Code Of Silence

Westminster Council have a reputation for sucking the fun out of any party. The pubs in Soho are well known for the draconian restrictions placed on them in terms of drinking outside, and the fenced-off demarkation zones have to be strictly enforced on pain of a heavy fine.

But now they’ve gone to far. Although the blame has yet to be categorically laid at their door, Westminster Council are at least indirectly responsible for cutting off Bruce Springsteen.

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Camera Shy

It would be very easy to loose off a rant in the direction of TV critic and misogynist AA Gill following the comments he made about classicist Mary Beard and her excellent new programme Meet The Romans. But I really just wanted to make one point, raised by a quote from his review. He states:

‘The hair is a disaster, the outfit an embarrassment… This isn’t sexist or beside the point. If you’re going to invite yourself into the front rooms of the living, then you need to make an effort.’

Let’s take a look at some other TV science and history presenters and see how well they scrub up for the cameras, shall we?









…you get the idea.

Meet The Romans continues tonight at 9pm on BBC2. You can find AA Gill cowering behind the Times paywall, or under the nearest rock.

Let’s Talk About Psoriasis

In the spring of 1993, I noticed a rough scaly patch developing behind one of my ears. At the time, I didn’t worry too much about it, thinking it was something to do with my glasses chafing.

The patch was soon joined by another in the folds of my other ear and slowly they began to spread upwards and round, into my scalp and across my brows. Alarmed, I went to the doctors for a chat.

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A Sorry Excuse

The thing about apologies is that you have to mean them. Or at the very least, make a decent effort at looking like you mean them. I don’t think anyone’s convinced by the half-hearted mumbless that Rupes, Red and the rest of the crew have made about the ongoing debacle/funniest story of the year that threatens to engulf News International, in the same way that a hungry squid will go at a bag of doughnuts.

To me, the full-page apology and the press statements we’ve had up to now read like the sort of thing you’d get from a ten-year old that’s been dragged up to your front door by his dad after being caught scrumping apples.

“Say you’re sorry, Rupert.”


“I don’t think the nice man heard that, Rupert.”

“I SAID I’M SORRY, ALRIGHT? I’M SOOOREEEEEE. Cuh, you deaf, or what?”

That Murdoch kid needs a good clip round the ear.

Anyway, the problem is that we now see anything coming out of the News International Eye of Sauron as inherently untrustworthy. Even if the apology published yesterday was heartfelt, that’s not the way most of us perceived it. Tied in with a self-aggrandising interview Rupes did with one of his own papers, the Wall Street Journal, in which softball questions were gently lobbed and batted away, and you have the prime example of Journalistic Crime Numero Uno.

The whole situation isn’t helped by the Murdoch’s magnanimously agreeing to give evidence at the upcoming Select Committee – after receiving a parliamentary summons which meant they couldn’t really say no. That’s going to be an absolutely prime moment of comedy television. I’m thinking about setting up a drinking game. Take a shot every time Rupes, Red or Spud say “I don’t recall…” or “I have no knowledge of…” I think we’ll all be very drunk, very quickly.


To sum up the whole sorry state of affairs, I can’t really put it any better than this.





Dork’s Progress

After a couple of days working on The SEKRIT Thing That Won’t Be SEKRIT much longer, I’m back at work after two and a bit weeks off. And hoo boy, am I not ready.

I was clearly in denial about the whole prospect. I didn’t do a bag pack or a sort out of what I needed. Hence clattering round the house at half six this morning, waking up TLC by rummaging in cupboards and pockets for passes and tickets. Back into the house for my wallet after I’d locked up.

A hectic cycle ride to the station (road sense gone, nearly plowed into a pedestrian in headphones stepping off the pavement without looking) was capped off by the realisation that the key for the bike lock was back at home.
A return trip into a head wind, swearing all the way.

A stand-up train trip on tiptoes (yes, that busy) only made me more determined that an early train is the way forward. And do you people not SHOWER in the morning? (sidebar: after three bike runs, I probably wasn’t too fresh myself).

And yet I was still in work more or less on time. Shame there was no-one there to witness it, and the telecine’s not working. And I feel like a bag of swamp water and noodles now. Knackered before nine. Great start.

Who’s that Girl? Lisbeth Salander, remakes and makeovers

The David Fincher remake of Neils Arden Oplev’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is looking worse by the minute. I know it’s an exercise in foolishness to judge a film on the strength of a couple of trailers and a poster. But Sony Pictures have sent out these images to garner a first reaction to the film. So here’s mine.

(NSFW after the cut. There is an exposed nipple. It is pierced. Be afraid.)

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Cut: Censorship,The BBFC and Human Centipede 2

In a move that’s boggled the minds of UK horror fans, the BBFC have refused to certificate the sequel to Tom Six’s The Human Centipede, Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence. 2009’s Jap horror Grotesque was the last film to join this rarified club of films too awful for the sensitive British public to see.

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