BBC, Comedy, Writing
Got myself another broadcast credit.
Fifty-eight seconds of sublime topical satire in this week’s Newsjack flowed from the very same fingers currently being used to brag about it.
If I’d only made it a few seconds longer I could have doubled my fee.
Get the podcast here.
This episode actually got reviews too. At Total Politics and Comic Timings.
Mine’s about dowsing rods doubling as bomb detectors, starting at about 15 minutes in. Or here’s an MP3 of the relevant bit.
The Iraqi government are already reeling; it will take them a long time to recover from this.
As consumer goods go, I’ve got no time for oranges.
A world containing orange juice has no need of oranges. Faced with the choice between Orange and Orange Juice, the choice is clear.
If I may deploy a gratuitous sex simile, it’s like taking a really gorgeous naked chick, then dressing her up in an impenetrable gimp suit and giving her a yeast infection.
I have no idea what was going through the manufacturer’s minds.
So I surprised myself when walking past a corner shop in Earl’s Court a couple months ago. Proudly advertised just inside the doorway was a big tray of oranges, boasting the slogan “Big Orange – 50p”.
I went in and bought one immediately. Didn’t even think about it.
It’s possibly the most effective piece of marketing I’ve ever come across.
Scrawled in black felt pen on a scrap of white card in the doorway of a skanky corner shop: “Big Orange”. One adjective (two if you want to be difficult) totally sold me on the idea.
Yeah, I want a big orange. A Big Orange.
An hour later I’m back at my hotel, staring stupidly at this big orange, wondering why the hell I bought it and what I was supposed to do with it.
Stupid impulse buys.
Anyway, I only bring this up now, months after the event, because I’ve just found the big orange at the bottom of my bag.
It’s not very big any more. Or orange.
I know I’m kidding myself. I’m 33, I’m too old for Radio 1.
But I can’t help it, I’m gay for pop. I have deliberately installed a Miley Cyrus song on my Spotify playlist, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
So I really like listening to Radio 1, but the powers that be are making it increasingly difficult for me to do so.
BBC bosses recently identified any DJ with an ounce of character, carted them off wholesale to the weekend, and promoted a collection of identikit London hospital radio rejects to prime daytime slots.
Edith Bowman was nice. Sexy chocolate-and-whiskey accent, clear passion for music and for reasonably priced electrical appliances.
So the BBC kicked her into a weekend breakfast slot, doomed with an audience of hungover teenagers who listen to her for four seconds before hurling their radio alarm clocks across the bedroom, and replaced her with something called Greg James.
What is a Greg James?
It’s a cookie-cutter local radio DJ with the wavering cadence of a bullied kid trying to joke his way out of a thoroughly deserved beating before a turd slides out the bottom of his trouser leg.
If it’s possible to audibly smirk pain, I think he’s managed it.
It’s been months since he ousted Bowman, and the man has yet to develop any clearly discernible personality traits.
I’m not asking him to be John Peel. But he could at least earn himself an adjective. Even Pat Sharp was “mulleted”.
Sorry Greg, but being a whelpish 24 is no excuse for being such an empty vessel. I was already a fully-formed wanker when I was 24. Similarly, Lily Allen is 24.
Hell, the Spice Girls in their heyday were mere teenagers, and even they could muster up at least one identifying characteristic each, even if one of those was “ginger”.
What the hell would Greg James’ Spice Girl name be? What would he be called if he was a dwarf?
The guy needs to build character.
Greg, start taking heroin. Truckloads of the stuff. Indecently assault a 15-year-old or something. Accidentally kill somebody. Become the DJ with the faraway voice of the genuinely haunted.
Anything but this vacuous mannequin who seems to have been created in a lab solely for the purpose of introducing Chico at a village fete before dissolving into a viscous, unpleasant puddle.
NB – There’s every chance that I’m actually talking about Scott Mills here. It’s only recently I realised he and Greg James are two separate people and I’m still not entirely certain I can tell one from the other.
Less than 24 hours from now, a man will render me unconscious and use a wicked sharp blade to carve off a big unnecessary lump of me.
I don’t think I’d be human if this prospect didn’t bother me just a little bit.
At least I don’t have to worry about health insurance, I suppose.
BBC, Comedy, Writing
Topical comedy sketch show Newsjack starts again in a few hours on Radio 7.
I’m not in it.
This is one of the sidesplitting works of staggering genius that they rejected.
FX: AIRPORT ATMOS
Step through now, sir.
FX: METAL DETECTOR BEEPING
Step to one side, sir. Could you empty your pockets please?
FX: POCKETS CONTENTS IN BOWL
If you wouldn’t mind removing your shoes.
(SIGHS, MUTTERS TO HIMSELF)
FX: SHOES ON TABLE
And if you could just loosen your belt buckle.
FX: BELT BUCKLE. TROUSER FUMBLING.
Now turn your head and cough.
Great. Thank you very much.