Archive for May, 2008

The Friday Question: Top Gear?

May 30, 2008

Jeremy Clarkson

So, Jeremy Clarkson’s in the news again – his big mouth’s only gone and admitted to driving at 186 miles per hour. Admitted apropos of nothing, I ought to add, which really makes it an idle boast.

In the past he’s referred to cars as ‘gay’, accused people from the Hyundai company of eating dogs, is rabidly anti-American and mocks the Germans. Furthermore, he says he has a ‘disregard for the environment’, wears tight blue jeans and has a silly curly haircut despite being old.

In his defence, he is pro-smoking and once punched Piers Morgan in the face. The latter makes me feel both impressed and envious. You also can’t deny the man has a way with words, whether you agree with him or not.

So, the Friday question is all about the man with the jowls.

Is Clarkson alright? Or is he a twat?

Be nice to hear your thoughts…

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Jack The Ripper & The East End

May 29, 2008

Ripper

For £7 I’d expect to find out who the bastard was, frankly. I am no wiser to the existence of ‘Saucy Jack’ today than I was yesterday, which leaves me disappointed. So disappointed I want to go and eviscerate a whore. I’d best not be disturbed though, cos if I am I’ll only have to go and find another one to vent my spleen on, like Jack did to them two tarts in one night. You know – the one who just got cut a bit and then the one who ended up all over the shop. Anyway, I digress.

Did I mention it was seven quid by the way? Seven quid. Think on that as you read this. I took my girlfriend with me so that was a total of fourteen pounds.

In the 1880s fourteen quid would have got you a slap up meal at Simpsons, a carriage to your club, some fine cigars, more port and brandy than you could possibly drink in one evening, a carriage home to whichever leafy square you lived in and enough left over to do it all again the next day. Or, if you preferred Whitechapel to the West End fourteen pounds would have kept you in the cheapest, rottenest old whores just itching to have their internals worn as Easter Bonnets for years. I know which option I’d go for, eh readers!?

The exhibition is in The Museum at Docklands in the docklands, in The London. I paid my fourteen fucking pounds and entered the exhibition, already sweating in anticipation.

I’ll be honest, some bits were quite good, but I’ll sum them up at the end. The exhibition has a lot of audio going on. And since it’s not divided up into small rooms very well it can get a bit blurred and noisy if you’re growing into an old codger like me whose hearing ain’t what it used to be what with all syphilitic beldams screaming their last cockney death rattles in my fucking ear at point blank. They all sound like Babs Windsor when you cut them, y’know.

Most of the audio comes from screens in the walls with various experts on things telling you shit. One is a young lady who works with prozzies and she guffs on about how awful it is to be on the game. Like we don’t know already. Apparently, ninetysomething percent of street walkers are just mad for the heroin or crack. Yes love, I know. What this has to do with a debonair murderer in a top hat and opera cape I don’t know. Also, apparently most prostitutes today are in constant danger of being bashed up, raped or murdered. Yes, I fucking know. Saying “and it would have been the same in Victorian Whitechapel” does not a mind-bending link make.

Another expert was a copper. He was talking about modern murderers of the serial killery type. Didn’t spend time on him. It didn’t look like he was about to put the finger on who The Ripper was so fuck him.

The last one was fucking great. Some middle aged harridan with a short haircut (know what I mean, boys?) banging on and on about how she hates all the interest in Jack the Ripper as no-one cares about the victims, it treats whores like non-people…etc etc. You get her drift. She’s a lesbian. She then whines on about how the East End should be remembered and celebrated for all sorts of other things other than suave top-hatted gentlemen who like to indulge in genital mutilation of an evening. She says that the East End is good because it is multi-racial. Whoop-de-fucking-do. Right, so I can go down Brick Lane and eat a damn good curry, or stop off at a Kebab House, or buy illegal bush-meat from a rotting suitcase full of dead monkeys…but can I stumble out of a hellish gin-house and trip headlong over the spread-eagled corpse of a mangled ‘unfortunate’ with a gaping hole where her fanny once was? No I fucking can’t. So stuff your multi-racial East End ‘full of artists’…like that’s a good thing…up your PC fanny. Anyway, she wasn’t paying attention in class because the East End was very multi-racial back then as well. At that particular time it was full to bursting with Russian Jews who were fleeing terrible persecution and that. So she’s talking out of her arse. Jack would’ve know what to do with her, oh yes.

