Monday, February 08, 2016

Keeping it real like Ian Beale

I've had an idea. An idea for the best television programme in the world ever. Here, let me explain, in Twitter form:

They don't even have to film the last scene, either, as there is plenty of archive footage.

Like Terry and June, only with an East End thug and a bloke who runs a chip shop who has survived innumerable assassination attempts. There's even a working title:

Man, I can taste the BAFTA awards dinner already.

Friday, February 05, 2016

On getting a tattoo

Let's all get tattoos!

I've never felt the urge to get a tattoo. It's not the thought that I'll be inked with something I might regret for the rest of my life. No. It's being prodded under my skin with a red-hot needle.

Then I saw this masterpiece.

Now I want a tramp-era Ian Beale inked onto my body.

In fact, everybody should get a tramp-era Ian Beale inked onto their body because tramp-era Ian Beale is best Ian Beale.

"I am the best Ian Beale"
Moustache-era Ian Beale is the worst Ian Beale. Do not get a tattoo of moustache-era Ian Beale.

"I am the worst Ian Beale"
Now we're all agreed, let's meet back here tomorrow and compare inkings. You go first.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Proverb of the Day

Wise words to live by:

"Remove Mr Blobby's head and you'll find Noel Edmonds inside.

Remove Noel Edmonds' head and it's arterial blood spurting up the wall, screaming kiddiewinks and getting tasered the police."

Essentially, if you're going to murder celebrities (and we do not advise this course of action), make sure you don't knock their heads off in front of the kiddiewinks. Think of the kiddiewinks.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The complete 'Aargh wasps!'

Wasps are evil, unless they are used in a practical joke that leaves the victim covered in almost-certainly fatal stings shouting "Aargh wasps!" as they try to escape. Then they're brilliant.

Here then, is a list of circumstances WHICH HAVE ACTUALLY HAPPENED which show how any "Aargh wasps!" scenario could play out.

The wasp of choice in all of the following is: Japanese Ninja Wasps.

Dad: What do you want in your school lunch?
Kid: Surprise me
[Fills lunchbox with wasps]
Dad: lol
Mum: lol

[Munich, 1933]
Hitler: Ach, another time machine. Yawn
[Door opens]
Hitler: Ach du liebe Gott und Aargh vasps!
Future Churchill: lol

Priest: The body of Christ
Man: Aargh, it's a wasp
Priest: The body of Christ
Woman: Aargh, it's a wasp
Priest: lol


Man: Forgive me father, for I have sinned
[Priest presses button marked WASPS]
Man: Aargh wasps!
Priest: lol


Man: Doctor, I'm allergic to wasps
[Doctor's finger hovers over button marked WASPS]
Man: But it's not fatal
[Presses button]
Doctor: lol


Scientist: Time to test my electronic wasp repellent
Assistant: I reversed the polarity
Scientist: Aargh wasps!
Assistant: lol


Doctor Who: To the TARDIS!
Master: I filled it with wasps
[Distant cries of Aargh wasps!]
Master: lol


Teacher: Open the packet on your desk & start your wasp studies exam
Kids: Aargh wasps!
Teacher: No talking
Kids: Aargh
Teacher: lol


[TV studio]
Noel Edmonds: Let's open your box - is it the £250k jackpot?
[Opens box]
Contestant: Aargh wasps!
Noel: lol
[Phone rings]
Banker: lol 


[Sign reads 'Warning! Wasps guard these premises']
Robber: A likely story
[Breaks window]
Robber: Aargh wasps!
Bank manager: lol


[Murder scene]
Holmes: The work of Moriarty
Watson: How did you deduce that?
Holmes: Open the box he left
Watson: Aargh wasps!
Holmes: lol


[Cricket match]
Bowler: Here's my secret weapon
[Batsman hits ball, splits open to reveal angry wasps]
Batsman: Aargh wasps!
Bowler: lol 


[FA Cup final]
John Terry: Watch me score a goal
[Ball explodes, it's made of wasps]
John Terry: Aargh wasps!
Referee: lol
Crowd: lol

Batman: Hmm, a parcel from The Riddler
[Label says 'Hooray not bees!']
Robin: Holy open it Batman
Batman: Aargh wasps!
Riddler: lol 


[The Voice]
Contestant: *singing*
[Seat spins round, it's wasps]
Contestant: Aargh wasps! lol 


