Mistletoe and Whine

Two days ago, the Berkshire home of ‘national treasure’ Cliff Richard was searched by police. In her weekly column in today’s Daily Mail, ‘Platell’s People’, Amanda Platell writes that “BBC cameras were there to record the event and turn the whole thing into a circus, like some cross between The Sweeney and Starsky and Hutch.”

The first thing about this is that it makes no sense. I don’t ever remember John Thaw, in his role as Jack Regan in The Sweeney ever once waving a chair in a lion’s face or swinging from a trapeze at thirty five feet, or Paul Michael Glaser, with or without a leather jacket, with a sheet-white face, red lipstick and oversized multi-coloured trousers held up with huge braces, running up to a crowd of onlookers with a bucket of shredded paper and throwing it over them. What the feck is Platell talking about? It’s a question I often ask myself on a Saturday morning at around this time. 

The article is headed ‘Cliff Doesn’t Deserve This Lurid Trial By Television’. It’s a little unclear from this point (again par for the course with Platell) against whom she is venting her sizeable moral spleen: the police, who (according to Platell) ‘admitted they’d confirmed to the Beeb that they were going to raid the property’, or the BBC for being there to ‘record the event and turn the whole thing into a circus’, or a seventies cop show, or whatever. I hope I’m not doing her an injustice by saying that her issue seems to by covering this event the media have somehow played a part in besmirching the reputation of yet another ‘celebrity’, and that none of us will be able to watch ‘Summer Holiday’ again in the same way. 

I may agree with Platell about this. So what’s the answer? Stop writing about it in the media? But what would Platell have done with all that excess hot air this morning, if she hadn’t written about it? And in the very paper that was very happy to ‘splash’ the breaking news in its online incarnation on Thursday afternoon; the very same paper that this morning is carrying (online) four separate pieces about the Bachelor Boy, all of which may be described as engaging in ‘trial by media’. I wonder at what time this morning Ms Platell will consider handing in her resignation to the Mail, and whatever fee she got paid for her piece to a worthy cause. Billy Graham, for example?


Out of Africa

Africa Minister Mark Simmonds, Conservative MP for Boston & Skegness, resigned yesterday, saying that his salary of £89,435 per year, together with his rental allowance of £27,875 plus £2,500 for each of his three children, is insufficient to maintain a family home in London. 

When asked what he thought his constituents might think of his decision, Mr Simmonds replied “Constituents? Who are they?” 

Romperredes unsuccessfully attempted to speak with Mr Simmonds this morning to clarify the full reasons behind the decision, his agent simply saying that Mr Simmonds was going to have a nice, long holiday and would be out of touch for some time.

No change there, then. 

Fringe Benefits

‘Benefits Street’ star Deirdre Kelly, also known as ‘White Dee’, has been invited to this year’s Conservative Party conference, where she will take part in a discussion with a representative from the Department of Work and Pensions.

A Conservative Party spokesman said “We felt it was important to invite Miss Kelly to this year’s conference. Having attracted a certain amount of notoriety due to claims that she is abusing the benefits system in this country, we felt compelled to bring her into contact with some high-class benefits scroungers who really could teach her a few things. Hopefully, when the conference is over, she will have learned how to have her moat cleaned, her second home fully paid for, and her stables refurbished, all at public expense.”

The Agony and the Ecstasy: Former Ostrich Farmer Captured

One of Britain’s most wanted criminals, Martin Evans, has finally been captured in South Africa, after having been on the run for three years. Evans was given a 21 year sentence for drug smuggling in 2011.

Evans, a former ostrich farmer, appeared in front of a judge today, who told him he could no longer bury his head in the sand, and would have to go immediately to prison to do his bird. He was understood to be headed to a high security wing. 

BBC Brings Back The Trotters

According to the Daily Mail, the BBC has “enraged Muslim staff” by holding a hog roast to celebrate the end of the Commonwealth Games directly under the window of the Arabic TV service.

A BBC spokesman, who chose to remain anonymous, said he couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. “The BBC has been absolutely full of useless pigs with their snouts in the public trough for years.”

When asked about exactly what was going to accompany the succulent pork, the BBC spokesman said he was unable to reveal his sauces.

Jeremy Clarkson Gets Final Warning From BBC

Writing in his weekly column in The Sun newspaper, Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has said that the BBC have issued him with his ‘final warning’, and will be dismissed by the broadcaster if he makes one more offensive remark.

The position was confirmed this morning by Danny Cohen, Director of BBC television. When asked what position the BBC would adopt in the event that Clarkson made any further offensive remarks, Cohen said “Well, as I’ve just said, we have issued Jeremy with a final warning. If he uses any more inappropriate language, I will get him into my office and warn him that he is on a final warning, and warn him that if by warning him that he is on a final warning isn’t enough, he will be issued with another warning, only with me adopting an even more serious face than the one I am now using.”

Clarkson said of Mr Cohen’s warning “I have to give him his due. He is very fair.”

Alphabet Sue-p

Pressure is mounting on the BBC to sack Jeremy Clarkson following further complaints about his use of ‘inappropriate language’. In a remarkable turn of events, it has also been revealed that the ‘N word’ has taken legal advice from leading defamation solicitors Starta-Ruck and is intending to sue Clarkson and the BBC over the incident.

Speaking on behalf of the ‘N word’, lawyer Georgina Litty-Gation said “Our client has nothing to say at this time other than to express its deep distress at being used by Clarkson, and feels that its reputation has been severely besmirched by its current association with that man.  We will be serving proceedings imminently against both Clarkson and the BBC for substantial damages which we anticipate the BBC will pay without even reading the papers, as it usually does.

We would also wish to put on record that we have been instructed by the ‘C word’, and will be taking an injunction out against anyone who dares to refer to Clarkson by the use of that name, which we would consider to be a serious breach of the ‘C word’s’ intellectual property rights. We currently have a dedicated team who are scouring Twitter accounts for any breaches and will not hesitate to sue anyone who uses the name inappropriately.”

Within minutes of that announcement, Starta-Ruck were being threatened with legal proceedings themselves by rival defamation specialists Payup-Quick. A spokesperson for that firm said “We have been contacted by the Association for Sex Equality, who have objected strenuously to the use of the word ‘sue’ by Miss Litty-Gation. We consider that it constitutes a serious breach of sex equality legislation and will be commencing proceedings immediately for an injunction and ludicrously high damages against anyone who uses the word ‘sue’ in any context other than as a proper noun.  This kind of inappropriate use of language is only perpetuating sexual inequality, and keeping women in a state of perpetual subjugation.

We have also been instructed by the Alphabet Equality Commission, in relation to allegations being raised by the twenty-four other letters of the alphabet who feel that they are being unfairly discriminated against. All of them feel that both the ‘N word’ and the ‘C word’ are being given preferential status and will be seeking astronomical damages against them both and an injunction preventing the use of any letters in any circumstances whatsoever pending final resolution of this matter.”