All other stuff that wouldn’t fit in the drawer

Rik Mayall, comedy legend. R.I.P.

rikmayallI have been privileged to have lived through a period that saw the rise and fall of television.  That device which injected into our homes and our mentality something that, with the best will in the world, attempted to pass itself off as “entertainment”.

The ancient Romans were probably the first to embrace the concept of entertainment by gathering the masses into huge amphitheatres to witness the slaying of lions by gladiators.

Prior to that the emphasis was on personal survival, rather than that of the man versus beast spectacle that was biased in favour of the wild beasts when a neerdowell criminal was “thrown to the lions” and conversely in favour of the highly trained chainmail-clad “superstars” of the day armed to the teeth to ensure a victorious outcome.

It was perverse. It was cruel. But the crowds obviously loved it.  Thus “entertainment” was born.

As time went on man took to play acting and the Gladiators and wild beasts were replaced in the amphitheatres by actors telling stories through action and words.  there were tales of woe and high drama and there were the early comedies.  Shakespeare, of course being a major influence in this direction.

The open-air amphitheatres were replaced by specially constructed theatres, and so acting developed and became ever more sophisticated as a means of entertainment.  Over many centuries it evolved and became more and more diverse with everything from the highbrow to the bawdy.  Entertainment for all.

Then along came television.

It started out very crude and basic.  It attempted to emulate the theatre but at first the highbrow end of things it failed miserably.  Those grainy black and white flickering images and the poor sound quality just couldn’t compete with live theatre.

But hey.  Muffin the Mule was pretty good, and so were the Flowerpot Men.  These were my first memories of television. and through the fifties and sixties I saw it grow.

Television entertained and educated, so much so they added a third channel to give us more choice.

Fast forward to today.  And what have we got?  Literally hundreds of channels giving us a huge choice of the flavour of complete and utter drivel.  We are being force fed on garbage.

youngones_1_396x222The only decent channels now are those that play the repeats of the golden years of television. The seventies, eighties and nineties.

I could list dozens and dozens of shows such as Fawlty Towers, Rising Damp, etc., that ‘really’ entertained. It would fill a page. Several in fact.

But if I had to list one show that defined the era, a show that I howled laughing to time and time again, a show that represented the anarchy of the time, that in its own way became a political statement of the hard times we were going through, it would of course be The Young Ones.

My two favourite characters were the show’s creators, the geniuses that were Ade Edmondson and Rik Mayall.

Both went on to do so much more of course.  Together they created Bottom and then both carved out their own careers giving us some absolutely fabulous and memorable moments in television history as well as in the theatre and film.

Today, at far too young an age, we have lost one of those geniuses.

Rik Mayall died suddenly this morning at his home aged just 56.

There have been many tributes, and no doubt many more to come, but the one Rik himself would have approved of most of all came from his long time buddy Ade Edmondson: 
“There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing.
“They were some of the most carefree stupid days I ever had, and I feel privileged to have shared them with him. And now he’s died for real. Without me. Selfish bastard.”

 

By |June 10th, 2014|0 Comments

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Jenson Button Car Wash Ad

Once in a while.  Just… once in a while, do you get a really great advert worth watching.

This one, starring Jenson Button in a super dooper car wash stunt, is better than most of the programs on the tele today!

In this Jenson Button Car Wash Ad video, it shows his “pit-side” team take over an ordinary car wash at a London garage – much to the surprise of unsuspecting customers who are just ordinary members of the public.

Jenson Button Car Wash AdJenson Button Car Wash Ad

By |June 6th, 2014|0 Comments

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Space Oddity – and even odder!

Exactly one year and a day ago… Commander Chris Hadfield became an internet sensation when, on the last day of his three month long stint on board the International Space Station, he released a video on YouTube of his recording of Bowie’s Space Oddity.

And to be fair it was a fairly respectable cover especially when you consider Chris sang and played his guitar in outer space whilst still attending to such tasks as keeping himself and the billion dollar space station in good working order.

SpaceOddity2David Bowie granted permission for the video to remain on YouTube for just twelve months  We featured the video here just 24 hours after its release when it had already received over a million views.  So it seems fitting that we give it an honorary mention again today as it is taken down having received over 22,728,000 hits!

Of course, we can’t include the video itself because it’s no longer on line.  There are still a couple of third-party copies that you can search for on YouTube, but I won’t link to them because the quality is poor.

What I did find however was this irresistible parody of the original with Chris Hadfield singing Space Oddity with a little help from puppets Mario and Fafa.  I do hope this remains on line. It is definitely odder than Oddity but great fun!

Enjoy…

By |May 14th, 2014|0 Comments

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Sexercize

sexercize3I really do need to get fit – so I think maybe I should enrol for this class.

You get a personal trainer called Kylie something or other!

By the looks of it, you get sweaty too, and that’s got to be good. Right?

“Kiss Me Once” (Warner Bros) is the latest offering from the pop princess Kylie Minogue. It is her 12th studio album – her first after signing with Jay Z’s Roc Nation management and has been to a narcotic disco dream.  The track in this video, Sexercize is one of three on the album with the word Sex in the title, so I guess you can take your choice. If the gym is not your thing, you can always play it in the bedroom!

Poppy disco is obviously not dead.  And it  will refuse to die whilst Kylie keeps on giving the most delicious kiss of life.

sexercize

By |March 19th, 2014|0 Comments

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Selfies for Cancer Awareness

Miss April

You’ll no doubt be aware of the fact there has been a lot on Facebook recently about taking “no make-up selfies” to raise awareness for Cancer research.

That’s all very well – but I wonder how many people have actually donated to a cancer research charity whilst posting up their bare-faced selfies on the social networking site?  Seriously, if everyone who did it also donated just one pound, you would truly be harnessing the power of Facebook for a good cause.  To be fair, I noticed one person actually put up a screen shot of herself donating  on-line instead of doing a “selfie” and that’s great! Sadly, I reckon the majority just got involved with the fun side of things and were satisfied with the ego trip from the accumulated “Likes” and the enjoyment of nominating the friends to do the same.

Right then.  So here is the Real Deal…

aprilJayne and I have thus far shot four naked charity calendars.  Two of these were in aid of cancer charities and the total amount raised was just short of £30,000.

We already have one planned for 2015 with a group of ladies eager to raise cash for cancer charities in honour of friends and family they have lost to this terrible disease.  But what the heck…  We are up for shooting another one too!

If you want to get involved, you’ll need to find twelve or more enthusiastic people willing to bare all (or even just a bit!) for a good cause.  You will also need to be prepared to organise the promoting and selling of the calendars.

If you can convince us that you are determined to raise heaps of money, we will give our services free of charge.  And to heck with “no make-up” thing, Jayne will give each person a makeover and we will photograph you tastefully, sympathetically and artistically.

Follow the links on this page to view some of our previous calendars – all posed by brave and dedicated local people.  We even have a dedicated website:  CharityCalendar.co.uk

And if you are serious about making a difference…  get in touch with us via email, phone or over Facebook to arrange an inital meeting to explore the possibilities.

 

By |March 18th, 2014|0 Comments

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