Friday, April 22, 2016

Save our Stars: Join the global fightback against Death's icy claw

Winton: Cannot be allowed to cark it
Let's not beat about the bush - 2016 is killing off our icons like nobody's business. Bowie. Prince. Corbett.Victoria Wood. Sir George Martin. Alan Rickman. Every other day seems to bring with it the news of the death of a much-loved celebrity.

And this will not do.

So, what can we do to stop Death's icy claw taking away our heroes?

Join us - dear reader - in the Global Save Our Stars Scheme.

Bloody hell, who let Attenborough near this dangerous, flesh-eating creature?
This is what I propose: We all adopt a celebrity and make a daily check on them and remind them to keep breathing. Barring restraining orders and court injunctions, you should keep this up for as long as possible, and save us from having to mourn the passing of another great.

Your contribution to the SAVE OUR STARS programme needn't be a national treasure - for every David Attenborough there's a Dean Gaffney, so pick your celebrity and keep them alive until at least 2017 comes round.

I've already popped in on Dale Winton to make sure he's been properly sanded and varnished to the correct shade of orange, so he's all sorted. 

And it shouldn't just be heroes. We don't wish death on anybody, so we're all going to have to look after a pantomime villain as well. For every Dalai Lama there's a Vladimir Putin, and we're all in this together.

Trump: Has a note from his doctor, but can you seriously trust so-called science?
I've already popped in on Donald Trump to make sure he's been properly sanded and varnished to the correct shade of orange, so he's all sorted. 

Who are you going to adopt, citizen?

This is going to take a lot of effort, so please select your celeb and share these instructions. This year has hurt us enough already. Let's do this thing.

We were too late for Wellard, but Gaffney needs to be reminded to breathe

Friday, April 15, 2016

Sue me, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, sue me

I took this picture. Me. With my pooey trigger finger.
So it appears that the world's most thin-skinned leader - Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan - fresh from persecuting anybody in his own country who might have a bad word to say about him, is now being allowed to prosecute a German comedian because of a bit of on-air mockery to which he took exception.

What a world we live in when politicians and leaders can't take a bit of a ribbing from satirists. Satire is a good thing. It holds the powerful to account in a way that the general public can understand and enjoy, and it deflates huge egos.

And I remember a time when Mr Erdogan wasn't like this. In fact, I met him at a conference in Istanbul where he seemed quite pleasant and almost tolerant of people asking him about the Armenian Genocide. There was only a minor riot. One could even go as far as calling it a bit of a barney.

And I've told this story before, but it's worth repeating in the current circumstances.

You see, I was running late to my conference meet-up with the (then) Prime Minister of Turkey. The reason: A surfeit of kebabs the night before in an epic feast up by the Blue Mosque, and it was - in the words of the Viz Profanisaurus - touching cloth.

Reader, I did what was - and remains to this day - the biggest poo in my life in that toilet on the top floor of the Hotel du Posh by the Bosphorus, and what made it worse was that it was a three-flusher that I had to beat to death with the toilet brush. And still it sat there for the maid to find (And she did. And she was disgusted).

With time against me, I fled from the room without washing my hands, into the express lift and down to the conference room, where the Prime Minister of Turkey awaited.

At some stage in proceedings I believe I shook his hand. Things were a bit of a blur, you understand. I might also have said something nice to Vladimir Putin's pal who runs Russia Today. It was a different world back then and everybody was friends.

But it still stands. My hand-shaking hand was the one that had the lurgi from The World's Biggest Poo. And it touched the Prime Minister of Turkey and the germs sent him down the road to where we are today.

Like a butterfly flapping its wing in China, these things spiral out of control.

And ten years on, I'm not even sorry. You hear that? I'm not even sorry.

So sue me, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Sue me.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

The return of the revenge of #FacebookNews they announced it today on the radio

People keep sending me tat they find on Facebook.

It is my mission, then, to spread it as far and wide as possible.

No.1 "Seems legit"

Beware it is very dangerous. They announced it today on the radio.

No.2 "Also seems legit"

It's amazing what you can do with a green filter on photoshop, a bit of imagination, and an endless supply of gullible aunts on Facebook.

