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The Unofficial Guide to Sheffield (12/06/2011)

With more and more emphasis placed on spending money in the UK (with ‘Buy British’ campaigns being all the rage right now), UK tourism is an industry that has been devastated by the availability of cheap and easy holidays abroad; whether it’s a classy city break for a discerning couple, or a 7 day piss up in I-Beef-Ah (which is nothing more than a glorified game of ‘STI Bingo’, if we’re honest). Just look at the state of seaside hotpots of yester year; Southend is now a point of ridicule, Morecambe is simply known as ‘that place that the funny man came from’ and Blackpool is like a ghost town. However, at Shouting at Cows we like to stick up for the plucky underdog. Therefore, we wish to show you why The UK has so much to offer, you’ll never want to leave! Besides, what can the south of France offer that Skegness can’t? Nothing, that’s what. Here’s our thinking person’s guide to Yorkshire’s finest; Sheffield.

History

With famous exports ranging from Steel to TV’s Sharpe, The South Yorkshire city of Sheffield is the fifth most populous city in the UK. After the decline of steel production in the 70’s, Sheffield renovated itself as the ‘home of snooker’, with the yearly World Snooker Championships taking place in its Crucible theatre. It’s probably replaced Steel production with other things too, but for me, nothing says ‘modern Sheffield’ like Steve Davis eyeing up a tricky red off the cushion. You want ‘northern grit’; watch that man wielding a cue. It will send shivers up your spine.

Sheffield is the greenest city in England, with 61% of its entire area being made up of Green space. This provides ample space for picnics, illegal drug use and dogging, which is the hallmark of every great city, I think you’ll agree.

Sights

Henderson’s Relish Factory

‘The Spicy Yorkshire Sauce’ is a fixture in central Sheffield. Those of you expecting some sort of brewery operation will be disappointed to learn that the Henderson Factory is little more than a detached cobbled house that wouldn’t look out of place on the set of Coronation Street. Known to some as ‘The home of Relish’ (no-one calls it this), you can learn the story of Mr Henry Henderson, who started manufacturing his own special sauce in the late part of the 19th century. Now it should be said, It’s exactly the fucking same asLea and Perring’s. Bottle, taste, label; the works. So either those two or Henry Henderson was lying, as I refuse to believe that two people invented an ostentatious sauce for cheese on toast by coincidence.

Don’t go expecting a relish based version of Willy Wonker’s Chocolate Factory either, with sauce rivers and pickle wallpaper. Though, there is a gift shop. With, like, mugs, and stuff.

The Crucible Theatre

The aforementioned crucible has put modern day Sheffield on the map. Opened in 1971 and named after a Sheffield-devised method for Steel production, If it isn’t witnessing a career defining performance by a young actor in a Shakespearian tragedy, then it’s showcasing Ronny O’Sullivan working out the financial ramifications of each yellow he potts, or Denis Taylor wearing his glasses funny. Its events are broad, its appeal universal; The Crucible Theatre, ladies and gentlemen.

Other sights in Sheffield include the usual city centre attractions, such as various arbitrary museums and statues, in-particularly the intriguing ‘Bus Museum’, which isn’t too dissimilar from the ‘On The Buses’ set. Gents; rope in your wife or girlfriend to come along, then recite various archaic and offensive views on women – It’s your chance to become Reg Varny for the day!

Shopping

Meadowhall

At one point Europe’s biggest shopping centre until Bluewater’s construction, Meadowhall is a shopping emporium. With every chain shop you can think of under its glass domed roof, it’s a capitalist, consumerist wonderland that comes across like a Phillip Green wet dream that someone ran with. Not saying it’s bad, but anyone with a semblance of moral value would need a cold shower after visiting it. Luckily I am devoid of compassion, so skipped up and down it’s marble hallways with gay abandon. And you can to.

Central Sheffield has a lot to offer also, with the usual city centre highlights of a gothic style shop selling band logos on Fruit of the Loom t-shirts, a pain inducing ‘artificially hip’ store selling non-descript Fred Perry polo shirts at £90 a pop, and the odd charity shop here and there that’s wall-to-wall, dripping with hipsters that would make you want to go postal if you had to hear another ‘gap yah’ story.

Nightlife

Leadmill

Sheffield’s premier music venue, Leadmill, is the place to be to hear tomorrow’s acts at yesterday’s prices today! Sheffield’s music scene has been fruitful in the past, with scene defining bands like Pulp, Def Leppard and Cabaret Voltiare. The scene has slightly tailed off in recent times, however. Despite bands like Arctic Monkeys gaining worldwide acclaim, Sheffield most famous recent product is Grindcore outfit Bring Me The Horizon, who are to this day, the single worst band I have ever heard in my entire life. “Oh Nick, stop with the hyperbole”, No, just no. They are a band so bad it made me apprehensive to even visit Sheffield. Imagine an average metal band. Then ply the musicians with loads of cheap, shitty limeade insuring that they have the attention span of children with severe ADHD. Then subtract all intelligence and musical nous from them. Then front them with a singer so bad that he can barely stay in key for longer than ½ a second. Then times it by 1,000 – and you have Bring Me The Horizon. They make me want to sell my ears.

However, if that sounds like an enticing prospect, then by all means, get down the Leadmill.

Corporation

Corp is your trendy-alternative watering hole. Everyone decked out in black and covered in tatts, it’s full of design students, overgrown teenagers and people with ‘problems’. Not like proper problems or anything, but like ‘western and white’ problems; Boyfriend is being weird, lost a follower on Myspace, that sort of thing. Regardless, the drinks are cheap, the beer is cold and the company is fine, so expect a ‘jolly good knees up’ if one was to frequent it. But also expect the inspiration behind Bill Bailey’s “How Can I Feel Pain, When You’re Being So Supportive?” song on every corner of every room.

Embrace

For those of you who are more of the ‘Nuts Magazine’ persuasion, Embrace is the local hotspot of choice. With Ben Sherman clad, Clark shoes wearing, shaven headed idiots rubbing shoulders with extras from The Only Way is Essex, expect a night high on debauchery and low on any sort of intelligent utterances. Girls dance on tables, every 3rd song is Rhianna; you know what to expect.

Surrounding Areas

Rotherham

Pronounced ‘Rov’Rum’ by locals, Rotherham is famous for bringing us the most famous double act since The Two Ronnies or Nixon and Kissinger, in the form of the Chuckle Brothers. As with the decline of industry in the north, the decline of Chucklevision saw the finances of Rotherham being hit hard. The high street is now awash with closed down false moustache shops and branches of Blockbuster video, whilst the faint sound of ‘Ch-Ch-Ch-Chuckle-Chuckle-Vision’ can still be heard in derelict buildings and abandoned vehicles.

Regardless, the average person only sees one smashed up car dumped on a roundabout and one disused mattress in a woodland area, proving that assumptions are only partly true.

Wentworth

Containing the finest petting Zoo since NOFX’s 1996 album ‘Heavy Petting Zoo’, Wentworth estate is like a ‘Toys’R’Us’ of countryside activities; a derelict stately home, a garden centre, National Heritage sites and wildlife – all under one (metaphorical) roof! Wentworth House is – to quote a BBC documentary on it – ‘In trouble’, and due to be renovated into a hotel and restaurant plaza soon. This will be great, as it will allow you to eat dinner over views of Rotherham’s council estates, and let you drift off to sleep under the sweet sounds of a glassing outside a Rotherham public house. Perfect.

The Garden centre is full of like, erm, pots. And showroom conservatories. And homemade black pudding. And for some reason, they were also knocking out copies of ‘Unbelievable! The official Autobiography by Chris Kamara’ there too. Puzzling one, that.

And so, there you have the definitive guide of what to do in Sheffield. Forget your sojourns to Sicily, or dalliances to Dresden; all the fun can be had right here, in old Blighty. So bin your Lonely Planets, put the suitcase into storage and just think that in 24 hours’ time, you could be the owner of a ‘Henderson’s Relish’ t-shirt. Is that an opportunity you can really afford to pass up on? Didn’t think so.

Geordies Abroad! Wrestlers, Prime Ministers and Terrorist Attacks (28/05/2011)

Cheryl ‘Chezza’ Cole’s planned world domination took a swift kick in the pills this week, after she got the boot as a judge on American Idol over fears that Americans wouldn’t understand her accent. There was obviously concern that dense viewers would become a bemused mess if Chezza complimented a 18 year old soprano by stating ‘Howay, I fort youz reet good, pet’. But does the Geordie accent hold people back from making waves on other shores? Let’s look at certain people who have tried to become success stories both home and away…….

Paul Gascoigne

Paul Gasgcoine is multi-talented, as both Britain’s most loved Lindisfarne contributor and visitor-to-crime-scenes-with-special-brew-and-fishing-rods. He really is the ‘doyenne’ of those particular activities. However, he also used to play a bit of footy footy ball ball in his former years, and in 1992 secured in a move to Rome based side Lazio. Gazza’s spell in Rome was turbulent to say to least. With loss of form, homesickness, injury and general confusion in Italy over who or what a ’Jimmy Five Bellies’ was, Gazza’s brief sojourn in Rome ended almost as quickly as it started, and he returned to Glasgow Rangers in 1995.

Furthermore, Paul Gascoigne’s singer career never really took off either. After cutting his teeth with Lindisfarne’s ‘Fog on The Time’, Gazza went solo with ‘Geordie Boys’; a quasi-house/rap number about the dwellers of Newcastle, with a video looking like a cross between an episode of Booze Britain and an advert for a gay chat-up line. Whether or not Paul was looking to cash in on the mid 90s homo-erotic party market is unconfirmed. Other than having some novelty appreciation in the UK, it failed to do much Stateside. Thus proving that Gascoigne is definitely an ‘English thing’.

