Monday, 31 October 2011

Now then, now then, guys and gals etc

No, not a blog post about Jimmy Savile, look elsewhere for that. This posts about impressions, impersonations, call them what you will. Now, I'm quite a good mimic, I reckon and as such I have a range of celebrity (and non-celebrity) voices ready to go at the drop of as hat. I think most people do. For instance, on the Jeremy Vine show today there was a discussion about Savile. One bloke phoned in to say that he was an 8 year-old on Jim'll Fix It in 1985 with Les Dennis and Dustin Gee. Jeremy asked him what impressions he did and got most excited when he said he did Coronation Street's Mavis Riley. Jeremy got incredibly excited by this and asked if he could hear his Mavis Riley. Now, this is the point of this post, most amateur impressionists have one stock line for each person they're doing. Can you guess what it is Mavis's case? Of course you do, you're intelligent and WAY ahead of the game here. The line is, if you were born after 1990, "I dooonnn't reeaally knooww" Yeah? Now you're pissing yourself aren't you. No? oh, okay. The thing that bugs me about these amateur impressionists is the laziness of that. I'd prefer to have a string of phrases to use for each person I do. I mean, who wants to hear "Mmm, Betty, that cat's done a whoopsy on the floor" again? I don't. My Frank Spencer also includes "Now then, Jessica, who's going to see the Queen on Christmas Day then?" or "RAF socks...RAF braces". Yeah, the second one's a little more for the hardcore Spencerite to enjoy, but hey, I like an obscurity. Or take my Jimmy Savile. I always prefer my own line - once uttered on an episode of Jim'll, fact fans - which goes "Turn a Shetland pony into a Shirehorse? Wow" See, how much more refreshing is that than the stock "Er-er-er-er, now then now then, guys and gals, over there, you see, we have the Alan Price Set, like that."
To compound this fact about amateur one line merchants, when our Jim'll Fix It chum had reeled off his own impressions for Jeremy Vine, then Vine himself then thought he treat us to his Larry Grayson. I'm telling you, it was dire. It sounded like my mum saying "Look at the muck in here" I did manage a bit of a laugh at this hardnosed ex- Newsnight man being a bit camp for the benefit of his listeners though.

So here's a guide of what you'll expect to hear from life's less fortunate mimics:
Denis Healey - "What a silly billy"
Harold Wilson (one for the teenagers) - "The pound in your pocket"
Prince Charles - "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee" or something
Norman Wisdom - "Mr Grimsdale!"
Bruce Forsyth - "Didn't he do well?!" Although a more advanced amateur might throw in a "Let's have a quick look at the scoreboard" or "Nice to see, to see you, NICE"
Jimmy Tarbuck - "Wo-ho!"
Dot Cotton  -"Ooh, I saaay"
Sid James - "A-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha"
Su Pollard - "Miss Cathcart!"
Michael Caine - "Notalotapeopleknowthat"
Del Boy - "Shat it, you tart"
Brian Clough - "Young man"
Fred Trueman - "I'll si thee"
Barbara Woodhouse - "Walkies!"

Those people are still popular, aren't they? I mean  my pop cultural knowledge clearly ended in 1988.

If anyone is looking to hire me as an impressionist then I'm available for birthdays, weddings, christenings, bah mitzvahs and funerals. My John Gordon Sinclair in Gregory's Girl and Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy have to be heard to be believed. You'd think you were at a showbiz party with my thousand voices. "I'm walkin' here! I'M WALKIN' HERE!"

Here's the best Jimmy Savile impression there is. And hang around for the David Attenborough gag at the end, I really did, ugh, LOL when I heard it.