Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Fun with Popes

Just a quick blog to tell you about my new 'Which Pope are You?' quiz over at New Humanist.

It's like my 'Which Paul Daniels are You?' quiz (buried somewhere at the bottom of this blog entry), but less geared towards one magician and more geared towards, well Popes.

That's all for now. I'll do a proper blog when I have the time.

I am currently sitting on some great snaps of Peter Simon hosting Bid TV which rival the ones I took of Paul Ross last week. Hard to believe I know.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Paul Ross' DVD Evening

I love Paul Ross.

I have him to thank for my recent mention on Radio 2.

It was this item that got me back into amazon reviewing.

I also love Bid TV.

So you can imagine my glee at the prospect of Paul Ross presenting on Bid TV - that there is a scenario that ticks all the boxes!

His slot is called Paul Ross' DVD Evening. And here it is in pictures:

The titles

The hard sell

The moment of clarity

And finally, the best bit - the Paul Ross DVD Evening advert wherein Paul's face is superimposed onto footage of various films and TV


Saturday, 16 May 2009

Weblebrity of the Week

Yesterday as I was leaving work, I got a flurry of texts and calls from people who had heard me mentioned on Steve Wright's afternoon show.

Turns out that I was their 'weblebrity of the week' because of my fake amazon reviews.

You can listen again here for the next 6 days.

It's the 15th May episode and you'll need to flick forward about 1 hour 35 minutes into the show to listen to the blog review segment.

I'm mentioned at 1 hour 47 minutes.

Friday, 8 May 2009

The Big Questions

Rest assured, the photo choice will become clear by the end of this blog...

So, just a quick one for the benefit of anyone who was planning to forego their Sunday morning lie-in on my account.

The Big Questions team have changed the show topic I was booked for.

Yes, again.

So I won’t be on.

They’re hoping to cover the topic of religion and humour at a later date. It’s just a case of waiting for a topical pretext.

They thought it was World Laughter Day this weekend, which would have provided a neat hook to hang the topic from. But it was actually last week.

So until something to do with religion and humour happens in the news, I’m on hold.

Right, well in an effort to brighten up this purely administrative blog, I’ll just finish with this.

The other day I found an old clipping I had kept from the Daily Mail...

(I should stress at this point – I don’t buy the Daily Mail. I pick up a copy if I see one left on the train. And as I commute from Surrey there are plenty to be found)

...It was from the ‘Yes or No’ section that they have at the bottom of the letters page, where letters coming at a subject from opposite sides are put next to each other.

The debate of the day was about a squirrel that had got itself caught in a bird feeder.

They cover all the best stories...

And the title of the debate was – ‘Was it right to release the fat squirrel?’

Now do you see why I read it? It’s amazing!

Anyway, Mrs G Jones led the ‘Yes’ side of the debate arguing that the squirrel was "lovely" and the whole situation was "like a Beatrix Potter story come to life"

I don’t remember the one about the fat trapped squirrel...

And Mr B Scotting led the ‘No’ side of the debate arguing that when it comes to squirrels we should "bag them and dispatch them by delivering a blow with a blunt instrument to the back of the head"

A considerably harder line...

Aside from the obvious comedy value, I think that I ultimately kept the clipping because it perfectly sums up the two types of Daily Mail you tend to get.

Those who are quaintly naïve, and those who are pure evil.

Have a good weekend...

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

You'll like this...not a lot

Another old blog repost, this time about magician Paul Daniels.


A few years ago, to alleviate the boredom of a particularly grinding day job, I started contacting minor celebrities from fake email accounts set up in the names of various work colleagues.

I would email as them to say that I was a massive fan and then ask for a signed photo to be sent to the desk location and office address of that person.

I don’t know why I chose this particular outlet for my boredom. I suppose it was just an occasional, amusing distraction to watch people opening their post and finding, in addition to the usual fare, a big, glossy, apparently unsolicited picture of Barry from Eastenders.

During this phase, I went to Paul Daniels' website to request an autographed photo for a particularly unpleasant boss.