Ant & Dec

Despite their combined height of 3ft, Ant & Dec are as much a tenet of British culture as Shakespeare, Isambard Kingdom Brunel and On The Buses (with Reg Varney). After outgrowing Byker Grove, they embarked on a chart-stomping singing career, in which as PEEEJJEEERRR N DUNKK’NNN, LIKKEEEE, they formed a 2 man Take That, wearing nonsensical fashion and releasing novelty dancefloor number, ‘Let’s get ready to rumble’, in which despite carefully considered caution to watch them ‘wreck the mic’, not a single item of the stage apparatus was damaged. Anti-climactic, to say the least. Why anyone thought that two 3”4 lads in ill-fitting clothes, curtain haircuts and red visors should attempt the tricky genre of ‘rap’ is beyond me, but they did.

Like ‘Geordie Boys’, the track had novelty value which saw people the length and breath of the country purchase it, and to this day it’s still the ‘go home’ song at kids parties. To be fair to the Geordie duo, I’m still yet to hear a song with a better line than; ‘Your sister. Your mother. Your brother. Your mother’. It was nominated for a BRIT award, so Christ knows what else was nominated that year. Keith Chegwin probably had a song out. And Vengaboys. They were always firing singles out. Anyway, it did fuck all in the states due to it being abject rubbish by two boys that looked like they’d gotten lost on the way to scout club, so they ditched the music and began presenting TV.

After heaps of success in the UK, the pair’s big break in the States came in the form of game show Wanna Bet?, where four celebrities are given a $25,000 to bet on the success/failure of ordinary Americans to complete outrageous stunts. Sounds shit. Was shit. The series flopped massively, being beaten in the ratings by repeats of Big Brother 10, America’s Got Talent and Spanish language series ‘Fuego En La Sangre’. Their only other gig abroad was to present a ‘Pride of Britain’ award to a troop in Afghanistan, in which en route they were reportedly ‘attacked by the Taliban’, in just about the only move that the Taliban have ever done that parts of the country could sympathise with.

Janet McTeer

TV shows have proved to be a goldmine for the Newcastle tourism board, with series like Auf Wierdeshen, Pet!Byker Grove and Our Friends in the North displaying such highlights of the city as a dockyard, a youth center and dodgy 70s nightclubs. But film has proved to be a harder nut to crack for Geordies. Janet McTeer, however, is bucking that trend.

Although mainly working in theatre, Mcteer’s foray into film saw her pick up an Oscar nomination for her role in Tumbleweeds, a film about a woman who escapes continually from town to town with her daughter after failed relationships. It’s one of those proper arty films where fuck all happens but we all end up richer for the experience. I think.

Sting

Solo musician, tantric sex spearhead and inspiration behind a t-shirt I owned with ‘Fuck The Police’ emblazed across it, which nearly got me removed from a flight from Alica Springs to Sydney; Sting and I have had a chequered relationship. Sting gained his nickname from a black and yellow sweater he wore whilst part of some ponsey jazz band in Newcastle. When asked if he is ever referred to by his birth name, ‘Gordon’, he responded by saying;

“My children call me Sting, my mother calls me Sting, who is this Gordon character?”

What. A. Prick.

Initially formed as a new wave punk band, the Police recruited Sting as their lead vocalist, who felt that white-reggae aimed at middle class dads in bootcut jeans was DEFINITELY the direction in which the band needed to go. Sting was like the original hipster; Prince-like pseudonym, albums named things like Outlandos d’Amour; he’s the sort of chap that would stick a blank piece of paper to a blank wall and call it art. ‘A study in white’, or something. Regardless, this irksome nob proved to be quite successful worldwide, ascertaining that the infamous northern tinge is no roadblock for worldwide domination.

Ben Satterly

Wrestling, eh? Bloody hell. Sports entertainment, choreographed violence or ‘greased up blokes pretending to fight’, whatever you wanna call it, it’s a massive industry, and not one that the patrons of the Tyne have neglected to enter.

Ben Satterly is a professional wrestler from Newcastle, better known by his in-ring name as ‘PAC’. He is the current Dragon Gate USA ‘Open The Brave Gate’ Champion. Now, fuck knows what that means, but he looks like he could beat the shit out of me, so for my own safety I’m gonna say that it is very impressive. Congrats.

For me, the idea of a ‘Geordie’ wrestler is something this guy has neglected. The generic looks is fine and all, but if he came out to ‘Fog On The Tyne’ in full shell suit, swiggin a bottle of Newcy Brown and bellowing, ‘Ahh mmm the reyal Un-er-ticker, pet’; then it would be a gimmick that would pull in the hardcore fans, the casual fans, the lot. As mature as a wrestling audience may be, everyone loves a regional funny. Everyone.

Abhisit Vejjajiva

Who? You may well ask. Despite sounding like a Slovakian railway station, Abhisit Vejjajiva shows that when armed with a Geordie accent, not only can you gain success in film and TV, but you can run a country. A FUCKING COUNTRY.

Born in Newcastle, Vejjajiva is the current Prime Minister of Thailand. Yes, that’s right. Thailand is run by a Geordie Boy. He attended Eton and Oxford, before enrolling in Thailand’s Ramkhamhaeng University, and started a career – first in the military – then in politics.

It’s a refreshing change from most of Newcastle’s politicians. Possibly the most famous of Newcastle’s ex-councillors, Lembik Opik, is undoubtedly best known for dating a Cheeky Girl, dodging puddings on Celebrity Come Dine With Me and a bromance with Linford Christy on I’m a Celebrity. Experience of which aren’t linked to most people described as a ‘political heavweight’.

So simply put, the Geordie accent is by no means a hindrance to aspiring politicians, wrestlers, and twattish musicians. Despite success ranging from Whitley Bay to Shitley Bay, most of the continental failures have mainly been down to the person, not because ‘How’ay the lads’ crops up in common patois. Perhaps, Americans thought Cheryl Cole was just a bit shit. Which, to be fair, she is. A bit. Arguably.

The Daily Express’ Celebrity Columnists (27/05/2011)

The Daily Express isn’t known for its insightful news reporting. At the time of writing, their website has front page stories concerning Penelope Cruz’s dress, graffiti about Pippa Middleton’s arse and the breaking story that ITV’s Taggart has been cancelled (I’ve still got the VHS box sets. They can’t take that away from me). The obsession with celebrity culture permeates every section of the newspaper. If a story isn’t involving someone half-famous, it isn’t news. So to take this to the next level, rather than employ journalists to report the news, they employ middle-England appeasing celebs to pontificate to its dullard readership. Meaning that whatever happens, it’s in a tedious way linked to a sycophantic public figure! Hooray!

The associated writers look like an amalgamation of contestants from 1997’s ‘Celebrity Big Brother’. After all, who needs accomplished journalists, when you can hear from that one off that garden show on the telly? It’s a mash-up of celebrity utterances and polemic dipshits and is the sort of journalism that is so light on content, so factually abysmal and so irrelevant that it makes you want to punch a wall.

First up, you have Richard and Judy. You know – the ones who had that show, once. He’s best known for a dodgy Ali G impression and she’s best known for accidentally getting her waps out on national TV. Oh come on, you must remember! Anyway, in their column this week they’re getting in a tizzy about bleedin’ ‘elf ‘n safety.

FOR as long as I can remember the bloke running the fairground dodgems periodically says: “All drive in the same direction, please… no bumping.” No one paid a blind bit of notice.

See, he used the word ‘bloke’. And he talks about the fairground and other working class activities. Multi-Millionaire Richard Madeley really is in touch with the common man. And he’s such a punk, not being constricted by the autocratic control of the minimum wage fairground attendant. Take that, Thatcher!

But bumping in Butlin’s bumper cars has now been officially outlawed. Anyone caught doing it will be thrown off the ride. Holidaymakers are being firmly instructed to drive in a slow circle, carefully avoiding any car-to-car contact.

So you mean I can’t smash someone up in a heavily padded vehicle? Are you serious? How is Richard or Judy supposed to unwind after a tough day of talking to Ray Quinn about his future plans, without driving into the side of a mother of three from Banbury, Oxfordshire?

Jeremy Pardey, director of Butlin’s at Bognor Regis, said this week he cannot allow his bumper cars to bump “for health and safety reasons”. Fun times, eh?

“The point of our dodgems is to dodge people, not to run into people,” he insists.

Is this the most fatuous public statement of 2011 so far? Yes. Yes, it is. It is like saying that the point of boxing is to avoid being hit, not to hit people.

What a tit this ‘Jeremy Pardy’ is. Everyone knows the point of boxing is to wade in once the bell sounds with reckless abandon, windmilling like a drunk in a pub carpark. That’s like the first rule of fight club. I think.

So why has Jeremy Pardey and every other Butlin’s fairground boss imposed such a ludicrous ban? What is their problem?

I would suggest that they and killjoys like them have now moved beyond health and safety into a kind of neo-Puritanism.

I would suggest, Richard, that the risk of someone injuring your precious children and stopping them featuring on ‘Celebrity Quitters’ (reality show where Celebrities quit smoking. Yes, it really has got to that. And yes, his daughter really did go on it), and as a result them suing the arse of the establishment would affect their decisions. Because that’s the thing with ‘elf n safety; when it’s infringing your enjoyment, it’s the worst thing in the world. Yet when a lack of it affects you, we have organisations like Claims Direct. Which I have no doubt Richard and/or Judy would happily endorse if the price was right.

Also on the books of the Express is Anne Widdecombe. Former Tory MP, devout Catholic, token laughing stock on this year’s Strictly Come Dancing and the unconfirmed inspiration behind the popular chant ‘Widdecombe! Tory Scum!’; Anne has managed to secure herself a sweet soap-box at Express HQ, which she uses to rant about how awful ‘modern society’ is. She has a number of targets including secularism, birth control and teaching. She wrote an article recently on D-Cam’s ‘calm down dear’ House of Commons gaff, in which she states that women need to lighten up a bit;

The phrase is a joke and should be treated as humour not sexism. I have used the expression myself: to Anton Du Beke when he was gyrating provocatively as we practised a dance.