The exhibits are a bit of a let down too. There’s a stuffed bloodhound which is the cutest dead thing I’ve seen ever. Well, cutest after that ten quid trick I left splattered all up the wall with her liver between her legs. You then read about this dog to discover than the reason it’s on display is because bloodhounds were not used in the case. Well that’s fucking useful then.

Then there’s the letters. These are potentially quite interesting. These are the ones that were sent to the pigs and some of them were signed ‘Jack the Ripper’, which is how he got his name. Some of them don’t have the same hand writing though, so as usual the fucking maniacs and copy-cats were all over the case like an unhelpful rash. Shades of ‘Tyneside Jack’ methinks. Anyway, you can’t read most of the letters due to the (admittedly beautiful) handwriting that was common at the time. Fucking hard to read if you’re used to type and bubble writing. There’s a few artefacts from life in the poorest parts of London of the time…matchboxes, stuff, things and that. There’s also pictures of the poor up on the walls, who look, to be honest, as if they fucking stink. I don’t want to sound insensitive but I know them prostitutes were cheap as chips and a bargain’s a bargain but who in their right mind would stick his cock up one of them? The smell must have been appalling. Much better to pay your money, cut them up and then get your money back if you ask me. Jack knew.

The exhibition doesn’t focus on the five women that we tend to think of today as Jack’s victims, but all eleven or so who were in the included in the case by the police at the time. It’s not hard to see why most were then dropped as supposed victims of the one killer though. Some were just stabbed and one got strangled although this might have been an accident while she was all pissed.

The biggest disappointment were the photos. Now, I know those fucking whores were innocent human victims of a terrible man, and I know we shouldn’t take voyeuristic pleasure in the sight of their mangled remains…but come on! For seven quid apiece I’d expect to see a bit more hot fucked-up Jezebel action. The girlfriend and I were steeling ourselves as we approached the walled off photo area (covered in warnings) only to find some crap that wouldn’t even give Peter Sutcliffe a heavy dick. There was each beldam lying in a coffin with not a wound on show. Well, there was that classic pic of Mary Jane Kelly on…and around…her bed. And another one’s face looking a bit out of sorts, but nothing you’ve not seen before. I know there’s other pics (and trust me, they’re red hot) but they’re not on show. What a let down. Like the whole exhibition actually.

There were some ‘quite good bits’. Here they are:

A lower jawbone with a nasty case of Phossy Jaw. Horrible gangrene of the jaw what match makers got. Christ that must’ve hurt.

A skull with all the signs of tertiary syphilis. Fuck me, look at the corrosion on that skull, she must’ve gone fucking mental by the end.

A recording of some old codgers taken in the very early 70s. They were all poor Eastenders and some old granddad remembers the murders very well. The way he talks about one of the women sounds like he knew her very well. Bet it was him the old fuck.

The postcards at the end for visitors who have been ‘touched’ to write thoughtful things on. I fucking love the British public. Some twats had written how awful life must have been for wanton fucking whores who were just asking for it back then. But I think it was foreigners who wrote them. I had a quick look and these were some of the ones I liked and can remember:

  • I am a dinosaur!
  • I’m glad he’s dead!
  • I’m glad he’s probably dead because I’m a prostitute and can now go out on the game and get pissed on cheap gin in peace.
  • I’m glad you pointed out that Jack the Ripper was so named because he was a murderer. Until now I had thought it was because he had terrible flatulence.

That’s it really, that’s the only really good bits. And you’ll notice they’re not that good. Still, it put me in the mood for a drink and light repast and I steered my good lady out of the museum to go and look for a bawdy gin-house and pie shop. There were too many people around though so I’m looking forward to seeing her later so I can get sexy with the kitchen knives and wear her tits as earrings.

