Nov 27. WITHOUT Freddie Starr, I’m A Celebrity
was beginning to look like the biggest wash-out since the Queensland
floods. And then on Thursday night ITV struck gold. The Bed Bugs
challenge left Mark Wright whimpering like a small girl, cowardly
Cotton running scared from snakes (there’s a first) and little
Willie Carson flicking away crickets. “I wish I had bloody crabs!”
the Hobbit-sized jockey hollered. Hang about with Wrighty and
you probably will mate.
Up until then we’d had a week of Sinitta screeching like a
half-chewed hamster, and Pat Sharp pretending to be mean about
Lorraine Chase’s cuddly teddy bear, Tedward. Or was he pretending
to pretend? Honestly, who gives a stuffed toy? If you’re going
to make out you’re the camp grump to get attention then stay
in character for the whole series. And if you want to make your
name by being rude to a woman, at least have the guts to take
on Fatima who could probably rip your head off with one quick
twist of her giant man hands.
Still, at least it made a change from Cotton’s whinging, Crissy’s
persecution complex and a geezer from Essex failing to get off
with some unknown birds in bikinis. Stefanie Powers was first
out which came as a surprise to millions of viewers who’d forgotten
she was there. There are mealworms with more personality. Granted
Sinitta’s reaction to dropping a baby lobster from her mouth
(“I didn’t spit him out! He slid, he slid out”) inspired a million
bad-taste Simon Cowell gags. But she’s so useless in every challenge
you wonder why she bothered coming. No-one here is witty or
dangerous or surprising. There’s little evidence of grey matter.
Luton airport’s Lorraine is harmless, Dougie’s dull, Cotton
and Crissy are merely irritating. Mark looks favourite to win,
even though Emily has managed to resist his subtle chat-up lines
so far (“something’s poking up”). I’d rather see fiery Fatima
triumph for her can-do Olympian attitude (forget the “can’t-do”
boat-race). ITV need to fly in giant characters to fill the
Freddie Starr vacuum. Not Peter Andre, I’m talking Buster Bloodvessel,
Mrs O, or Roy “Chubby” Brown. And some strongmen dressed as
giant Teddies to kidnap and terrify Sharp. Only pretending Pat...
*IMAGINE Chubby in the jungle: “I’ve just watched Fatima in
a skimpy bikini having a shower in a waterfall and I thought
to meself please don’t get an erection... but she did.”
DEREK Branning hit Albert Square like a Cairo riot, making
Fat Pat bolt in terror and giving his “slapper” sister Carol
a mouthful. The pop-eyed ex-con could well be the scariest news
of the year (besides claims that Justin Bieber can reproduce.)
He’s like Del-Boy’s evil twin, a cross between Bob Hoskins and
Mr Toad. Naturally Derek looks nothing like his younger brothers
Max (the human baked bean) and Jack (hunky male model) – any
more different and they could be a Benetton ad. Which suggests
that either their old mum put it about a bit or the casting
director needs glasses. But Derek (played by Jamie Foreman)
is as welcome as sunshine. He leches at Rainie like Herman Cain,
and airs the kind of views readily heard in the East End everywhere
except Walford. Odds on they’ll water him down like the Queen
Vic beer by Easter.
ITV have axed Adrian Chile and the Bleakley woman from Daybreak.
But why they thought the dozy duo was worth £10mill to begin
with is anyone’s guess. Who wants to wake up to an over-paid
WAG and a bloke with a face like a hung-over Toby jug? Ratings
went down like the Lusitania. Now we’re told Christine’s future
“lies in Light Entertainment”. Why? What can she do? Apart from
read an autocue without stumbling. I’m sick of people without
performance skills hosting LE shows, be it Kyle doing quiz shows
or Knowles on the Lotto (what a come-down from Bob Monkhouse!)
It’s like trying to play three-card poker with two satsumas
and a Joker. Isn’t it frustrating that superb entertainers like
Brian Conley are never on TV while autocue zombies dominate
HOT on TV: Onion News Network (Sky Arts)... Jamie Foreman
(EastEnders)... the Curb finale... Life’s Too Short.