Sorry, but there’s nothing Catholic about provocative gyrations, Anne. You really should know better.

Harriet Harman once argued that women should be on the boards of NHS trusts because they understood about getting double buggies through doors and were sympathetic to women’s health issues. Can you imagine men arguing they should be on such boards because they understand prostate problems? No, they talk about business acumen and we should do the same if we really want to be equal.

Yeah, that’s right women. You want to be equal? Then you should exactly replicate the behaviour of men. Because men are bloody brilliant and you’re clueless twats that get in a fuss about double-buggies. Tut, women.

Alan Titchmarsh is also one of their prominent columnists. Further branching out of ‘Brand: Alan’ is it? Nah, he just talks about plants. Because that’s news to the Daily Express. Prominent news. Every time he flirts with the idea of providing a news piece it doesn’t take long from him to revert ANY SUBJECT onto botanical bollocks.

It’s a well-known fact that today, St George’s Day, is the official birthday of perhaps our greatest wordsmith, William Shakespeare.

Oooh, are we gonna get an essay celebrating the works of Shakespeare?

More fascinating for literary-minded gardeners is the number of flowers and plants that creep into Shakespeare’s works: some 169 different varieties.

NOPE, HE’S BACK ON ABOUT PLANTS AGAIN!

The Express still hasn’t peaked though. Oh no. Also on their books is Neil Hamilton. Neil effing Hamilton. The bow-tie-wearing twat-bag who built a successful media career out being a corrupt, disgraced MP has his own column with the Express. After all, it doesn’t matter if you have absolutely no moral value to the Daily Express; as long as you hate the ‘PC Brigade’, the cheque remains blank.

Neil’s latest article entitled ‘Thought Police are Out of Control’ doesn’t really need much more description; you know you’re going to get a rancid, reactionary piece, light on facts but high on fist-waving. It’s weird; in our recent article on Laurie Penny, we critiqued an article when she accused the police of arresting people for ‘even thinking about committing a crime’, so clearly the idea that Mystic Meg runs the justice department is something that people on extreme right and extreme left both think.

A few months ago, some blokeish comments did it for Sky Sports main football presenters Richard Keys and Andy Gray.

They moaned that female linesmen were “****ing hopeless” and female officials don’t know the offside rule.What is the difference between that and a hen party cackling disparagingly about manflu?

Oh I dunno, perhaps the fact that national broadcasters shouldn’t use hen parties as the barometer for the appropriate way to behave on TV to a diverse audience? Just a thought, like.

Last week, husband and wife council candidates were expelled from the Tory Party for posing with golliwogs on Facebook.

Stephen Phillips, the party’s po-faced disciplinary committee secretary, told the Etheridges their conduct raised “serious issues that might bring the party into disrepute”.

Give over! It’s Phillips’s idiotic over-reaction which does that. The Tories’ loss is UKIP’s gain.

Yeah, Neil is right. A gaff-tastic, racist couple out of touch with modern society is DEFINIETLY what UKIP need to improve as a party. Sky’s the limit for them now.

George Orwell invented “thoughtcrime” in his book 1984, imagining an allinvasive tyranny watching over and controlling every aspect of human activity, even the mind. Freedom of speech is supposed to be a human right but exercising it now carries grave risks so we all unconsciously censor ourselves.

I DON’T THINK HE WAS REFERRING TO CASUAL SEXISM, NEIL!

Christopher Biggins said: “The politically correct censors will be our own British version of the East German Stasi.

“Neil, you’re losing them. They aren’t buying it. I know what to do; get that overtly camp guy from panto who was on that celebrity show a while back to draw parallels with the Stasi. That’ll definitely win over the moderates!”

The function of the Express’ celebrity columnists is unknown. It seems to just be an extension of their normal content, but from someone who was on the TV a few times. Because after all, if they’ve been on telly, they’ve gotta be telling the truth! Right?! I might not be convinced that the PC brigade are going to turn us into boring drones, but if the guy from the advert for ‘Ultimate Cheese Party Album’ says it, then I may well be convinced.

The tabloids are utterly obsessed with celebrity culture, despite professing to hate all these ‘talentless people who are famous for nothing’. The idea of celebrities being the columnists is the holy grail of gutter press newspapers, when they can combine a former contestant from Celebrity Scissorhands with a made up statistic about immigration. That is the nadir of their existence, and my God this brave bunch may have achieved it. God speed!

NME say “Don’t listen to this band, because you won’t get laid.” (24/05/2011)

(Hello! Right, haven’t posted much on here recently. Most of the posting is now done at Shoutingatco.ws. Check it, we have a number of good writers and we are always open to applications. And it’s all pretty looking and stuff, innit. Bookmark it. And remember to follow myself and Shouting at Cows on Twitter. K Thx Bi).

NME Magazine gets a lot of abuse from people. But what most of these detractors don’t understand, is that NME is not JUST a music guide. It’s more of a lifestyle bible, really. They don’t just rate whether music is ‘good’ or not, it has a far more complex grading system than that. For example, will listening to this CD make you look cool? Will listening to this CD get you invited to sexy parties? Will listening to this CD make people think you’re both ‘dope’ and ‘fly’? Will people think that by listening to this CD, you’re all, like, smart ‘n shit? All important factors when judging a record, I think you’ll agree.

NME applied their tried and tested scoring system to the latest Fleet Foxes album, with interesting results. Fleet Foxes’ second album, Helpless Blues, was released recently to almost universal acclaim. Pitchfork gave it 8.8/10, describing it as ‘deep, intricate, and complex; a triumphant follow-up to a blockbuster debut’. The Independent gave it 5 stars, and stated that it ‘managed to make giantstrides creatively without jettisoning their core sound’. One Thirty BPM gave it 94%, and believes that Fleet Foxes are ‘a band who will not stop pushing, who will challenge themselves to avoid stagnancy,who will work with both their instruments and their minds.’ Rather amazing response, you will agree. In fact, I could only find one review that wasn’t impressed with it; NME.

Yes, NME took a different approach to judging the album. Firstly, they stated about the band;

Fleet Foxes suck. They’re the soy-latte house band of Starbucks.

Wow. Very forthright there; references an evil capitalist company and a pithy one word denouncing of the group. Straight away, you’ve got the ‘youf’ by the jaffas. They go onto add;

They peddle the same sort of fake-rustic rootsiness that seems to be colonising our era: all these flatpack off-the-peg dreams of Ruritania that iPad-stashing mid-lifes have taken up as acounterpoint to their rabid technophilia.

Now I’ve read that sentence through 15 times, and still haven’t a clue what he is going on about. So clearly, this guy knows what he’s talking about and is too intelligent for me. He’s invented 3 words in that sentence alone, for fuck sake. Do you know who else invented words? Shakespeare. Need I go on? But perhaps the most damming discovery to come about from this 4/10 review, was this glaring observation that not a single of the so called ‘mainstream presses’ managed to discover. It’s a fact that will shock you to your very core.

But really, despite all the ‘celestial’s and ‘life-affirming’s with which the critics will paper this, the truth is that no-one is ever going to sleep with you because you played them a song that begins with the immortal line: “Ruffled the fur of the collie ’neath the table…”. Canoe dig it? No thanks.

Ho. Li. Shit. Are you trying to tell me, that if I listen to this album, a woman ISN’T going to sleep with me? Fucking hell, what was I thinking even contemplating it was a good album? I only really listen to music in order to get a cheeky fumble by the end. In fact, I was listening to this album before a hot date round mind. Which probably explains why she never turned up. The place was set; Bolognaise on the hob, red wine open and breathing on the table, and the smooth, sultry sounds of Fleet Foxes bellowing out of my Stereo. It really was a classy scene. But she no-showed. I can only assume that on the way to my place, she heard the ‘flaccid faux-outdoorsy sonics’ of opening track ‘Montezuma’. Or perhaps 3rd track ‘Battery Kinzie’, which can only be described as ‘fucking canoeing music’. And so, my night was finished, thanks to those Starbucksy cunts. I scraped the bolognaise into the bin, removed the mint from the pillow, put my £276 plain white All Saints T-Shirt back into the draw, and reflected on another Friday night of masturbation and blunt sadness.

You may think I’m being facetious, but I honestly do listen to music with the sole intention of getting laid. Who cares about interesting lyrics, complex rhythm sections, talented musicians and depth,anyway? When I’m having a fumble in the back of my Ford Cortina with T’Pau’s 1984 album Bridge of Spies thundering out the car stereo, am I thinking ‘This synth really does perfectly compliment Carol Decker’s emotional high notes’? Am I fuck. The NME realise this, and that’s why they tell us what we really want to know when judging a record. And thank God they do.

So in summary, if you want to listen to a deep, intricate, and complex album from a band managing to make giant strides creatively, without jettisoning their core sound, then listen to Fleet Foxes’ Helplessness Blues. If you want to nail a girl with low self-esteem that sets the feminist movement back 50 years, don’t. And it’s insightful reviewing like that which keeps me coming back, year after year, to NME magazine. Thanks, guys!

Royal Wedding Preview: The Form Guide! (23/04/2011)

Well it’s finally here! Months of speculation, shameless merchandising and spotting members of the royal family in food culminates on April 29th, when Prince William and Kate Middleton finally tie the knot. But what do we really know about the runners and the riders? Who are we going to look to to provide the laughter? Will anyone make a pass at The Queen? Thankfully for you lot, we at Lost in Trangsressions have produced a guide to let you know who will be doing what, where and why on the big day. Because we are just that nice. And also because we have nothing better to do.

Major Players

Prince William 

Generally liked by the proletariat and your average commoner, despite showing, on a number of occasions, that he has the capacity to be top toff tit, such as the time he landed a helicopter in his mate’s back garden before going on a stag do. Exceptional levels of twattishness, granted, but generally proved to be one of the more favoured members of the Windsor family, though that is a bit like saying the ‘least offensive member of the BNP’; it’s not a compliment, it’s more a mitigating factor.

