My monkey shame

June 29, 2009


I’d forgotten about this. Jacko wasn’t the only one wanting monkey companionship.

Ok, so it’s an old prop from a sketch we did in 1997. (Made by the BBC by the way Daily Mirror, so please don’t be annoyed with me.) Of course it was a joke, but as Arnie said “no smoke without fire”. In other words, I did it with a monkey.

What does Lembit Opik know about wigs, the cheeky bugger. How dare he use our money to buy a cheap and nasty nylon wig for £19.99 and then claim it is “the mother of all wigs”! If he’s going to use our money to buy a wig he should do the decent thing and get a bloody good one.

wigsThese are proper wigs, made from human hair. Yes! Real human hair! From poor people… Wait a minute, I can’t remember now… They’re possibly made from horse hair. From poor horses. One way or another they are proper wigs and they cost £14,700 each. And guess what? We didn’t buy them! No! You did! You, dear taxpayer, bought these wigs and hundreds more for us to wear on a regular basis between 1987 and 1997.

Feel free to kick up a fuss. We weren’t at a charity event with a Cheeky Girl on our arm. Our justification for such a profiligate waste of your money is that we wore these wigs to entertain the nation, but let’s be honest; we wore them to entertain ourselves.

Please feel free to complain to the BBC. And to make matters worse and to give you even more cause to kick up a stink, we were paid to wear them. I know! It’s shocking! It’s an outrage!

Lembit’s wig would undoubtedly have been rubbish and not funny at all. This is how he would have looked if he’d used our money a little more wisely and spent a few hundred quid on a proper hair topping.

lembit_opik_gabriela_irimia_210 copy

Look at him. That’s much better isn’t it. You’d kiss him wouldn’t you? In that wig, I’d kiss him.

Damn these politicians and their perks. Second homes, moats, duck houses, elephant lamps- No wonder the cheekiest of girls fall for them (mind you, they don’t stick around once the Telegraph comes a-calling). If only I could hang around with a Cheeky Girl at some daft charity do or suchlike, say, a Tracey Beaker special for Children in Need from a few years back. W-w-w-w-w-wait a minute!!!



I haven’t got a clue what’s going on, and I didn’t stick around to find out. But yesterday, in Leicester Square, I saw Gary Oldman come out of a big Harry Potter lorry. I hope he lives in it.


Bobbin 1991-2006

Bobbin 1991-2006

Well, when I say the news, I of course mean the Daily Mirror. All of these stories are in today’s Mirror:

“Cat Rosie survives cruel airgun attack”.

“Three teens arrested on deer death”.

“Grandma is savaged by angry gulls”.

“Rider hurt in horse horror”.

“Mahmoud Ahmadinejad buys puppy to show World he is an ok guy.”

Watch it, mum!”– A clumsy duck steps on one of her own ducklings.

Ok, one of them I made up, but five animal stories in one day? What’s going on?

Four of them cancel each other out; terrible abuses by humans on animals (cat and deer)- animals then fight back (horse and gulls). Now this may not be much comfort to Delphine Mutch (yes, that’s Delphine Mutch, Mrs. Mutch, who was attacked by the nesters in Weymouth) but let’s take a Gaia-ian approach to these stories. (No, I haven’t a clue what I’m on about, but what goes around comes around blah blah blah- one day a dog’ll flush a kid down a toilet, that kind of thing).

The odd one out is the duck on duck attack. Thankfully it was an accident. The mother duck was ushering her ducklings away from a swan when she squashed one under her foot. When ducks turn on each other for no apparent reason, that’s when we should worry.

Coming back briefly to the puppy in the pipe story. That was yesterday but it’s still a big deal. Do you know of this tale? A four year old boy flushes his puppy down the loo. Before I carry on, know this; the puppy’s fine. See the amazing rescue attempt here. It made me cry.

Anyways, the four year old said he wanted to wash his puppy. Hmmm. Obviously he should have asked his parents first. They may have suggested a bowl or the sink or the bath (if the puppy even needed washing at all). But he didn’t and instead chose to wash his puppy in the place where he’s just been taught to wee and poo. Would you? Poor little four year old. I suspect he put his puppy in the toilet and flushed it just for fun, to see what happens. That’s what we do when we haven’t quite grasped consequence. And then… then… then… when he realised, when he saw the puppy sucked down the u-bend, wagging his little tail goodbye … then… when the puppy doesn’t come back… then… Oh dear, I bet something kicked in. Then I bet the little fella ran to mummy screaming and crying.

Poor boy. Poor puppy. But all good in the end. Well done, DynoRod Man. And well done for doing it for free.  (Obviously you get all the publicity and so on, but regardless, well done!)

the guardian‘s jumped on the animal bandwagon too. They’re saying cats are daft. Or rather scientists are. You can find out the science here.

Well, that’s not news! Anyone with cats knows they’re daft animals, dafter than dogs. My two cats, (the much missed Bobbin pictured above and his sister Tess- still going strong at the age of 19- that 457 in human years), are and were remarkably stupid. Those who know Tess may object (and quite likely will) but…

Oh, then alright, I acquiesce. Tess is lovely. She’s deaf now. Or just plain rude. She never comes when called, doesn’t look up when you enter a room, and spends all of her day sleeping. Ok, she’s clever.