ROT on TV: The Cafe – naff... Devil’s Dinner Party – speed-hating...
Pip Torrens – such a ham he should be honey-baked... That’s
Britain – that’s b*ll*cks... Rev – nowhere near as funny as
that clown Rowan Williams.
THE Cafe is as appetising as a plate of cold, burnt chips.
Laughs are so off the menu it’s more like a dull soap than a
sitcom. The Royle Family was also built on the tedium of everyday
life, but like Early Doors it was funny and affectionate too.
The Cafe manages the affection; the funny is beyond it.
*STEVE Coogan says the papers operate like the mafia. Careful
pal, you could end up with a horse’s head in your bed... just
like that time you slept with Courtney.
*MARK Lawson Talks To Alice Cooper was full of unforgiving
close-ups of the clichéd old ham and his lived-in countenance.
Alice looked fine, though.
*PAMELA Anderson has been cast as the Virgin Mary in a Canadian
TV special. Presumably the Three Wise Men will be played by
Jedward and Joey Essex.
*NOT sure who put a tracking device in Katie Price’s car but
the smart money says either Charlie Sheen or Berlusconi...
*MY Transsexual Summer has men who want to be women, and women
who want to be men. Shame Swap Shop isn’t on any more, really.
*ED ‘Blubber’ Balls says Antiques Roadshow makes him cry.
Same here. When some greedy berk brings in an item they think
is worth fortunes only to be told it’s a two-bob fake, I laugh
till tears cascade down my cheeks.
*TV I’d like to see: Who Do You Think You Are – Jon Culshaw’s
RANDOM irritations: Xmas store adverts. Holly Willoughby hosting
The Voice – why? Carol Vorderman on Loose Women inviting an
audience of fifty pensioners to “give it up” for Will Young.
Just give up love.
SMALL joys of TV: Jade Ewen’s Fat Pat earrings. The Pete Vs
Life sport commentators. Graham Norton. John Steinbeck: Voice
Of America. Watching how much greedy Gregg can pile onto his
fork and shove down his gullet on Masterchef.
DOES anyone actually like Tess Daly? (That includes you, Vern).
SEPARATED at birth: unelected Mario Monti and Blockbusters
host Bob Holness. Bob gave the ‘P’, Monti’s appointment as Italian
PM takes it.
Nov 20. Over on I’m A Celebrity, Freddie Starr was hospitalised
after chomping on a rancid old camel toe. This came as a big
surprise to those of us who didn’t realise Janet Dickinson was
back in the jungle. Up until then madcap Freddie, swinging wildly
between self-pity and borderline insanity, was setting the pace
on the show. He’d survived an allergic reaction to be being
bitten by a jungle bug, although the bug is then believed to
have perished from an allergic reaction to Freddie. And he’d
made mincemeat of Mark Wright, psyching him out while psychotically
polishing off every bit of grub on the Bushtucker menu. Starr
worked his way through some withered testicles and an entire
pig’s anus – no trouble for Freddie and a typical night out
for Corrie’s Antony Cotton. It’s understandable that ITV wants
someone camp in camp, but couldn’t they find someone more fun
than this whingeing, self-obsessed ham? Say for example, Johnny
Robinson or Alan Carr? It’s easier to care about Schmeichel.
Cotton makes Paul Burrell seem manly. He’s useless; Jessica-Jane
Clement beat him in a race to grip a giant snake, which was
surprising as you’d have thought he’d have had much more experience
of that kind of thing. “I had to hold it against my chest and
squeeze,” panted Jessica-Jane; which is an image I'll treasure.
