ANOTHER bad day for the Beeb, which long ago stopped reporting the news in favour of making it.
We have yet to learn why Newsnight's exposé of Shir Shimmy Shovel was dumped.
Meanwhile his appearance on Desert Island Discs has been removed from the web, though the eight records he chose are listed, including Pomp And Circumstance by Elgar, which never featured on Top Of The Pops and which Shir Shimmy chose as the one disc he'd take to his desert island, which, were he still alive, would probably have been called Alcatraz.
HALLELUJAH! I refer to the letter written by scores of artists complaining about Creative Teuchter, about which I have been chuntering on and off whenever the mood takes me. Among the artists' demands is that CT stops using "business speak and obfuscating jargon" – is there another kind? – in official communications.
To which a CT spokeswallah responded: "We are listening very closely to what that sector is telling us and we are taking positive action as a result across a number of operational and strategic areas." Give me strength...
IF one were forced to choose between Posh Dave and Oor Boris then Posh Dave would get my vote every time. Indeed, one rather likes the cut of his jib, whatever a jib is. When he was first appointed leader of the Dodos he gave me a lift from Holyrood to Haymarket, which I've always thought would make a good title for a novel.
Even then, I recollect, he had the makings of a PM, with a well-ironed short, smart suit and razor-sharp shed. My one worry was his Old Etonian background. In this ever-envious society there are those and such as those who insist that if you've been educated at Eton you will never be able fully to understand why some people read the Record and watch River City when they could be drinking Pimms and playing polo.
Posh Dave, addressing the Dodos at Birmingham, painted a glowing picture of future Britain in which everyone will go to Eton. "I'm not here to defend privilege," he said. "I'm here to spread it." Doubtless he meant well.
But what he does not get and surely never will is that there are actually many folk who would not go to Eton if you paid them. Eton, dare I say it, is not the be-all and end-all. It may manufacture prime ministers as Mars does bars, but name me one premier league footballer who went there. Let me save you the trouble trying. There is none.
TODAY, apparently, is Super Thursday, signalling as it does the beginning of the great Christmas book bonanza. Almost 100 books will be published this day, most of them tripe, and most of them by celebs capitalising on programmes broadcast by the Brutish Bilgecasting Codswallop. It is not enough, it seems, for said celebs to earn shedloads of dosh for appearing on the box, they must milk it – and us! – further by producing "tie-ins". Hence Jamie's Ten Minute Five-Course Dinners, Nigella's Gastroenteritisporn, and – haud me back! – Clare Balding's My Animals And Other Family, which is a sub-version of Gerald Durrell's evergreen classic My Family And Other Scorpions.
According to The Times, however, "this year is more different than before". The reason for this is my old chum, Jakey Rowling, whose underwhelming first adult novel, The Casual Vacancy, is being bought by numpties who don't know one end of a book from another. Indeed, so fearful were publishers that Ms Rowling's tome would take up valuable space in bookshops (remember them!) that they have postponed publication of some of their titles. Cowards!
WHIT in the name o' the wee man's got into Roothie Davidson, leader of the Tartan Dodos? I refer to her speech to a few dozy degenerates at a fringe meeting at the Dodos' conference in which she compared Scotia to North Korea and my dear friend Alexei Salmonella and his chums to the gangsters who, she chunters, run that lovely country.
One can only imagine how Ms Roothie's remarks went down in NK, where they do not take kindly to such bampotic banter.
Nor, I guess, are the Gnats too happy to be associated with Tony Soprano and his chums. Somewhat predictably, though, Kenny Gibson, a Gnat EmSPee, rose to the bait, describing Ms Roothie's gibbering as "an outrageous slur" and demanding she apologise to the guid folk of Scotia. This is unnecessary. What Ms Roothie obviously needs is help, possibly of a psychiatric nature. We must pity the afflicted, not persecute them to say they're sorry.
THE Man Booker Prize will be awarded this coming Tuesday at Guidhall.
The winner, I confidently predict, will not be a Scot, for the simple reason that there are no Scots on the shortlist. This is pretty much par for the course and led Irvine Welsh, among others, to accuse the judges of "anti-Scottishness". This, of course, is hogwash. The judges couldn't give a damn whether an author is Scottish.
Picture the scene: over a plate of sushi in a swanky London canteen, five semi-literate persons of assorted genders and generations gather to decide who to anoint and who to discard.
The nationality of the authors is neither here nor there. I doubt if it even crosses the judges' minds. What is uppermost in their minds is whether they like a novel enough to give its author a fat cheque, which has never been given to one of Us since 1994, when James Kelman was the deserved winner. Why this is so I cannot fully explain. It is interesting to note, however, that over the same period several Irish writers have been well and truly Bookered.
Could this be because they write in a manner conducive to the metropolitan chatterati while our writers plough a furrow that to some southern sensibilities is incomprehensible?
CHANTEUSE Sarah Brightman is paying an arm and a leg to travel 160 times round the Earth in a Russian rocket. "I'd love to be kidnapped by an alien," said the woman who was married to Andrew Lloyd Webber for six years.
Boris Johnson isn't a salt-of-the-earth type like Davie Cameron
JK Rowling is set to dominate the Christmas book sales chart
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