Expect a professional job, if a bit low on the funnies. After his speech at the World Cup he showed that he can sound like the textbook example of English gent, whilst at the same time expressing all the comedic finesse of a black and white Romanian period piece about a dilapidated church.

BOOKIES TIP: Turns up in THAT Union Jack waistcoat. – 8/1.

Kate Middleton

Born into a family who own a successful party accessory mail-order company, Middleton grew up in Berkshire and was privately educated, and is therefore the fucking textbook example of middle class. Despite this, considering that her family don’t own large swathes of Somerset, some members of the Royal Family thought of her in the same notion as one of the guests on a particularly fiery episode of Jeremy Kyle. Think her mother called a serviette a napkin once, and with behaviour like that, I don’t know why anyone would even give her the time of day.

Her and Wills were more on-off than a light switch, but she’s amiably dealt with the media circus surrounding the wedding, proving that she may well have what it takes to visit village fêtes up and down the country (look, I haven’t got a clue what princesses and princes do. Think they unveiled a lifeboat in Wales the other day. Seems a pretty straight forward job).

BOOKIES TIP: Her face to also appear in a flan, beef stroganoff and cheese fondue before the wedding – 2/4

Outsiders

Duke of Edinburgh

This man is the doyenne of gaffs. He has made offending people from all walks of life an art form. Whether it was when he asked a Scottish driving instructor how he “kept the natives off the booze” long enough to get a licence, saying to a student who trekked Papua New Guinea “You managed not to get eaten, then?”, or when he asked an Aborigine in 2002 “Still throwing spears?”, everyone’s got a favourite from his pantheon. If any ethnic minorities at the bash come into contact with Big Phil, expect the cameras to be glued to him in anticipation of another historic PR disaster.

Great value for entertainment, no doubt he’ll spring a few surprises on the big day, such as trying it on with Carole Middleton or taking a leak in the punchbowl.

BOOKIES TIP: – Makes un-PC statement to Nicolas Witchell – BOOKIES ALLREADY PAYING OUT.

Prince Harry

Known as the “People’s Prince” because he got pissed in a pub once underage (and it wasn’t even Christmas!), Harry has classically toed the line between ‘rebel without a cause’ and ‘tit’. Getting drunk in a pub; funny. Paying your art teacher to do work for you; funny. Calling a member of his army squadron ‘paki’; not funny. Going to a fancy dress party in a brown shirt and swastika; mind-numbingly offensive.

A loose cannon who’s hard to predict, Hazza’s day could go one of two ways, either rolls up in a ‘Golf sale’ t-shirt to the amusement of millions, or dressed as a member of the Wermacht. He is his own man.

BOOKIES TIP – Ends up in Mahiki at 4am with the 13th in line to the Danish throne – EVENS.

Prince Charles 

The ‘Big Poppa’ of the Windsor dynasty, The once proud military man now spends most of his time putting his name on pretentious organic food and being some sort of ‘top prize’ on mawkish reality shows. It’s mental; whether it’s Masterchef or Britain’s Got Talent, the top prize is always cook/dance/sing for Prince Charles. How pissed would you be if at the culmination of Masterchef, rather than get a whopping great cheque and gig in a top London restaurant, you just had the Prince of Wales tap you on the shoulder and say ‘The spuds were great but the salmon was fucked. Cheers.’

No stranger to marriage, his wedding was the last big TV deal when he tied the knot with Diana. His second wedding to Camilla wasn’t such a big deal, seeing as most of the country didn’t like her, and for all I know they could have got married in a Vegas chapel.

BOOKIES TIP – Attempts to slip something into the Queen’s champagne to finally get his chance on the throne – [REMOVED FOR LEGAL REASONS: ALL BETS REFUNDED]

Long Shots.

Duchess of York (That’s fergie, to you and me) 

It’s being a torrid year for ol’ Sarah Ferguson, irregular finances, mounting legal fees and a News of The World sting that caught her trying to sell access to her ex-Husband, she really has become the laughing stock of the Royal Family. Considering that this Royal Family also contains Prince Phillip, that takes some doing.

Worst of all, she didn’t get an invite, so will be watching this on TV like us paupers. Well, probably not actually, as due to her bankruptcy her TV may well have been repossessed. So there’s a good chance you’ll bump into her during the big day on Tottenham Court Road, watching the ceremony through Dixons’ front window with a small tear slowly trickling down her cheek, clutching the last available VHS of ‘Budgie’.

BOOKIES TIP: Turns up at Westminster Abbey gates, half cut and holding a bottle of gin in one hand and a shotgun in the other – 7/4

Prince Andrew


Fergie’s ex-husband and another complete tit whose behaviour is like porn to Republicans. Other than befriending convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstien,  his actions as UK Trade envoy have been highly criticised, due to him rocking up an eye-watering expenses form.

Last year the prince spent £620,000 as a trade envoy, including £154,000 on hotels, food and hospitality and £465,000 on travel.

Unlike Fergie, his invitation wasn’t ‘lost in the post’, but regardless, he didn’t earn the name ‘Air Miles Andy’ by pissing around in Britain, so he’ll be hoping that the wedding is being screened in whatever 5* Malaysian spa resort he’s staying at this weekend on ‘diplomatic duties’.

BOOKIES TIP: Watches the wedding whilst doing Sambuca shots with Gary Glitter and Jonathan King – 5/1

—————————————————-

Well now you’re all clued up on all the ones to look out for on April 29th, let’s hope for the Daily Mail’s sake it’s a great day, or else they’ll have nothing to write about for the next year and have to go back to rehashing stories about immigrants eating swans. And we don’t want that.

CHAMPAGNE ALL ROUND!

This is Your Life: Noel Edmonds (Part 2: The Second Coming) [20/04/2011]

In Part 1, we saw the rise of Noel ‘propensity to make moderately entertaining low grade TV’ Edmonds, and the fall of Noel ‘propensity for his ideas and philanthropy to cause deaths’ Edmonds. Following the demise of House Party, Noel would meander on for the next 7 years in Telly wilderness, with the most exciting thing to happen to him being his wife having an affair with a transvestite. But Noel will stay down for no-one, and came storming back onto our screens in 2005 with Deal or no Deal.

Deal or no Deal is essentially the best use of shoe boxes and a disused Bristol warehouse that you could ever imagine. It’s not even a gameshow. There’s no questions, no fancy podiums, no fancy multi-screens, no graphics, no CJ; nothing that we hold dear with gameshows is prevalent here. It’s just a load of boxes with numbers inside. And that’s the beautiful duality of it; it’s so fucking simple, yet people make it so fucking complicated. Rather than just eliminate 5 arbitrary boxes then doing a runner with a virtually guaranteed 10k, the contestants turn it into some sort of Mystic Meg/Christian exorcism, where they try and detect which boxes are emitting blue energy and which red. They analyse the boxes, discuss tactics over which order to pick the numbers in, chat to their loved ones about what they should do and bring lucky key rings onto the table with them. You just wanna grab these people by the lapels and shout at them ‘THE FUCK ARE YOU ON ABOUT!? IT’S A GAME OF GUESSING YOU JEB-END! THE BOX COULD HAVE A DOODLE OF A COCK INSIDE FOR ALL YOU KNOW!’.

Anyway, Britain loved it, and it turned Edmonds into a star again almost overnight.

He was back in the big time and getting offers thrown at him left right and centre. Opening a supermarket in Norwich, a guest on celebrity mastermind, the world (of terrestrial daytime TV) was Noel’s oyster. However, he wanted the Saturday slot back. He made his name there, and that was his spiritual home. Sky One, answered the call, and considering that the bulk of their weekend content was Dream Team re-runs and some dodgy sit-com about travel reps, they knew he’d slot right in.

Now I’m an Edmonds sympathiser, but Noel’s HQ was one of the biggest piles of turd I’ve ever seen. It was a reactionary, middle-England vehicle where people came on and moaned about kids in hoodies and parking fines. It was like getting beaten round the head with a copy of the Daily Mail. But even Noel himself admits it was right wing nonsense. In an interview with the Mail promoting the show:

The TV presenter blamed out-of-touch politicians and joyless health and safety zealots for the country’s downward spiral.

Speed cameras, gang culture and the London congestion charge were also among the ‘components of what’s wrong with the country’, he said.

Edmonds, 59, said while people were frightened of growing violence on the streets, they also feared the suffocating influence of the nanny state and unnecessary laws.

In that you’ve got health and safety zealots, speed cameras, gang culture, congestion charge, nanny state and downward spiral; he’s really gone for the jugular there. His swinging for the (easily off) fences with that one.

During the Noel’s HQ saga, in transpired that Edmonds had some bat-shit crazy political views. He is a trustee of the Renewable Energy Foundation (supporting renewable energy), but opposes wind farms because of the proximity of them to his Devon home. Right. However, it’s on immigration where he takes two full spoons of twat-syrup, with his calls for a total ban on immigration to Britain.

“I’m very straightforward on immigration – the bus is full.”

The bus? There’s a bus? So we should cap immigration to avoid public transport congestion? Is that what he means? Also, what’s his definition of full? Does he mean like after you visit a buffet ‘full’, or homosexuals turned away from a B&B because it’s ‘full’? It’s an important distinction.

Noel’s HQ was a bit like the UK’s answer to one of those nincom-poops of fox. He would berate the screen for an hour like a despotic leader, then bring midgets out to dance on his ‘Bonkers Britain’ section. I also remember a section with Carol McGriffin up a tower, moaning about hoodies.

Anyway, it was further proof that Noel wanted to take over the country (shit, would that make Blobby Chancellor of the Exchequer? Can’t be worse than Osbourne, but it would turn the Commons Budget into a bit of a farce……). It included absurd made-up facts, including my personal favourite

‘An act of Yobbish behaviour happens every second’

Which is just, wrong. Furthermore, what categorises a Yobbish act? Is stealing a penny chew yobbish enough, or do I have I to do something mental like power-bombing a granny?

