Sunday, November 20, 2011

Give us a blob

a blob with a fireman's helmetThe acting profession is a hard one. Spare a kind thought for Fireman Blob, one of British animation's fallen by the wayside.

You see, originally, it was Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Blob.

There they were, all kitted out and helmets freshly-polished when the nice men from Camberwick Green took themselves off to BBC Television Centre to sell the idea to children's telly. And all went well until... Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Blob.
"What the hell is that?" asked the Commissioning Editor.

"Fireman Blob," replied the animators.

"Get rid of that. It looks like you got that far and couldn't be arsed."
And so it came to pass: after a heated, but ultimately futile, discussion poor old Fireman Blob got his marching orders and was replaced by the felicitously-named Grub.

The rest is history. Embittered, Blob turned his back on the industry and went back to provincial repertory theatre, touring the West Country with Joan Littlewood's production of "No Sex, Please, We're British." When last seen, he was playing "unpleasant thing on the bathroom floor" in Robin Asquith's seminal "Confessions of a Sagger Maker's Bottom Knocker," a pale reflection of glories that might have been.

Such is the hardship behind the glamour of showbiz.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The delights of the hedgerow

One of the treats of these late Autumn mornings is the sight of people out and about taking Rover and Fido, or Fang and Tyson, out for a constitutional. The doggies frolic hither and thither, all agog with the smells of the day while their owners follow behind collecting little lumps of dog shit in their little carrier bags. I'm told it makes for a cheeky little country wine.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Oh, it's all very well for Ed Millipede to decide to jump onto the Occupy Bits of Pavement to Piss Off the Daily Mail but I'd be more amenable to this attempt to co-opt the protests for political advantage had we heard or seen much of the outrage at the Labour party conference.

The speech I would have wanted to hear would have included something like this:

"There are those in the financial sector who say that the time for atonement is over. These are the people who said that the good times shall roll forever and whose mistakes are hurting ordinary people every day. Vulnerable people who find their care needs being ignored because of cuts. Children and families who find that their playgrounds and libraries are no more. Companies that can't find investment capital when they need it. Small businessmen who find their markets have vanished because their customers have shut up shop. These are the people who are being hurt and for them there is no easy taxpayer-funded return to Business As Usual.

"There are those in the financial sector who say that the time for atonement is over. I think of the bank clerks and the teachers, the nurses and the builders, the overworked and the unemployed and I say to those in the financial sector: no. I say to them: boys and girls, some humility is called for.

"You fucked the economy.

"You don't get to say when the time for atonement is over. Ask the people of Britain when they've stopped being hurt by your actions."

Monday, November 07, 2011

The intellectual rigour of the English sabbath

The quiet English Sunday is an opportunity for sober reflection of the big issues of life and the prolonged digestion of the issues and outcomes of our current affairs media.

Today we have mulled over:

  • The merits — or not — of the lamb chop, roast potato and minty peas smoothie;

  • Queen Victoria's moustache cup; and

  • Cats' bottoms.