Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Anarchist, My Arse

Still on the theme of our so-called 'quality' newspapers' failure to check facts, a profile of Bill Oddie in The Observer says he was "one of very few celebrities to refuse the red book treatment on This Is Your Life." Not true. He gave Michael Aspel a severe ear-bashing but then did the show with bad grace, which was much worse than not doing it all.
Anne Kirkbride from Coronation Street did This Is Your Life in the depths of clinical depression. She claims to have been so heavily medicated that she doesn't remember it. Yet you'd never have known it when watching.
That's one reason why I don't much like Bill Oddie. His voice may be another factor but if it is then I'm ashamed of myself. In any event it means that Germaine Greer's statement that "everybody loves Bill" is also factually incorrect, even if I'm the only person in Britain who doesn't.

The Observer profile also contained one of the funniest sentences I've read this week: "today Oddie is still a scruffy anarchist.......while grudgingly accepting a real OBE for his conservational work."
Yeah, right. It must be a real pisser when you're an anarchist and you're forced to get suited and booted and go schlepping down to Buck House to get the Order of the British Empire and bow to the Queen and make small talk over the champagne.
"As Proudhon said, Ma'am, property is theft. Nice gardens, though. Was that a shag I saw down by your lake?"
"I'm so sorry. I've told Harry to be more discreet. The Mayor of Tunbridge Wells slipped on a condom at one's last Garden Party."


At 4:27 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Danny Blanchflower an old football hero refused and meant it. Richard Gordon - he of the humorous Dr in the House/ at Sea books and 'would you believe it'style medical horror story books also grumped "No!" on air but stayed to record a programme once he'd calmed down.

At 6:05 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

I nearly mentioned the Blanchflower episode. In those days programmes were live so when he told Eammon Andrews where to stick his red book several million viwers were watching. I can't remember what they did. Maybe they showed that potter's wheel for half an hour.

At 6:54 PM, Blogger cello said...

Willie, thanks for your appreciation of my appreciation of delphiniums (and lupins) over on James's blog. I've now decided to check you out a bit. We seem to share a loathing of Royalty, Bill Oddie,the Daily Mail and Murdoch and a love of Mahler, Mozart, Diary of a Nobody and the Guardian (went off the Observer a bit because of their war stance). I am also just over 50 and live in central southern England. I am however female, otherwise I would have been accusing you of identity theft.

At 8:40 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

cello, I wonder if other lovers of tall, spiky flowers share these characteristics?
On the reciprocal checking out front, I also find Shameless, Green Wing, Wodehouse, Austen, Eliot,etc. However, I've never been able to eat broad beans, although you only refer to growing them, not eating them.
I have to confess to moving to the right politically. But since I started as an anarchist (hence the Oddie piece)I'm still way to the left of most mainstream opinion. The internet, of course, manifests many of the principles of anarchism and I must blog about that one day.
Anyway, it's been good to make the acqaintance of a female demi-doppelganger. You should write a blog to give me more competition as an over-50, leftie blogger.

At 9:12 PM, Blogger cello said...

The trick with broad beans is to peel them as well as pod them (blanching them facilitates the process). You are then left with a little emerald jewel which can rival asparagus or artichokes in its delectability.

One day, Willie, I might just blog a bit. But I commute into London every day and I've got a 10 year old (last egg in the box job). So, what with my garden obsession and singing madrigals etc etc it'll have to wait a bit. I just come and squat in other people's. Will try not to do that to you. James's Blue Cat Forum has a section on Gardens that, I suspect, he inserted just for me and it would be great to have some company in there occasionally. I'm on a mission to prove that subscriptions to Gardens Illustrated and the Guardian are not incompatible.

Incidentally, I write a bit for the Guardian, so when I next talk to Alan Rusbridger I will make a case for you inheriting Nancy Banks-Smith's post when she pops off, as she must surely do soon.

Apologies for this ridiculously long post.

At 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cello - please, never, never mention even the possibility that the Blessed Nancy is other than immortal. As someone once wrote: Clive James used to be so good a TV critic that you didn't need to have seen the programme to appreciate the review; with Nancy B-S, you don't even need to know what a television is.

- Tony -

At 8:03 AM, Blogger Matt said...

It took me a couple of goes at the last line to get what I _think_ you meant about the Mayor of Tunbridge wells.

I thought you meant 'slipped on' as in slipped on a pair of trousers, almost as in getting dressed and ready for action.

But then that probably says more about me.

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

cello, I've been trying to avoid forums. A funny thing once happened to me on the way to one. But I might venture into James' gardeners' corner.

Re Nancy, Tony has said it all for me. None of us are worthy. But Gareth McLean was so good (before he was promoted) that I suspected he was Nancy's secret love child.
That said, I wouldn't turn my nose up at any kind of freelance work although so far I've only toiled in the foothills of provincial journalism, albeit with a very nice picture byline which annoyed some of the staffers!

I need a good broad bean recipe - does James' Forum have a cookery section?

matt: it's my fault. For once, it was an unintentional double meaning. I'd meant to write a 'wet condom' or 'used condom' which would have been clearer but I left out the adjective.
Still, it's a nice image of the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells.

At 8:59 AM, Blogger cello said...

Apologies, everyone, for raising the spectre of a Nancy-less universe. I was just being realistic, but it won't happen again.

There's no cookery section on the Blue Cat Forum, but all the threads seem to descend into food porn eventually, mostly involving scones.

But herewith a quick broad bean recipe; mix the cold peeled beans with chopped tomatoes, garlic
and basil and cover the mixture with good olive oil. Ta-da! You could add a bit of cous-cous too to stretch it.

Another good one is to zizz them up and make them into a guacomole type paste with chilli etc.

At 2:51 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

cello, many thanks for the recipe. One day when I'm feeling brave I'll try it. I assume you cook the beans first? I might have to use a different herb because basil is one I don't currently grow.


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