April 12, 2015
Ok, here’s today’s mission, should you choose to accept it:
Strangeness in Space is well under way. At this moment we have £13113 of our £15000 target! That’s amazing, and we are well on our way to getting the first episode made. But (and sorry to keep pestering) we won’t stop there because another £7000 will get the second episode made too!
A lot of you reading this will already have backed us. And a huge thank you to you all! (If you haven’t, and you want to, just click here). But today’s mission is simpler, easier, less taxing on the pocket. I am just determined to get a retweet from Richard Branson.
Let me explain:
Ok. Retweeting. It’s a Twitter thing. Some people are Twitter, some are Facebook. Facebook people don’t get Twitter, Twitter people don’t get Facebook. People who get neither are people with lives, and people who get both are people with no lives. Most of us fall in the middle. I’m a Twitter person. (We do have a FB page too, and I do go there; I just don’t know how it works).
Anyway, the Mission. Before it self-destructs.
Years ago, when we did Live and Kicking on Saturday mornings on BBC1 we did a sketch where we came up with a spoof product called “Branson Pickle”, and we thought “wouldn’t it be great if we got Richard Branson to do a voiceover for it?” Well, if you don’t ask… (see my past blog post).
Our producers got in touch with Richard’s producers (or whatever he has) and they said “Sure!” So, one Friday, during rehearsal, we went up to the sound room (sorry, I don’t know the technical terms) and we called Richard Branson so he could do his voiceover “down the line” (technical speak – I believe – for over the phone). It only turns out that he’s at his private island, somewhere off the coast of Saundersfoot!* And he’s playing tennis! With Obama!**
So, we are interrupting his tennis game! And he comes on the line and he does the voiceover for us! Thank you Richard.
And now, years later, I am pestering him again. Just for a retweet. See, he’s got over 5 million followers (it’s a Twitter thing, nothing sinister) and if his 5 million saw our Strangeness in Space kickstarter thing I reckon it could bring in a bob or two. And! We are off into SPACE! That’s Richard’s kind of thing.
So… The Mission. Help me out. Let’s get a retweet from him. If you get him to retweet our Kickstarter link we’ll give you a prize of some kind. Don’t know what yet. Something or other. What!? Stop asking! It’s just- you should be doing this for the love of it! Not for some damned reward!
Here’s a Space related pop song to allow us all to calm down a little.
* His private island is not off the coast of Wales. I am not allowed to divulge it’s actual location. it is is a well-guarded secret.
** Ted Obama
Everything else is true.
April 6, 2015
It’s one of the great pop songs. And since hearing it, it’s one I’ve always tried to take to heart. Yes, shyness is nice and (more often than not) the antonym is hideous. So, it’s always worth an ask. “Ask me, I won’t say no, how could I?”
Years back, last century, when I worked with Trev Neal on Saturday morning TV, we’d get to perform daft sketches with the stars of the day (Big Fun, Craig Machlachlanchlachlan, Nathan from Brother Beyond) and sometimes the stars of many days (Kylie, Cher, Mel Brooks). When it came to the Christmas and New Year shows there was always an attempt by our boss, Chris Bellinger, to up the ante, to aim high, to get the big guns in. And we would always ask for the top bananas. Year after year, for ten years, we’d hand in our wish list. Always the same names. And always, at the top of our list, the same two. We never did get Eddie Murphy or Gorbachev. But the point is, ASK! Always ask.
During one series of Live and Kicking we had a weekly feature called Every Loony Wins*. It was a daft phone-in quiz and we had a band as part of it, all played by kids from the audience. The leader of the band was called Des Tindeby (The Des Tindeby Band). And during their musical performance (miming to the very real Spike Jones and his City Slickers) a character would jump on stage (again one of the kids) as The Lone Yodeller (a Lone Ranger type, in a mask, yodelling like a loony). And each week we would end the segment by looking into the camera and saying; “Just who is the Lone Yodeller?”