Tess, Bobbin's sister. 19 now.

Tess, Bobbin's sister. 19 now.

Castles in the air

June 15, 2009

Clouds-1I’ve become obsessed with clouds. There are more of them around these days, of that I’m convinced. Maybe they’re breeding. I don’t know. I don’t even know what clouds are. Sure, they’re some kind of weather, and have names like Scurrilous and Christopher Columbus (who discovered clouds in 1973 and then went on to direct Home Alone), but beyond that no one knows much. No one knows what they are made of or where they come from. Or go to.

The ones around at the moment are rumoured to have come from the end credits of The Terminator, although a few loose ones from Close Encounters of the Third Kind have been spotted too.

Why not listen to this as you look at the pictures – The Colourfield – Castles in the Air




Well, not quite. I’ve not entered the passage yet and something tells me I never will. A while ago I wrote about the (or el) Passaje Del Terror at the grim Trocadero and the other day I found myself standing outside. I was waiting for my friend David, who wanted to take me to a film, or the Terror Passage, as a thank you for helping out with his 50th birthday celebrations. I was there a little early; early enough to be stopped by two charity people, both representing the same charity. I told them not to bother; I have no money. I’m not sure they believed me. They cottoned on that I was that bloke off the telly; so I must be rich. That was a long time ago and I have been unemployed for forty years. I told them I have no home, a teenage car, I eat cardboard and toenails, but no one believes this.

The Passaje Del Terror employs 15 actors to scare you. One of them stood outside. He was tall and lanky and dressed like an undertaker. But his white shirt was so thin you could see his skin through it. I suspect the company makes its actors buy their own white shirts and they all trot off to the Pound Shirt Shop. I have better shirts and I haven’t bought a new one since 1854. He had white make-up on to give him a deathly palour, but this poor young actor was so wasted I think it might have brightened him up.

When David arrived we were approached by the official Passage Del Terror man. Not scary at all. Just a man who looked like he might be able to get a cab for you. He asked us where we were from. We told him because we are obedient types. He wrote something down on a Passage Del Terror leaflet. Then he squiggled something on it that may have been his signature but could just have likely been a cursed mark spelling our doom. He told us we could go in for half price with this card- £10 each instead of £19.99 each. Ok, not quite half price. But nowehere does it tell you how much this is. Not outside, not on their website. They’re making the price up as they go along it seems. He could have said £25 each, or £1400, or £2.20. All the time I had been waiting I didn’t see anyone go in or come out. I fear the Passage may not be there for much longer.

David asked if the actors would touch us. The man said absolutely not. We decided it wasn’t for us.


The other day I had a meeting with Kindle, the company we wrote a few episodes of My Spy Family for. The plan is to make a film. All went well and if we can get some money together we’ll hopefully get it off the ground. Please feel free, if you are a millionaire, to give us some money.

Kindle are based at Hackney City Farm and every time I go there I spend about an hour wandering around the farm, saying hello to all the animals. This sheep says hello back:


The farm has a lot of volunteers and on this day they were busy painting the animals houses (barns? huts? hutches? pens?) but they were all soft, constantly complaining about the smell. They were just farmyard smells. The usual. Hay and bottoms.

The goose kept away.


But livened up a little when I stopped by for a chat.


Some troubled boys were there with their chaperone. The chaperone said to one of the boys; “it’s up to you. You can have a good day or you can make it crap for everyone.” The boy rolled his eyes, tutted, and flopped backwards, tapping at his mobile phone. A moment later he hid in one of the hutches, uncaring for the smell.

The pigs take their time, but just in case you thought they were dead:





Who cares?

June 4, 2009


Well, no one it seems.

I’ve just been to vote. I walk into a near empty school hall; one person voting, two official people sitting behind a desk. As I hand my card to the official lady I jauntily ask “been busy?” She gives a wry yet kind smile and rolls her eyes heavenwards. I like those sort of conversations.

I’ve waited all day to vote. I work from home and it’s just around the corner. But I wanted to see if anyone called. Who’d make an effort?

I’ve been in all day. No bell rang. No car rolled down the street with two trumpety loudhailers on its roof, booming unintelligible dogma. I’ve not even had a leaflet through the door. Actually, that’s not true. I’ve had a leaflet from USDAW telling me why I should support Labour. Not vote for them, just support them. Well, shy old labour, shamed old labour, don’t get the unions to do your dirty work for you. Come and meet me face to face. Come and tell me why I should vote for you and what all this European parliament thing is.

No. No one’s called. No one’s been around offering me a lift. What’s happened to the politicians of today?

And no one was there voting. In the middle of a large school hall there was a circular table divided into quadrants. Just one table for four people to vote at a time! Even the organisers expected no one to show.

Where were the people who hang around the front doors, asking for your number, just so they now you’ve voted? They used to do that. And then, in the dying hours, if you hadn’t been, they’d come and get you. Pester you. Plead with you for their vote.

The public don’t care. The politicians don’t care.

Usually they announce how many people voted  as a percentage. This time round they’ll say “Pick a number between one and 10”.