The Apprentice 2008 – Ep. 10

May 28, 2008

Show ten opens and by now we’re so used to the Sugarman’s spiel that it forms a meaningless babble. ‘Job interview from hell… wibble flib… 40 years gruggle plap.. etc…’

All you can really focus on is the stuff that went unnoticed before in the opening sequence over preceding weeks. And this week, for me, it was the size of Alan Sugar’s hands. They are enormous – without equal. They look like big cartoon hands. He’d be a bloody good goalie with those ridiculous flapping grippers.

Six contestants remain in the house and as the phone rang it looked pretty empty – nobody for Claire to hurdle over as she wobbled towards the telephone, shattering furniture and punching holes in the wooden floor as she went to take the call from the interchangeable Franceses. As news breaks that they’re to convene at a breaker’s yard, Sophocles picks up on the fact this this is possibly the last chance he has to show us his hairy nipples, so after a full frontal he gets himself dressed whilst moaning that ‘it’s never gonna fucking stop’. Poor lad’s had enough it seems – he’s ‘finding it harder than everyone else’. The nation is unified as every man, woman and child cries ‘DIDDUMS’.

‘What’s a breaker’s yard?’ asks Lucinda. ‘Gvwaveyard for cars, innit’, replies Lee. That’s what he’s talking about. Breaker’s yards are what he’s talking about. ‘Grr-vvvv-waveyards for du cars’. Just so we’re all clear.

They gather at the scrapyard and the beardie Super Hands turns up to inform them that they’ll be renting cars out. But hey – these aren’t any old cars – these are the sort of cars that make Clarkson spuff his globule into Top Man briefs. On the horizon, several posh four-wheelers rev onto the scene – Scalextric on a grand scale. While the girls smile, a little bit confused by the machinery, Alex and Lee grin from ear to ear. Michael feels that ‘cars are alien’ to him, on the other end. Looking at the high end, two grand a day Zonda, it’s not hard to see why as it looks like a mechanised shark from the future.

Michael was up against Lee as Team Leader and he chose the Ferrari and the Spiker whilst LEE MC-CONCERNED-MC-MCQUEEN’S-WHARRAM-TORKIN-ABAAART chose the Aston Martin and, as a high risk strategy, the Zonda.

All the footage at this point focused on how unfocused that hairy little twit Michael was. He sent Helene and Claire out to sell in the City while he went off on his lonesome to sell in Knightsbridge. Knightsbridge, for the unititiated, is a place where the kinds of people who don’t need to rent posh cars live. The kind of people who can actually afford posh cars, and therefore actually own a few. And so, unsurprisingly, not a single sale. Claire racked up a few small scale sells – renting out a Ferrari for a couple of hours here and there at 65 quid per sixty minutes. Michael’s strategy dead in the water, he used his ‘knowledge of London’ to pick his next spot. Portobello market – the popular fruit and veg stop. On a weekday. The prize idiot.

As Michael flapped about like a grimacing baby chick plummeting from its nest, Lee complained about Lucinda and invented a few cliches, just to pass the time. ‘When a woodpeckers pecking you, it’s time to say “Get off!” to the woodpecker’ he said, creatively.

Lucinda – perhaps predictably – wasn’t really suited to this task and so was disowned by Lee and Alex. Despite begging not to be sent off alone, she was kicked to the kerb and, without the slightest clue about the product, started selling the Aston Martin as a Zonda, her head all confused after wasting hours perforating raffle tickets that were never used.

Lee didn’t sell a huge amount with his tactic of begging businessmen but soon his and Alex’s isometric death-stares forced the Zonda onto a pinstripe prick. Then later, even Lucinda cracked a sale as the afternoon turned into evening.

Over on the other team, only Claire managed to vend her wares. Helene watched, goggle-eyed and confused while over in a completely useless location Michael chased a middle-manager down the street shouting not only ‘You’re going to regret saying no!’ but also ‘GO ON!’ and finally ‘COME BACK’. In the throes of desperation he began to follow this poor sod, asking if he could come to his meeting with him whilst abandoning the supercar in the middle of nowhere. Smart thinking! Ultimately, he was disappointed by his customers, he said. Which is perhaps the worst angle a salesman can approach his work from.