When we reached the end of the thirty week run it was time for us to reveal just who was the Lone Yodeller. The obvious way to do this was for it to be one of the guests of the week. The only problem was (me and Trev being a picky pair) none of the guests were up to the task. (Anyone remember Little Danny Mangrove? or Nu Boxxx? Or Jennifer Bush?** No, I thought not.) And so we went to Chris… and we asked… we begged… please, please, can we get another guest. One worthy of the title of The Lone Yodeller? Chris wanted it to be Little Danny Mangrove. Little Danny, who was actually 6’2″, had just won Pop Zinger on ITV and his record company, BIGPUSH, were desperate for him to be the Lone Yodeller. They’d even recorded a special yodelling version of his current hit, A Pocketful of Promises, for him to mime to. We couldn’t have it though. We insisted; the Lone Yodeller had to be a bigger name. And then we asked Chris this; “if we can get a big name to play along will you let them be the Lone Yodeller?” This, of course, depended on who the big name was. We said to Chris; “if we can get Jonathan Ross to be the Lone Yodeller will you let him do it?” And Chris said yes.
Just one snag. We didn’t know Jonathan Ross. Not really. He’d been a guest before on the programme, but it’s not like we played tennis with him or anything. It’s not like we’d been to his house, or had his telephone number. All we had, on our side, was the ability to ASK.
It’s time to get to the races now so… we asked… we found a phone number for his production company and we asked… and they said “we’ll ask”… and we waited. And he said YES!
Jonathan turned up on the Saturday morning, played the Lone Yodeller and also brought along a friend of his who went on to declare “No! I’m the Lone Yodeller!” Our second Lone Yodeller wore a shoe hat, made from two shoes and a coat hanger. That was was Vic Reeves.
We’ve been asking again recently. We are working on a new thing. A Sci-Fi audio comedy adventure with me, Trev, and Sophie Aldred. Some of you reading this will already know about Strangeness in Space. ***
And we’ve been asking people to help us out with it. We’ve given up on Eddie Murphy and Gorbachev, but we have asked two top people who have only gone ahead and said YES!
YES! Doon Mackichan has said yes to being our narrator, Bounty Flightingale.
YES! Rufus Hound has said yes to being Atrocious Knocious, an alien hoverbiker who’s never even heard of Evel knievel!
All from asking.
* based on Nick Berry’s hit Every Loser Wins. We had a minor battle with some BBC bigwigs to get them to accept the use of the word Loony. I’d grown up with it, reading the works of Spike Milligan. It was accepted in the end when dictionary definitions, on the whole, gave the word two meanings; one meaning (and our one) was silly, the other mad.
** Ok, I’ve made all these acts up. And the ongoing business with Little Danny Mangrove. Other than that, this story is true.
*** A final ask. Please help us get this made. We’ve loads of perks available if you join us: T-shirts, badges, scripts, signed photos and artwork, etc. We’re not far off our target now, but the more money we raise, the more episodes we can make. You can back us here.
March 7, 2015
It’s almost time for Red Nose Day 2015, the biennial Comic Relief festival aimed at raising cash and changing lives for the better for people both here in the UK and across Africa. I always try and do my bit. Bit being the operative word here; I’m no mountain climber or road runner or ocean swimmer or dancer or baker. I’m more of a… well, I don’t know… last time round you lot donated over £2000 just to support me as I wrote about Everything But The Girl songs! What was all that about?
So this time around I’ve decided to do nothing. But I would like to tell you about two people who are going to try and do something. It was my wife Zoe’s idea. Last year she packed in her job working for Cadbury’s (Kraft, Mondelēz International, blah blah… I guess things had moved away from the innocence of selling Quaker inspired chocolate) and fulfilled her dream of opening and running her own cafe, The Archie Parker (named after our dog!)
And then she goes and says; “Why don’t The Singing Corner get together for Comic Relief and come and work in the cafe for a few hours?”
Yeah. Great idea.
Why don’t two fictional characters who I haven’t seen in yonks, reunite and come and make coffees for an hour or two? Assuming they can even operate a Fracino whatever it’s called coffee maker. Assuming they know their portafilters from their tampers. Assuming they exist still!
