Sunday, 28 October 2007

Ballroom Blitz

You know winter's coming when the nights start before you finish work. What is the point of turning the clocks back. We all have to suffer just so some highland heffers can get to the milking shed in daylight. Wouldn't it just be less hassle to give them torches?

The other thing that tells us it's time to whack on the central heating is the Saturday evening battle of the egos. Strictly Come Dancing faces off to X Factor again in the frantic, annual ratings battle that makes sure all of us are completely confused about what time the shows start. This is why Sky+ was invented.

Simon's show hasn't gripped me yet. I love the auditions but I'm struggling to get excited about the live perfomance shows. Nothing seems to be working this year. The songs are badly chosen and none of the acts really seem up to the challenge. The only person who seems unphased by it all is that cocky Welsh git with vampire hair. Get 'rid o' him'! Sorry.

The only thing of note this year has been us getting a sneaky peep of the real Sharon Osbourne when she threw a wobbly because the public put a couple of her dodgy acts in the bottom 2. It was very unprofessional and to be honest would we really care if we never saw her and her black bridesmaids dresses ever again. More of X Factor later. I'm flicking over to Strictly now.

Doesn't it just warm the heart when Brucey shuffles his feet and spins Tess across the floor before missing his cue and mugging at the cameras. Oh how we laugh. He could make a career out of this. He's finding it so hard to read autocue these days. I think they should revert to large print on big white cards for the old duffer. OK he's great for his age but should we really be subjected to progressive dementia in the guise of a light entertainment show?

This year the celebs are really going for it. Most of them seem too competitive for my liking and burst into tears if they're snubbed by the judges. I reckon Alesha & Gabby might resort to poison & knee capping to keep themselves ahead in the competition. Poor Anton has had to contend with Kate Garraway's swollen tendons and her inablity to walk across the floor without tripping. No wonder they keep her sat down on GMTV.

Kenny Logan's samba was more like watching something off WWE Smackdown than a dancing competition. He's threatening to wear a kilt next week in a futile attempt to drum up some support. If he survives this week we may get an eyeful of his Paso Dobl├ęs!

Gethin Jones has a great game plan. He's spent the last two weeks thrusting his groin at Craig and Arlene. I bet they both need a quick wipe down with and extra strength Bounty after he's performed.

The wardrobe girls have a great sense of fun this year. They keep putting poor old Chubby Barnes in tight lemon satin and pink lycra. Makes him look like Letitia Dean if she lost a few pounds. I feel sorry for the lovely Darren Bennet. He must feel like he's dancing with a wheelie bin that's been on Pimp My Ride.

Deano off Enders is quite good but I'm so fascinated by the way his hairy chest joins up with his beard that I can't concentrate on his dancing.

Dominic Littlelegs is just a munchkin on a spring with about as much rhythmn as Captain Scarlet.

Penny Longlegs Stewart is sweet but as tall as a house. I'm not sure tall people make good dancers. Her jive last week looked like an ostrich having a seizure.

Kelly is my favourite. Pure Hollywood glamour. Shame she's lumbered with the ugly Kiwi lothario. I'd love to see Billy Zane deck the greasy twat.

I reckon Kate will go tonight but part of me hopes the public will keep her in just to annoy the judges and give us another glimpse of Anton's chest.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Pole to Pole AKA Bugger off Michael Palin

Another trip to Liverpool. I wonder what new treats lay in store on my Virgin voyage to the City of Yob Culture. I should have seen the warning signs when I got a Polish cab driver who didn't know where East Croydon station was. He'd only been in the country for 3 days. The gangly Pole had bloodshot eyes and smelled of paint. He had a strange hairline on his neck. It looked like he'd had a haircut at sea during a typhoon. Can you get a boat from Poland to Dover?

He probably got here a lot faster than it took me to get up to Liverpool on that Sunday. Six and a half bloody hours it took. I think we went via Dundee! I wouldn't have minded really. I had a load of magazines and 12 hours of Iain Lee Podcasts to catch up on. Everything was quite peaceful as we eased gently through The Chilterns. However just as I was getting the hang of my new Bluetooth headphones the tranquility was shattered. We were invaded by a group of Eastern European fruit pickers who piled on at Milton Keynes Central. I've never seen such bright and colourful chunky knits since Wincey Willis left GMTV.

The Iain Lee podcast almost blotted out the noise of the chattering Poles and I was just getting into the chill zone again when this woman with a glass eye and wearing what looked like a tambourine on her head started singing.All this and the bloody shop was shut for stocktaking so I couldn't even have a stiff drink to calm my increasingly taught nerves.I don't know what happened next but as we approached Crewe the whole lot of them went quiet and fell asleep. I've heard that Crewe is a really dull place but never seen it have such a dramatic affect on humans before. Crewe did the business and we had peace and blissful quiet for the rest of the trek North.

Arrived at my hotel feeling slightly weary with my jeans slipping down my arse. I'd forgotten to bring a belt. Thank God I had my nice Abercrombie & Fitch pants on!I struggled up to my room with my trolley case, man bag, steam iron and ironing board. Every bloody door had a security lock on it and I had to drop the ironing board and iron to stick the stupid card in the slot. I thought I'd be clever and put the key card in my mouth as I made my way to my room. I was breathing hard now and had a bead of sweat tickling my left cheek as I clattered along the corridor.

At last I reached my room and bent down to stick the card in the door. The red light came on. Pulled it out with my teeth and tried again. Red. I was now pushing it in and out with my head bobbing up and down at the lock. Red, Red, Red. I was getting pissed off now and dropped the iron. I tried to catch it but lost my grip on the ironing board. I went with the momentum as it fell and stumbled back on top of my trolley case. Two old American women who were passing helped me up and it was then I realised that my jeans were now round my knees! I think I made their evening as I couldn't get rid of them as they tried to help me, my luggage and my A&F undies into the room.

I was too knackered to go out for dinner so I ordered room service. A spotty Pole delivered a pizza that looked like it had been zapped by a death ray from the planet Mongo. To accompany this cheesy cow pat I had a dirty glass of Shiraz that tasted like boiled iron filings. I crashed out on my bed to watch Michael Palin going round Europe. I'm sure I recognised a couple of people from the journey to Liverpool. I must have drifted off to sleep but was woken up by mobile ringing. I got up with a start and slammed my foot into the leg of the bed. As I hopped around the room swearing into my phone I realised I'd ripped part of my nail off and there was blood pouring from my little toe. I went to bed with my foot wrapped in an M&S napkin and a blood stained sock.

The journey home was pretty boring by my standards and my toe had recovered by the following weekend. The bruising had gone down just in time for me to squeeze into my new Paul Smith shoes for my mates 40th birthday party.

There was six of us getting ready for the party at my place. It smelled like the House of Fraser perfumery department and there was lots of whooping and dancing around to 12" Hits of the 80s. We all agreed that A Flock of Seagulls were shit.

As usual, the cab was late but we finally piled out and into a grey people carrier that stank of kebabs and ashtrays.I told the driver where we were going. He looked at me blankly. Tapped his Tom Tom and this robot voice started giving him directions in Polish. Half an hour later we were on the M25. We shouldn't have been.............