oh joy, stansted again

Well tomorrow we’re heading off for a few days at our home in Italy. We haven’t been for several months now as we’ve so enjoyed the winter here in the UK. As ever there’ll be a lot to do to get the place straight. Our first task may be to try and get the energy company Enel to reconnect our supply which got disconnected it seems recently. Don’t ask. Our good friend and neighbour Pauline has been valiantly trying to get us re-booted over the last few days in the in midst of packing up hundreds of boxes as she’s recently sold her property. It’s always complicated in Italy – although bills have been paid, it’s also necessary to fax copies of receipts to Enel to prove that they’ve banked the money. Apparently they wouldn’t know otherwise. Anyway fingers crossed it’ll all get sorted. Meanwhile I’m so looking forward to catching up with the joys of Stansted early tomorrow morning. Yeh right.

ciao amici


ps more on the new design and theme for the blogsite shortly


enough already, denise

I wrote the other day about an annoying trend by the TV companies to have their main presenters showcase several shows. As if there wasn’t any new talent out there. On top of that I’ve noticed  a similar tendency for all the broadcasters to get their popular ‘stars’ on as many shows as possible. So we see the likes of Denise Welch, who was for several years acting against type as the flirty barmaid in Corrie, playing a regular role on daytime panel show Loose Women as the loosest of the lot,  featuring in the drama series Waterloo Rd, then as a contestant on the current series of Dancing on Ice and tonight I saw her and hubby appearing on a trailer for the forthcoming comedy series Benidorm. And of course she features on every damn chat show as her celebrity status as the boozing, snorting, partying 52 year old in all the sleb mags and other media grows by the day. It seems to be a deliberate policy of finding a viewers’ favourite then re-cycling him or her throughout the schedules over and over again like a bit of old plastic. Continue reading

you’re what?

Now it’s just possible I may be last person to know this but I didn’t realise until the other day that President Barack Obama is a smoker. Well he was until last week when it was announced that he’d finally given up the cigs. Did you all know that – if so how come nobody told me?  It’s not a piece of news that’s going to shock western civilisation to its core but how is it I missed it?

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he’s here, he’s there, he’s everywhere

Over in Italy I wrote that the most popular TV presenters would appear on any number of shows (and very often on the ads within the programmes too). Now I’ve noticed this trend being adopted here – especially on ITV. It’s been pretty painful watching Philip Schofield host The Cube as well as co-presenting This Morning and Dancing on Ice but at least we get his delightful co-host Holly Willoughby to slavver over. Then there’s Ant & Dec monopolising Saturday nights when they aren’t down under doing IACGMOOH! However the undisputed new King of the programme hogs has got to be Adrian Chiles. He’s on bloody everything; each morning on Daybreak, on all of ITV’s football coverage, and now here’s hosting a chat show on Sunday evenings. I guess ITV must feel that they need a return on their £6m investment in grumpy Chilo but for heaven’s sake can’t they try and find some talent other than PhilorAde and Ant’n’Dec to front their shows?  And not Davina please.


and the winner is….

Well if you’re a football fan from N London it’s been quite a couple of days. I’m amused by the thought that Joe Jordan and Gattuso’s real disagreement could have been about which win was the better; Tottenham’s 1-0 victory over AC Milan at the San Siro or last night’s home victory by Arsenal over the mighty Barcelona. It’s a real poser eh. Both games were cracking adverts f0r the strength and quality within the Premiership but both results were a little unexpected if I was being honest.

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jules sees ya!

A quick posting to correct a bit of a wrong. I wrote about TV presenter Jules Hudson way back when he was tyro front man for the lightweight mid-afternoon TV programme Escape to the Country. It’s about couples looking to sell-up and make their ideal move to the hills, dales or seascape. In those early days I talked about his awkward hand-wringing and maniacal laugh and predicted that he’d make a lousy on-screen estate agent. It’s a viewpoint which has always attracted a vociferous defence from his seeming army of female fans. Not that that has bothered me.

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aw kuphooeyckz!

I should create a new category of postings called ‘Have You Nerticed?’ after one of my comic heroes, the failing observational stand-up Duncan Thickett (aka Steve Coogan of course). I just can’t help but notice little foibles and physical quirks that we all exhibit unknowingly. And the tiny little things people say almost unwittingly which give away their true feelings. Oooh er.  Continue reading

spare me from call centres

So, regular readers will recall that for simplicity’s sake we opted for an all-in package from Virgin media covering our tv, broadband and home phone service. We would probably have preferred to go with Sky but there are restrictions on the use of dishes on the front of our house. Life with Virgin has been a sorry affair right from the installation process (see posting, Customer Service, of 12 November 2009) and throughout our service history. There cannot be a single month that has gone by without us losing our broadband connection or occasionally the TV service. But the worst thing of all was their appalling customer care service  when they’d ask me to switch the computer off and on or try and fob us off with excuses or blame things on our Apple computer equipment or fail to deliver on their endless promises to send an engineer round to sort out our problems. My exasperated wife C called me when I was up with the kids last week to say that she had just endured one unhelpful and difficult conversation too many with the Virgin customer service team and had cancelled our service. It felt like such a relief. All we had to do was find another service provider…..

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