But I say I’ll give it a go.
First up I give Trev a ring. He used to be close to Don Singing (the Singing half of the Singing Corner). Trev follows him on Twitter (@DonSinging) and it turns out he lives in Angoria. This is a place that DOES NOT exist! We are off to a flying start.
I try and track down Bob Corner (the Corner half of The Singing Corner). He’s on Twitter too (@bobcorner) and it turns out he’s moved to Skandeborg. On the plus side, Skandeborg does exist. He runs the Marigold Ged Gard and is also regularly involved with Smukfest.
To cut a long story short, both have said they are willing to come along to The Archie Parker next Friday to do their bit for Comic Relief. Indeed Bob Corner tweeted last night that he is already flying over from Denmark, having booked a flight with cut-price Ildelugtende Ged Airlines.
So, they are going to be in The Archie Parker on Friday 13th. Me and Trev will be there too. We’ll be there most of the afternoon but I think Don and Bob will turn up at about 4pm. The cafe normally closes at 4, but for Comic Relief it will be staying open until 6pm, giving people a chance to nip in on their way home from work.
And Don and Bob will serve folk, clean tables, make coffee and sandwiches, and maybe sing a song or two.
All I ask of you is that you sponsor my wife Zoe, and her cafe, in their attempt to raise money for Comic Relief by bringing about the resurrection of The Singing Corner.
If you come to the cafe you can make a donation there and then, and (if it’s your thing) get a pic with The Singing Corner. A ‘selfie’, if we must.
If you can’t make it perhaps you’d like to make a donation anyway through Zoe’s Red Nose Day Giving page. She has set herself a £150 target (almost reached!), but the more money we get, the more The Singing Corner will do at the cafe. And I’ll do my best to get someone to film bits of it so we can shove it all on YouTube.
And I promise, on Don and Bob’s behalf, if Zoe can double her target to £300 they will sing their hit version of Jessie J’s Pants Tag. And they’ll do their best to learn it too.
December 19, 2014
Over the past few years, in the build up to Christmas, I have been reviewing the Top Ten Comedy DVDs to help you make those difficult Christmas present choices. I’ve left it a bit late this year, but here goes: all ten in one go.
And here (for those new to this exercise in futility) are the rules: The Top Ten is taking from today’s Amazon Stand-Up comedy recommendations. I’ve not watched any of them. I don’t read anything about them. I merely look at the covers (pictures of the covers) and come to undoubtedly unfair conclusions. Yes, I am judging a comedy DVD by its cover.
That’s it. Happy shopping. Let’s countdown!
10: Nina Conti
Nina Conti is “Brilliantly funny, outrageously hilarious”. But we don’t know who said this. Perhaps it was her dad, the Liverpool boxer John Conti.
It’s a “live” DVD but I cannot tell you where from. The show is called “Dolly Mixtures”. I remember Dolly Mixtures from my childhood. They were/are sweets. Nina’s teeth are perfect suggesting she doesn’t eat them, or she brushes well. Her smile is rigid. If I were Sherlock Holmes I would put this with the puppets below and conclude that she is a ventriloquist with a penchant for confectionery nostalgia. Suitable for 15 year olds and above.
9: Harry Hill
No. 9 is Harry Hill. He is the “Lord of Misrule” and this is his return to stand up. It is also a “Brand New Live Show”. Unlike Nina’s we know the location of this live show. It is Leeds. The show is called “Sausage Time” and the cover suggests the sausages that are taking up the time are meat sausages and also “sausage” dogs; dogs resembling sausages in shape alone.
This DVD is suitable for anyone above the age of 12.
8: Frank Skinner
Well now, this is fascinating. It’s that rare thing in the world of stand-up comedy DVD cover art; something that looks, almost, well… designed. As if someone has put some thought into it.