Gillian McKeith: What HAVE you been eating?
Noted jokester Jeremy Beadle: Wasps
[Wasps fly from bum tube]
McKeith: Aargh wasps!
Beadle: lol 


[Bullingdon Club]
Dave: Watch me stick my thing in this pig's head
Boris: I filled it with wasps for a jape
Dave: Aargh wasps!
Boris: lol

[Nuclear power station]
Tech1: Emergency! Open the reactor core!
Tech2: I swapped the coolant for wasps
Tech1: Aargh wasps!
Tech2: lol

[Moscow, 1812]
Napoleon: At last! Moscow is mine!
[Throws open Kremlin doors]
Napoleon: Aargh wasps!
Pierre Bezukhov: lol

That's enough wasps.

Monday, January 25, 2016

In which Breaking Bad comes to Redfields Garden Centre in Church Crookham

To the local garden centre for a tea and scone in their ridiculously named Cafe Theatre (we've been there loads, and the acting is terrible, and everybody seems to be a chef). But that is by-the-by when this gentleman appears to the next row along:

If that's not Walter White out of Breaking Bad, I want to know who he is.

We looked and looked, but his terrible car wasn't in the car park.

"You heard. I want a nice Nissan Micra instead."

Friday, January 22, 2016

The Star Wars Universe and the Father Ted Universe are the same Universe

A headline in today's Dorset Echo, the local paper for the Weymouth, Dorchester and West Dorset areas, asks: Has the Death Star washed up on a Dorset Beach?

As any student of Betteridge's Law of Headlines will tell you, this is a classic example of a question that can only be answered 'no'. Of course it's not the Death Star washed up not a million miles from Billy Bragg's house.

Or is it?

If there is anything Father Ted has taught us, size is relative, and that could actually be the Death Star bobbing about in the English Channel and not a buoy broken free of its mooring, an explanation which is clearly nonsense.

The point is that George Lucas never told us how tall people are in his galaxy long long ago and far far away. Gravity there is almost certainly different to gravity on our humble planet, and Luke and Darth and Han and Leia might only be a few inches tall. you know: The same size as their Earthly action figures.

That opens up the possibility that the globe washed up in Dorset actually is a discarded, fully operational full-sized Death Star, which has floated through space down the millennia and crashed into the sea on an obscure planet in the Milky Way galaxy. Near Bridport.

A genuine, real-life example of the Small-Far Away Phenomenon so clearly demonstrated by Ted and Dougal. 

And if you follow incontrovertible logic, this means that the Star Wars Universe is the same universe as the Father Ted Universe, and that Father Jack is of The Dark Side.

I am not mad.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Statins. Miracle Drug

To the pharmacy

Me: Prescription for Coleman

[After much rummaging]

Pharmacist: Here it is, Mr Coleman. You'll note the special instructions on the statins

Me: [Reading aloud] "Avoid drinking grapefruit juice". Why's that? Does it react with the drugs

Pharmacist: Yes. And it tastes like death

Stick THAT on the front of the Daily Express.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Return of Robot Wars: Death to the puny fleshy masters

Good news for people who enjoy watching young children's flimsy plastic dreams being crushed by nuclear-powered jack-hammers: the BBC is to bring back Robot Wars.

There is nothing quite so satisfying as the sight of a group of kids in school blazers as their creation is walloped back to the stone age by a bunch of engineers, spurred on by blood lust to build a mechanical monstrosity out of steel beams, rotating axe blades and hideous spiky death.

In the rest of the world, nobody likes an underdog. In Robot Wars, underdogs are utterly destroyed as a lesson for being so weak.

And with technology moving on leaps and bounds since the last time the show aired, we fully expect fully-refined killbots, swatting a disbelieving Air Cadet troop's drone out of the sky, before forcing them to eat it.

However, the public demands more. They want a programme with killer robots where "sudden death" means just that. A programme where the robots are in completely charge; and the fleshy masters are shown up for the flabby weaklings that they are.

That's why we demand Celebrity Robot Wars.

It works like this: A group of Geordie Shores, TOWIES and assorted hangers-on are enticed into the Big Brother house. Unfortunately for them, the other housemates are Sir Killalot, Sgt Bash, and that one with the huge rotating discs that could almost certainly take of a celebrity's foot at the ankle.