The woman is hotter than Willie’s smuggled chilli. All of the
male contestants (apart from Cotton) look at JJ and think “I’m
a celebrity, get me into her!” She may be from an obscure BBC3
series but JJ looks mighty fine in a bikini. But what, you ask,
of the more macho contenders; the burly, muscle-bound can-do
types? Well, Fatima is doing very well, thanks very much even
if she is getting grumpier than Len Goodman. Squeaky Willie
Carson is far more feminine (although it’s heartening to know
JJ “loves Little Willie”). And we didn’t hear Fatima wimping
out like Mark Wright did when he had to make that jump, screaming
“no, no, no” like a girl. Mark admitted he can’t stand heights.
No worries mate, you’ll never attain any. You’re a celebrity?
Get out of here!
*CRISSY Rock had to choose whether to go down with teeth in
or teeth out, a choice which you suspect many of the game old
Benidorm birds have had to make more than once...
*AMY Childs was perplexed by the jungle trials. She thought
the bush-tucker was a cosmetic surgery procedure for intimate
PAN Am isn’t the “mile high Mad Men”. It may be set in the
sixties, but the show is soap opera plain and simple. Pan Am
loves the past as much as Downton Abbey; and has the same core
message: we knew where we were back then. Optimism and confidence
ruled the day, and men ruled the roost... In 1963, stewardesses
(never called flight attendants) had to be under-32 and unmarried;
and were required by airline bosses to squeeze into girdles.
On the surface, they’re trolly dollies. But co-pilot Ted, the
kind of bloke who’d happily put the bone into any woman’s corset,
has hit on enough of them to know that they’re not normal females.
“They’re mutations,” he says. “They just had an impulse to take
flight.” The mutant madams are rebel Maggie, a closet Beatnik
with a brain as big as her Mekon-sized forehead; run-away bride
Laura, her sister Kate, who’s secretly a spy, and flighty French
Colette. It’s worth watching for the uniforms alone, but the
soar-away soap throws in espionage for good measure. “Buckle
up, adventure calls.”
KITTY and Frankie have both exited the X Factor, so now the
only deluded nitwits left are the judges. Thanks to their poor
decision making, this series had become so dull that even the
BT Tower refused to broadcast it. Now gifted Amelia Lily has
been brought back to save the show. But if Amelia wins what
does it say about Kelly who dumbly got shot of her weeks ago?
Her credibility is as compromised as Louis’s. Some suspect this
was all pre-planned. Surely not! Syco are clearly as beyond
corruption as FIFA or Berlusconi. Maybe Cowell simply blew a
gasket when he saw what flakes were still in the running. Frankie
sang like a frog with emphysema and Kitty like a demented banshee;
if Janet’s voice were a person it’d be languishing in a hospice.
HOT on TV: Margot Robbie (Pan Am) – up, up and whey hey...
new Mentalist (C5)... Modern Family (Sky1)... American Horror
Story (FX) – scarier than a Carol McGiffin close-up.
ROT on TV: Children In Need – how about Viewers In Need, of
better telly... Russell Grant (Strictly) – more ham than a hog
farm... Casualty (Watch) – nurse, the scripts!
GEMMA Merna from Hollyoaks says she has often been caught
having conversations with her dog. When asked what it was like
to chat to such a dumb creature, the dog replied “OK as long
as you keep picturing her in her underwear.”
*GENUINE doctors’ names discovered by Jay Leno: Dr Elizabeth
Puscheck. Cosmetic surgeon: Dr Rak. Gynaecologist Ramin Jamm.
*SHANE Richie is hosting a new version of Jim’ll Fix It. Could
he fix it for Alfie Moon to get some new shirts and a decent
*FAT Pat is to die at Christmas; that’s cheery. Still it’ll
be a welcome relief from suffering... for millions of viewers.
*FROM the Radio Times: ‘The cast of EastEnders rocks Albert
Square in a tribute to Queen, and the Muppets are joined by
some celebrity TV fans...’ Harsh but fair.
*HELL Boy 2 was on ITV, for Hell Boy 3 see Ben Mitchell.