Then it was onto the evening stretch and selling under the traditional Apprentice marquee. You need a marquee for an Apprentice task. It’s stitched into the fabric of the show.

Michael’s positive attitude continued on even with drunk City boys wandering around with open wallets. ‘Treat yourself for GOD’S SAKE!’ he cried, trying to add bottles of champagne into the mix as a freebie, and coming away with nought. Claire managed a few more sales and Helene achieved nothing.

Alex, on the other hand, notched up at least three Zonda sales by the end. At this point, his future (and my place in the sweepstake) were secured. The last gasp chase for the final sale (in 60 seconds – yeah right) was so fabricated you could only laugh. Like they didn’t give him a quarter of an hour to sort it out.

So Michael’s team sold £2,114 whilst Lee, Lucinda and Alex flogged almost twelve grand. Which is impressive. Sugar almost raised his cartoon-hand to his forehead and said ‘fucking hell….’ in astonishment at just how well they did. Before they were sent off to gob out a load of trifle-tasting wine into a bucket in Mayfair, Sugar had a dig at Lucinda. ‘Shut up’ he said ‘before I give you a bigger shovel to dig your own grave with’. Yeah! Nice one , Alan! Stupid girls.

So it was between Claire, Michael and Helene. The former was told she was safe and the latter was told – at quite some length – that she’s a corporate nobody. She almost cried and that evil feline face was on the edge of cracking into tears. But then, joy of joys, the reckoning arrived. Despite ‘flickers of diminishing brilliance’ – the word ‘flickers’ being Alan’s contribution and the ‘brilliance’ Michael’s own, this mini ‘disaster zone’ was booted out, and not before time, eh?

Thankyou for the opportunity, he whimpered, before wandering off, probably more relieved than anything. He’s good TV, but pray you never meet the bumbling little tit in real life.

Episode 1
Episode 2

Episode 3
Episode 4

Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 7

Episode 8
Episode 9

Life After People

May 27, 2008

Life After People

Oh blimey. The human race has all fucked off (for some reason) – so let’s have a look at what’d happen to planet Earth if every last one of us vanished. How would the globe sustain itself and what would happen to the structures and routines we’ve set up?

The fact is, you could answer that query in about five minutes while pissed in hypothetical pub babble and probably be pretty accurate, despite being resolutely unentertained. Still, Channel 4 felt it was worth investigating in depth as it’d give them an excuse to go mental with the second rate CGI. And go mental they did – with tree roots knocking down the walls of your house, domestic cats turning feral and lurking all over disintegrating skyscrapers while rhinos bungled along the streets of Washington – with the tenuous assumption that they might have been able to pick the locks at the zoo.

We also saw bridges falling to bits, Central Park turning into a mad forest and a soviet bank exploding as tree roots and expanding water wrecked it. All while a lion inexplicably hurtled down a runway.

It was all terribly exciting for about half an hour, until you realised – oh shit – this is one of those Channel 4 documentaries that should last about 45 minutes but is actually to trundle on, panting and wheezing for about an agonising hour. Then a little bit later, you look at the clock and it’s gone beyond the sixty-minute mark and by now you’ve lost interest in this hypothetical world because:

  • nobody would be there to document it so what’s the point?
  • it’d never happen – not like that, anyway.
  • it’s not an interesting hypothesis unless hoards of zombies are involved and there’re a handful of human survivors.

So, in the event, we learned that nothing man-made lasts forever and plants get overgrown if untended.

Not really the sort of groundbreaking scientific revelation and learning suitable for showing in schools – but the CGI was semi-smashing and it wasted one hour and thirty five minutes of Bank Holiday scheduling – so who cares that nobody’s actually learning anything?

The Friday Question: Half Hour British Comedy

May 23, 2008

Onslow

This great nation of ours used to be home to the best not-very-good sitcoms in the world. Recently, however, we’ve seemingly run out of just-about-watchable half hour comedy. They’ve all been replaced by reality shit, documentaries about babies with five foot long heads and clip shows.

So what’s the best rubbish sitcom from yesteryear? Which weakly written half hour British comedy has given you the most pleasure over the years?