Anyway, it got loads of complaints after Noel went on an unhinged tirade against a council press officer, after their councillor had been totally fucking out of line and followed building regulation. Pfft, Nazis. The press office said he wouldn’t go on an ‘entertainment show’ which caused Big Noel to go on the aforementioned unhinged tirade about how he isn’t paid anything to present the show, and that it’s a serious program (may have been more convincing had we not just sat through the Bonkers Britain dance routine, and if every member in the audience didn’t have a foam hand). Audiences dwindled due to most people not wanting to hear that every minute in Britain a blood donor is choke-slammed by a terrorist, and with dwindling audiences and shockingly bad press, the show was cancelled.

Despite this excursion into production being an unquestionable failure, with the presenting merry-go-round the way it is Noel was still ubiquitous on our screens. Alongside the aforementioned Deal or No Deal, Edmundo also hosted Are You Smarted Than a 10 year old?, where an ensemble of auditionees for The Omen competed against some simpering adults to see who knew more about Maths, English and Rhianna.

If, at any point during the game, the player chooses to drop out or is flunked out, they must face the camera and state, “I amnotsmarter than a/my 10 year old.” However, if the final question is answered correctly, the contestant has the opportunity to claim, “Iamsmarter than a/my 10 year old.”

So he doesn’t even gunk them? Oh, fuck that.

As we look back across Noel’s career, marked with success, failure, death, death again, and the biggest thing to hit Bristol since THAT suspension bridge, one must say that Noel has made us feel a range of emotions; from laughter on House Party to tension on Deal or No Deal, and ‘Do people honestly think like this? Really? Still? Fuck me…’ on Noel’s HQ, one must doff their cap at the man that has done so much for so many, whilst artistically achieving so little. Bravo, Mr Edmonds. Bravo.

Single Review : Art Brut - Lost Weekend (2.5/10)

Review of Art Brut’s new single ‘Lost Weekend’ what we did do. 

Certainly an early candidate for worst single of the year.

thewhiteboardproject:

Title: Lost Weekend

Label: Cooking Vinyl

Release: 16th May 2011

Rating: 2.5

I first heard of Art Brut after lead singer Eddie Argos had a fight with Kele of Bloc Party, following disparaging comments made about each other’s band. This culminated in Kele referring to Argos as “Fatty Argos” and fists were thrown. The thing is, at the time, Argos was a bit chubs. Someone calling him fat is probably not worth brawling over. If he weighed himself and didn’t like the figure, would he punch the scales? The most pointless fight since Bam Bam Bigelow and Doink the Clown at Wrestlemania X, if you ask me.

Read More

This is Your Life: Noel Edmonds (Part 1: The Rise and Fall) [19/04/2011]

There is nothing more quintessential with British television than Noel Edmonds. He is the doyenne of low budget, mass-market entertainment. Whether its contrived weekend entertainment shows, far right propaganda vehicles or ‘guess my box’, he turns it into a raiting smash. The only thing that has ever held him back are trivial little things like a record number of complaints, or people dying on his set. I never knew why the producers of failing shows didn’t draft Edmundo in the halt their ratings slide. He could easily have slotted into Flash-Forward, or Heroes, or Setanta Sports.

After bit part jobs on Radio including a brief stint on Radio Luxembourg, Noel got his first big break on TV with The Late Late Breakfast Show, which although sounding like the perfect breakfast show for students and the unemployed, was actually a Saturday evening show! You get it! Like reaaaly late breakfast! Hence the late late Breakfast Show! Fuck me, Big Noel’s comedy banter is wasted on you shits.

The show was basically one of those irritating ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ vehicles that attempted to do a little bit everything, a bit like The One Show, only with a theme tune by Spandau Ballet. Features included hidden camera skits, outtakes, pop music performances, something called ‘Whirly Wheel’ and stunts. Now this was a bit before my time, so I never witnessed it, but Jesus; it sounds utterly interminable. Just really artificially hip. Like the ‘Young Conservatives’. Or Topshop. *shudders*

.It was on The Late Late Breakfast Show that Noel’s turbulent relationship with Health & Safety, and ‘people not dying on his TV programmes’ started. The BBC was twice threatened with legal action by the Health and Safety Executive due to how dangerous their stunts were, due to a number of injuries to stuntmen. But listen, Noel is a TV pro. Would he let the risk of serious injury and fatalities curtail his wish to bring moderately entertaining early evening programming to terrestrial TV? Not a chance!

As a result of this attitude, someone did actually die. Self-employed hod carrier Michael Lush was killed during a rehearsal for a live stunt.

The stunt, called “Hang ‘em High”, involved bungee jumping from an exploding box suspended from a 120 ft-high crane. The carabiner clip attaching his bungee rope to the crane sprang loose from its eyebolt during the jump. He died instantly of multiple injuries.

Bet stuff like this never happened on Radio Luxembourg.

An inquest in the death found the BBC to be ‘awful shits’ (I’m paraphrasing, but it was along these lines). Payments were made to Lush’s family, and Edmonds stated;

“If I was to continue my career at the BBC I would want to be fully confident about any production team I was provided with.”

The Late Late Breakfast Show was scrapped following this. After a brief stint on Telly Addicts (where, Christ I don’t know. He held a self-help group with people dependent on the Box? Look, I still wasn’t alive at this stage. You want Michael Aspell levels of biography? You pay me Michael Aspell levels of salary. Simple) Noel returned with Noel’s House Party.

Set in Crinkley Bottom (which is just the shittest, most middle class joke I’ve ever heard) the show had no underage drinking, vandalism or intoxicated sexual favours, so it wasn’t like most house parties I remember. Instead, it was like a Noel Edmonds variety hour, with practical jokes, comedy skits and celebrity cameos. As entertaining as it may have been, when you consider that the US have Saturday Night Live, it shows far behind we are in the prime-time comedy stakes.

‘Gotcha’ was where they played practical jokes on sort of famous people, like Samatha Janus and Dave Lee. Now, Punk’d did really chuffing well as a TV show, and it’s just this exact same concept. It makes you realise that had Edmonds picked more ambitious targets than Yvette Fielding and Richard Whiteley, he might be in Beverly Hills right now, instead of Devon. Annabel Giles (Nope, me neither) was the first person to spot the hidden camera and stop the prank, but;

Noel had the last laugh as in revenge, he had her gunged.

Oh Noel, you old charmer. Other features included Wait Till I Get You Home, Sofa Soccer and Grab a Grand. One of the more famous section however, was the revered, the infamous, the majestic; Gunge Tank.

The Gunge Tank was used to gunge unpopular celebrities or members of the public. They’d set up a phone vote, and whoever got the most votes at the end got sweet gunge spaffed all over them from a great height. It was like the world’s most public and vitriolic popularity contest.

As with anything on TV, the bovine Britain that populate the main stream demographic get bored quickly, so the gunge tank had to kept revolutionising itself in order to stay hip.

For Season 2, the tank also pumped foam from underneath the chair before the gunge was released. For Season 3, the chair holding the victim was on a conveyor device which would take the victim through revolving car wash brushes before the actual gunging. In Seasons 4 & 5, it was developed into the “Trip Around The Great House”, where the victim would be placed on a miniature railway that journeyed through the studio set, finishing up in the Giant Fireplace where the gunge would finally be released.

Anyway, times change fast, and Noel’s Hose Party struggled to stay relevant. There’s only so many times you can put Keith Chegwin on gunge railway and play practical jokes on Anneka Rice. It can get droll after a while.

As with any failing TV show, new characters are brought in to spice it up. Noel’s solution was not so much to bring in a new character, but a 6”4 pink and yellow Michelin man called Mr Blobby. It’s another occasion when I’d loved to have been a fly on the wall in whatever meeting that was pitched.

Now, say what you want about the sense behind it, but the Blobbster was an unquestionable success. Originally part of the ‘Gotcha’ segment, Mr Blobby went on the play a central role in the show. His basic trait was to host a spoof kids show in a prank on a celeb, where he’d be rolling around shouting Blobby Blobby Blooby, tripping himself up and riling up the celeb in the process. Funnily enough, the premise of Mr Blobby was the legitimate plot of Telly Tubbies. Proving, once again, that children will watch anything.

Blobby soon outgrew this and had a number one single with ‘The Blobby Song’. Now this was back when number 1s actually meant something, and it wasn’t just the latest reformed 90s act or an X-Factor runner up. In an attempt to build on the fame, Noel made the odd move of building a Blobby theme park. The guy is a maverick, granted, but seriously Noel, A theme Park? A fucking theme park? Couldn’t you have just gunged him or something?

Regardless, the parks were set up in Somerset and Morecambe. Surprise surprise; no-one went to it. Noel also had a massive spat with the Council over its building, which lead to a legal tussle and the parks eventually closing, costing Edmonds £2.5M in the process. Big Noel; shrewd as ever. The remains of the park were used for raves by local, erm, ravers. This caused outrage amongst remaining Blobby fans, in particular Chris Bryant, who stated;

‘The ravers should have more respect for Mr Blobby. He was a hero to a lot of kids and the thought of them taking drugs and having all-night raves in his house is completely disrespectful.’ 

Yeah! He was a hero to many. Like a slightly unhinged demographic’s Diana.

Towards the late 90s even Blobby couldn’t save House Party, and if a man in a pink and yellow polka-dot fatsuit, resembling something out of a Stephen King novel that releases charity singles can’t save your show, then it’s probably time to admit defeat. The show was cancelled in 1998, and for the final episode it had a very sincere and fitting send off – Freddie Starr foamed Noel with a fire extinguisher (you know, the guy who ate hamsters in spare time). That’s class, that is. And Noel had it in spades.

However, worse was to happen for Noel in 1998, when again his philanthropy and involvement with the community led to someone dying. Through his ‘Airbourne Trust’ Foundation, Noel threw a charity event, letting children fly in light aircraft.