RANDOM irritations: suspender tights, BBC2 axing Shooting
Stars, adverts for household product inviting us to follow them
on Twitter. Crissy Rock: rein it in love. Signed By Katie Price
repeats – bad enough the first time. Lazy arts strand Imagine;
always a cue for the song: “Imagine there’s no Yentob/It’s easy
if you try...”
SMALL Joys of TV: Rodney Dangerfield (Caddyshack). Lotto draw
mistress Julie Morrisey, what man wouldn’t want her releasing
his Thunderballs? The grub on Man Vs Food: you know your hamburger
is too large if the biggest obvious health risk is a back injury
from lifting the bloody thing up.
SEPARATED at birth: Fatima Whitbread and Colonel Gaddafi.
One terrifying and unpredictable. The other a dead dictator.
Runner-up: TOWIE’s Frankie Essex and Tubbs, from The League
of Gentlemen. One part of a terrifying clique of small town
eccentrics, and so is the other one.
Nov 13. THE first big surprise about American Horror Story
is that it doesn’t involve Lehman Brothers and sub-prime mortgages.
Instead it shamelessly nicks scream themes from every scary
movie you’ve ever seen. There’s the spooky old gothic mansion,
the daughter who doesn’t fit in, a kid who sees the future,
the gnarled old codger with eerie hair who thinks he’s funny...
or was that a Strictly flashback? When Vivien catches her psychiatrist
husband Ben probing a female student (shrinks do it on the couch),
the troubled Harmon family up sticks from Boston to LA. They’re
in a bad place after her miscarriage but it’s not as bad as
the place they move to. The house is dead cheap on account of
having been a murder scene for most of the past forty years.
Naturally it’s haunted.
Classic horror films build up the suspense slowly until the
tension becomes unbearable. This show, from the makers of Glee
is more like a Ghost Train; everything comes at you in a non-stop
barrage of shock and carnage. There are fiendish flashbacks,
dead babies, demons in the basement and plenty of paranormal
shagging. Their misfit teenage daughter Violet self-harms and
is bullied at school... it’s less Glee, more Flee. The creaky
old house gets broken into by crackpot Adelaide (Down’s syndrome
neighbour who has premonitions of death) and her nosy mum, Constance,
a fading Southern belle who’s just cracked... Which may well
be God’s way of telling them to change the locks and buy a flipping
Other characters include Ben’s teen psycho patient Tate who
fantasizes about violating Violet; and housekeeper Moira, who
appears to Viv as a bedraggled old boot and to Ben as a young
randy red-head. Poor old Viv gets knocked up by a ghoul in a
rubber gimp suit (Throbbing Hood) who she mistakes for Ben.
Talk about bouncing back into the sack. It’s the best sex of
her life; moral: always use a rubber. Stocking-clad saucepot
Moira offers Ben more than a little light dusting. But when
she changes back to her true age, and is still tackled-up, she
looks more like American History Sex. Think Corrie’s Rita in
Carry On Emmanuelle mode. Now hold that thought and tremble.
Sweet dreams, children.
*A WOMAN who looks hot and sexy one minute and old and haggard
the next? Isn’t that Lisa Kudrow with or without make-up?
“HAVE we all stepped through the looking glass?” asked an
aghast Violet, Downton Abbey’s dowager countess. I’ll say. Lewis
Carroll could have written most of this second series, while
hooked on crystal meth. Matthew’s miracle recovery from a broken
spine was almost as amazing as his ability to pop back from
the Western front whenever he felt like it. Storylines came
and went like a Kardashian marriage. Some, like that fake heir
(Badly Bandaged Boy) seemed as unfinished as the randy Earl
when he chose not to get laid by Jane the maid. Poor Lavinia
died not from Spanish flu but from a broken heart, after watching
fiancé Matthew snog Lady Mary. Lawks a mercy! Let’s hope they
get it on at Xmas and incur the wrath of dodgy press baron Sir
Richard, that Bates escapes the gallows. And that Fellowes keeps
sweeping us along with demented twists and Vi’s ripe one-liners.
