Sunday, 15 February 2009

Poor viewing figures. Our official comment.

I was not going to post about this but with all the paper talk going on I feel it is necessary.

Richard and I are of course disappointed at the poor viewing figures released earlier this week. Our new show struggled to reach the five figure mark. Put into perspective more people watched Leicester City draw 0-0 with Oldham Athletic at the weekend than watched us interviewing Toyah Wilcox about her anal lift.

It would be easy to blame UKTV but we do not believe it is their fault that the show has not been promoted sufficiently. To be honest Richard is taking it a lot harder than I am. He believes, quite rightly I feel, that we both have a lot to offer day time TV. He still believes adamantly that our style is unique.

It is no coincidence that 'A/B' list stars such as Stephen Fry, Ronnie Corbett and Paul Daniels still want to be on our show. We maintain this is because we have a knack, developed over many years, of putting our guests at ease. I will never forget the time I interviewed a young Steve Coogan just after the release of the first series of Alan Partridge. It is difficult to believe now but he was a bundle of nerves and had it not been for Richard calming him down off screen I feel the interview would have graced TV Blunder shows for many years to come.

Steven is not the only guest to suffer from panic attacks. I do not normally divulge celebrity secrets but as Mr Gervais has been so unkind to me recently I don't mind saying that on his first TV interview with us Ricky actually soiled himself live on air. I believe you can download this on You Tube. If I say so myself we handled the situation very professionally indeed. Being aware of Ricky Gervais' discomfort, Richard directed the camera towards me and working on pure TV instinct I just started to Irish Dance.

We took a lot of criticism for cutting that interview short and we were disappointed that Ricky never supported us publically but you live and learn in this business and Richard and I have been learning our trade for some time now. Trust me, we will come back even stronger. If I can bounce back from exposing my Sugar Ray Leonard's at the National TV Awards back in 2000, I can bounce back from anything.

Thank you all so much for your support. It means so much to us.

Kind Regards,


Another silly letter in the 'Ham and High'.

They must have a new letters editor at the Hampstead and Highgate Express, it's the only possible explanation.

Since my posting of the Ian/Liam Brady letter, I have been sent this one from Jez in Golders Green...


"All my life I have always put a tick in the ‘White British’ box when asked my nationality.

Yesterday my mother informed me that my father wasn’t actually my real father and that infact she had an affair with an Italian waiter whilst on holiday in Rimini nine months before I was born.

My Dad has not got a clue about any of this and assumes I am his real son. Should I try to re-submit all the information I have given over the years or just sweep it under the carpet like I did when I found out my sister, Tracey Tontodonati, was only my half sister ?".

Luigi Smith , Hendon

The name Luigi Smith just makes this so comical, thanks Jez, if you have any more please send me them my way.

A ridiculous letter I read in the 'The Ham&High'

Sometimes you wonder if people are having a laugh when they write letters to local newspapers. I actually came across this one last week in the Hampstead and Highgate Express.

The headline was WHAT IS ALL THE FUSS ABOUT ?, and the letter read,

"I have never been able to understand all the fuss that is made over Ian Brady. Anyone would think he is a monster. As far as I am concerned he is the best midfielder Arsenal have ever had"

G.Jackson, London N5.

Surely this must be a joke, you can never tell nowadays.

Restaurant Review

Richard and I went to a Polish Restaurant in Earls Court, London last night called 'The Hadjukzak'. We had gone there about 10 years ago and I must say they had made many improvements responding positively to changing tastes and advances in food hygiene.

But to be honest old habits die hard, and The Hadjukzak is not the place to eat if you are into low fat fare. Fried, fatty foods, red meat and rich desserts still dominate most menus, although, in a move towards healthy living, the restaurant has now installed a cardiac defibrillator machine in its kitchen.

However I would recommend the 'tsalusky' noodles which are similar to Italian 'gnocchi' or German 'spaetzle' except for the fact that they're hallucinogenic.