What this picture doesn't say is beware it is very dangerous. They announced it today on the radio.

No.3 "Doesn't seem legit at all"

Why would you wrap your teeth in tinfoil on the say-so of some spammy nobber on Facebook? Is it because you are a nobber as well? Yes. Yes it is.

The only thing that's going to happen is that you will pick up the radio on your teeth, and it will tell you that you are a nobber. They announced it today on the radio.

No.4 "You're just taking the piss now"

Answer: You will look like a nobber, and complete strangers will come up to you and say: "Hey, nobber! Why have you got a piece of onion in your ear?" and you will have to eventually concede that it is because you are a nobber.

And you are a nobber. They announced it today on the radio.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Newsreaders with Extraordinary Hair - Another in an occasional series

No.3 Qatar

A young Simon Amstell reads the news on Al Jazeera International. Get your hair cut, and try to get your next suit at somewhere that isn't Top Man, you nerk.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Pub Dog

Wilson. Canine photobomber of note, and now escape artist.

We know that he likes pubs, and you have to literally drag him out of one if he gets through the doors. So, let Jane describe what happened yesterday while on a walk through the Bummy Woods, where The Foresters lurks on the other side:

The little sod.

Closely followed by:

Wilson, you're an idiot. A sweet, adorable idiot with a face like a badger. And next time, we're going to write a drinks order on a luggage tag and tie it to his collar.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Big Time

This is the big one. I've finally made it into Urban Dictionary:

Click to embiggen

To repeat somebody else's joke (usually on social media) in the hope of claiming the credit for yourself. Named after Keith "Cheggers" Chegwin, whose Twitter output has a high proportion of cheggered jokes.
"That joke you told - you cheggered it straight off Ricky Gervais" 
If that doesn't get me #BlockedByChegwin on the Twitter, nothing will.

Next stop - the Oxford English Dictionary.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Newsreaders with Extraordinary Hair - An occasional series

No.1: Lebanon

All the hair. There are several people at this station who are completely bald balance the hair quota.
No.2: China

Like a 1950s version of what newsreaders in the future might look like. And they were right.The QR code leads you to the booking page of a really awful hairdresser.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Ed Stewart - Out of the Stewpot: My Autobiography

Long-time readers will know that I am a sucker for terrible celebrity autobiographies, and I have finally caught up with the work recently deceased Radio 1 DJ Ed Stewart. And after a few weeks to digest this book slowly, I'd say this runs Don Estelle close for the title of greatest.

So, here's what you get for 50p these days.

Ed Stewart - Out of the Stewpot: My Autobiography

Obviously, if you're writing an autobiography, you're going to need an opening line that catches the reader's attention. And how.

Nazis! And who's going to fight the Nazis? Why, it's WWII fighter ace Sir Douglas Bader! Ed and Douglas didn't get on.

So, his first "Needless to say, I had the last laugh" celebrity anecdote is how he insulted one of our greatest war heroes for having no legs. Classy.

Ed on his school days
He saw boys' willies. And I have no idea about "Ten seconds of purgatory", but it clearly left its mark.

Ed goes to Hong Kong

How did you get there, Ed? 

Say again?
Sorry, you're not making yourself clear.
Totally addicted to bass, and I'd see a doctor about that if I were you.

Ed on Rolf Harris

And what did you think of him?
Speaking of institutions, he's in one now.

Ed gets sucked off by an elderly Hong Kong prostitute

Going to prove that there is such a thing as too much information.

Ed passes through Germany

 The sole reason for his trip appears to be so he could drop this gag.

Ed's pirate radio days

And there's always a bit of time for some casual homophobia

"Tony" here is Tony Blackburn.Oh, how we laughed. But it's not just homophobia. There's sexism, too.

 Ed joins the BBC

Yeah, there's probably a reason J***y S*v*l* didn't do his picking-up girls in public, now you come to mention it.

Ed gets a) lots of TV work and b) lots and lots of sex

Charmingly, he calls it "squiring" the girls.

Ed meets his future wife

In 1970, Ed Stewart was 29. Still, there's nothing creepy about an age gap if you're sensitive about it, is there?


