Meet the man who’s bored everyone

Monday 29th September 2008

Michael Parkinson has launched his own website.

For a man who hitherto never wasted any promotional opportunity to remind you he’s a journalist and NOT A TV PERSONALITY, the OMB (Ol’ Miserable Bastard) appears to be loosening the strings of his pomposity corset. For this site is nothing if not personality-led.

There’s a big photo of the man, seemingly biting on his own finger. We’re invited to “meet the man who’s met everyone” – not the sort of claim you’d expect from a lowly journalist of the old school.

We’re also asked to buy a CD entitled Michael Parkinson: My Life In Music. For anyone who *still* hasn’t heard of Jamie Cullum or Michael Buble, or rather who *still* hasn’t heard of how Parky discovered them all by himself (when his producer put their CDs in his journalistic hands), the first 100 preorders of this disc are signed by OMB himself.

At the bottom of the homepage there’s a plug for the pub owned by Michael and his son, the one that Terry Wogan is barred from for post-8am news comedic monologue purposes. Oh, and did you know that Parky has a book coming out, all about his life, called ‘Parky’? Being a journalist he has written it all by himself and will be “trailing around the length and breadth of the country” for some signing sessions. If you feel like that, mate, don’t bother, it’s really no trouble.

Anyway, the thing that really grates is the way he’s snaffled up all the rights to his TV interviews and will be filtering them online through his very own smarmy pipette whenever he chooses.

What a selfless act of journalism: placing himself higher than his public, and refusing to let the clips stand on their own merits. Instead we’re to be flattered with his own favourites and, presumably, all the ones that show him in a good light rather than his guests (or rather, show him in a better light).

Ah well, you’re thinking, perhaps OMB will give readers a right to reply to all of this bollocks on his new blog. Wrong. It’s called a blog, but it sure as hell isn’t one. It’s merely another megaphone for all things Parky, to which nobody is allowed to respond.

Among the titbits is news that he’s about to become Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University. Can you guess, reader, which name looms largest among those he has chosen to receive honorary degrees? Billy Fucking Connolly. How we’ll all look forward to hearing about Parky’s hilarious encounter with “one of my favourite people” in front of a bunch of graduates who don’t know who either of them are. Maybe the stage will be arranged in the style of his chat show, which as we now know went bankrupt because OMB wanted a pocket money rise from Michael Grade.

There is, however, a forum. Surely this is fizzing with activity, given Parky is “the man who’s met everyone”? At the time of writing it boasts just six replies. Maybe that’s because he’s personally deleting any response that doesn’t meet his exact journalistic standards of grammar and spelling. Or maybe nobody really gives a toss.

Thank fuck he’s not on TV anymore.

P.S. How come he hasn’t shelled out for It’s available. After all Mike, can’t help sounding a little, well, common…


An evil prick in glasses…and Simon Bates

Saturday 27th September 2008

It feels like there are a million things wrong with this clip, especially the opening 60 seconds or so. Ideally it ought to be prefaced with a short sequence involving somebody in suit and tie warning you about its content. And the fact it breaches almost every possible measure of taste, decency and factual accuracy the likes of which the Video Standards Council could only dream. “Have a listen to Jeff Wayne’s new single…”

Photo clippage: party conference special

Wednesday 24th September 2008

Now there’s a title that’s likely to get this blog’s search queries shooting up.

1) Harold Wilson and Dick Crossman cook up another gimmick outside their guest house, 1960:

2) Ted Heath provides the Not The Nine O’clock News scriptwriters with an easy win:

3) Uncle Jim sews up the youth vote…

4) …before toe-tapping his way around the Brighton Top Rank ballroom, 1977:

5) Edwina Currie brandishes a pair of handcuffs during a debate on law and order, 1981:

6) The dream ticket, 1983:

7) Michael Denzil Xavier “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA” Portillo, 1990:

"This is a lovely way to spend an evening…"

Monday 22nd September 2008

There’s no way to embed this, unfortunately, but here’s a chance to enjoy the sight of Petula Clark singing across a faux-dinner table at Peter Ustinov, some Generation Game business involving orange peelers, and a BBC1 programme that “will also be shown on BBC2 and ITV”:

Details in RADIO TIMES.

This week’s new Dr Who(s) revealed

Friday 19th September 2008

It’s the Dr Who silly season, with stupid stories being lobbed into the ether to keep the freaks in a heightened state of pre-coital craziness until Christmas.

