Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Brian Cant, but Ronnie Wood

Brian May of Queen bears an uncanny resemblance to James II. Furthermore, it is not commonly known that May is a keen amateur astronomer and first saw Freddie Mercury, in 1972, through the lens of an optical telescope, amidst the constellation of Orien. Another interesting piece of May-related trivia is that he constructed his famous guitar using parts from an ironing-board. I found this to be ironic, as I constructed my own ironing-board entirely from a Fender Telecaster Electric Guitar.

John Wayne, Dick Tracey, Ariel Sharon - are clearly all from Essex.

"Dave Lee Travis: Hairy Monster or Hairy Cornflake?" Discuss

On this Day:

In 1986: Manchester United replaced manager Rowan Atkinson with Fergie. Husband Prince Andrew was appointed as reserve team coach.

In 1982: Dennis Waterman and Jonathan Aitken formed 'The Hit Factory'.

In 1976: Robert de Niro was part of the Barrow-In-Furness team on It's A Knockout.

In 1521: Martin Luther sang backing vocals on David Bowie's Young Americans.

Monday, January 30, 2006

"You'll never get on if you can't master your subjunctives, Lewis."

TV Review: 'Lewis' - ITV1 - 9.00pm - 11.00pm Sunday 29 January 2006

It is not often that I tune into the light channel nowadays, unless it be for the purposes of UEFA Champions League football, but the McQuillan TV was enthusiastically put on to '3' last night for this Inspector Morse spin-off. Here indeed was 'Morse without Morse'. Kevin Whately (apparently a 'favourite' of 'housewives') revisited his role as Lewis, now promoted to the rank of Detective Inspector. He spent the first 45 minutes or so dressed like the man from Del Monte, and his assistant looked rather like Peter Crouch to me, but I digress.

All the usual Morse ingredients were there: Scenic Oxford, bells, an inconsiderate and intellectually inferior boss (called 'Innocent', which I thought was a name for Popes, not policewomen) and multiple deaths. Colin Dexter's books, and the TV films inspired by them, seemingly give Oxford a higher murder rate than New York and Baghdad combined. The writers even made Lewis a widower, allowing him to qualify for a minor sub-plot where he was pursued by a frisky scientist. I counted five corpses in total in last night's episode - and the culprit was, almost inevitably, a devilish don, as the murderers in Morse invariably are. The programme missed the Morse character, of course, and John Thaw's masterful portrayal of him. No real ale, no Wagner, no allusions to Greek mythology, no attracting women half his age with his super brain, and yet still failing to 'pull' them. And yet this was a pleasant enough reminder of those halcyon days, when British TV was still the best in the world, and not full of 'reality' shows, and programmes showing people decorating their houses. Message ends.

The murdering don inspired me to make a list of famous 'Dons'.

Don McLean
Don Howe
Don Juan

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Cheggars Drinks Pop

This evening sees what might be termed 'Morse without Morse' on ITV: 'Lewis'.

Inspector Morse was always one of my favourite TV shows. The epic two hour format was criticised by many as being too long - but I would have preferred they were even longer! I would have liked them to be four hours long! For the same reason I cannot understand why people criticise Wagner operas or Bruckner symphonies for being too long. Especially dear Bruckner - what heavenly length! I personally think that Eastenders, Changing Rooms and Celebrity Toilets From Hell et al. are all about 30 minutes too long! But I digress! Anyway, I shall be casting myself as possibly the worst TV critic since Jimmy Greaves appeared on the TV-AM settee next to Anne Diamond in 1984, and writing a review of 'Lewis' on this very Blog (which I am aware nobody reads, but nevermind!)

I had to admonish a certain gentleman in Blogland, who launched an attack on dear Mozart's reputation, claiming that he was 'overrated'. Now I do concede that there is a nauseating sort of Daily Mail / Classic FM attitude to Mozart (and classical music in general) which I do share a dislike of - that is, people pretending to think that Mozart was a 'genius' because it sounds good at their dinner-parties etc (and witness those ghastly CDs which claim that one's baby will grow up to be like Einstein if they listen to Eine Kleine Nachtmusik etc as babes). However, that it is not Mozart's fault, and the vast majority of music lovers have a truer and fuller appreciation of Mozart's achievements, especially in the fields of the Piano Concerto, Chamber Music and Opera.

Here endeth the first lesson.

On this day:

In 1523: Nothing happened.

In 1981: Deidre Barlow poured Mike Baldwin a large Scotch for the first time.

In 1951: Sir Winston Churchill retired from politics to set up an Insurance company.

In 1986: David Icke had to be restrained by BBC staff after being found in a delirious state, attempting to pick grapes from David Vine.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Rt. Hon. Lionel Blair MP

Today in 1601: Sir Walter Raleigh released the Grifter to a gobsmaked UK bicycling public.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Irn Bru vs Tizer

Life is but a melancholy flower.

(To the tune of Frere Jacques)

Life is butter, life is butter,
Melancholy flower, melancholy flower,
Life is but a melon, life is but a melon,
Cauliflower, cauliflower

Engels, Burke and Humperdinck

On this day:

In 1974 Richard Wagner took a break from re-writing Tristan und Isolde to star alongside Sir Thomas Beecham in Hart To Hart. "This is Mrs H, and she's goygeous".

In 1973: Rod Stewart landed in the Scottish Highlands and laid claim to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland.

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