Ed manages a whole two pages about Crackerjack and is bitter at getting the sack

Ouch. That's gotta hurt.

The work dries up for Ed, so he swallows his pride

The most popular karaoke bar in the Cobham area of Surrey. Quite a boast.

Back in favour, Ed gets a foreign jolly in Norway, but he can't help being a dick

Well played, Ed. Well played.

Ed goes full Alan Partridge

You never go full Alan Partridge

Ed follows in some illustrious footsteps

Whoops. But to be fair, Ed did his fair crack for charity, and absolutely didn't like to talk about it.

Oh, who am I kidding? There's 35 pages of name-dropping on all sorts of charity football, cricket and golf events. And it's not like mild-mannered Ed Stewart to be a sexist rotter about the noble game of golf.

This is as funny as the book gets.

Ed manages to flip from his brother's untimely death to doing panto in Weymouth to appearing on the Weakest Link all in one paragraph

Writing skills that the likes of Shakespeare, Rowling and the great Jeffrey Archer himself would have killed for.

And amid the ten pages he devotes to the Weakest Link (as opposed to a whole two pages on his Crackerjack career), he manages to go full Partridge again.

You never go full Partridge.

And suddenly, Ed discovers that golf can be a cruel, cruel mistress

Bizarrely, Ed continues to live under the same roof as the lovers as the cuckolded ex-husband. After all, it would be madness to sack your golf teacher just because he's been banging your wife. But is he happy?

Rebound granny sex. He's happy.

And that's your lot. In the words of Ronnie Barker in the final scenes of the Porridge movie: "Our ordeal is over". While his days in Hong Kong and on the pirate radio ships was somewhat interesting, the rest is self-indulgent tat with no filter. Just like me, then.

If you're still interested, you may buy this work in good bookshops. And quite a lot of shit ones, too.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

TV idea: The Swiss Army Knife Killer (guest starring A-Ha's Morten Harket)

We're all big fans of Nordic Noir in this household, and are gripped by dramas that involve gruesome killing, depressed hairy Scandinavians and mind-boggling plot twists.

But I'm certain we can do this so much better, and I've thought up my very own British Nordic Noir that BBC Four could put on Saturday evenings against The Nation's Favourite Showaddywaddy songs, so nobody will ever watch it.

The Swiss Army Knife Killer

A serial killer is at large. It's a killer who is bumping people off, one at a time, each with a single tool of his 48-blade Swiss Army Knife.

Dour and troubled detective, Sven Svenssonsson – on loan to the Met from Oslo City Police is in charge of the investigation. But his work is troubled by the fact that he can only speak in subtitles, and the Norwegian for "horse hoof picking tool" is untranslatable.

A series of taunting letters presumably from the killer – signed "Victor Inox" – hits our hero hard, and reminds him of the fact that he failed to nab Oslo's A-Ha! Killer, a series of bizarre murders based around the songs of Norway's premier music act. He tries to confide in his on-off lover Victoria Knox, but she seems offish.

As the 47th body is found, a Swiss Army Knife corkscrew rammed up the left nostril of a wine waiter all the way into the brain, Svenssonsson struggles for a motive for these seemingly random, yet cruelly ironic murders before time runs out. But one thing's for sure, it's not badly-drawn prime suspect Morten Harket, who's been in the cells since the first stiff was found, decapitated over several weeks with a nail file.

And with the head of the Swiss Army coming to town within days holding the key to world peace in his hands, Svenssonsson has to convince his boss, the dour and troubled DCI Monkfish, that General Emmenthal could be the final target. Can Svenssonsson save the General before it's too late?

Or will he be slowly burned to death over a period of several weeks with the final tool in the murderer's arsenal – the tiny, tiny magnifying glass?

And why has Victoria come home covered in blood yet again? Surely she should stop and look before crossing the road so she won't get run over by offal carts quite so often?

(Spoiler: The Swiss Army Knife Killer is Victoria, and she's also the A-Ha! Killer, a fact that only dawns on Svenssonsson as he is slowly burned to death over several weeks by a tiny, tiny Swiss Army knife magnifying glass)