LOVING the new superpowers on Misfits. Newcomer Rudy self
clones, dimbo Kelly is now a rocket scientist, while Curtis
can change sex at will – making him a dream date for the bi-curious...
and the first male-female athlete since Caster Semenya. Back
track training as ‘Melissa’, Curtis sleeps with Emma, who he’d
disappointed as himself the night before. Maybe the athlete’s
foot wasn’t quite what it sounded. Naturally, he’s still more
ASBO than lesbo. Shame the preachy script jarred with the show’s
*THE worst ever superheroes? 3) Ant-Man, who could shrink
to insect size, 2) Tar Baby, whose skin secreted a
tar-like substance, 1) Rock Boy, who turned into a rock and
just kinda sat there.
HOT on TV: American Horror Story (FX)... Bomber Boys (C5)...
Warwick Davis (Life’s Too Short)... Mongrels (BBC3) - barking.
ROT on TV: Bruce Forsyth on Sunday’s Strictly – ‘Young & Foolish’
sung by someone old and useless... Jennifer Grey (Strictly)
– from dirty dancing to dodgy judging... The Jury – GUILTY!
Of wasting our time.
*AT the height of his fame Ross Kemp was propositioned by
two hot women, one of whom told him “I’m black, she’s white,
let’s spend the night.” The original BOGOF offer: bonk one,
get one free. Rhyming chat-up lines could brighten up EastEnders
no end: “I’m mad Shirley Carter, you’ll do for a starter.” “She’s
Hev, I’m stroppy, let’s christen your jalopy.” Or Syed’s “Hi
I’m bi, wanna try it with a guy?”
*ON My Transsexual Summer, an ex-cop had his nuts removed
to become Karen. “We’ve gone irretrievable,” said the surgeon.
“You can’t sew those back on.” Although the same effect can
be achieved much less expensively simply by dating Liz Hurley.
*BBC1 will launch The Voice next spring. Great. It’s about
time this country had a talent contest for singers. It’s long
*AS Big Bro ends in style, do you think Aaron is now enjoying
“wrestler love” with Faye? No holes barred...
*IRANIAN strongman Behdad Salimkordasiabi will be “a big name
at London 2012,” according to ESPN. In fairness, that’s a pretty
big name anywhere.
*TV I’d Like To See: Joanna Lumley’s ‘Greek’ Odyssey (television
X – the fantasy channel). Keepy-Up With The Kardashians – Kim’s
soccer tips. Masterchef: The Professionals with Bodie and Doyle.
RANDOM irritations: Claudia Winkleman, (literally) blinking
hopeless. Louis Walsh. Janet Devlin ruined by Tulisa’s rotten
song choices (X Factor). The dimness of British students on
Sorority Girls. Brilliant Curb Your Enthusiasm still wasted
on late night More4.
SMALL Joys of TV: The Fast Show on-line. Sean Lock (Apollo).
An Idiot Abroad finale. Bored To Death. Repeats of 3-2-1 (Challenge)
– decades on and the clues are still as impenetrable as Widdecombe’s
*LINDSAY Lohan spent less than five hours in jail; it was
all the screws could put up with. Being held against your will
for five hours... that’s not a sentence, it’s a Ken Dodd audience.
SEPARATED at birth: Ex-Factor nitwit Frankie Coke-noza and
his mum, Mad Jean Slater? Looks like she’s still cutting his
hair... Frankie’s TV career may be over. But his haircut will
get its own series any day now.
POOR Frankie, all series the judges tell him he’s a natural
rock wild boy, and when he acts like one they sack him. But
The X Factor bosses are adamant that they won’t tolerate drug
abuse. No way. That’s why they’ve employed Whitney Houston,
Robbie Williams, Paula Abdul, Ozzy Osbourne’s missus...
Nov 6. PEOPLE moan about falling educational standards but
Top Boy painted a different picture. These kids were wizards
at mental arithmetic, effortlessly working in kilos, ounces
and eighths. They were of course, Young Apprentices of a different
kind, trainee gangsters working in the drug trade.
