pasta paulie alternative new year’s honours

Well the latest clutch of luvvies have received their knighthoods to recognise such  incredibly selfless work as commanding the starship Enterprise. To boldly honour eh. I’ve written before about people who I think are more deserving causes (check the search list) and it’s clear Her Madge is getting some really crap advice about who should receive the gongs. So I thought I’d make my last posting of 2009  my personal nominees to HM of the ‘honourees’ for some special awards.

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xmas eve

Well it’s Xmas eve and we’re pretty much all prepared. This time last year we hosted all of our family out in Italy and whilst we had a great time the house was freezing as the gasman hadn’t delivered. This year the kids and grandkids will be joining us again here in Teddington and unless the gas mains freeze over we should all be at least warm this time. Of course things don’t always go to plan; we’ve just heard from our local shabby chic Victoriana gastro-pub, The Bloated Mallard, where we planning on having a blow-out tapas feast later that they’ve cancelled tonight (!) because their chef hasn’t turned up. It sounds vaguely familiar. Continue reading

hewson, we have a problem

I’ve written before about how underwhelmed we’ve been with the Virgin Media bundle package. It’s 90% hopeless (we still don’t have wireless access for the laptop) but I can openly admit that one element of it is simply  super; their catch-up on-demand I-Player is built in to the service and therefore available directly on our tv. If Virgin can do it why can’t the BBC/ITV/C4/Sky? Mystifies me. Earlier today this fabulously neat facility brought me the televisual treat of the season, Celebrity Come Dine With Me, which I missed last night. Oh what an experience. If you’ve not seen it go check it out (on your computers non-Virgins).

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The Restaurant

Well it’s the season for tv series’ finales and last tonight we endured the Strictly Come Dancing climax (could have phrased that better), hosted by Britain’s oldest and most irritating non-entertainer and won by the BBC’s very own Stuart Little – Chris and his equally diminutive partner Ola, a pairing affectionately nicknamed Tiny Cola. God they dragged it out but at least we don’t have to put it with it any more at least until the new season starts, probably around 14 January.  And a couple of evenings ago we watched the concluding episode of The Restaurant, where the very Gallic and charming Raymond Blanc sets out to find another pairing worthy of investing in a joint restaurant operation. Just imagine winning your own restaurant eh? For those of us who enjoy a bit of cooking it must be a dream come true. And the winners of this season’s competition were a very special pair indeed, affectionately known as Can’t Cook Cola.

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the noughties

Well not only is the year drawing to a close but so is the first decade of the 21st century. It doesn’t seem like 10 years since we were at Geoff and Maureen’s Millenium night party smiling at the thought of all those New Labour ligggers queuing up to get into the Dome. On a personal basis it’s been quite a time for us; we saw two daughters happily married and welcomed two great grandsons into the family, we lost Carol’s mum and Terry from my family as well as several friends sadly but also experienced living in Italy after leaving BT following more than 30 years with the company. Some great memories but I was thinking about some of the sporting highlights in the last decade.

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michael mcintyre; comedy hero or villain?

So come on, are you a fan of the blue-suited, pink-shirted stand-up comedian Michael McIntyre or not? I suspect it might be Ayes (women) to the left; Noes (men, straight) to the right. Is that too harsh? He’s certainly a bloody funny guy but what is it that makes fellow panellists on Mock the Week shun him, whilst at the recent Comedy Awards even archly-opinionated Armando Iannucci was moved to comment on the ‘slight air of hostility towards MM’? This followed a more than acidic little dig from Harry Hill who, in his acceptance speech, complemented his fellow nominee Alan Carr as his wife’s favourite funny man but who completely, and clearly deliberately, ignored making any reference at all to his other fellow nominee  – chunky mac – as the ‘lead’ in the Best British Comedy Entertainment Programme. Of course host, Jonathan Ross, couldn’t resist making a joke too at his expense; linking the receiving of his latest DVD to swine flu – everyone this Xmas will give it to you but the results are generally mild. Ho, ho, ho.

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pasta paulie tips for lasting fame

Well it will be interesting to see  what happens to the various contestants from X Factor. It’s not always the case that the winner goes on to achieve heady success. They may have had a bit of fame but who really cares now about Steve Brookstein (never argue with the man eh!), Shayne Ward and Leon Jackson? Do you remember Alex Parks who won Fame Academy with her own brand of lesbian angst – well what’s happened to her? And it’s sometimes the also-rans who achieve the bigger success; I read that JLS have out-sold Alexandra Burke massively this last year. And that rather odd-looking Rhyddian guy has been all over the press and tv these last few weeks. So nothing is for sure, especially in the wonderful world music/entertainment.   Continue reading

and the winner is….

Well what a night for winners eh? The biggest had to be ITV over the BBC. By all accounts more 10m people voted for  the X Factor finalists compared with 0.5m for the Sports Personality of the Year. The audience figures  must have been similarly  skewed too I suspect. Why on earth do the BBC put their flagship programmes up against the behemoth that is X Factor? It strikes me as bonkers. Wouldn’t it have been better to schedule SPOTY to next Sunday evening when they would have presumably dominated the weekend viewing with the final of the Beeb’s Strictly Come Dancing capturing the Saturday night audience. But what do I know?

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