I should warn anyone that if you do go to the Hadjukzak you have to bring your own wine as they have recently had their license revoked. You should expect to either pay a 20% corkage fee or, alternatively, allow the waiter to drink 20% of the bottle.

Cyril Smith, alive and well and living in Rochdale.

As people might know I am a Liberal both politically and socially. It is a regret of mine that I have not been as active recently due to work commitments. I did however manage to get to a Party meeting this weekend organised by the Highbury and Islington Liberal group [There you go Nigel I promised I would give you a plug].

The reason I am telling you all this is that Cyril Smith was the guest speaker. If you, like me assumed that dear old Cyril had passed away years ago, you couldn't be more wrong. He apparently is more passionate about politics than ever despite approaching his 81st birthday. He might not have been as clear as he used to be, and his speech was interrupted twice by trips to the small room, but his energy and drive were apparent to us all.

Still well over 25 stone Mr Smith is a tribute to modern day medicine. With the development of Anticoagulants, Statins, Diuretics, Vasodilators, and Beta blockers, perhaps we should all relax a bit and accept a bit of weight gain as part of the aging process.

I am off now to have a Pork Pie with Richard safe in the knowledge that Cyril Smith is still alive.

The Smiths to reform ?

People are often surprised when they ask me my all time favourite band and I answer The Smiths. I suppose being born in 1948 I am supposed to say The Beatles or The Stones or even The Kinks [who are all excellent in their own unique way].

But when Morrissey and Marr started The Smiths back in 1982 I was working for Granada TV as a reporter based in Manchester, so I was very much aware of them from the start.
Lyrically there is nobody better.

"And if a double-decker bus
Crashes into us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten-ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well, the pleasure - the privilege is mine"

I will not insult Smiths fans out there by naming the song but Morrissey's use of words is up there with the best poets of our time. Similarly Marr was one of the greatest guitarists I have ever heard. Richard can't stand them and comes out with the classic line, 'The Smiths are depressing' whenever they are discussed.

No group has ever divided opinion as much as The Smiths. It seems you either love them or hate them. Apart from liking The Stone Roses, Richard is essentially a Soul Man and sometimes I think he misses Morrissey's irony.

Within the entertainment industry rumours are rife that Morrissey and Marr are considering re-uniting for a one off gig, possibly Glastonbury. I hope this becomes a more permanent thing because to be honest I haven't been to an outside festival since 1985 and I am not too sure I fancy standing in a muddy field all day. But you never know, I might make an exception in this case.

Our production team is trying desperately to get Morrissey on the show. He is supposed to be on Jonathan Ross next friday and I know he is not a fan of interviews so maybe he will announce something then. Fingers crossed.

"And if you must, go to work - tomorrow
Well, if I were you I really wouldn't bother
For there are brighter sides to life
And I should know, because I've seen them
But not very often ..."

Well if the snow comes down again this weekend Stephen I might just take your advice.

A very strange Horoscope indeed.....

Like most of us I do enjoy looking at my stars for the day. I was perusing a website this evening and came across an absolutely bizarre horoscope reading for Taurus. I thought I would share it with you, it read.....

"An overwhelming desire to be alone could be the result of some shocking news. Someone has done something totally out of character, and you are not sure how to process it. There will be a murder in your immediate family this week. Have you an Uncle Derek or an Auntie Pam?. If so, on no account visit them, even if they promise to revise their wills in your favour.

On a brighter note this is a good time of the year to start dieting. With the moon in Saturn edging you ever closer to Mars this is the time to lose that unsightly fat around your midriff.

Let’s face it your partner has lost all interest in you sexually and only continues in the sham you call a marriage because they haven’t sorted out alternative accommodation yet".

I can only hope this is a Spoof as I do unfortunately have an Uncle Derek. Richard assures me there is absolutely no truth in the last paragraph..... This is one thing I do love about the internet, you can find all sorts of mad and crazy sites if you look hard enough.