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Pointless celebrities

February 4, 2013

I did not get a chance to mention it yesterday, but after getting back to the house after the rugby on Saturday, I turned on the TV and was confronted by a programme called Pointless Celebrities. Now call me old fashioned but is that the best UK TV can offer? Surely when I was young TV was not this bad? We had loads of terrible stuff like Benny Hill and Crossroads, but Pointless Celebrities?

I reckon that Nagasaki must be Japanese for nag city. This was my conclusion after I was subjected yesterday morning to a stream of “correctional briefings” which ranged in subject from drinking too much beer, eating too much cheese and drinking too much wine.  It also encompassed putting my clothes in the wrong place, placing my shoes incorrectly and of course, that most cardinal of sins, wearing a jacket over my sweaters causing them to bobble.  I am not nagging she said, when challenged, I am just telling you (very forcefully) what you are doing wrong. This was after I complained that her torrent of complaints, or suggested incremental guidelines, as she would be more likely to describe the stream of nagging yesterday, amounted to nagging. I pointed out that I did not nag her when she used my razor to shave off the bobbles on my new woolly sweather, despite my face looking like a baby’s bottom covered in nappy rash as a result of trying to shave with it, nor did I take major issue with her when the devil dog, Banjo, chewed a hole in the cupboard to get at the dog food.

Arundel floods

The watery wastes of Arundel

With rain promised later in the day, we had taken a trip over to Graffham in the South Downs after I had stupidly said that it was too flat locally for a proper walk and I needed some hills to get the red corpuscles moving.  She found me a hill. Heart attack hill. It was very however beautiful in a steep wintery way and walking up it had the effect of generating an enormous thirst. It seemed to be too much of an opportunity not to try out the local pubs in the village in a vain search for potential Currencies Direct clients.

The Foresters Arms is a charming pub, beams and an open fire and Doom Bar on draft made for a happy experience and I had settled in with a pint before a roaring log fire, but that Nice Lady Decorator was determined to try the other pub in the village, the White Horse, which although cozy was a far less enthralling prospect. At first look it is a lovely old building but as soon as you get through the door I knew it was not for me. The entrance was ruined by being confronted almost immediately by a fruit machine and a pool table. Not my idea of what to expect from a traditional English pub.

Returning to Arundel in time to see Italy beat France in the 6 Nations rugby was a delight but that is it, the weekend is over and a bleak week lies ahead. I even have to venture north as far north as Milton Keynes this week, for some meetings designed to further the development of the music industry. Yes, work. A four letter word ending in k. I shall need bull bars fitted to the Merc, to lay in provisions,  blankets and a shovel to dig my way out of snowdrifts. I imagine that at midday we may get some twilight to light up the tundra but as long as the roads are open palm an escape the same day back down to the relative civilisation of West Sussex.

Chris France

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Rev. Jeff permalink
    February 4, 2013 12:35 pm

    ‘Some terrible stuff like Benny Hill and Crossroads…..’!!!!!!!!

    Benny Hill was a total genius and one of Britain’s finest and most innovative comics. The lyrics to Ernie are breathtakingly clever and the line ‘he looked up in pained surprise as the concrete hardened crust of a stale pork pie caught him in the eye and Ernie bit the dust’ is pure comic gold. As a poet I can tell you that it’s a piece of absolute magic. Have you forgotten the brilliant Fred Scuttle and a host of other comic creations ? What are you thinking ?????


  2. Rev. Jeff permalink
    February 4, 2013 3:58 pm

    So according to that mind boggling piece of logic I take it that all the music of the sixties and seventies was rubbish then , to say nothing of comedy classics like Fawlty Towers !! Next you will be telling me you’re a fan of the execrable Mrs. Browns Boys and the lamentable Miranda simply because they are ‘modern’. I was surprised to read that you are such a fan of very ordinary efforts like ‘Not going out’-well I certainly wouldn’t be staying in for it !! Lame plots used as a creaking vehicle for some fairly amusing puns and a likable main character. Hardly ‘classic’ though! There have been some masterpieces of mirth in recent years though with the best being the underrated but brilliantly written ‘Coupling’ -what a gem !! I always said you lacked a certain ‘depth’ Mr. France but even for you this is plumbing new shallows !! I sense that a lack of sun and an over indulgence in alcoholic refreshment is having a detrimental affect on that once sharp mind. Pay heed before all is lost !!!!


    • February 4, 2013 4:08 pm

      my dear chap, there were of course a lot of comedy classics in the 60’s and 70’s, amongst which the finest was Monty Python, but Benny Hill? surely you cannot compare him favourably with John Cleese? You have hit the nail on the head and the three series you mention are indeed my favourite current comedy TV viewing. The one are where we can agree is with Coupling which was indeed very good. It seems that all this poetry and god has turned your head. And you were once so ahead of the trends…..


  3. February 4, 2013 5:04 pm

    It’s good fun to witness you two obviously very close bosom buddies having a good old ding-dong, knock-about match from opposing ends of the court, so to speak… With Rev Jeff still serving, the score I think is thirty love… and I have to agree with the Rev’s every word !
    Pay heed indeed, Chris — been there, done that and got the T-shirt !


    • February 4, 2013 5:12 pm

      Oh dear. I had though that some of your previous comments had hinted at an intellect to which I could reach out. I write for the Daily Telegraph. The Reverend writes poetry for (gulp)The Daily Mail. There ends the case for the defence. Surely I do not have 2 Daily Mail readers amongst my followers? Please tell me this is all a ghastly mistake? Benny Hill was a sexist chump, Carry On Being appalling was simply execrable. Not Going Out is excellent and I will not have a word said against it , Miranda has its moments but is decent work in progress and personally I find Mrs Brows Boys very funny, perhaps because of my Irish mates.


  4. Rev. Jeff permalink
    February 5, 2013 12:19 pm

    How nice to have you umpiring Howzaaat and I still think you have an intellect worth reaching out to. However this will be my last and winning volley as Chris and I are indeed old friends and I would hate to see him continuing to make a fool of himself so publicly .To begin with modesty forbids me from recounting just how many poems I have had printed in the Daily Mail, the newspaper with I believe the largest U.K circulation. Chris I think has had one travel article in the Telegraph and I’m not even sure it didn’t only appear in the online version. If it did appear in print then I apologize as this was indeed a fairly notable achievement. Benny Hill has been cited many times and by many of Britain’s finest comedians as a genius who was a major influence on their own work.These include Ben Elton who is about as ‘right on’ as it is possible to be. For Chris ,of all people, to be joining the feminist ranks to accuse him of sexism can only be put down to his own current rage at being so thoroughly demolished in this debate. I’m sure when he has cooled down sufficiently even he will be embarrassed at his cringeworthy use of the term ‘sexist chump’.
    I simply do not understand what ‘Carry on Being appalling was simply execrable’ even means !! Is this English ? ‘Not going out’ is reasonably funny but was taken off the prime time Friday night spot because of fairly low ratings. ‘Miranda’ far from being ‘a work in progress’ is now being heavily criticized for its over reliance on farce and slapstick. Features which I have complained of since day one! You have Irish friends so you think Mrs. Browns Boys is funny ? I’m not sure if your Irish friends would be too pleased with the comparison you are obviously making. Many Irish people are brilliantly witty and must be totally embarrassed at being represented by this ‘fecking’ dross ! I had a friend who was a bus driver but it didn’t make the lamentable’ On The Buses’ any funnier. I really don’t know what else I can say except it’s probably time for you to ‘start taking more water with it’ !


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