Saturday, 26 April 2008

I'm sorry I haven't a clue

Some years back I worked in Liverpool and travelled there from Southport on a daily basis. I used to travel in early and leave a bit late as traffic was easier and the drive was a lot less stressful.

My journey to work was normally accomplished with the help of Terry Wogan on Radio 2. I'd given up with Radio 1 and local radio was more or less people with forced scouse accents or Manchester accents with far too many commercials with the exception of Dune FM. Unfortunately their budget for new music ran out about 3 days after they opened and some of the DJs loved their voices and Southport's past a bit too much.

The homeward journey most nights was made easier by Johnny Walker and Sally Traffic. During a period of absence by Johnny Walker, I wasn't really enjoying his substitute and so I scanned through the stations available and came across a programme on Radio4 entitled "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue". Five minutes into the show+ I nearly crashed due to fits of laughter. The show was a sort of game show with Barry Cryer, Tim Brooke Talylor, Graeme Garden, various guests and chaired by Humphrey Lyttleton.

Humph was brilliant, he came out with so many comments and his delivery was so straight and dead pan, it was hard to believe that the man was in his 80s.

Some of his lines from the show are shown below.

Hello & welcome to I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue - the show that has done for comedy...oh, wait a minute, there's another bit here...the show that has done for comedy what Cyril Smith has done for breakdancing.

Hello & welcome to I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. This week we can promise you a nail-biting contest...followed by a nose picking contest...

Hello & welcome to the programme that prompted John Logie Baird to invent television

Hello & welcome to I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue - the show which does for entertaining panel games what being hit repeatedly on the head with a large croquet mallet does for small frogs...or so I'm told.

and then there were his comments about the lovely Samantha ever, Samantha spent several hours down in the gramophone archive, giving the teams' discs a trial spin on the library record deck. The nice old archivists have recently been a bit worried about their early vinyl collection getting scratched, so Samantha ordered them a new mat for the turntable. She said that they were very excited at the thought of getting felt under their old seven inchers...

.Samantha nipped out to the gramophone library earlier, and as the eager assistants down there suspected she might be a country music lover, they got out every Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson record available. Well, in my experience, she's certainly always been a big fan of Willie's, and now she's got to work her way through a complete boxed set of Johnny's...

.Hip-Hop, Jive-Talking, Disco-Bunny, DJ Samantha rolled her sleeves up and had a good rummage downstairs for the teams this afternoon. She's pulled out some dusty old seven inchers that could all be made big again given sympathetic handling...

...Samantha has to nip out now, as she's off to meet her new Welsh gentleman friend, who's offered to drive her round the area. She hopes he's going to take her to Colwyn Bay and Bangor in the back of his van.

..Samantha tells me she has to nip out now, as she's off to see a new gentleman friend who's in vacuum cleaner sales. He's offered Samantha a good deal on one of his products, and she says she can't wait to have her hands on her new Philip's upright.

...Samantha has just returned from scattering the remains of an elderly Naval gentleman friend. She says she took his ashes aboard HMS Belfast, and as his former crew stood proudly to attention, Samantha solemnly tossed them over the side

And finally his closing lines

Well, with Mickey Mouse's big hand pointing upwards and Goofy's tail pointing downwards, I realise my Rolex is a fake...

Well, a quick glance at the time tells me that it's fast coming up to eighty-one hundred hours, which means, of course, that I've put my digital watch on upside-down again...

...and so, as the Ford Anglia of time fails the MOT test of eternity, and the dappled donkey of fate ambles towards the abbatoir of destiny...

...and so, as the boiling water of time collides with the sweet and sour instant pot snack of fate, I notice that the tomato sauce sachet of destiny has been accidentally left inside...

...and so, as the plastic duck of destiny has been sunk by the loofah of fate, and Old Father Time has gone wrinkly in the bath water of eternity, it must be time to pick out the short hairs of hope from the plug hole of infinity...