Here’s what we know for sure. It’s Frank Skinner “live”. Location unknown. The show is called “Man in a Suit”. The comedy comes from Frank being in a suit and a suit alone. No shirt, no tie. We cannot see, but I guess he has no shoes too. It’s traditional, it’s subversive. And possibly a little Christ-like.
The Mirror (representing the ordinary left-wing folk) call it “A masterclass in stand-up”. The Telegraph (representing the extraordinary right-wing folk) call it “Outrageously funny”. Something for everyone. Over 15.
And if you think you’ve seen that cover somewhere before, try this for size.
7: Roy Chubby Brown
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
18 and over.
6: Jim Davidson
Jim Davidson is “Back and Live”. We don’t know where he is live, or where he is back from. The quote from The Mirror (none from The Telegraph here) says “Standing ovation to packed houses every night” so perhaps Jim did a door to door tour.
The DVD is subtitled “No further action”, which is, I assume, an Operation Yewtree reference. Jim also reveals the “Unseen story of Celebrity Big Brother”, unseen by any who didn’t watch it.
He stands, cheekily, clutching his mic like a big cock whilst hiding his other hand in his pants! Spotlights play over his groin area, saucily. It’s a 15 and over affair.
5: Al Murray
Covers don’t come any better than this. It’s a work of art with something for everyone. Firstly, Al is painted. Take a close look; he could be by Michael Sowa, or a painteralike. That pint of beer is a masterpiece waiting to appear in an unwritten Paul Heaton drinking song.
Look at that maroon strip along the bottom; worthy of the discontinued range of HD DVDs (the ones that lost out in the 2008 BluRay/HD DVD war). It’s an all-new live show. We don’t know where, but look! A bonus is a full-length live show from somewhere we do know; Edinburgh.
The Times says; “Murray is on exuberant form, splashing the audience with both his beer and his ideas”. Yes, it’s an odd quote, but no doubt well meant.
The cover references the Carlo Goldoni classic, “Servant of Two Masters” (aka One Man, Two Guvnors”) and there is an added joke in the subtitle “20 years at the lager top”.
It is suitable for 15 years olds and it is 20 past one.
4: Still Game
I’m a little clueless on this one, but I think it may be Harry and Paul.
15 year olds welcome.
3: Jack Whitehall
Ah! Jack Whitehall! Frankly, I’ve never heard of him, but he must be a big cheese because he is “Live from Wembley Arena”. That’s a big place.
Going off his hi-tech microphone it’s possible that he may be connected in some way or another with Justin Bieber.
Minimal research shows that he is the son of someone.
2: Russell Howard
Sorry folks. I’m really letting you down now. I haven’t a clue. Possibly Jack Whitehall’s son?
This guy could be an illusionist. He’s performing a ‘trick’ on the cover, making it look like he can hoverfloat a cup of coffee. Closer inspection shows that he is lying on the floor, shot from overhead.
This is “Wonderbox” live. We don’t know where live. My research yields no results for Wonderbox. I will have to hazard a guess that his Wonderbox is where he keeps his rabbits and his silk handkerchiefs.
Suitable for ages 15 and under.
1: Lee Mack
And back on dry land once again. I know where I am now. “Slick, sharp and very funny” Time Out says. Swearing too, which is good. But clearly no “cunts” as it is a 15 certificate.
It’s your traditional comedy cover, right down to missing foot behind a big ‘C’. Well done Lee.
But which is your favourite (and least favourite)?
Remember, play by the rules. Don’t pick your favourite comedian. Pick your favourite cover. Then least favourite.
September 30, 2014
On Sunday I did some walking. And I was sort of paid for it. Crazy. You know that sponsoring thing, where people give money to a charity in return for you doing something arduous or stupid (like sitting in a bath full of lobsters or skipping up Ben Nevis)… well, I got away with raising a load of money for Alzheimer’s Society just by walking. Walking. Something I have to do anyway.
If it’s any consolation, I am a reluctant walker; I’m no fan. I look forward to the future when we all wear hover shoes, or have ball bearings for feet. Walking is overrated. Unless there’s a pub at the end of the walk.
