Monday, 25 October 2010


There was a blog post here about how much Peter Andre spends on shaving foam and stuff in a week (£600), but I decided that it was a bit too similar to this far more rewarding blog post, which I read afterwards. So if you're interested in my thoughts on Peter Andre's 'grooming regime' then drop me a line to the usual address. In the meantime here's a nice picture of some F4 Phantom jets. Enjoy!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Telly selly time

Just a few bits about this week's telly:
A History of Horror with Mark Gattis is terrifically good. He's suitably creepy to be presenting such a programme. He's the sort of person I can imagine presenting a Tales of the Unexpected or Armchair Thriller type of show. He'd sit and introduce the film (something like Whistle and I'll Come to You) beside a crackling log fire. At the end he'd come back on and say "Sleep well". "Sleep well"? I'd have to watch an hour of QVC before popping off to bed. Perhaps he could persuade the Beeb to dramatise some of his League of Gentleman buddy Jeremy Dyson's creepy short stories, they'd be well suited to the half hour treatment.
The problem is that I now want to see all the films featured in the show. I know BBC4 can't show them all but wouldn't it have been better to show Blood on Satan's Claw or Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde after this weeks incredibly entertaining edition on Hammer Horrors? The Quatermass Experiment's been on more times than I've had hot dinners, and I've had a few of those.

Mad Men. Just gets better and better. It's good to see the mask finally falling off Don Draper. Top marks. I'm seriously considering this to be taking over from Our Friends in the North as my favourite TV drama ever.
Reggie Perrin. I know there are a lot of people out there who don't like this, I'm not one of them. It's great. And how nice it is to see a studio-based sitcom with an audience that actually contains jokes and good comic actors delivering them. I've noticed there's more of s trend back to this just lately with Not Going Out, The IT Crowd and The Old Guys, all decent shows. Also if you like the original Reggie, the box set is available on Amazon for £12. That's a steal.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Meerkat manor

I've just seen what an awful lot of disappointed children will be getting for Christmas. It looks more like a badger with a birthmark. I'm going to put Churchill the insurance bulldog in a Manchester United negligee and make a killing.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Vive la republique!

I love the French. They can keep their frog's legs, Citroens and Sacha Distel, what I love about them is the fire in their belly. If there's something they don't like they take to the streets and shout about it. What do we do in the UK? Sit on our arses and say "Oh well, there's nothing you can do about it. What time's Mock the Week on?" Take this current trouble they're having. I think it's great. Contrast that with the UK petrol blockades of 2000; it lasted all of five days and as soon as a district nurse couldn't complete her rounds and Spar were running out of PG Tips and Utterly Butterly, the whole game was up. I don't know about getting more right wing as I get older, I'm getting more into thinking that it's direct action is what we need. Take to the streets and shout. If the election this year taught us anything it was the level of apathy people have towards politics. We all know that most senior politicians in the main party went to a 'decent' public school and a top university, so what do they know about ordinary lives? They've never led one. And if you take someone like John Prescott, who had worked his way up from humble beginnings, then what lies in store for you is Ian Hislop. Come the revolution...

And while I'm on this theme, I find the furore about the election of Ed Miliband as the Labour leader being the work of Communists aka trade unionists rather bad form. My dad was a trade unionists and someone less likely to be a Communist you could never meet. Not for a man with a mortgage, a car and who used to make sure he took his family on holiday every year. No, Dad didn't believe much in Marxism, what he believed in was fairness. A fair days pay for a fair days work and your employer giving you fair conditions in which to work in. When people say "Oh, it's health and safety gone mad, that is" let me tell you, it wasn't ever thus. You could just ask my dad who watched his finger ends get sliced off in a swinging tailgate of a trailer, or a colleague of his who was killed when a lorry he was attending to rolled on top of him and killed him. I've seen my dad take a camera to work to take pictures of dangerous machinery to stop accidents happening. That to him was what trade unions were about, people together to shout louder than one man on his own. I suppose he was what the TUC would have called a 'moderate'. He hated Arthur Scargill for not holding a ballot for the '84 miner's strike as it completely destroyed the ethos on which trade unions are built: one man, one vote. I've just looked at the National Office of Statistics website which says that about a quarter of the UK working population are members of a union. I'd fancy that the vast majority of those people aren't a bunch of mini Lenins planning to storm the gates of Buckingham Palace, but are just ordinary working people who want to be treated fairly. Power to the people indeed.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Why Cliff will always remain a footnote AKA Noisy Monday

There's been a massive love-in for Cliff Richard ever since his 70th birthday last week with a load of hand-wringers quacking on about how John Lennon got all the celebrations for his 70th the week before but there was hardly any for, ugh, Sir Cliff. I'm nowhere near a Lennon apologist, but I don't recall Cliff Richard writing some of the most memorable tunes in popular music history, or, along with five other people, changing the face of popular culture forever. But then, perhaps I'm being picky, aren't I? I dunno, all I can see of Cliff Richard is that he's part of the establishment light-entertainer who nicked his act off of Elvis Presley. I want my pop and rock stars a bit rebellious, that's what pop and rock music's about, isn't it? I'm sure Cliff had his fingers crossed when he was giving it all that 'Hang loose, Daddio!' back in the late fifties and early sixties and was looking at the long game. Maybe I'm being very old-fashioned in being this cool.
Not only that, but his old backing band get nowhere near the recognition they deserve. I don't recall anyone ever saying that the sainted Cliff inspiring anyone to pick up a guitar. Along with Burt Weedon's Play in a Day manual and Lonnie Donegan you can trace an arc that goes like this:

To this:

To this:

To this:

To this:

To this:

To this:

To this, last year's Christmas No.1, saying 'we're not taking the middle-of-the-road shit any longer.' Only one person in that list of groups has accepted a Knighthood, some would say he deserved it, even if it did make him part of the Establishment. Thank you, Hank B Marvin, Bruce Welch, Jet Harris, Burt Weedon and Lonnie Donegan. Not thank you, Cliff Richard:

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

"Introducing brand new shapewear for men"

Have you seen these new pants that M&S are marketing at men? Have you? I've never seen anything so bloody ridiculous in my life. How insecure would you have to be to want to make your meat 'n' two veg look bigger? And how many women look at a man's lunchbox while they're checking him out? Not very many, I fancy. Most of the women I know don't even like the look of most Johnsons. Even if she did I don't think I'd want to go out with somebody who was only interested in the size of my one-eyed pant python. "Shapewear", my arse.
Of course I don't need a pair of these as I have a fantastic arse and I'm packing one huge weapon. Did you get that, ladies?

Sunday, 10 October 2010

God botherers and bad-tempered Mrs Tiggywinkles.

Well Harry Hill's already done this stuff but fuck it, I had the idea before Saturday night.
Right, Eddie Stobart: Trucks and Trailers, have you seen that? It's Channel 5's homegrown answer to Ice Road Truckers. I've seen Ice Road Truckers once. I think that is the requirement for watching it as it's basically the same thing every week: will Trev get his cargo of very important medical supplies to the incredibly remote village in time before the ice road is shut off for the winter leaving dozens of people in peril. Possibly. The problem with Eddie Stobart: Trucks and Trailers is that the same amount of, what a TV exec would call, 'jeapordy' gets lost when the only thing you're worrying about is whether TJ can get a load of pizzas from their factory in Nottingham to a distribution centre in Corby. I'd say he wouldn't have much trouble, just down the M1 for fifty minutes.
The other thing these shows get off on is facts. They love facts. On IRT the facts revolve around the thickness of the ice they're travelling on and the harsh weather conditions. With EST&T the facts generally are to do with horsepower and how many Death by Chocolates the average trailer can hold. Not very glam, is it?
Of course there may be some people out there who get off on this. I don't, it's my life. I deal with miserable bastard lorry drivers and jobsworth yardmen five days a week. I don't want it on a Saturday morning, thank you very much

In other viewing, I've seen The Apprentice. I wasn't going to watch it but boredom on Saturday afternoon got the better of me. What's wrong with these people? Why are they obsessed with work? And why are they obsessed with being such hateful turds. Anyway, I've decided to go on it next year and here's that bit they do to camera by way of an introduction which I've written already:
"I'm a business c**t! I'm such a c**t that I'll kill anyone who gets in my way! I'm a winner! Second place doesn't enter on my radar! To me second place is the first placed loser! Or something! As a baby my mother would take off my nappy and instead of finding green shit she'd find green £1 notes! I literally shit money! In fact money pours out of my every orifice! I wee wonga! I barf banknotes! I cum cash! Lord Sugar will want to fellate me so much! I'm such a brilliant business brain I can't understand why I wasn't headhunted before! Oh, hang on..."

Friday, 8 October 2010

Place the bass face

I don't know about you, fellas, but there's just something about a woman with a bass guitar...*

* But not Suzi Quatro. This is just like Loaded magazine, ain't it?

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

You lying get!

Inspired by a thread on the Word magazine website about things you believed as a child, I thought I'd compose a list of stuff that I believed as child because I was told it was true by other people, usually my mother or eldest sister.
  • Celery leaves are poisonous and are not to be consumed under any circumstances. I never questioned why celery was sold with the leaves still attached if that was the case. And something in the back of my mind told me to not to eat celery leaves until I saw Nigella put them into a pot roast chicken last week. Mind you, perhaps that's Nigella trying to get rid of us and create her own super race of North London-dwelling gastronomes. My sister tried to pull the same trick with the last bit of tea or coffee in a mug but I never bought that one. What do you take me for? She still leaves the last bit of tea or coffee in a mug, which didn't sit right with me when I bought her an expensive coffee last week and she left a quarter of it.
  • That Brian Clough lived in a big white house set on a hillside near the train line between Newark and Nottingham. My mother used to tell me this when we went on shopping trips to Nottingham. It wasn't until I was in my twenties and after Mr Clough had been found sleeping in a ditch 'near his home in Derby' (the same home he'd lived in for years) that I realised she lied. When I questioned her about it she said that it "broke the journey up to point out landmarks, even if they weren't real."
  • That drinking pop directly from a can caused your tongue to get trapped in the hole and they'd have to cut your tongue off. I never thought that if this did happen (and to date I've never heard of it happening), then they'd just cut the can off.
  • Swallowing chewing gum or bubble gum makes it wrap around your intestines and slowly kill you. I think what she was trying to say here is that she hated gum and didn't want me to have it.
  • That the clown who used to roll the credits on at the end of Camberwick Green was actually my dad. I never questioned why Dad went to work, completely altered his appearance and dressed as a clown. This was given more weight when I once watched Camberwick Green with some cousins and, at the end, they pointed to the screen and shouted "There's Uncle Roy!" So someone else was telling them that Dad worked for Gordon Murray productions on a part-time basis.
  • The Daddies Sauce bottle used to feature a neck band with a photo of a generic smiling dad that used to say underneath it "My favourite!" I was led to believe that was our Uncle Phil, as were most of the cousins in my large extended maternal family.