Thursday, 19 April 2018

Off to the eternal Supermarket Sweep in the sky

The ranks of "light entertainment stalwarts" continues to be depleted. Following on from the likes of Bruce Forsyth, Keith Chegwin and William G Stewart last year, and Jim Bowen earlier this year, Dale ("Mr Perma-Tan") Winton has died, aged just 62. Soon there will be no-one left with experience of presenting game-shows! Apart from fucking Jim Davidson.

Here is my personal favourite of Mr Winton's telly moments - courtesy of a clever spoof created by Victoria Wood and Jennifer Saunders, of course...

RIP Dale Jonathan Winton (22nd May 1955 – 18th April 2018)

Wednesday, 18 April 2018


This is currently My. Favourite. Thing.

Simply divine.

[Por una Cabeza literally translated means "by a head", and is a horse racing term.]

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

My Credo

A study has found that alcohol can significantly shorten your life, at which point millions of Britons said “Fine with me!”

But while it’s easy to look at the negative effects of drinking, what are the benefits? Read our guide.

Most conversations are intolerably boring without alcohol. It’s fine being sober if you happen to be friends with wits like Stephen Fry, but listening to your mate Dave telling you about resurfacing his drive definitely requires those eight pints of Stella.

Copping off with people. While sober it is extremely difficult to approach someone and say "Hello, I find you sexually attractive. Would you like to start kissing me?". But when you are shitfaced it just seems to happen. The only plausible explanation is some form of ‘alcohol magic’.

Alcohol aids exercise. Going to the gym while plastered can hugely increase your performance. You can run for miles on the treadmill and those heavy, intimidating weights are no problem because you can’t feel the pain. You may wish to die the next day but that’s the price of being healthy.

Booze leads to exciting adventures. All manner of unusual things happen when you’re pissed, usually late at night. You might find yourself yourself in a Goth club or talking to a strange man on the Tube who claims he was in the SAS. Note: If you find yourself in a zoo enclosure being stalked by a panther that may be a sign to cut down a bit.

Spiritual enlightenment. Buddhist monks spend decades meditating in order to reach a transcendent state. However getting totally sloshed in a pleasant pub will also make you feel remarkably at one with the universe. Especially if you have a gourmet burger.

Alcohol prevents society collapsing. Alcohol is an integral part of many activities that form the fabric of society. Does anyone seriously think you’re going to turn up to their wedding just for a slice of cake? Fuck that.
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Monday, 16 April 2018

"He was a lunatic"

  • “I thought I’d begin by reading a poem by Shakespeare, but then I thought, why should I? He never reads any of mine.”
  • “And God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light, but the electricity board said he would have to wait until Thursday to be connected.”
  • “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all the people some of the time, which is just long enough to be president of the United States.”
  • “Money couldn’t buy friends, but you got a better class of enemy.”
  • "It was a perfect marriage. She didn't want to and he couldn't."
  • “Contraceptives should be used on every conceivable occasion.”
  • “I’m a hero with coward’s legs.”
  • "My father had a profound influence on me. He was a lunatic."
  • “All I ask is the chance to prove that money can’t make me happy.”
  • “The best cure for sea sickness is to sit under a tree.”
  • “How long was I in the army? Five foot eleven.”
  • “I turned and rubbed my hands with glee. I always keep a tin of glee handy.”
  • “I can speak Esperanto like a native.”
  • “Is there anything worn under the kilt? No, it’s all in perfect working order.”
We have another centenary to celebrate, dear reader - the much-missed comedic genius that was Spike Milligan was born one hundred years ago today!

From the moment he arrived on BBC Home Service radio after the war, in the madcap company of Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Michael Bentine in The Goon Show, British audiences took to Spike's weird brand of humour with a vengeance. It is true to say that without him/them, such classic examples of the truly bizarre as Monty Python's Flying Circus and the The Goodies, and off-beat talents such as Marty Feldman, Kenny Everett, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, would - and probably could - never have had the success they did.

Long after Sellers hit the big time, Bentine went to children's telly and Secombe became more well-known as a singer than a comic, Spike continued to create mayhem with his "Q" series, and zillions of cameos in everything from the Two Ronnies to Life of Brian to Gormenghast.