So, me walking 10km, around a park! (I think parks are overrated too… well, not all parks. There’s some nice car parks around. Like this one:
Poor old Alf Roberts).
Back to the business. The walk I did was the Memory Walk. 10km around Victoria Park – I give in – it’s a lovely park. It’s about a mile from (appropriately) Mile End Road tube. So that’s another 2 miles I had to walk! Unsponsored too!
Once there, around the park we went. And it was a moving sight, to see all the folk with memory cards pinned to their backs; all the nans and grans and grandpas and mums and dads and friends who had been affected by this awful illness. I walked in memory of my wife’s Nan, May, and my friend Trev’s dad, Tudor.
And a huge thank you to all who supported me and so kindly and generously donated to Alzheimer’s Society. The final total raised, including the donations to the World Cup Tweepstake this July, is an incredible £2016.90. I hope I’ve managed to thank the Tweepstakers throughout the Tweepstake blog posts. And some of you Tweepstakers have been incredibly generous, donating again and again. To those who donated for the Memory Walk thank you thank you thank you. Thank you to:
Andy and Sarah, Beccy, Mel, Kevin, Allison, Louise, Debbie, Ivan, Gillian, Tim, Jason, Mary, Jane, Jenny, Jason, Andrea and Frank, Dave, Stuart, Elspeth, Jaq, Tom, Richard, Paul and Charlotte, Samantha, Tiggy, Rebecca, Angela, Mike, John, Sarah, Pete, Beth, Rachel, Jenny, Cecilia, Darren, Christian, Mo, Sam, Mark, Peter, Glenn, Lisa, James, Sarah, Trev, Dave, Richard, Sophie, and Paul.
A huge thank you. I take back all the cheap ‘jokes’ at the start of this post. x
Before the walk started I met Carrie Dunn, who walked on behalf of her Grandma. You can read her blog post about the event here.
And now, because I have finally found a way of getting the photos from my phone onto my computer, here’s a few snaps from the day.
September 27, 2014
Let’s start with a song:
Ok, I’m not going to walk 500 miles. Or 500 miles more. (Let’s be honest, we don’t even know if Craig and Charlie Reid ever did; they’ve only ever said they would. Saying’s one thing, doing is another).
But I will do the 10km London Memory Walk to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society.
Yes! You heard right (read right?) I am gonna walk… 6 miles. About.
Yes yes yes. I know. 10km. Walking too. I’m hardly Izzard, or Walliams, or Bishop, or any of those idiots who really put themselves out. But… running’s tiring! And swimming’s hard! And my Peak Flow is down to 400 at the mo when really it should be all the way up at 600. It’ll be a wheeze!
Earlier in the year, during the World Cup, I organised a Tweepstake to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society (you can find out about that elsewhere on my blog- if you wish). The generosity of the folk who took part was astonishing. A handful of folk donated almost £1500 to the charity. Some of them are donating again, now, sponsoring me on the walk. Part of the reason (beyond the obvious reason of kindness and generosity) is to help me reach my target of £1966. We are now 84% of the way there; just under £300 to go.
And now, here’s my most unusual plea: Please tweepstakers, please don’t donate anymore. You have gone above and beyond the call of duty.
But… to the people reading this now who haven’t donated as yet, here is my simple plea: Please sponsor me 30p a km. Please donate £3 to Alzheimer’s Society. If all the people reading this now, who haven’t already donated, donate just £3 we will reach the target by the end of today.
Here’s something: Craig and Charlie Reid, Scottish, The Proclaimers. William and Jim Reid, Scottish, The Jesus and Mary Chain. Four brothers? Two singing about walking, the other two singing about tripping? That’s some sibling rivalry.
July 14, 2014
Let’s not beat about the bush. Germany won. @DarrenK73 won for Germany after downing a monstrous amount of German wine and beer and donating a small fortune to Alzheimer’s Society. In second place came a strong and unlucky Argentina and @joyfeed. Argentina had their chances but, as the game went into extra time, Germany brought on a small boy and he scored a wonder goal.