Keeping Up Appearances?
The Good Life?
Bread?
Last of the Neverending Summer Wine?

Have your say…

The Apprentice 2008 – Ep. 9

May 22, 2008

Sometimes, when you lose someone early on, you get the impression that a handful of people are just too good for the world. Something about their raffish charm and twinkly brown eyes being beyond the capacity of the amount of goodness this world can actually handle.

On the other hand, some people are all mouth and no trousers, dress foppishly in order to distract from their empty personalities and have a decent vocabulary which isn’t backed up by any substance. Raef somehow had it both ways… being both a grade ‘A’ bullshitter and also an apparently lovely bloke. Rather sad to see him go – he was certainly this year’s Nice Contestant. We’ve not got much left to work with, after his exit.

We’ve got Lee – loaded with common sense but prone to unblinking twattishness and we’ve got his ex, Lucinda who is a lovely leader but a pain in the arse when asked to follow. We’ve got Alex who, despite his protestations about being a Sales Manager with an international remit, whatever that means, is all over the bloody shop. We’ve got Helene, who is dripping with awfulness. We’ve got Michael Sophocles who walked out of a sitcom and into the boardroom and then we have Claire, the one who won’t stop SHOUTING ABOUT HOW SHE WAS RIGHT.

Sophocles treated the ladies to the sight of his naked, miniature frame as he answered the phone in enormous boxer shorts. Frances was on the blower, predictably enough, and she told them they were off to the National Theatre. ‘I’ve got to step up’ said Sophocles in a split-second vox pop, his neck riddled with shaving cuts.

When they arrived at the National, Nick and Margaret waited patiently as the briefing  kicked in. Nick did that weird thing with his face. I think it’s meant to signify impatience but it actually looks like he’s trying to hold back a huge flood of diarrhoea.

Alan changed the teams about, as is his wont, and we ended up with Raef as team leader over Claire, Helene and Michael – the latter having been refused his plea to lead a team this week. The same old method used by desperate contestants to stay in the show. I DO BETTER NEXT TIME MUMMY. PROMISE! On the other team, Alex was to lead just Lee and Lucinda – who at this point were still very much in love.

They were asked to come up with a name for a box of tissues, as well as suitable packaging, a print advertisement and a 30 second television ad. Quite a lot of work for two days, so Alex’s team sat down to brainstorm. And they brainstormed really badly, with Alex totally non-commital, Lee in a bad-idea-frenzy and Lucinda coming out with some utter crap. When coming up with names, Lee barked ‘WHAT ABOUT SNOT’? ‘COSY-NOSE?’ ‘COSY-NOSE IN THE CAR, COSY-NOSE IN THE PLANE?’. At least he tried.

Lucinda seemed hell-bent on sabotage and suggested gathering the pink pound with snot-rags aimed at gay men. If they’d have done that, they’d have reduced their market by about 90%. So probably a good thing she was roundly ignored, despite her assertion that Alex was ‘worse than useless’. Her whining cost her the love of her life, as Lee Cold Eye McQueen finally seemed to dump her through the medium of swearwords.

Rather than do anything so insignificant as research and planning, Raef picked up his little pal Michael so they could be driven around the West End and talk of their thespian pasts. We learned that both had extensively trodden the boards – Raef as Sebastien in Twelfth Night and Sophocles with a singing part in West Side Story. Cue: Dodgy recitals of lines and show-songs. Never before have two birdbrains looked quite so preening. This culminated in Michael singing one of Fagin’s numbers from Oliver – and it was horrendous.

So, Alex’s box was designed and, good grief, in comparison to the others’ it was a thing of unbounded ugliness. An orange monstrosity with irrelevant stock photos and bad fonts. It was the Cillit Bang of tissues. The television advert was almost brilliantly awful. The mother figure was accepted after an awful audition in which Alex asked them to ‘freestyle for a bit’. Her reaction was to whimper like John Inman in a man-trap. The actual TV ad involved this whimpering and a father who was on the money as cheesy-ad-dad. At one point, he grabbed his ‘daughter’s’ nose and tweaked it so melodramatically it looked like he might wrench it off, stuff it in his gob and spit it out in a fountain of gore. The ad was so garishly orange and pink and ridiculously heavily branded, they might have handed victory to Raef before they reached the edit suite.