...and so, as the Spanish trawler net of time ensnares the Dover sole of destiny, and the avenging Cornish crab of fate crawls up the Andalucian trouser leg of eternity...

...and so, as the rare Bengal tiger of time meanders into the cross-hair sights of Prince Philip's fateful pump-action shot gun

What's the point of all this I hear you ask, well the main reason I'm writing this is that I've just discovered that the great man has just left us and hopefully is up there with the Angels. As I write this it's chucking it down outside. It would be nice to think that it's tears of laughter from heaven.

God bless you Humph

1921 to 2008

Friday, 25 April 2008

Age Related Ramblings

I remember when I was young thinking how far away 50 was., well I'm now less than a year away as I've just passed 49.

This started happening yesterday when I was in work and carried on totally un-noticed by me as I slept through most of it due to working night shift. I had a shower earlier and could not see any extra drooppy bits or lines, I still have the same lack of hair I had a few years back with a few extra grey bits and I still listen to the same music.

Most of me still works at the moment, I sometimes stand up too quickly and get dizzy and it's harder to get up off the floor, but this has been the case for some time now.

So far so good then, maybe 50 won't be a bad age after all. And it's still just under a year away or 364 days, or 4,368 hours or 262,080 minutes 15,724,800 seconds, sorry 15,724,799, I meant 15,724,798. Bugger come back seconds why the hell are you going
so quick.
If by any chance you are reading these ramblings and you know me, please do me a


The moment you hear me listening to Country and Western and enjoying myself or if I ever express the urge to take up line dancing, can you do the honourable thing and put me out of my misery?

Until that time I'm going to listen to Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, Spocks Beard and the like, enjoy wine, food and nights with my Wife and visit as many parts of the world as I can afford.

Major Tom

10, 10 till we do it again.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Television these days

Is it me or are there other people out there who are fed up of things like X Factor in which people cry when they are insulted by that arrogant turd faced little bastard Simon something or other, and then there's I use to be a celebrity so I eat maggots in the jungle to get me back on TV. And of course the spawn of all that is foul,  Big Brother.

Why would anyone with even the smallest amount of brain cells watch people with the personality of a hose pipe sleep in a bed in black and white. And then pay money to vote that they leave the house, are they insane?

At one time there used to be some wonderful comedy available, now we have things like Little Britain which was mildly amusing in 5 minutes spells but the American version is abolute crap as they have to explain the jokes and insert laughter so that our cousins from across the big pond know when to laugh. Where are the Morecambe and Wises, the Not the Nine O'Clock news replacements and so forth.

The only good stuff is Have I Got News For You, Mock The Week and similar and then there's sport. At the moment, the most popular spectator sport in the country is taking place. Contrary to popular belief this is not football it is a motor sport called rallying and unlike football which attracts less viewers than reruns of Dads Army has an ever increasing amount of fans.

But trying  to find it on TV is like the old needle in the haystack bit, normally there's about 5 minutes of it on Channel Obscure just before TVX gives it's five minutes of Freeview or as I like to call it, Beat the Clock.

I must be getting old I suppose.

Still, I must give thanks that the last ever series of Big Brother is about to finish, this series has probably produced the most maggot minded non entities ever to have graced the newspapers.

Monday, 31 March 2008

The 2012 Olympics

I believe that the country we live in and pay loads of taxes too is called Great Britain or the United Kingdom. My passport says British on it and I generally put British down as my nationality unless t's one of those stupid forms that has to be filled in to ensure that there is no racial discrimination.

Enough of that for the moment, the following piece of information has been brough to my attenton.

The world-famous Red Arrows have been banned from appearing at the 2012 London Olympics because they are deemed 'too British'.

Organisers of the event say that the Arrows military background might be 'offensive' to other countries taking part in the Games. The display team have performed at more than 4000 events worldwide, but the Department of Culture, Media and Sport have deemed the display team 'too militaristically British.' Red Arrows pilots were said to be 'outraged', as they had hoped to put on a truly world class display for the Games, something which had never been seen before. Being axed from a British-based event for being 'too British' is an insult - the Arrows are a symbol of Britain.