The accident occurred in June when a helicopter giving “fun flights” to disabled children crashed at Glamis in Scotland. Nine-year-old Gary Malley was killed and Ryan Nicoll, aged 11, escaped with minor injuries.

Mr Edmonds said: “I have now had sight of the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) report into the accident and am of course bound by its confidentiality until the publication date”.

Think Noel should just probably knock the community outreach stuff on the head.

With this and the end of House Party, 1998 proved to be a rather crud year in Chez Edmonds. Following the demise of two prime team TV shows, most thought that Edmonds would be finished as a TV prescence. Would he bounce back? Would he become the TV star of old? Would he get another chance?

Find out in Part 2!

(note: He does bounce back. Sorry to spoil it for you. But, yeah. Big time)

LOST IN TRANSGRESSIONS MAKE THEIR LIVE TV DEBUT!

So in response to this article I wrote on Nepotism in the Modern Media, I was asked to go on the Vanessa Show (yes, there is a Vanessa show) live on channel 5 to discuss the point amongst a panel. I duly abligied, as I love the sound my own voice.

I’m after 30 seconds, and our discussion is after 13 minutes. I’m Nick. But you probably guessed that.

note - I’m sexier in real life. Possibly.

Public Relations Disasters; Because it is Possible to Fail at Life. (18/04/2011)

Marketing, advertising and PR are huge markets. Pharmaceutical company Glaxo-Smith and Kline spend more on advertising and marketing than they do on pharmaceutical research. Basically, people and businesses in general are utter bastards/dribbling simpletons, and therefore they need to employ a large amalgamation of people to write press releases and promotions to make the world believe that, in fact, they’re not. When we know that really they are. Wankers.

Now of course, when lying to public it can backfire. Horrendously. The result of this at best can cause your company to facing public scorn, at worst it can cause your company to go out of business. So there is a fine line between a slap on the wrist and Armageddon when it comes to public gaffs. A very fine line indeed.

There have been famous cases of gaffs so bad that it has caused a company to cease trading. Gerald Ratner was a former market trader who built a successful bargain jewellery store empire Ratners, offering low price Jewellery to the mass market. Now the elephant in the room for Ratners was the questionable quality of their pieces. Thankfully for us Gerald Ratner, displaying all the tact of Alan Partridge in a cancer ward, clarified to the public the quality of his products, in a shareholders meeting.

We do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for £4.95. People say, “How can you sell this for such a low price?”, I say, “because it’s total crap”

Gerald also went onto add that Ratners range of earrings were;

"cheaper than an M&S prawn sandwich but probably wouldn’t last as long”.

Ahhhh, banter about misleading the public into buying our terrible, shitty products! How we guffawed over that one! Unfortunately for Gerald, this footage leaked to the media, who ran it as a prime story. When it went public, Ratners value dropped by £500 Million pounds, nearly resulting in their collapse. Gerald resigned and the group had to change its name. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a cock up.

Very few would have sympathy with Gerald, though. He was essentially conning the public into buying his rubbish products, and arguably he got his comeuppance. But what about cases where a misjudged ad campaign leads to a firm having a spectacular decline?

In 1992, vacuum cleaner company ‘Hoover’ started a promotional scheme where if you spent over £100 on their products, they would give you two free tickets to America.  Now I don’t know about you, BUT I CAN SPOT A PROBLEM!

Turns out that it’s far cheaper to spent £100 on hoover products than buy two tickets to America outright. Therefore people started buying hoover products, ditching them so to claim the free tickets.  The cost of the flights began to spiral out of control for Hoover, and when they stopped fulfilling the offer with customers, customer sued the company. The court cases went on for the next 6 years, eventually costing the company £50M and forcing them to sell the British Division of their company to Italian manufacturing company Candy. On reflection, probably should have just offered a free CD player, or something.

Of course, PR cock-ups caused by marketing is a very common theme. Advertisers and Marketers need to constantly think up newer and more contrived ways of making you buy shit you don’t need. Especially really trivial stuff. Like water. How the hell do you see water to someone? Well Coca-Cola tried in 2004 with Dasani, which from inception was an unmitigated balls-up. Described by the Independent as a ‘PR disaster’, Dasani was originally launched in the UK under the tagline ‘Bottle Spunk’ or ‘can’t live without spunk’, with Coca-Cola unaware that spunk means, erm, something different in the UK. Not the end of the world though. So their tagline had connotations to semen, easy fix. Unfortunately for Dasani, their next episode wasn’t such a quick fix. It transpired that this brand of water marked under the buzzwords or ‘pure’ and ‘natural’ (and jizz. For a bit.), wasn’t actually from the purifying waters of lake Minnetonka, but actually from a tap in Sidcup. And this wasn’t just any tap in Sidcup. Oh no. This was a tap with artificially high levels of bromate and carcinogen, which could be harmful to human if consumed in sufficient quantities. You know what; it would be safer to drink spunk. Maybe that’s what Coca-Cola were trying to get across.


Naming your water ‘spunk’, is quite an error. Though there have been products named worse things, especially when it comes to the naming of cars. Like the Mitsubishi Pajero, which cause problems in Spain, as ‘pajero’ is slang for ‘masturbator’. Hey, it hasn’t caused the ‘tugboat’ any problems. Toyota’s Fiera car caused controversy in Puerto Rico, as fiera means ‘ugly old woman’. Possibly worst of all however was the Ford Pinto, which flopped in Brazil, as in Portuguese slang Pinto means ‘small penis’. Well, they do say that there a reason why men by powerful cars…

Sometimes for advertisers the name isn’t the issue, it’s the perceptions of the target audience that is the problem. In an campaign for Microsoft Office’s Polish version, someone in the advertising department clearly felt, perhaps down to Poland’s racial homogeneity, that an advert with a black person in it wouldn’t be too popular in Warsaw. So in order to get round this, they crudely and woefully photoshopped a white head onto the black person in the advert.

 

Now this offended black people, white people, Polish people; It was a real ‘clean sweep’ in provoking again by your calamitous racial intolerance. Microsoft delivered a full and frank apology and pulled the advert, promising to find out who was the cause of it. Which, you know, was nice of them.

Most PR disasters make you laugh, but some fill you with uncontrollable rage. Like ‘Punch a wall with your head’ rage. I don’t know if you know this, but there was a financial collapse recently, primarily cause by rich bellends’ rich bellendry. Once their business went tits up they sheepishly came to the government wanting a big fat cheque from the tax payer to help them out. Only they didn’t turn up modestly considering the massive mess that they had caused, instead they rolled up in private jets. When someone has the balls to just be that much of an arsehole, sometimes you have to be impressed.

Rep. Brad Sherman said. “Second, I’m going to ask you to raise your hand if you are planning to sell your jet in place now and fly back commercial. Let the record show, no hands went up.”

Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-New York stated "It’s almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo. It kind of makes you a little bit suspicious. Couldn’t you all have downgraded to first class or jet-pooled or something to get here? It would have at least sent a message that you do get it."

That is Grade A, unfiltered, prime cut bellendry on show. Real top stuff.

PR cock-ups are not confined to one industry, and everyone is prone to them. But politicians are the de facto ‘doyennes’ of gaffs. And one in era in general was so fraught with Public relations nightmares that it would anyone working in that industry feel so frustrated with the corporate world, that they would quit and go live on a kibbutz somewhere, growing wheatgrass.

The late 80s/early 90s Conservative Party had all the tact and delicacy of a dildo. Edwina Currie former cabinet minister and ‘that woman who had an affair with john major’, was forced to resign in 1988, after claiming that the majority of British eggs were affected by Salmonella. This caused national outrage amongst farmers in the UK, after her comments caused a rapid decline in egg sales, particularly harming Northern Ireland where egg production made up a large part of the economy. Smooth. In an attempt to rescue the situation, Currie began the fantastically named ‘National Egg Awareness Campaign’. The campaign was largely the subject of ridicule, and earned her the nickname ‘Eggwina’. The mess certainly left her political aspirations; scrambled (fnarr).

Not wanting to be outdone by Edwina, MP John Gummer had a similar problem on his hands during the BSE crises of 1989. Gummer delayed the ban on beef in 1989 in response to crisis, and in attempt to prove that British beef was still perfectly fine, he attempted to – I shit you not – feed a hamburger to his daughter in front of the press. Conservative MPs really do feel no shame. This backfired spectacularly when she refused to eat it due it being too hot for her, and instead a civil servant took a bite out of it. So calamitous you have to laugh, and forget for a second how much of an arse John Gummer was. So in a sense maybe it worked…


But none of Jon Major’s early 90s cabinet could hold a candle to MP David Mellor in the medium of ‘national laughing stock’. This guy rewrote the rule book on turning yourself into a figure of ridicule UK wide. David Mellor in July 1992, was involved in an extra-marital ‘kiss and tell’ scandal with actress Antonia de Sancha. Now an MP in a sex scandal is nothing new; male cabinet ministers are some of the biggest sluts outside the pornography industry. However, Mellor was a bit, different, in the bedroom. Amongst his bedroom demands were to have several of his toes sucked, and also to have sex whilst wearing his full Chelsea football kit. Outstandingly odd levels of depravity. Further scandals including free holidays from questionable sources cause him to resign, with the Sun dubbing Mellor’s time in office as ‘From Toe Job to No Job’. I wonder if he still wears the kit. You know, when he’s ‘doing it’?

So remember kids, don’t tell people that you shit products are shit, properly research foreign markets, be careful what products you give away, and don’t vote for the Conservative party. Easy.

Images and Video of the Week! (08/04/2010)

Here is what’s been making us laugh this week. 

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6) Fulham Football Club erect Michael Jackson statue outside ground!

note; should probably minimise the use of ‘Michael Jackson’ and ‘erect’ in the same sentence.

5) “Hey, D-Beck here. When I’m not playing soccerball, I just like to chill on a sun lounger with my mate Justin ‘Biebs’ Bieber”

'…Justin, you alright? You're quite quiet….'

4) Woman can’t afford horse, so teacher daughter to ride cow!

