How I Very Nearly Became Sir Bruce Forsyth CBE (Deceased)

Much-loved British entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth died in August 2017. He passed away a few months after he’d undergone key-hole surgery to repair a couple of aneurysms. In case you’re hazy on aneurysms, they are bulges in an artery that could burst and kill you. I know because I had one that almost killed me. Sir Bruce… Continue reading How I Very Nearly Became Sir Bruce Forsyth CBE (Deceased)

William Hartnell: Doctor Who Actor

One of the most surprising aspects of the Doctor Who début of William Hartnell in 1963 was that he was only 55 years old. With his flowing white hair and frail appearance, I always assumed he must have been well into his 60s. The fact that he played grandfather to Susan Foreman, the first “Companion” reinforced this… Continue reading William Hartnell: Doctor Who Actor

Russell Brand, Revolution, and Promoting The Messiah Complex Tour

Russell Brand has recently been splattered all over the media. He’s advocating radical ideas by the bucket-load. Asked by “a beautiful woman” to guest-edit the left-leaning New Statesman magazine, he gave them the subject of Revolution. He waded in with a 4,500-word article of his own. And a pile of quirky contributions were elicited from… Continue reading Russell Brand, Revolution, and Promoting The Messiah Complex Tour

Stewart Lee on “Not Writing”

Comedy is subjective. So is writing. I’ve just come across a 45-minute video I felt I had to share. It skirts around both subjects and comes up with some savoury little insights. The video will not please everybody. The comments below it are a testament to that. But anyone who shares my vague interest in… Continue reading Stewart Lee on “Not Writing”

Glastonbury on the BBC

It’s hard not to find mentions of Glastonbury on the BBC. Most mornings I rise to the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. This morning, sixty-nine-year-old rightwing journalist John Humphrys was at Glastonbury. But why should I be surprised? Every year the BBC turns itself into a massive PR machine for this commercial enterprise. At… Continue reading Glastonbury on the BBC

Shocking Early Death Rates In England

I was browsing the BBC News website this morning when I came across a piece about avoidable early death rates. In the UK a premature death is now regarded as one under the age of 75, which is nice to know. Unless you happen to be 74, I suppose. Apparently, a child born in England… Continue reading Shocking Early Death Rates In England

What Does UKIP Stand For?

UKIP, or the United Kingdom Independence Party as they’re known to their friends and carers, has become the hottest political topic in the United Kingdom. Well, probably just in England, but let’s not split hairs. But what does UKIP stand for? Nigel Farage is UKIP’s leader, a likeable, middle-aged, middle-class gent. Often pictured with a… Continue reading What Does UKIP Stand For?

Charles Dickens Characters

Charles Dickens, drawing by JR Brown (1898–90)

Charles Dickens‘ characters fall into two main categories: the memorable and the totally unforgettable. I can think of no other author who has created such vivid fictional characters. In no particular order: The Artful Dodger, Smike, Joe Gargery, Fagin, Scrooge. Wilkins Micawber, Sam Weller, Daniel Quilp, Mr Dick, Bill Sykes. Magwitch, Frederick Dorrit, Mr Merdle,… Continue reading Charles Dickens Characters

Charlie Sheen’s Roast (or What’s Going on in New York? Part 87)

Stand by for the hard facts about Charlie Sheen’s Roast: Everybody in the USA seems to be obsessing over Charlie Sheen’s Roast – or, to give it its real title, “The Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen”. It’s been the biggest search on Google in the USA since early September. But what on earth is… Continue reading Charlie Sheen’s Roast (or What’s Going on in New York? Part 87)

My Blog Shame

It’s all Richard Herring’s fault. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I’ll start at the beginning… One major benefit of owning an iPhone is, instead of listening to other people speaking rubbish to each other via their own handsets, you can inflict podcasts on yourself. I subscribe to 63 at last count, ranging from… Continue reading My Blog Shame