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Learning English - Words in the News
 
13 June, 2007 - Published 13:31 GMT
 
Elvis fanatic in jail
 
Julie Wall

We all know of people who are big fans of Elvis Presley. But Julie Wall, from the East Midlands in England, is probably a bigger fan than most. And collecting Elvis records has got her into big trouble, as the BBC's Sunita Nahar reports:

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Julie Wall, a cashier in eastern England, had eight thousand of them - practically every song the legendary star ever released. Such was her obsession for collecting any memorabilia of her heart throb, that she stole about a million dollars from her employer, North Kesteven District Council, to fund her habit. Tracy Phillipson is the head of finance: 'Well, we're very shocked. Everybody knew that Julie was an Elvis fan. We had no idea it was to this extent'.

An internal audit led to Julie Wall's downfall and her vast collection has now been auctioned to pay back some of what she owes. The auctioneer, James Lewis, said the collection could be a record breaker: 'It has just been absolutely incredible. We've had hundreds of people on the phone. We've had interest in Japan, from America, from all over Europe, all over the UK. The interest is phenomenal. I've been an auctioneer and valuer for over twenty years and this is the biggest collection of records I think, well, definitely that I've ever handled, but we think it is the biggest private collection of Elvis ever to come on the market, ever'.

As for Julie Wall herself, she's been declared bankrupt and is currently serving three years in jail for theft. But unlike the King of Rock and Roll, it's doubtful there'll be a party for her.

Sunita Nahar, BBC

Listen to the words

practically
almost

legendary
extremely famous

memorabilia
objects which remind a person (of something)

heart throb
very attractive famous person (usually male)

downfall
loss of reputation (here)

vast
huge, very broad in range

auctioned
sold in a special sale to the person offering the most money

phenomenal
wonderful, astonishing

bankrupt
penniless, without any money

serving
spending time (here)


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