The small boy was fifteen year old Mario Gotze.
GERMANY 1 ARGENTINA 0
Everyone who took part in the Tweepstake will get something but do please bear with me. I am still waiting on some items and I also need to collect all your addresses. Everyone will get: a letter, a certificate, a gift. And, for that reason, I am not going to tell you where you came in the Tweepstake; it can be a nice (or not) surprise. (Of course you could look up your placing on the internet, but I bet half of you can’t be bothered… and the top four all know where they came. But, for example, without looking up, would you @Arfablue know that you had come last? Sorry to include plot spoilers. And if you are wondering what team that is, well, it’s Cameroon).
Along the way you all gave very generously to Alzheimer’s Society, some of you giving over and over. And can you believe that you lot have donated over £1300? A huge huge thank you.
And now please raise your glasses to toast Germany and Darren. And why not singalong to a hit-filled medley from Germany’s greatest Schlager singer (and, as I’ve just discovered, an influence on Klowz und Betty). Here’s Heino!
See you all next time! x
July 13, 2014
The last day. 32 days. 32 teams. 32 Tweepstakers.
Before we look ahead to the final let’s (if we dare) take a look at last night.
The host nation, Brazil, effectively won their match against Holland by only being beaten by a three goal margin. But, having said that, they did lose. It’s the first time since 1940 that Brazil has lost two matches back to back on home soil.
Three minutes in and they were a goal down. 16 minutes in and they were two-nil down. The third goal from Holland came in injury time. What kind of sick-minded ref chose to add five minutes of injury time onto this game? Like Brazil could come back? Well, enough is enough; it’s a sad end for the host nation and a fitting end for a fantastic Dutch team. Now Louis Van Gaal, the Holland coach, is off to Manchester to take care of United. Watch out Premiership!
Brazil (@Mojorainbw) 0 Holland (@Braggovic) 3
And so on to the big one. The final:
GERMANY (@DarrenK73) v ARGENTINA (@joyfeed)
8pm. BBC. ITV. Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. Now here’s the interesting thing; this is the third time these two have played in a World Cup final, and so far it’s 1-1 (Argentina won 3-2 in 1986 and Germany won 1-0 in 1990). Argentina will be looking for revenge for the last World Cup in 2010 when Germany knocked them out in the Quarter Finals 4-0!
Other boffiny facts: This will be Germany’s eighth final (so far they have won 3, lost 4); the four they have lost make them the champion losers, no other team having lost as many finals; however, should they go ahead and win tonight they will equal Italy (also with four wins); the only team with more – five World Cup titles – is Brazil!
Argentina need revenge for the last two World Cups. In 2006 and 2010 they were knocked out by the Germans! A hat-trick is unthinkable. Lionel Messi has failed to score in his last three games. A hat-trick is thinkable.
I can’t predict this one. it’s the final. It’s too important. And I will remain impartial. Darren and peter (@joyfeed) can battle it out between them. I will end, instead, on some fun tunes.
Here, for Germany, is one of the country’s top groups, Guano Apes, with Oh What a Night!
And here, for Argentina, with no attempt to tie it into the World Cup, is Argentinian pop group Babasonicus with Aduana de Palabras. I don’t know what it means. There is a man-cat in it.
Enjoy the game. Thank you all for taking part and helping raise in excess of £1100 for Alzheimer’s Society. I will be back tomorrow to sum it all up! (Oh, and if you remember, please DM your address if you were in the Tweepstake).
July 12, 2014
The football starts up again with the third place play-off, but is this a match anyone can get too excited about? Oh go on then, let’s do our best. Here we reluctantly go:
BRAZIL (@Mojorainbw) v HOLLAND (@Braggovic)
9pm. ITV. Estadio Nacional de Brasilia in Brasilia. Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is expected to make some changes for this match… ideally he’d be best off changing himself, and that may well come about within the next few days. Brazil’s captain, Thiago Silva, is back after his one match suspension, but will that be enough to help the team recover after their devastating 29-1 defeat at the hands of Germany. (Ok, I exaggerate, but not that much).