Might have, were it not for Raef’s Sophocles-buffered pretension. Their ad featured Sian Lloyd for bugger all reason (even SHE said they should’ve googled her before booking her) and for only about five seconds. In their mini-masterpiece, a couple of children shared a tissue (unhygenic) and then smiled as Ronan Bloody Keating warbled in the background. It was well-shot in every way but one. There was no branding, whatsoever. Not one logo, one mention of the brandname or even one shot of the box – a shame as the packaging was pretty impressively well-made by Claire and Helene.

Right from the start, it was obvious that branding was of the utmost importance, so how they could have forgotten to stick in a logo and deemed a close up of the box ‘vulgar’ reeks of a complete lack of awareness of how advertising stripped to its most basic elements actually works. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing, but for a businessman or a ‘tycoon of tomorrow’, it’s actually disastrous.

And so it was that Raef made a fundamental error, and it was with ‘all due respect’ that Alan told him he was full of hot air. And though it’s not very nice, it’s true. He was a likable statue, an affable ghost, a respectable spectre. But he hardly had acute business acumen. The ladies will miss him, I’m sure.

Sugar had a ball in the boardroom, sarcastically dubbing Sophocles and Raef the next Spielberg and Fellini, telling Lee he was mind-numbingly boring, laying into Alex… Rather than have anyone read out the scores, he simply launched ‘YOU LOST. YOU LOST’ at an unsuspecting Raef, telling them off for doing 95% of the task and leaving out the main product point – a call to action. And quite right too. He then told Alex that his ‘crap advert had won’, having a pop at the box, the clip and the print media while Alex smiled at the criticism, safe in the knowledge he’d lived through the trauma yet again.

Despite Raef’s eviction, Sian Lloyd probably came out of this episode worse than anyone else. Not only did she suffer the indignity of appearing in one of the worst pieces of advertising ever made, she also had the mickey ripped out of her by Alan – with his sly Cheeky Girl references. Add that to having been dumped by that lip-twisting turd, Lembit Opick and you have to say that things aren’t going too well, eh love?

Lembit

Episode 1
Episode 2

Episode 3
Episode 4

Episode 5
Episode 6
Episode 7

Episode 8

Reverend Death

May 21, 2008

Exoo

Reverend Death looked like an uglier version of Tubbs from the League of Gentlemen. This added a deeply sinister edge to what was already a deeply sinister man. Maybe.

Jon Ronson was a lot more sympathetic to him than I. To me, he was a meddling power-crazed boob using his collar as an excuse to literally play God -but he managed to remain inoffensive and there was something, dare I say it, sad and genuine about him. That was until a shrink said that he was essentially fireworking jitler inside his pants whenever he bumped someone off. But I still felt sort of sorry for him. The show was a paradox hiding in a mystery when it came to casting a cast iron opinion on the ethics of his actions.

The show was way too long and relied too much on sensationalising aspects that weren’t all that sensational if you stripped down the subject to its bare bones. Sad folks wanting to die but requiring exoneration from their religion which forbids it. Quite straightforward on the one hand.

RD did some jail time midway through the doc as the US authorities incarcerated him for possible extradition for knacking some miserable Irish spanner in Cork or somewhere. In the end they decided he shouldn’t have to face charges but it did mean that RD had to employ a member of staff to carry on his mission whilst absent.

This was a massive oversight on his part. As I had some fundamental sympathies for what RD was trying to do, sort of, it seemed that others around him were out for themselves. RD didn’t receive monies for what he did, a cassock full of goz was his reward, but the fat looney he trained to cover him while he sang the jailhouse blues was a different matter. This cunt was fucking mental.

She insisted she had her face hidden, which was probably for the benefit of the viewing public if her temper and behemoth arse was anything to go by, but more probably because this fat shit was charging her charges to kill them. Morally reprehensible at best, at worst – first degree murder. Even Jon Ronson implored her to stop what she was doing but in typical arrogant war-on-terror parlance she justified her actions to the point where one began to question one’s own sense of reality.