Udder-ly ridiculous. (…………………………………i’m sorry…).

3) This still shot from 'Santa conquers the Martians'...

 

…cannot be explained.

2) H from Steps, dead.

What a tragedy. RIP, sweet prince.

1) The English Defence League (EDL) have a message for you!

"SPORT ARE TROOP’S". Sorry, lads; Sport are troop’s? Sport are troop’s? What - in the name of all that is holy - are you on about?

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VIDEO OF THE WEEK!

Stephen T. Colbert learns to be British! 

- Skip to 4.22 for Stephen Colbert’s education in British etiquette. Quite simply, the funniest thing i’ve ever seen.

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See you next week! Well, not literally but, well, you get the picture……

What Daily Mail Readers Think About Gender Equality (07/04/2011)

David Willets (Universities Minister) had an article in the Daily Mail this week in which he stated that ‘feminism’ has halted the progression of working class men and widened the poverty gap. It was an opinion so absurd, so stupid, with such reactionary oversight and just so unashamedly sexist that to spend much logical thought on it would make you stupider for it. A number of people did risk it though, and they did quite compelling write ups on why David Willets is a total twat.

However, the article was a useful way to measure the cross-section of opinion that the average Daily Mail reader has on equality and women’s rights. There were 73 comments on the Willets article, and all of the ones with positive responses, the impression it gave on what Mail readers think about ‘feminism’ was so archaic that one had to make sure they weren’t being wound up by clever trolls.

Tommy from Frankfurt who had the top rated comment on the website, stated that the quest for equality was one of the main components that has led to the ‘Destruction of Britain’;

In the 1950s, Britain had a society that worked, with low unemployment, low crime; and where it was possible to buy a house and raise a family on a worker’s wage. 60 years later, Britain is literally dying off. While femminism not entirely to blame, it should be obvious that ALL of the changes together - since the 1950s - are an unmitigated disaster which have resulted in the destruction of Britain.

I suppose Tommy also longs for the society of the 50s, where kids were caned in school, where sexism, homophobia and racism were institutionalised, and paedophilic abuse and rapes went unreported. What a lovely time that was!

But Tommy is only the base of the ludicrously twattish iceberg. Somebody from London claims that the promotion of equality in the third world is ‘worsening their poverty’ yet provides absolutely no reasoning for this, whilst James in Luton describes the ‘feminism movement’ as a marxist driven man hating cult”. If I ever get round to starting that Hardcore Punk band, I’m gonna call it ‘James from Luton’s Marxist driven man hating cult’. Graham from Up North describes proponents of equality as ‘feminazis’, and he’s got a point, as that was one of the main tenets of Nazism; the promotion of equality. Oh no wait, my mistake; it was ‘kill the Jews’. So slightly different to the ‘feminist’ movement, then.

Derek Anderson from Glasgow questions

Have any ‘isms’ ever done any good - socialism, multi-culturalism, feminism etc etc etc - Ban ISMS 

Well, far be it from me to speak for the whole country, but I think that a policy of ‘smashing twats like you round the face with a rusty spanner-ism’ would be a real vote winner amongst the majority.


Pierreblanc from France believes the principle of equality itself is wrong, as women will spend their money on materialistic shite.

To give this 50% more than 70% of the say is crass when you consider that this same group have such a desperate need to disguise themselves with tons of make up and countless millions worth of “fashion” items.

Where, the fuck, do you start with this? If women quested equality so much, why – once they gained this – would they regress back to the state where the life pursuit was of a stereotypical ‘dolly bird’ whose only interest was vanity? Wait; I’m arguing with a computer….

Some women also had their say on these Marxist Feminazi mini-Stalins. Mrs B.G.B, for a reason unbeknown to me, appears to think that positive discrimination has led to some sort Orwellian dystopia.

Feminism has changed the lives of children for the worse changing family life completely, Children pushed into nurseries, actually many are babies. The role of nurturing pre- school has been frowned on. The time spent having individual attention, and the huge learning process in those years before school is scorned. Now little ones spend there days enclosed in a nursery bubble instead of being socialised in the community and with family. Attention disorders are rife because little ones are craving for a parent’s attention. Now we plonk them in an environment that cuts out the maternal bond in favour of minders, who cannot replace that lost time or the security the young get with loved ones. Feminists fought hard for equality yet all those Mum’s who feel the wrench from little ones have not been supported. The fight for that right wasn’t what they wanted and have themselves made women feel guilty. Why have women stood for it. I really don’t know.

What, in the name of holy God, is she on about?

Matthew L of Basildon seems to think that a women pursing work has led to children becoming drug-addled.

The wife and mother was once the pillar of the family and the family was the bastion of society. It’s no surprise that young men and women have taken to drink and drugs, that the prisons are overflowing and that half the babies born this year will be illegitimate.

I hope these working women feel very guilty when they see a homeless man drunk on a doorstep, or hear about a drug related death on the news. Because they caused it. Obviously.


Paul Gibson isn’t happy about equality either, but for different reasons

Thanks to the unholy alliance of ACPO and Women’s Aid ‘any man in Xshire accused of domestic violence is automatically arrested’. That was the justification the custody officer gave me for my arrest, in describing his county’s sexist policing policy on DV prior to incarcerating me for a few hours before letting me go without caution, bail or charge.

So Paul’s main gripe is that due to these draconian equality laws he was arrested on accusation of domestic violence? Yeah, think Paul is on his own on this one. Malcolm for Chesire rather controversially seems to believe that woman are worse off in a more equal system.

How has the feminists ownership of her own body actually panned-out other than in the rise of teenage pregnancy and the elevation of promiscuity as ‘a way of life’!

Yes, Malcolm. That is the only fucking difference that a more equal system has brought us, more pregnant teenagers. You have debunked equality as it the myth it is. Well done. You utter cretin. Ian from London meanwhile is another person who seems to confuse himself within his own sentence

Largely true of course. And in future women will not be able to ’ marry up’ because there will be no up-men will be on the same level as them as they will all have to work their fingers to the bone to buy property. Feminist inspired single parent families must have caused a great deal of that poverty.

Ian, if women are above men in the pay scale, why would they need to marry up? Furthermore, if they were at the top of the income tree, why wouldn’t they be able to afford property on the own? And also, if OH FUCK I’M ARGUEING WITH A COMPUTER AGAIN!

And finally Karen in USA provides us with the best comment, nay, perhaps the best thing I have ever read. It is so stupid, and so wrong, I struggle to believe it’s real.

Totally agree, look at the Headmistresses in schools, in local and national government - look now at the lack of discipline, the hugging the thugs policy, the ‘everyone is a victim’ - that is feminisation of the highest order. Until you bring back ‘real’ men to be leaders, feminisation will continue. It is sickening watching these silly little women and their little ideals destroying a once great country. Look around parliament and see how many men have been ‘feminised’ with their squeaky little voices. All for women having equality for the vote, jobs etc. but I think the left have taken it too far.

Stunning. Truly stunning. I have paid to see stand-up that provided less laughs than that paragraph. And they were good shows!


The basic gripe from these people is that society isn’t the same as it was 50/60 years ago, when women were in the home, homosexuals whee in hiding and dem foreignerz were elsewhere. The erosion of the male patriarchy sees a number of these men pissed off, as they have to compete with women in the workforce and don’t have someone at home to cook, clean and wipe their arse for them. To prove that it’s not just their damaged ego and vanity but actually the world that has gone wrong, they use banal thought processes to prove equality is unsubstantiated.

60s = more women in home = not many stabbings in schools

2010 = less women in home = slightly more stabbings in schools

Therefore women out of the house causes stabbings.

Genius.

There are innumerable reasons why certain social problems may have increased, such as continual inefficient governments (like ones Willets has worked for) have eroded the welfare state and widened the class gap. We could blame it on that; or we could blame it on immigrants and ‘feminists’ as we don’t like them much anyway.

I’m arguing with a computer again, aren’t I……


Want to earn lots of money easily and legally? Become an MP (06/04/2011)

Everyone know MPs make lots of cash. With options like fiddling expensies, house-flipping and taking money for asking question in Parliament; these people are brining home the Benjamins in a big way. They’re like casinos in that sense; you never see a poor one, and voting for one can make you end up very poor.

But even the non-dodgy ones are still big earners. Diane Abbott is a well known MP from her TV work, especially on This Week; where she basically shoots the shit with Michael Portillo and Andrew Neil, taking breaks every few minutes to hear an absurdely shit Anderew Neil joke. But just how much does she make from all this? Well her Parliamentary income was relased this week, and it should be a lesson to all of us on how to make a shit loads of cash, fast;

In the last year, Abbott made £8,429 for working on This Week. She worked for a total of 30 hours, making her pay for This Week £280.96 p/h. Even I’d listen to Andrew Neil’s gags for that much.

On top of this, she received £1,000 for appearing on Cash in the Attic, she recived £3,000 for appearing on an episode of Come Dine With Me in December and £250 for appearing on The Alan Tichmarsh Show in December.

She also made vast sums from public speaking, including £3,000 for speaking at Deloitte’s National Women’s Day, £1,000 for hosting the intriguingly titled An Audience with Dianne Abbott and £250 for appearing on Channel 4’s The Thought program.

This wasn’t the end of her extra-curricular earners. She also made money from a number of articles she wrote for national newspapers, including £85 for an article in The Guardian (February), £250 for an article in the Independent (June), £200 for an article written in The Voice, £400 for an article in the Sunday Express (August) and £400 for an article in The Express.

But that wasn’t the end of it! Abbott also recived £305 for 3 surveys she took part in over the past 12 months. If I got that sort of cash for taking part in surveys I would be praying for spam phone calls.

Added up, it means that on top of her MP wage, Abbott received £18,579 additional income. The average salary for an MP is £65,738 (not including expenses), meaning that in last year Abbott would have earned minimum £84,307 (pre-tax). Nice. Little. Earner.