The Dutch coach, Louis van Gaal, sees the match as an irrelevance. He said: “There is only one award that counts and that is becoming world champions.” However, he also said: “The worst thing is that there is a chance you are going to lose twice in a row… And in a tournament in which you have played so marvellously well you go home as a loser.”
So, despite the irrelevance, both teams will no doubt find the idea of defeat unbearable. There’s only one option for this game and it won’t be pretty. It will be a 0-0 draw. And the same after extra time. And the same after penalties. The two teams, heartbroken in many different ways, will just keep on missing and missing and missing. There will be no goals. No celebrations. They will still be taking failed penalties when the next World Cup starts in 2018.
Still, chin up, and good game everyone.
Let’s end on a bit of fun. Who doesn’t love Lawineboys? Hell, they’re the Netherlands answer to Trev and Simon! Here they are eating raw fish and enjoying a drink or two as they sing Glass Omhoog (Voor Nederland):
To balance things out, here’s one for Brazil. It’s from Agridoce, a Brazilian folk duo also known as Pitty and Martin. Here they are singing, appropriately, The Smiths’ Please, Please, Please, Let me Get What I want. Though if they do, it won’t be the first time.
July 10, 2014
What’s the best way to follow a semi-final where 8 goals are scored in 90 minutes, the first 5 coming within the first half hour? How about a 2 hour goalless draw? In the end, the second semi-final between Holland and Argentina went down to penalties. And the score was:
HOLLAND 2 (P) ARGENTINA 4 (P)
I’m no expert, (Have I told you that over the last 29 days?) but I think Argentina had the edge over most of the game. Not that Louis Van Gaal, the Holland coach, would agree. He said: “At the very least we were equal with them, if not the better team.” Ok, but you still lose.
And so sadly we say goodbye to @Braggovic. Well, not quite. Holland must now face Brazil and @Mojorainbw in the third place play-off. What’s the point of that? At the risk of sounding like a mardy teenager from some weak teen comedy set a few years back “get over yourselves, losers!” Here’s something me and Louis agree on, Louis stating: “In a tournament you shouldn’t have players play a match for third or fourth place.There’s only one award that counts, and that’s being world champion.” But, for the sake of the Tweepstake, I am going to quickly change my mind. All the best @Braggovic and @Mojorainbw (and, for the sake of world peace Holland, let Brazil win).
But back to last night. What was Van Gaal thinking? He took Van Persie off shortly before the end, missing out on one of his best hopes of a penalty scorer; he used up all of his subs so he couldn’t put freakishly long-armed goalkeeper Krul on (who did such a good last minute job saving two penalties in the penalty shoot-out with Costa Rica in the quarter-final); he left regular goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen to stay in goal for the penalty shoot-out (a goalkeeper who has never saved a penalty in his entire professional career!); and, when two of his strikers refused to take the first penalty, he said ok to that. Some of his decisions leave me feeling he was trying to win the match in the two hours of play!
Oddly, all the press attention over the two semi-finals seems to have focused on the losers. Let’s not forget that Argentina won last night. Argentina; a team managed by a former Sheffield United and Leeds United midfielder: Alejandro Sabella played for the two teams for a short period in the late 70’s and early 80’s before returning to his home country of Argentina. And that’s about as boffiny as I’m going to get on that one, choosing instead to return to some manager lookalikes.
Here’s Holland’s manager Louis Van Gaal:
And here’s flat-nosed Hollywood actor Jon Voight:
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking “this is rubbish, he just picks any old men that are about the same age”. Well how about this one? Here’s Hollywood actor Jack Nicholson handling the truth:
And here’s Argentina’s coach, Alejandro Sabello at a press conference:
And that’s it for today. A few days off even. If you’ve just read this and have no idea what’s been going on for the last 29 days please sponsor me just for the hell of it here. The plan is to raise £1966 for Alzheimer’s Society. It’s like a sponsored thing, but without me doing anything too strenuous; just writing and looking for funny photos. Bye for now.