(He deserved nothing less than Paul Daniels)

Incidentally that year I also nominated him for ‘Britain’s Worst Boss’, and some Channel 5 researchers phoned him up to discuss his iffy behaviour.

Sadly he declined to go on.

Anyway, I looked around the site and when I clicked on ‘request an autograph’ I was dismayed to see that Paul Daniels charged £4 for them.

James and I decided to email him (we were a bit drunk)

It was about 2 in the morning but incredibly Paul Daniels was up and at ‘em and replied immediately:

Us Hello I would ask for an autograph but apparently you charge £4 which is hardly good value for money.
The cheek!
Why don't you learn some good tricks like David Blaine? He is miles better than you.
All my love

Daniels ‘Why don't you learn to do some good tricks like David Blaine?’
The reason is that I don't like using camera tricks and editing to fool people.
I like to use skill to baffle them.
If you like what he apparently does, however, then that is fine and I hope you have a great life.

Us I never said I liked David Blaine, I just said I thought he was much better than you.
More than anything I respect the fact that he has never had to resort to appearing on a Channel 5 reality show and nearly getting himself beaten up by Vanilla Ice.
Still, if you like to baffle people with your skills then that is fine and I hope you have a great life.
Seriously though, can I have a signed autograph? My daughter is a fan.

Daniels This conversation is destined to go nowhere as your responses come from lack of knowledge.
I did not 'nearly get beaten up' by Vanilla. He backed down and away when I apparently went for him.
The Farm was told to us as being an educational show and it wasn't until we were on it that we found out it was designed as yet another attempt to humiliate celebs.
I do TV shows that interest me.
I wonder why Blaine, who now has vanished from the scene and has told at least one show that he doesn't do magic, did nothing in a box for a month and then finished up doing less?
See what I mean?
The conversation can go nowhere.
Send me your daughter's name and address.

After seeing how easy it was to annoy the Daniels I got Viz to print the following Letterbocks entry:

'Not a lot' magician Paul Daniels is very easy to wind up. Simply email him at saying he is not as good as David Blaine then sit back.

Apparently a fair few people tried this out, and ultimately Paul Daniels posted the following statement on his website:

I have never really understood the comic known as VIZ. I have always found the 'comedy' puerile and moronic. 'Oh look Daddy... isn't that funny? They use naughty words.' 'Well, it is not so funny when you grow up son.' About two weeks ago, apparently, they published my email address (available to anyone who searches the internet) and begged their readers to write to me to tell me that David Blaine was better. I think it sort of back fired. I got more mail in praise than condemning me and to all it gave me the chance to publicise my internet shop! Sales have gone up! Thank you VIZ, but, I have to say that I was very surprised at how few, in total, wrote to me. Perhaps people have grown up and stopped reading the rubbish. I got far more women offering me views of their boobies!


Speaking of boobies and Viz, the editors received this email recently:

Have any of your other readers been wondering if Christina Martin has nice tits?

I hope not.

Although I am aware that people on the Viz Facebook forum have been wondering if I’m fit (click on the picture to enlarge it):

And concluding that I’m 'not the best'.

Of course the feminist in me is outraged at the fact that whatever women do in life, even the ‘nothing to do with your looks’ arena of writing, people will generally ignore it in favour of scrutinising your attractiveness…

...But mostly I found it quite funny.

As I did these other emails received by the editors:

Can I just use the pages of your esteemed magazine to declare my love for funnygirl and Viz contributor Christina Martin. She doesn't know me yet but I shall be living in the bushes opposite her house from now on.

I have recently noticed that a Christina Martin is a very funny contributor to your 'hilarious' mag. I have decided on the basis of her sense of humour that she would very much like to go out with me. Please forward the lucky girl’s contact details to me. I'm taking a big chance I know as she may only have a lovely personality. Even so, she deserves a chance.

And on that note, here’s a shameless plug for the latest Viz annual, which contains mine and James’ contributions from the past couple of years.