Friday, 17 February 2012

Cook off

Look at those two. Just look. Do you know who they are? If you live in the UK and have a television licence then you bloody well should because they're never off the telly. Every time I switch on do I have to put up with those two buffoons leering out of the screen. I have to get out of bed every other week at 4am to go to work. Yesterday I flicked on the telly at 4:10am to check the news headlines on Ceefax (yeah, get me, I'm not what you'd call an 'early adopter') and these two berks were bloody on. At 4:10am! Groo.To make matters worse the whole thing was being signed. Now, I love the fact that programmes get signed for the deaf to enjoy stuff too, but if I was deaf and I knew the BBC were signing the Hairy Bikers' own particular brand of garbage I think I'd be writing a stiff letter to Points of View. Or the Daily Mail at least.
They're not even proper hairy bikers. Hairy bikers I've encountered in the past would eat raw dog and drink petrol.
I mean, what are they for? Does anyone actually make the stuff they churn out? No, they don't. Well, I don't. I can make a meal out of a bag of pilau rice, some sausages, a tin of Sainsbury's mushy peas and a three day-old Warburton's You think I'm joking don't you? If Si and Dave (I hate myself for knowing their names. And I hate them for the incredibly matey way they've shortened their names) show me how to make tasty meals out of some out-of-date bacon, a tin of ravioli, a jar of red cabbage and some lasagne sheets then I'm all eyes and ears.

Talking of cookery shows it gave me great pleasure to see that Something for the Weekend's coming to an end. Well, sort of pleasure; it's a show I love to hate (as those who follow me on Twitter will know, no Sunday morning is complete without me spraffing off on #SFTW). That oaf Tim Lovejoy really grates with me. He's always quacking on about the 'manly' pursuits he's been up to that week. These pursuits usually involve snowboarding or drinking cocktails. He should have been with me at work yesterday morning  -we'll see what sort of man he is if he had to pull a tonne of frozen julienne (!) carrots off the back of a trailer with an incredibly slippery floor at 5:15am. And don't even get me started on his co-prezzener, Louise Redknapp. She is to TV-presenting (or "presentin'" as she would say) what Joseph Stalin was to human rights.

Anyway, what I did enjoy on telly over the last week was the Depeche Mode documentary, or, if you will, 'rockumentary' (ho ho!), 101. What a great snapshot of the late 80s that was - lawyers with ponytails, brick mobile phones, demi waves, Dave Gahan before he found out how incredibly moreish The H is and snow washed denim. It begs the questions a) was Andy Fletcher the Bez of DM and b) whatever happened to Alan Wilder?
Oh, have this, it's Friday (I have a cousin who is a dead ringer for Martin Gore, yes, really and there's a lovely shot near the end of this of a middle-aged woman blowing up a beach ball. Bizarrely):

Friday, 10 February 2012

The Only Way is Essex

Hey, guess what? I'm still alive! Hurrah! Sorry I've not done much on here but I've been busy. You know, like really busy. You would not believe how busy I've been. I've been so busy I'm off the Busyometer scale. Yeah, you know really, really busy. I've been busy doing all sorts of stuff. Busy hating Harry Redknapp takes up a lot of my time at the moment. But I've taken time out of hating Harry Redknapp to do this. You lucky bastards.

Anyway, where were we? Oh yeah, David Essex. I'm young enough to remember a time when David Essex wasn't famous. He's always been there. Whether winking at the camera on Top of the Pops or hosting his own TV show or having a sitcom written for him. I quite like him. I like him so much I went to see him in his musical All the Fun of the Fair last week with members of the family. It's not the best musical you'll ever see but it's a diverting couple of hours and live entertainment's always better than staying in watching the telly, isn't it?
Looking at the programme I was reminded what a great talent his is. Essex gets the sole writing credit on all but one of the songs in the show - and it's one of those jukebox musicals where the songs are already known to you. It has to be said there were quite a few hits in there so he's clearly not just a pretty face. Take Rock On for instance; that is a great record. It still sounds fresh nearly forty years later, in fact the opening bass chords are quite scary (it has to be said that some of the songs are shoehorned in to the musical: "Do you know what, Jonny? We're gonna make you a star!" Cue the song).
But what I admire most about Essex is his film Stardust. I love that film. The thing is that he can actually act as well as write and sing all of the songs. I first saw Stardust when I recorded on to video a late night showing when I must have been about 14. The thing that struck me most at the time was the scene where he goes to bed with a pair of buxom twins. For a 14 year-old that was just the most mind-blowing thing I'd ever seen (although having read Hammer of the Gods and Motley Crue's books, bedding a pair of twins sounds like tea at Grandma's). It's still a film I love though, as I love a lot of films of that era like Slade in Flame. It's the age-old story of boy wants to be rock star, becomes rock star, gets into the 'H', gets his head together in the country, overdoses live on TV. If you've never seen it please do, especially as Paul Nicholas gets kicked out the band, Peter Duncan's in it, Dave Edmunds tries to act and Keith Moon plays himself. And the title song played over the closing credits is just magnificent. Look at this; Stardust with That'll Be the Day is less than seven of your English pounds on Amazon.
Anyway, I like David Essex (as do an awful lot of ladies of a pretty wide age range) and can do an impression of him. Yeah.

Go on, knock yourself out, it's Friday: