Three and BBC iPlayer.