BIG BROTHER: "And this is the kitchen. You'll notice modern work appliances, twin sink unit and channels in the floor to let the blood flow safely away."

KEITH CHEGWIN: "I beg your pardon?"

BIG BROTHER: "Uh... nothing. Nothing. If you'd take care walking past the rotating knives, and make your way to the living area."

JOEY ESSEX: "Is that a hand under the sofa? It's still twitching..."
BIG BROTHER: "and this is your new housemate. Call him Kenneth."

CHEGGERS: "I don't recognise you. What were you in?"

CALL ME KENNETH: "The Robot War of 2099"

CHEGGERS: "Never heard of it"
I'd buy that for a dollar.

And thanks to 2000AD comic, we see this particularly satisfying vision of the very near future
Clarification: Some of the gags in this piece were cheggered from Twitter's Al Storer, which now makes him famous enough to join Celebrity Robot Wars.

Why the new National Anthem for England must be One Step Beyond by Madness

"Please be standing for the National Anthem"

With the country's problems all solved, our MPs are turning to the matters that really count: A National Anthem for England.

Of course, MPs are one of the two groups of people that should never be trusted with such a far reaching decision (the other being the British public), which means that the choice should be left to people who know what they're on about.

Bearing in mind the turgid drones that both Canada and Australia went for when given the choice, and the fact the English will probably end up with Jerusalem or something awful by Adele, I feel that the only choices should be upbeat. Look at the Italians, that's an anthem.

And there's nothing more patriotic than One Step Beyond byMadness. As one person told me – "You can't help but stand up when that track comes on", so that's half the battle won already.

Just imagine:

Commentator: "As Tom Daley receives his gold medal, let's pause to hear the anthem"


Tears-to-the-eyes stuff, and it can also double as the England football team's entrance music, the whole squad doing the funny walk with Roy Hodgson leading the way with a toy saxophone at his lips.

(The rugby union side can keep "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot", as long as Twickenham is set adrift somewhere in the freezing southern oceans of the Antarctic, where it belongs. It's a relocation that may cost billions, but will be worth every penny, and it's not as if anybody will freeze to death in all those Barbour coats and centrally-heated Range Rovers)

Failing One Step Beyond getting the nod, there's also YaketySax, if you can stand the sight of the armed forces doing the Benny Hill salute every time it comes on.

And dammit, yes I can.

 There. The (intelligent part of) the British public have spoken.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

On the passing of Ed "Stewpot" Stewart

Alas, broadcaster Ed "Stewpot" Stewart has died, and while I was no particular fan, I shall mourn his passing.

You see, his death more-or-less confirms that I will never receive my Stewpot transistor radio I won when I sent a funny poem into Junior Choice.

I didn't even like Junior Choice (for those in the dark, it was a Saturday morning request show on BBC Radio 1 in which all the songs were requested by children), because even at the age of seven I bridled at being forced to listen to Nellie the Elephant when I could have been doing something - anything - more exciting.

But push came to shove, and a teacher suggested that we all enter the Junior Choice Limerick competition, with Stewpot radios for the best ones.

My epic was read out as one of the best ones, but my Stewpot radio never arrived.

I suppose you want to read it. OK, then:

There once was a DJ called Stew
Who couldn't do any kung fu
He couldn't do judo
So he was stuck playing ludo
That poor young DJ called Stew

I'll be the first to admit that the last line needs some work (For example: "And a yobbo beat him to poo" would have suited), but not a bad effort for a seven-year-old swot.

I have never forgotten my Stewpot radio snub, so I spent more than half my life carrying out Plan B: Work at the same BBC office for 27 years and completely forget to bring down the organisation from the inside.

But if anybody's reading this in the loft at Broadcasting House, have a rummage. You might find my Stewpot radio.

(Stewpot's autobiography is said to be right down there as bitter as Don Estelle's classic. I've splurged 1p on it on Amazon and will report back. In the meantime, here's Danny Baker's view.)

 Even Ron's got one, despite never having entered the competition. (Thanks, Dave. Rub it in why don't you?)

Friday, January 08, 2016

Everybody's a critic these days

So it turns out that the Chinese authorities agreed with me about that sharp-kneed statue of Chairman Mao and pulled it down.

Let that be a lesson to anybody who tries to build a statue which features trousers.