There’s the one about the TARDIS being turned gold for a special Children In Need sketch, by way of a tribute to the success of Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic teams. But then there’s Russell T Davies ‘revealing’ the ‘identity’ of the person he’d like to replace David Tennant.

It’s clear his sole rationale here is to keep the words ‘Russell’ and ‘Dr Who’ attached to each other in the public consciousness for another few years or so, while he’s elsewhere busy making another Manchester-based drama about 40-something gay men. But there are surely far more persuasive options that Russell *Tovey*:

“Now onto Capricorn, this is you Rose…”

“You are, are you not, a Mechanoid?” Anything’s possible for those folks at The Mill.

“Cassandra, I’ve just met a girl named Cassandra…”

“You think you’re abominable? Wait till you hear this version of The Entertainer!”

No licence-dodgers, except one

Tuesday 16th September 2008

Noel Edmonds was mouthing off in the press the other day, in an attempt to whip up interest in his wretched one-off Sky One show.

The self-styled Prime Minister-in-waiting (a bit like Hughie Green when he used Opportunity Knocks to try and take over the country in the late 1970s) moaned about, among other things, immigrants, people who knock astrologists, and the licence fee. “I’m so incensed by the idea that I’m guilty of something that I actually cancelled my licence fee a few months ago,” Noel thundered, bizarrely. “They haven’t found me, and nobody’s come knocking on the door.” Yes Noel, that’s because you live in a palace behind Berlin Wall-style ramparts that make it impossible for anyone to knock on your door.

Anyway, a few years ago when Noel was a nicer person and Deal Or No Deal had just started and people genuinely enjoyed his presence, he used to get in the papers every week for saying this kind of stuff. Albeit stuff of a far less offensive, more entertaining fashion.

Some of these escapades into print were used to fill up editions of the now defunct Digi-Cream Times mailout. Here were five of the best.

1) Noel gets into a fight with Mike Read
Edmonds crosses swords with his Saturday morning successor concerning the latter’s participation in Channel Five’s The Curse Of Noel Edmonds. Mike refuses to step outside, instead offering to write Noel an apologetic letter, though just as intriguing is the fact it all takes place at a party hosted by Anthea Turner.

2) Noel breaks the land speed record
Edmonds confesses he once drove a car at 186mph. It being Noel, there is some shameless innuendo worked into the tale, to the tune of an admission he once had sex in a Range Rover. “You can’t say you love cars if you haven’t ever made love in one,” Noel hisses.

3) Noel falls out with Ricky Gervais
Gervais is supposed to be collecting some kind of Lifetime Achievement Award from Noel at an awards ceremony. But he refuses to accept the award off Edmonds, citing unhappiness at this clash of cultures (i.e. popular v. unpopular – Noel being the former, naturally). It is unclear whether Noel subsequently asked Gervais to step outside for a fistfight.

4) Noel advocates infidelity
One of a number of celebrities canvassed for their view on what they see themselves doing “when I’m 64”, Noel testifies to wishing for a 64th birthday “spent in a hotel room bed, with someone else’s husband banging on the door”.

5) Noel gets a disease that gives him a Beadle hand
“It’s a bit ridiculous, but I am in agony.” The man does himself a mischief and makes it into the pages of the Daily Telegraph. “After 40 years in entertainment,” Noel whines, “I can at last boast that I have suffered an industrial injury.” The cause of this shocking turn of events? The Deal Or No Deal phone. “It’s pretty heavy and I have to pick it up a dozen times a show. We shoot three shows a day and it got so painful that I could hardly pick the bleeding thing up. I didn’t know what was wrong so I went to a consultant in Bristol last week and she diagnosed it as repetitive strain injury, rather like tennis elbow. She said she was a huge fan of the show and was sure that it must be from picking up the phone.”

A citizen of the universe and a gentleman to boot

Monday 15th September 2008

Anyone who listens to Adam and Joe on 6 Music will know the name Chris Salt. He was the deserving winner of the recent Screen Test-esque competition in which members of the public were invited to create a video to accompany one of the pair’s legendary Song Wars tracks.

Anyway, Chris has a number of Lego-based creations to his name, and here’s one of the finest: a charming little salute to Dr Who with a suitably waspish pay-off.