Judging the book by its cover

My eldest is making her way through her first Secret Seven book.  So far, very little has happened; three chapters in and they still haven’t come across the “spooky old house in the snow” the jacket blurb promised.  We get the impression she’s not enjoying it much but upwards and onwards.  She might be a […]

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Plastic not-so-fantastic, then

Another childhood illusion shattered, another comfort zone wrecked.  Belgian punk “sensation” Plastic Bertrand has admitted he wasn’t the singer of  his one and only UK hit ‘Ça Plane Pour Moi’.  Is there nothing left we can believe in? This is far more devastating than the Milli Vanilli ‘scandal’ of 20 years ago.  Poor Plastic (real name Roger Jouret, […]

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Heart failure and time warp

Good riddance to Ashfordly – where it’s been the 1960s for 18 years The end of an error is upon us.  One of Britain’s cosiest Sunday night habits has, as they say, been “axed”.  This coming Sunday sees the beginning of the final series of Heartbeat, a programme described variously as a ‘1960s rural police […]

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Yikes, it’s Eric Sykes

I was overjoyed yesterday to read that Eric Sykes was celebrating his 87th birthday.  This is marvellous news because it means, of course, that he’s not dead.  Like Norman Wisdom and Leslie “I say, ding dong!” Phillips, I can never remember if Sykes is alive or dead half the time.  It’s a shame that such great comic […]

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It’s not rocket science

Bless, bless, bless the 12-year-old work experience kid who was asked to find a photo of “the man who presents The Krypton Factor” for today’s Irish Times’ TV page; didn’t said 12-year-old then duly come up trumps with the smiling fizog of its original presenter, the mild-mannered-as-an-art-form, Gordon Burns. Personally, I prefer not to see this as an error, but […]

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Fred Wedlock 1942-2010

It’s with much sadness that I note the passing of Fred Wedlock, the Bristol teacher-turned- folk singer and humourist.  For me and many other pop pickers of my generation, he’ll always be remembered as the man who made ‘The Oldest Swinger In Town’ famous, taking it to number 6 in the UK charts in 1981.  Although Fred wasn’t the […]

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Is this the worst record ever made?

It has to be.  Andrew Ridgeley’s 1990 ‘comeback’ single Shake truly is car crash stuff.  The video is appropriately nasty, but ignore it if you can and just listen to the song: after the cak-handed, overwrought acoustic intro, there’s this ‘intriguing’ and ‘dramatic’ pregnant pause – during which, it seems, Ridgeley trips up and falls into a drum kit.  […]

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