George and the er Dragon


Well did you catch the news this week that poor old George Michael has been struck down with another mystery illness? No it’s not a disturbing tendency to look increasing like Roy Keane. It seems that not one but two ambulance crews were called to his home after a ‘worried friend’ called the emergency services about George’s condition. They administered medical care for 4 hours before taking poorly George to hospital for emergency treatment, according to a spokesman for the ambulance service. Blimey he must have been a right old condition but fear not GM fans because his publicist, who’s clearly a medical expert as authoritative as that nice Mr Clifford, said he’d only been admitted for ‘routine tests’. So that’s alright then. Phew eh.

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Dodgy food

Shocking news…I got chided by my lovely wife for posting the selfie with my two Bafta’s; not because it was just a little conceited (which might have been justified) but because it made me look like I’d had a mini stroke. Bit harsh. This was a bit of a surprise because I usually get told (and by some very close friends!) that my photos make me look like a child molester or that Victorian serial killer weirdo Bodkin Adams. Bloody cheek. I explained that I was winking rather than having a seizure because I was trying to imitate the famous bronze mask but I had another look and you know what…she may well be right. I do have a face for radio as we theatrical types put it. Continue reading


Very old friends and readers and occasional viewers of my oh so self-deprecating LinkedIn profile will be aware of the three Bafta’s I was talented enough to be awarded back in the day. Oh I know it’s nothing to brag about really but it is three more than Sir ian McKellen’s got with his four nominations and zero awards.  I’m only joshing with you dear readers. I’ve only got just the two dust collectors messing up the place. But it’s still two more than Sir Ian and my acting hero (until we met The Fockers) Robert de Nero have between them, ha!. What, you don’t believe me? Continue reading

Anyone for coffee?

It’s been, ooh, ages since I did a posting on a tv commercial but I’ve been completely non-plussed by the company Taylor’s first ever ad for its coffee products. Who you ask? Good question; they are a Yorkshire-based coffee company. It’s not where you’d expected the home of a product grown in the Tropics to hail from is it but the Taylor guys started a coffee shop in the town of Harrogate back when Queen Victoria was a young girl tha’ knows and it’s been going reet belting ever since. Fair enough. But to announce their brand to the wider world they’ve commissioned an ad which is just bloody mesmerising/frigging weird. Delete as appropriate. Take a look:

What do you think; inspired, inexplicable or just plain insane? Well I’ve done some research dear readers and on the company’s website I found some words from the company’s marketing manager, ‘our Jess’, (no sniggering at the back) and she’s explained the thinking behind the commercial. She says ‘The vast majority of ads go unnoticed or forgotten, particularly in the world of coffee, where the romantic liaisons and brimming mugs are the ‘beige’ creative norm. We want to disrupt that and deliver the unexpected, to be confident and distinctive. Ultimately, we wanted to create an ad just like our product; a complex, magical and mind-blowing experience…If you could zoom into your neural synapses when coffee hits your taste buds and caffeine finds your brain, we think it’d pretty much look like this’. 

Blimey love, it’s only a cup of coffee; not a line of Florida snow. But I love her post-rationalisation – I bet the brief was a lot less imaginative in its words. Nevertheless I like a company whose main PR platform is the ‘Yorkshire Rainforest Project’. That’s probably coffee company speak for Ilkley Moor. Tha’ knows. 



Why do we bother, Fawlty?

It’s one of the classic lines from Fawlty Towers uttered by the hotel’s oldest client and Basil’s dead-pan response, ‘I didn’t know you did Major’ was one of the all-time great put downs. It’s an exchange that puts me in mind of the situation involving the England team’s training regime in preparation for the World Cup. You see Roy and the boys are busy doing their squat thrusts at a training camp down in exclusive Vale do Lobo on the Algarve. I’m sure it’s great fun but why are they there rather than at the National Football Centre in Burton, a purpose-designed facility costing some £120m, which was built to be the base for England team get togethers? Ah you’ll reply, it’s to give the team some warm weather preparation before the lads hit the steamy heat of Manaus in Brazil. But it’s no big secret that the Algarve in late spring, delightful as it is, tends to be cool and blustery as yesterday’s high temperature of 15° indicates. So Roy’s had the lads playing in jumpers and extra layers to get them sweating up a bit. Of course he has. And I wonder how much the 50-man jaunt to Portugal has cost, whilst the FA’s own facilities (bathed in a mini heatwave a few days ago) stand empty and unloved?


Is it just me or has top level football completely lost all sense of value and proportion? As the Major may have put it ‘Just what is the point of St George’s Park, Fawlty?’ Answers on a post card to the FA Chairman Greg Dyke.


Touchy Toure

Regular readers will know how much I love my wonderful three grandsons. Yesterday we spent the day with my youngest E, who was a little under the weather with a cold but who still managed to light up a grey day with his smiles. Last week we caught up with smashing grandson G on his birthday. I picked him up from school with his dad and was able to surprise him with a small gift I’ve been promising him for ages that he can only have once he’d turned 7 – a packet of chewing gum. He tried a piece enthusiastically but I wasn’t sure he enjoyed the Airwaves menthol and eucalyptus flavour. He liked his real pressies more I think. Bless him. Finally My eldest grandson S telephoned just the other evening to confirm he’d been offered a trial by Northampton football club which he was so excited about. Me too! He’s such an accomplished sportsman and this crowned a big week for him having won a gold medal for winning an mixed age 200 metres event at an inter-school athletics meeting as well as not one, but two cup finals. He’s the nearest of course to achieving his dream of becoming a professional footballer. We don’t know of course what the future holds for them but they can be assured that we will support them in whatever endeavour they choose. My only hope for S is that should he fulfill his ambition, he doesn’t turn out to be a footballer with a skin as thin as Yaya Toure.

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Good and sad news

Thursday was an interesting day. I had my 3 month review with my lovely oncologist following the end of my chemotherapy treatment. Apart from the drugs causing me to lose sensitivity in my fingers and toes (which causes them to feel cold all the time), I’ve been feeling great for a while now but I still went to the consultation feeling slightly apprehensive of course. Anyway the outcome of all the recent tests I’ve undertaken is that there’s no significant sign of the cancer having returned. Woo hoo. So I’ve been given a 3 month pass before I start the round of tests and consultation again. My wife C and I were very happy to tell our daughters the news this time as you can imagine.

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If you’re going to marry someone…..

Back in the Middle Ages, and long before the officers on Operation Yewtree knocked on the door, I can remember Jimmy Tarbuck cracking a line about how amusing it would have been if the actress Kitty Fisher had got married to the C&W singer Conway Twitty as she’d have to endure a married life being called Kitty Twitty.  Oh how we laughed.

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