Put into perspective, according to mysalary.co.uk the average wage for a professional footballer in the UK is £62,667, the average salary for a musician is £20,125, the average wage of a TV presenter is £36,778 and the average age for an actor is £30,250.

So basically, kids, you’re better off to become an MP than a footballer, Actor, TV Presenter or Musican. And if you can get a gig on TV, well, watch the money roll in. And that’s not even including the after dinner speaking, book deals and being crafty with expenses forms!

So as your career advisor I recommend you get a safe seat and a good agent; then start planning an early reitrement.


Guys and Dolls; Enter the world where men date inanimate objects (Because relationships with humans are overrated) [05/04/11]

Sometimes you’ll see things on the internet that will shock you in it’s oddness. Other things online you’ll struggle to believe are real. Now i’ve seen some bizarre shit in my time, but Dollforum.com takes the biscuit, dunks it into a cup of mental and sprinkles some ‘batshit crazy’ dust on it.

Dollforum.com is online message board for men who like dolls. I don’t mean dolls as in ‘women’ in the eyes of 1960s Italian-American jazz club owners, but actual life-size dolls. It’s just like a normal relationship, except that the woman aren’t, you know, breathing. Or have a pulse. Or are human.

On the the forum they swap photos, stories, and….cleaning tips. Lovely mental image. The forum delicately toes the line between harmless fun and undiagnosed mental condition. Some of the dolls look incredibly lifelike, such as;

 

And some don’t, including this one;

Which seems to be an odd half rabbit half human creation.

The forum is divided into 3 sections; Eye Candy, Inventors Corner and Repair and Maintenance. Eye Candy is where uses upload pictures of the dolls in various states of undress; a bit like a very perverted Madame Tussads.

Inventors corner is where the real weird stuff happens. One user, in devising an electric winch to hold up his doll constructed this;

I can’t even begin to comprehend what the fuck that’s for.

Slightly weirder was one user who had a solution for doll fans with big aspiration but little money;

For all the people who love silicone sex dolls but don’t have the money for one? Your not alone, I have spent years making my own silicone sex dolls and I want to share this with anybody who wants to learn to make there own homemade silicone sex doll.

It’s like a very sordid Blue Peter.

However, one user was keen to break the fourth wall and humanise his doll, but not like with some sort of electronic voice box or something to emit warmth from it (showing all my knowledge here), no they’re a bit more eccentric in this place. But you probably already knew that.

Okay, so maybe I’m a little “out there,” but we live in an age our dolls are getting more and more life-like, thank God for that and some can even talk to us, we have ejaculating dildo’s and watersports is a pretty common topic. So it got me to thinking…

I want to know if anyone plans, or has made, an insert, or a type of bladder for any of the dolls in order to have your doll do some watersports with you?? Anyone know of anything like this??


Or, since there are so many inventors here, can anyone make something like this??

……………what?

Then there’s the repair section, where you can fix problems with your doll, such as, I dunno, damaged limbs I guess. It’s a bit like A + E for inanimate objects. One member has a problem with his doll. He bought a SECOND HAND SEXDOLL which is just about the most horrendous thing I’ve ever heard, then found a number of tears near the doll’s vagina. I don’t know what kind of crazy sex these guys are having with their dolls, but how the fuck do you damaged a fanny?

It appears however that it is a common problem in the doll community, especially for one poster who is banging his with such verocity that he has had to repair the labia twice.

The first labia replacement was less than successful. It loosened after a few strokes. As an emergency solution I mixed some two part and glued the labia in place. That was a waste of time. Two strokes later, all my work was in vain. 

He must be the only guy in world who has to keep a tool-belt handy when he’s bonking.

The main section of the forum is ‘Eye Candy!’ where forrumers post pictures of their ladies. Some are just the odd picture of her sitting in a chair or bent double over a bed, but some are like drawn out little slidereel stories. Like this one:

Hi Guys.Woke up this morning a Kris reminded me that we had a wedding reception and I had to plan her make up and outfit.So here is what I did to get her ready.

 

I really, really hope he turned up to the wedding with a doll.

Then there’s one user, who wrote poetry and got professional studio photos done with his;

 

Good thing I have a very big candlestick… so my light should not go out for many many decades from now, and my love for my dolls will not either - it burns ever so brightly, fiercely, some might even say a bit arrogantly, but elegantly.

Beautiful.

Now, there is two ways to look at this. One way is to say that you have a collection of men who long for some sort of companionship in a cruel world, and the dolls provide it for them. Or the other way to look at it is slightly more pessimistic and negatively. The conception these men have of women is so archaic and illogical that it’s no wonder that they long for dolls for company. Every doll is almost a parody of mainstream ideals. Comedically big and out of proportion breasts, massive plump lips, deep tans and not a wrinkle in sight. The bulk of the content is just lurid photos of the life-like dolls. The whole thing just comes across a small section of misfits objectifying the female form. Yes, they’re not harming anyone, but their mental image of how one’s parter should look and act is quite deplorable. These seem to be men with no interest in an actual woman, with thoughts and opinions, but rather have these doll like images of perfection that don’t speak, act, think or age and simply idealised as manifestation or someone’s obsolute views on how women should be.

Look, it’s harmless fun, fair enough. But it is slightly depressing that these men our content with an absurdly looking inanimate object than attempt to form a relationship with an actual, conscious, real woman.

Saying that, there’s some things in the doll community that’s can’t be explained by logical thought. Like, erm, this;

 

That’s a really special kind of depraved.

Britain’s Worst Broadcaster Releases Erotic Novel (4/4/10)

Watching Kay Burley on TV is quite a polarising experience. Part of it is encouraging, as it shows that anyone, including myself, can get a top job in news/media, but another part of it makes me wonder: Is this the state of broadcast journalism these days? Kay’s tenure at Sky has been gaff-tastic for the most part, including such highlights as:

Asking the ex-partner of the Ipswich prostitute murderer “Do you think if you’d had a better sex life, he wouldn’t have done this?”.

Mistaking Joe Biden’s Ash Wednesday mark on his forehead as a bruise, in which she said, “He’s probably been having a go on those tea trays down the luge or something… It certainly looks like quite a bruise, doesn’t it?”.

Possibly worst of all, she made Peter Andre cry.

On top of this, there were also calls for her to be sacked after her farcical interview with an AV referendum campaigner following a protest, where instead of interviewing him, she just ended up berating him and his action, before suggesting ‘Why don’t you just go home? Why don’t you go home and watch it on Sky News?’. Watching her meander around Sky News’s palatial NEWS ZONE like a lost child in a shopping mall is quite the image.

Anyway, she’s had enough with the fuddy-duddies of politics and has decided to delve into the raunchy world of erotic literature. Cor blimey, guvnor; what would Adam Bolton say? Well, he would probably say something pithy and cutting about celebrity culture, if he could get his head out of Cameron’s arse for long enough, that is.

Her new book is set in the chambers of power, where ‘suave PM’ Julian Jensen, has been re-elected. Despite being the nation’s darling, however, cracks are beginning to show. His wife, Valerie, is apparently ‘tall and educated’, which are the only characteristics worth mention for the wife of a Prime Minister, according to Kay’s book.

Anyway, she’s unhappy and hitting the bottle hard. What develops is a four-way affair between Jenson, his wife and two other women, like a sort of ‘love rhombus’, or something. Woman No. 2 is Sally Simpson, who is the editor of Celeb, one of those proper shit Richard Desmond-esque publications that ‘Takes you inside the home of Darren Day, and a reveal all interview with former Crosswits presenter Tom O’Connor’.

The real star turn in the lurid tale of fantasy, seduction and Barnsley West by-elections is Woman No. 3, Isla Mcgovern. Described as a – no joke – ‘sexy TV reporter’, who will do anything to get to the top. Wow. As the blurb states;

‘When the three women meet, so begins a perfect storm, and only one can emerge as the First Lady.’

Kay describes it as a cross between Jilly Cooper and The Thick of It, but judging by the description, it reads more like a cross betweenYes Minister, Take Me Out and Battle Royale. However, don’t take my word for it, take the word of former Labour spin doctor and part time Voldemort impersonator, Lord Peter Mandelson.

“Kay Burley uses her unparalleled knowledge of the worlds of politics, media and celebrity to racy effect.”

Right, she definitely has naked pictures of him. Surely.

But Pedro Mandelson isn’t the only one with a glowing tribute to her new work. Novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford OBE gave the book a cover quote, writer Kathy Lee states on the back ‘Once I picked up this book, it wouldn’t put me down again!’, and Labour MP Chris Bryant described Burley as ‘a bit dim’. Wait, I don’t think she used the last one.

It seems that everyone is having their say on Kay’s new book, even - get this - lawyers! Turns out that some people aren’t too happy with the likeness between the characters and real life figures.

Burley, who said “readers will certainly recognise the three women in my novel”, has been asked to remove and revise several details inFirst Ladieswhich could identify the people on whom she has based her characters.

Among the details removed is the description of Simpson as “titian-haired” and “flame-haired,” both phrases regularly used to describe a prominent former supporter of Blair. The character of McGovern, meanwhile, is said to be not dissimilar to Gloria De Piero, the glamorous Labour MP and former political correspondent for GMTV.

Ooh dear, Kay. And unfortunately it gets worse. In an early review for the Guardian by Zoe Williams, she states that;

“The political shenanigans are even more embarrassing than either the sex or the cliches that vertically infect each act like cross-generational syphillis. Seriously, the politics is terrible. The politics make you want to hide your eyes”.

But don’t take Zoe’s word for it, enjoy a little taster of one of the books saucier scenes.

“He smiled at the memory of her slowly pouring champagne into a Waterford Crystal flute in his bedroom … she’d mischievously dribbled the contents of the glass onto the most eager parts of his anatomy. Leaning forward she had taken him to the very edge of control before lying back again and allowing herself to succumb to his meticulous attention.”

They say never judge a book by the cover. I think we’ve found the exception to the rule.

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