What the hell is going on and who are the arseholes that make these decisions. Are Germans afraid of flying their flag because of the Second World War, are the French worried about theirs even if they are cheese eating surrender monkeys who only agreed to the the channel tunnel being built as it gives them somewhere to run when the Germans next invade. I think the answer is no.

Britain is funding the 2012 olympics and the British taxpayer is forking out some extra tax for this no doubt. The Red Arrows show that British pilots are the best in the world. Is the sight of the Queen at the olympics going to offend people, may be she shouldn't go even though the length of the Marathon is based on the distance from St James's Park to Buckingham palace and guess where the inspiration for the modern Olympics games came from and where they actually started. Did I hear Athens, afraid not. It was in the little Shropshire town of Much Wenlock and the brainchild of a Mr William Penny Brookes.

So how's about this for a nice simple suggestion, if the site of anything British offends you, then why not bugger off somewhere else.

However, if you are proud to be British then go to the following link and fill in the petition.

Red Arrows Petition

Friday, 29 February 2008

When satellite was young

These days, it's hard to believe that not so long ago there were only 4 TV channels readily available to us in the UK, BBC1 and 2, ITV and C4 or if you were in Wales like me S4C. Then a company in Luxembourg put a satellite in orbit, the satellite was called Astra and among the variety of channels was one called The Sky Channel, this eventually became Sky 1 and was joined by Sky Movies, Sky News and Sky Sports all broadcast in the clear.

In with these channels were things like RTL which was a German version of Sky and broadcast some interesting programmes on a Saturday night, one of these was called Ein Manner Magazin and was basically the old Electric Blue videos dubbed into German and then there was Tutti Frutti.

It had a huge following in the UK despite the fact it was in German and nobody understood it. Basically, the contestants answered questions and then took their clothes off, there were dancing girls that took their clothes off and that was about it really. The show was broadcast again on UK TV but the presenter had changed and they dubbed over the original sound so that the presenter had a Welsh accent.
There were some clips of the show on You Tube but these have been taken down for copyright reasons.

 Then there was a channel called Lifestyle, which in the evening became the Lifestyle Satellite Jukebox, this showed Music Videos and some of it's revenue came from people calling in to vote for a particular track, the more calls the more often the track was played,.

Sam Fox was on quite a lot as were Whitesnake, ZZ Top and Alice Cooper videos, then a woman by the name of Sabrina released a track called Boys Boys Boys and this became one of the most requested tracks.

One night, they played an absolutely diabolical track by what was described by a friends wife as "those German tarts", the track was called Hello and the band and I use the term very loosely was called Twinkle, this track became the most popular one for months until eventually the channel closed down due to lack of funds.

One of the other popular film channels was called Filmnet, this broadcast a similar selection of films as Sky Movies but was an encrypted channel, there were many pirate decoders available for it and the main reason for it's success in the UK was that on a Wednesday night and a Saturday night they broadcast a selection of adult films including Deep Throat, these were totally uncut and were one of the great selling points for satellite systems.

Eventually companies realised that they could make money out of adult content and the Adult Channel was born, this was followed by Television X and many others.

It's not the same these days, the likes of Tutti Frutti and others were quite innocent in comparison to the output on todays channels, but these programmes paved the way and increased satellite sales in the UK.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

The Company Store

In the late 90s, I started work for a company called Falcon Business Services, this was part of a group of companies called The Company Store Group and we basicaly setup limited companies both UK and offshore. Falcon Bus Services as we were once called at a Christmas party dealt primarily with accountants and solictors while The Company Store dealt with the public in general.
Falcon dissapeared and The Company Store took over all it's business and in 2000, myself and the rest of the staff were treated to a night out a Granada Studios. Drink was drunk, dancing was attempted and then we went home.

These were good people and it's shame that the company once again went into liquidation some time later.

In the meantime, have a look at some pictures from the night.