Top Boy was a bold departure for modern British TV: a drama
about life on London’s blighted inner-city council estates that
ran over consecutive nights sucking you in to a claustrophobic
sub-culture few of us ever experience. Written by Ronan Bennett,
the show was similar in feel to HBO’s The Wire, except the Met
(“the Feds”) barely got a look in – the only drugs raids here
were done by rival gangs. Top Boy was more concerned with how
the dog-eat-dog trade works, the ruthless people who run it
and how they suck in new “soldiers.”
Set on the fictional Summerhouse estate in the East End, the
action revolved around Dushane and Sully trying to carve out
their turf, and 13-year-old Ra’Nell, left to fend for himself
when his understandably depressed mum gets admitted to a mental
hospital. Dushane, 26, had “shanked up” Ra’Nell’s old man. You
don’t see many Dads on the Summerhouse. Drugs here are called
“food”, “our bit of grub”, delivered in “parcels” paid for with
cash “paper.” It’s bandit capitalism, supply and demand; opportunity
culture of a different kind, a stark contrast to the fat-cat
skyscrapers of near-by Canary Wharf.
When Dushane’s gang get robbed by gun-touting rivals, they
have to prove themselves to the local Mr Big. Turf war ensues.
Fingers are cut off, an innocent man is murdered, a man’s chest
is ironed – all to send a message. (Whatever happened to telegrams?)
Protected by reformed criminal Leon, Ra’Nell initially resists
the gang who tell him “we’re your family now” but is sweet-talked
into running pregnant neighbour Heather’s skunk farm (putting
the high in high-rise.) It was never going to end well. The
mini-series had the ring of truth about it. An authenticity
echoed by gritty Euro-crime sagas like Braquo and Romanzo Criminale
which sadly eludes most of BBC1’s dull-witted dramatic dross.
Top Boy was the opposite of the ‘light murder’ escapism of Murder
In Paradise, the antidote to Bonekickers.
WHO should win Big Brother? ABBA: anyone but bloody Aaron!
We can’t be sure if the sulky joy-vacuum is playing a clever
game, or whether he really is a grumpy, two-faced, back-stabbing
snake with a superiority complex. The whingeing arse-ache is
a perfect BB villain, of course, but this doesn’t mean we should
reward him with the dosh. Especially as he was the reason we
had to choose between evicting Faye or the lovely Louise. I
like Jay, and enjoyed his thoughts on the Universe - when has
Brian Cox ever given us a sauna guide to the solar system? But
the unpleasant incident with the freezer (never go for the veggie
sausage chez Jay) puts the Geordie lad beyond the pale. So we’re
left with Louise, Tom or Alex, a woman so stupid she’d be hard
pushed to spell Oxo backwards. Is it too late to bring back
DID you clock those pumpkins on Strictly at Halloween? Chelsee’s
wardrobe malfunction was well worth waiting for. Sadly Nancy
Dell’Olio got the boot, so now fans of incomprehensible TV babbling
have only got Brucie...
*CIAOU, Nancy. We saw your cha-cha-cha. It would have been
nice to have seen your dancing.
*THOSE big Strictly questions in full: why don’t the judges'
scores ever reflect their comments? When Nancy was in that coffin,
why did no-one think to nail it shut? If her rumba’s so wooden,
how bad is her rumpo? And if gut-bucket Russell Grant has lost
ten stone, how much could he have possibly weighed before? He
must have half a ton of slap on.
*I’D like to complain about Strictly sleaze; there’s just
not enough of it.
HOT on TV: Braquo (FX)... Ashley Walters (Top Boy)... Misfits...
new 30Rock... Essie Davis (The Slap)... Frozen Planet.
ROT on TV: Janet Devlin murdering ‘Every Breath You Take’
– unchained malady... Death In Paradise – Paradise lost... That
Sunday Night Show – sucks like True Blood’s Russell.