He's the man who - after sitting through a panegyric of praise from His Royal Highness at an award ceremony - called Prince Charles "a grovelling bastard" [thankfully, in real life, the two are great friends]. Irreverent to the last, his headstone reads "Told you I was ill!".

On this Tacky Music Monday, here (again) is my favourite number of his...

Terence Alan "Spike" Milligan KBE (16th April 1918 – 27th February 2002)

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Life is a Cabaret

left to right: Oliver Savile, Diana Vickers, Alexander S Bermange, Suzie Mathers and Liam Tamne

Hils, History Boy, John-John, Madam Arcati and I treated ourselves to an evening of fabulousness last night - a long-overdue visit to one of our fave venues, Crazy Coqs cabaret bar at the beautiful Art Deco Brasserie Zedel [see more here, here and here] near Piccadilly Circus.

The show in question was a hilarious concoction called I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical by Alexander S Bermange (who also played piano for the show, and to whom we spoke afterwards); a revue of songs based around the trials and tribulations of being a West End trouper. Mr Bermange certainly has a way with words (his songs have been performed by many of our faves in the comedic cabaret world, including Miriam Margolyes, David Bedella, Tracie Bennett, Christopher Biggins, Four Poofs & a Piano and Kit & The Widow), and, in the hands of our talented foursome of performers, it was a brilliant show! Apart from being adroit singers, it helped that the boys Oliver and Liam were very easy-on-the-eye...

...but some of the songs the girls Diana and Suzie (also possessors of remarkable voices) sang were just brilliant!

Unfortunately no video evidence is out there of any of them doing songs from the show, but here instead are just a few of the wittiest, by other artists:

  • Oliver has appeared in The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked and Les Miserables, and most recently played "Bobby" in a production of Sondheim's Company.
  • Diana was a semi-finalist on The X Factor in 2008, and had a UK Number 1 single in 2010 with Once [me neither]; she also played the lead in a West End production of Little Voice.
  • Suzie has received numerous accolades for her role as "Glinda the Good Witch" in the Australian, Asian and London productions of Wicked.
  • Liam was not only a runner-up contestant on The Voice in 2013, but also entered the You Decide competition to represent the UK at Eurovision this year.
All of them were utterly wonderful.

I Wish My Life Were Like A Musical ends its run at Crazy Coqs this Tuesday, but surely must get a run elsewhere soon.

I hope!

Saturday, 14 April 2018

The sun is shining, and Spring is here...

...and so, we sing:

Nothing much to add, really...

Friday, 13 April 2018

Totty of the Day and paraskevidekatriaphobia

Any excuse, really, for another picture of Tom Daley in his skimpies

The walking sex god that is Tom Daley has not only recovered from his hip injury [I wonder how that happened? Dustin: we're looking at you!] to win his fourth Commonwealth Games gold medal (alongside his synchronised dive partner Dan Goodfellow), but he has also had a very public dig at many of the countries with whom he is participating:
"Coming to the Gold Coast and being able to live as an openly gay man is really important," said Daley, 23.

"You want to feel comfortable in who you are when you are standing on that diving board, and for 37 Commonwealth countries that are here participating that is not the case."

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Daley added: "I feel extremely lucky to compete openly as who I am, not worry about ramifications. But for lots of people living in those countries it is not the case.

"We have to talk about these things and shine a light on them in order to get change.

"By Birmingham and the next Commonwealth Games [in 2022], I really hope we see a decrease in that number of countries that criminalise LGBT issues.

"I feel with the Commonwealth, we can really help push some of the other nations to relax their laws on anti-gay stuff."
Good for him! We need more people in the public eye to speak out against anti-gay bigotry and discrimination, especially in the Commonwealth - an organisation supposedly dedicated to upholding "democracy, human rights and the rule of law" - which is so dear to Britain and HM The Queen...

Changing the subject completely, however, we have reached the crescendo of yet another gripping week's work - and for the superstitious among us it is also Friday the Thirteenth!

Pah, I say - I am not paraskevidekatriaphobic. I just wanna fucking dance! Thank Disco It's Friday, and let's let Daft Punk and Pharrell get the party started:

Have a good one, peeps!