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Month: September 2009

The other day, I did something I haven’t done for ages. I read the Guardian. In it was a long article by a Guardian hack about how he had revolutionised his life and electricity bills by switching entirely to low-energy light bulbs over the last six months. Maybe I was in a bad mood when I read the article, but there seemed to be an overwhelming air of “aren’t I great?” sanctimony about the whole affair, with this chap clearly…

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Justin Lee Collins says that Brucie should step down from hosting Strictly Come Dancing. He’s right. There should always be a space for Brucie on British television, but it shouldn’t necessarily be a weekly live show that usually runs for over an hour. When he was on the Gen Game, he was the best ringmaster TV’s ever had – watch those old recordings and you’ll see a man in complete control of his domain, making sure that hapless punters hit…

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On Facebook, a friend of mine was musing about the cost of certain items in certain high street stores. Knowing him to be a man of sense, I expressed amazement that he bothered with the high street for anything anymore. I bought both of my computers online – the desktop machine I’m typing this on now was two-thirds of the price of an identical unit in PC World, while the laptop came from PC World’s website, and was an exclusive…

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This blog has a new crusade. It is to get every right-thinking person with an Internet connection to pass critical comment on the strange-looking, dull-sounding Chris de Burgh. This isn’t unpleasantness for unpleasantness’ sake. The idea is to get the multi-talentless cousin of Roly Mo writing so many letters and emails accusing people of being ‘bitter and unfulfilled’ that he never sings a single hemi-demi-semi-quaver again in his life. Go on, you know it makes sense. Oi, Chris. Your music’s…

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How not to respond to a bad review: Writing a letter to the reviewer, calling them ‘bitter and unfulfilled’ and inventing childish names. Like Chris de Burgh just has. Hasn’t the stumpy peddler of mediocrity got enough money not to give a tinker’s cuss what anyone thinks of him? Also, does he not realise that this very act shows him to be ‘bitter and unfulfilled’ himself? Why else would a multi-million selling artist need the validation of a newspaper critic?…

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Normally I have no interest in the comings and goings of Jack Tweed, but I found myself reading The Snu the other day and puzzling over a detail of the report of his arrest. Tweed has been charged with rape, but his co-accused has not. The paper described the sexual activity involved as a “roasting”. Now, I have no practical experience of said manoeuvre, but my understanding of it is that it involves two gentlemen partaking equally of a lady’s…

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For a couple of years or so, the bookshelf above my monitor has had an A5 envelope poked between the paperbacks, containing various items of correspondence. The content is nothing stunning or revelatory, but they’re things I’d like to keep safe all the same. With this in mind, I’ve been eyeing them up for ages thinking “Must put that envelope away somewhere”. So I did, and now I can’t find it. It’s not too much of a worry, as I…

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So farewell then, Keith Waterhouse. While I find his later novels near-unreadable, I’ve always had a soft spot for his earlier work, and he was one of the few good things in the Daily Mail. Apart from which, how could one not love a human being who so clearly set out to resemble a spaniel?

Sad news indeed about Simon Dee. I made contact with him when I was researching Turned Out Nice Again and I have a couple of very cordial letters from him. Sadly, I was already about a year late with the manuscript when I found him, and I never did make it to Winchester. Fortunately, I had plenty of background on his chat show years from producers and executives, and I tried to be as fair as I could. I had…

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