Largely the programme didn’t work, but if I feel that I’m sick and tired of life I’d not mind RD coming over and blowing his beans as I draw my last breath, I tell you.

Phwoar.

The One Show

May 20, 2008

The One Show

Though you might not think so, there is a point to The One Show. As far as I’m aware, it’s the only show on British TV that invites celebrities onto its sofa then all-but ignores them or outright humiliates them for a full thirty minutes. Whereas your Lorraine Kellys, your Parkys and that T4 shower spend the time they have with these Gods of the Modern Age fawning and pawing over them, Adrian Chiles and the delicious Christine Bleakley are much happier pretending the likes of her off of Sex & The City, him out of that rubbish film or that twat from The Eagles aren’t there, or at the very least should be treated with barely-disguised disdain. This is a good thing.

The presenters blindside their guests with things a pampered and cossetted person couldn’t possibly be aware of. They bamboozle them with provinciality. When the presenters bother to talk to their special guests at all, they hoodwink the hapless boobs (especially the Americans) with reports on East Anglian bird sanctuaries, the lunacy of the fifth Duke of Portland, the variety of British potatoes on offer at country farmers’ markets etc…, then ask for their opinion on the bizarre film they’ve just watched. There’s something refreshing about seeing a famous movie star squirm on the sofa when asked for their opinion on water shortages in Lancashire or the best cooking apple to shove in a blackberry and apple pie. And best of all, they ask them these questions with the likes of Giles Brandreth, Carol Thatcher or an insane gardening expert from Solihull sitting next to ’em.

Adrian: So, have you ever visited the house that inspired Toad Hall?
Jon Bon Jovi: What the fu …
Giles Brandreth: Oh, Johnny! You simply MUST go! You can imagine Toad racing along in his car, escaping the police! POOP POOP! Teddy bears! Jumpers! Prince Phillip!
Adrian: We were too poor to afford The Wind In The Willows in my house when I was growing up.
Jon Bon Jovi: What the hell’s going on?
Giles Brandreth: Tea with the Queen! Ratty and Mole! The changing of the guard! ENGLAND!
Jon Bon Jovi: HEEEELP!

It’s great. The celebrities almost always come out of the experience humiliated and confused. Even the plug they manage to get in at the end of the show is stunted and unenthusiastic, thanks to spending half an hour in a room full of lunatics. A case in point occurred last week when one of the hags from the forthcoming Sex & The City movie (which will be a giant pile of shit, by the way) was forced, almost at gunpoint, to eat chips by a mad banshee in a body warmer and wellington boots. By the time it came for her to publicise her film, a light had gone out in her eyes and she had been rendered all-but speechless (mainly because her mouth was stuffed with chips – the most food she’s eaten in a decade, I suspect). She’d been stoofered by Great British Eccentricity and it was a joy to watch.

And it appears the Demon Chiles and his cabal of insane minions can make anyone do anything they want! Fancy destroying the image of cool rock sophistication Robert Plant has built up for himself over the last thirty years? Why, invite him on The One Show and demand he sing the programme’s appalling theme tune in a bizarre falsetto voice! That’ll do it. Want to humiliate that leathery-faced Italian harridan who used to go out with Sven Goran Eriksson (and who likes to think of herself as a ‘fashion expert’)? Then make her incorrectly guess which handbags are fakes and which ones are genuine in a cheesy, last-minute exam she clearly doesn’t want to take. She was so humiliated at her televised failure, she began pleading that the test was unfair as Chiles talked over her and The One Show theme struck up. You simply don’t get that on Jonathan Ross.

I suggest you don’t see The One Show as a cheap piece of early-evening fluff in future. I suggest you watch it as I do: As a new blood sport that seeks out and destroys the reputations of the rich and famous. If you like your celebrities shining and bright and wonderful, watch that addlesome crap celebrity worship channel, E!

If, like me, you want to see these pompous bastards bloodied and bruised, then tune in every night to The One Show. When you’ve seen the pleading look in a celebrity’s eyes, when you know they’re thinking ‘Why me?’ as Brandreth shouts directly into their terrified faces, you’ll be bloody glad you did.