Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Ex-Minister In Golf Course Plus Fours Shock Horror

There must be limits to the horrors one subjects oneself to in the interests of blogging. It is, after all, an unpaid activity and meant to be a pleasurable one.
Yet recently I have watched Anne Robinson on television and made a close textual analysis of the song Honey. So, despite the best of intentions, I didn't manage to watch Ann Widdecombe's new programme last night.
I said, in the words of Mr Meatloaf, 'but I won't do THAT.'

This is an agony aunt style of programme, although Ms Widdecombe's contract specifically excludes sexual problems. An eminently sensible exclusion because the sight of Ms Widdecombe closing her eyes tightly, as she always does when she speaks, and trying to get her mouth round 'premature ejaculation' would breach every guideline on taste and decency. And probably put the youth of Britain off sex for life, although she would probably regard that as a great achievement.

What I said at the beginning was only 98% true. For I did see a few minutes of the programme, in which she tried to reconcile a woman to her husband spending too much time on the golf course.
Perhaps it's just me, but this doesn't grab your attention to quite the same extent as Jerry Springer with the man who married his cousin's transvestite horse.
It did give us some deeply disturbing footage of Ann Widdecombe in plus-fours scurrying around a golf course like a giant, genetically modified rodent.

The wife in this case, who had foolishly taken the security chain off the door and allowed Ann to invade her living room, turned to the camera afterwards and said "She's not the full ticket, is she?"
There's not much you can add to that.
Except to explain to overseas readers that Ann Widdecombe is a right-wing Conservative politician who early in life bought a Supersaver Awayday from the rest of the human race and is yet to make the return journey.
And to note that one day Ken Clarke will become leader of the Conservative Party by default because all the other comedy weirdos will have disappeared to pursue lucrative television careers.


I know The Bill has a voracious appetite for actors and that many actors would starve if it weren't for bit parts in The Bill.
An old friend of mine turned up in it recently as an alcoholic tramp. Then again, he might now be an alcoholic tramp who just happened to wander into shot and was left in to provide gritty realism.
But I think the casting directors should exercise a little more care.

Coronation Street's resident detective, who only recently banged up poor Mrs Harris for a crime she didn't commit, has turned up in The Bill as a criminal supergrass.
To add to the confusion, one of The Bill's detectives said she used to know him in Manchester. So I immediately decided that he'd been sent down to London's Sun Hill from Weatherfield on an undercover operation and I was soon engrossed in a plot that bore no relation to the one the writer had written.

I believe The Bill has an '18 month rule'; that's the time that must elapse before an actor can appear in The Bill again. But for the easily confused they should have a similar rule for actors transferring or moonlighting from other soaps.
It must be especially disorientating for the many people who think soap characters are real people. How did they ever get their heads round Barry Grant from Brookside popping up in The Bill and having an affair with one of the Nolan Sisters?


At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quote: "... the sight of Ms Widdecombe closing her eyes tightly, as she always does when she speaks, and trying to get her mouth round 'premature ejaculation'..."

Most spooky, Mr Lupin, because whenever I think I might be about to suffer from premature ejaculation, the mental image of Ms Widdecombe affords an instant cure.

- Tony -

At 10:30 AM, Blogger zaphod said...

"Ann Widdecombe is a right-wing Conservative politician who early in life bought a Supersaver Awayday from the rest of the human race and is yet to make the return journey".

I like that.

At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Alan said...

The Bill and Casualty between them have kept the wolf from the door for many a young jobbing actor. I played a rioter on The Bill. And a football hooligan on Casualty. Hang on! Is there any such thing as typecasting for TV extras?

At 12:06 PM, Blogger Tony said...

My god, doesn't she look like Elton John!

At 1:17 PM, Blogger Wyndham said...

I know a number of wannabe actors and one of the pleasures of watching The Bill and EastEnders - well, the only pleasure in watching EE - is to spot one or more of them skulking around in the background of the CID room or the canteen or the Cafe.The trouble is, they bemoan, you do get typecast as an extra when you're looking for "proper" acting work.It becomes a bit of a vicious circle and, before you know it, you've been a "background artist" for 50 years.

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

Tony, you're probably not alone in that. Miss Widdecombe's God works in mysterious ways. She may have been put on earth to help men with that problem.
Yes, I can see the likeness to Elton. It's her new hairstyle that's done it. Hate to hear her sing Rocket Man though.

zaphod: there was a slight ambiguity in that phrase - i.e. that the human race had sold her the ticket - which troubled me. But then I thought that they would gladly have done so, providing it was a one way ticket.

alan, sorry to be personal, but could the typecasting have anything to do with your hairstyle? (which is very nice, by the way).

wyndham, there are also loads of people who work only as extras as a hobby. Scores of them descended on my village years ago when Casualty was filming here. One of them tripped over my dog in the pub and said "I know I wanted to be in Casualty but this is ridiculous."

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Geoff said...

Doesn't our Annie, like our Hughie, have high tech idiot boards on the insides of her eyelids?

At 9:33 PM, Blogger cello said...

I want to know what happened to Ann Widdecombe in her youth to turn her into the parody of a frumpy old bag she is today. By and large,I am recognisably the same person as I was at 22. Bigger pants, specs for driving, sure, but the same views broadly, the same interest in all those things that make life fun.

But I just don't believe Ann W could ever have been a young person with anything close to the personality she projects these days. I'm willing to be sympathetic. Did a beloved die young? Or was she sexually abused? It can't all be Michael Howard's fault. Any qualified psychologists out there?

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

Geoff, I thought at first you meant Hughie Greene but perhaps you meant Hugh Grant? I think Anne closes her eyes like a medium does because the Holy Spirit is talking through her. Or so she thinks.

cello, in the Radio Times she admits to a three year "chaste romantic involvement" at Oxford but no more details are given.
She's also a great admirer of George Bush. They're both, of course, very chummy with the Almighty, which makes you question His choice of friends.


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