*JOEY Essex is the proud result of millions of years of evolution,
according to The Origins Of Us. Which raises the question: if
Joey’s forebears made that great genetic leap, why couldn’t
*WILL our current life-style reverse evolution? We hunt nothing,
grow little, make less...We’ll end up as weak-jawed, lard-arses;
our brains shrunken to the size of walnuts from watching day-time
TV. Although I suppose our kids may develop extra fingers to
cope with all the texting.
*ROBERT Vaughn, The Man From UNCLE is joining Corrie. Hurrah.
His old enemy used to be THRUSH; or as she’s now known, Tracy
*AS Corrie gets a Nationwide cash machine, what other product
placement can we expect in the soap? Maybe Carla’s liver could
be sponsored by Oddbins. Deirdre’s spex are definitely Hubble
* CORRIE’S Samia Smith divorced this week. Tsk. Talk about
keeping up with the Kardashians.
*HONOR Blackman and Jenny Eclair did Celebrity Antiques Road
Trip. Well done, ladies. It takes guts to admit you’re a celebrity
*TOP 3 people I’d like to punch: 1) Aaron Allard-Morgan 2)
Frankie ‘The Cock’ Cocozza 3) Louis Spence – enough, already.
*IN TV news, Kim Kadashian’s 72-day publicity stunt ended.
Nancy Dell’Olio pledged to “keep dancing” (who knew she’d started?)
And the Queen said she loves Loose Women, but not as much as
*FRENCH cop show Braquo makes Gene Hunt seem like Dixon of
Dock Green. It’s pretty much “Le Shield” with hardened tecs
stabbing felons and skimming their takings. Cop Max tops himself
rather than endure the shame of internal investigation, so his
rogue colleagues seek revenge by any means necessary. Authentic,
murky and riveting.
RANDOM irritations: ‘Halloween’ themed shows translating as
the same old tutt with cobwebs. Seann Walsh on Live At The Apollo:
seven billion people on the planet, and they can’t find someone
funnier than this?
SMALL Joys of TV: Pilfering penguins (Frozen Planet). The
BossHoss version of Cameo’s Word Up on the VO5 ad. Wild Billy
Childish’s Ska version of the Dad’s Army theme (ASDA ad). James
May’s rock bands who never made it; heart-warming to see old
gits like Love Fungus reliving their teenage dream. Make it
SEPARATED at birth: Jessy Nelson from Little Mix and Cartman,
one a funny-faced TV character with an irritating voice, the
other a cartoon.
Nov 2. PBS launched last night with a Prohibition, a sobering
Ken Burns documentary series about the time when America went
dry. Prohibition was a disaster – by banning alcohol the Yanks
helped create organise crime. This is why Al Capone happened.
The first instalment, A Nation of Drunkards, showed an America
afloat on a sea of alcohol. “The hold of the Mayflower, the
ship that carried the first Puritans to Massachusetts, was filled
with barrels of beer,” narrator Peter Coyote informed us. Cheers!
Hard-drinking immigrants with their own drinking customs helped
spread the fire. After a long campaign, temperance campaigners
finally banned the bottle in 1919, but a law means nothing if
it can’t be enforced. And one man’s ban is another’s opportunity.
No wonder Boardwalk Empire’s Nucky Thompson toasted “Those beautiful
Prohibition is back on the agenda today, with political ‘liberals’
pushing for illiberal laws. Their campaigns are not about religious
morality, but political control. Their aim is to restrict freedom
and personal responsibility. These Nanny Statesmen play a long
game. First they generate fear campaigns stressing the health
risks of alcohol, how donuts give you cancer etc. Then they
push for punitive taxation (for our own good) followed by demonization.
Having driven smokers to the edges of society, they’re now targeting
drinkers, with the likes of Professor David Nutt demanding that
alcohol should to be categorised as being more harmful than
cannabis. And of course, laws and taxes aimed at “binge drinkers”
hit us all. The new prohibitionists think they know how to run
our lives better than we do ourselves. But history suggests
those who’d impose a Nanny State will also unwittingly open
doors for something far nastier.