big brother: bye bye channelle

So the ranter’s left the house at last; no more tears from the wailing Channelle. Thank Christ. But we did get lots of tears from virtually everyone else in the house tonight. It took me back to those dark days of the sad boys in Any Dream Will Do. Shudder. As a double bonus we also saw the back of Ziggy who nobly fell on his sword to volunteer, Spartacus like, for temporary banishment to the half-way house. Amusingly, and unlike in Spartacus, all his housemates voted to ditch him rather than save him. Great fun, then of course more tears. This of course was triggered by the arrival of the 2 new housemates – David (yep I forecast that) and Kara Louise who I thought would attract some votes but she beat my favourite Shanessa hands down. Ah well Shanny back to the porn and obscurity. Except she and Aileen Wournos (who was very upset and not a little shocked not to get through) and weirdo Jonty (who had his backers incredibly) still remain in the half way house along with Ziggy now. Is it just me or are you just a little bemused too? We now have the Big House and Little House with the fairy. Sorry Jonty.



shop names

During a car trip with top guy C today (better known by some of you as the commentator Charlie Cranium) to visit Birmingham City FC, we passed through the Shirley/Solihull area of Birmingham. C pointed out one of his favourite names for a small business, a Chinese restaurant known as The Shirley Temple. It’s true – go google if you don’t believe me. Bear in mind this is close to the former fish and chip shop known as Mustapha Fish. This got me thinking about all the amusing and often cringeworthy punning shop names I’ve noticed over the years and kinda forgotten. I know there’s another fish and chip shop in Aylesbury known as The Codfather, which I think is excellent, though probably not unique. An old friend of ours, Dennis, who set up his own pest control business had ‘Dennis the Menace…killer’ printed on his business cards. Top stuff. Hairdressing salons can’t resist the punny name A Cut Above, Hair Today, From Hair to Eternity, Sizzers and so on. But you guys must know some belters too? Come on indulge me.


big brother: fri-mon shocks

OMG first of all we lose Charley from the BB house. She was the queen b and most interesting character but also it seems the most reviled – nearly 90% of the viewers voted for her in a head to head vote-off. Surely the biggest landslide in BB history. Now she’ll just go off and make several millions creating and exploiting brand Charley. She’ll undoubtedly get her wish to become one of those celebrity personalities she so covets. But with all that anger burning within her it’ll all end in tears a la Jade Goody I sense. Even so, is it just me or did the lights go out a bit on the programme with her departure?

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in-car entertainment (4): room 101

Right, well absolutely no-one was interested in my lorry-spotting musings in in-car ent 3 so I’ve gone for a more popular way for several adults to kill an hour whilst stuck in traffic; your pet items to consign to room 101. It actually works really well with 3 or more folk involved, as I was last week travelling back to Brighton with my lovely daughter and son-in-law, E and S. Grandson S was happily focused on the tracks from the CD, Happy Songs (some classics, some dogs but I’m proud to say that at 5 he knows all the words to James Brown’s I Feel Good). Grandson G was fast asleep – probably dreaming about what it’ll be like to be all grown-up and to have so many things to hate.

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the open

Is it just me or was that one of the best Open Championships in recent years? At last we have a European winner and not simply another win by Tiger or an anonymous American, never to repeat his success again. Carnoustie proved to be a fantastic course this time with the final 3 holes just about as tough as they get for tired minds, arms and legs. Somebody mentioned that the course is the only Championship links to feature water so significantly in its final few holes. I know St Andrews has its burn too but i know what they mean. That barry burn is like a snake waiting to bite. Brilliant.

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pw – what a guy

I wrote about PW, one of the senior guys and our boss at Cellnet, in Blunter and the updated Blunter postscript. He was a hell of a character and made working at the place so enjoyable. Never a dull minute with PW. I don’t think he was a great marketing guy but he was in his element in sales and channel management. He taught us about doing things in style, with panache and flair. He loved to party, loved entertaining the key channel guys. No expense was ever spared when it came to functions, trips, hospitality and PW always insisted the whole team be present with partners if they wished, kids too at week-end stuff. His big love was motorsport and at Cellnet this translated itself into the big marketing concept; sponsorship of an F3 team. I actually think B my immediate boss did the ground work on the concept but PW embraced it totally. He saw it as a clothes horse that all of our marketing activity had to hang from. It wasn’t a bad idea but with hindsight I realise we spent too much on the actual team and nowhere near enough on pure marketing support activity. Then again none of us were marketing specialists – we were learning on the job. Vodafone our only competitor built a head of steam in supporting the channel which took 8 years to claw back. But at Cellnet we had the most fun, no question, led by PW.

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little april showers

Now I know this sounds like I’ve gone all cutesie but I really like the Vodafone ad for mobile internet which uses the sound track of ‘Little April Showers’ from Disney’s 1942 film Bambi. It’s one of those tunes that’s been in your subconscious since childhood and the ad cleverly mimics scenes from the film of animals playing in the rain but the twist is that the rain drop are all tiny parts from watches, clocks and unusual timepieces. The point of the ad is that you get more time with V’s mobile internet service. It’s catchy, beautifully shot and intriguing. A great ad from Vodafone, blimey, never thought I’d ever say it (actually that ad with the Dandy Warhols’ Bohemian Like You’ was just great too – but that’s it; just two ads). Memorable ad; 7 out of 10.

probably the worst programme in the world

I know I was going on about how bad the UK soaps are at the moment but I realised last night that there is an even more truly awful programme on the telly; the National Lottery draw live. Given that winning the lottery is plan A in our financial strategy for sorting out our current situation, I’ve started to take notice of this little piece of broadcasting hell. Is it just me Lord or is it really, really bad? What is wrong with the BBC at the moment, they are just getting the simple things like programme integrity so wrong. I’m not saying The National Lottery draw is as apparently contrived as their phone-in competitions but the show’s structure is just so meagre and budget-starved and lacking in any sense of entertainment, even though it thinks it is as much fun as TISWAS. Not in the same millenium.

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