Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Why are nice things are bad for you?

This week I am reminded of one of life's cruelest truths - nice things are bad for you. My favourite things are chocolate, alcohol, chips, curry, unprotected sex, auto-erotic asphyxiation and spending 4 month periods on the couch. All of those things are reducing my life expectancy. This seems unfair. The more you enjoy life, the less of it you are allowed to have. Why have we evolved to become so damaged by pleasure?

During the festive period, pleasure, damaging pleasure is in constant supply. A couple of weeks ago I ate the nicest mince pies I've ever had. Why were they so nice? They were made with puff pastry and had a lot more sugar on top. They were nicer because they were less healthy. It was only this year that I suddenly realised any dish can be made much tastier by adding shit loads of sugar, salt, butter or a combination of the three. Why does our body love what's bad for it so much? Our bodies are like insecure women with bastards.

Drugs are probably the best example of this. As I understand it the drugs that offer the most pleasure are heroin and crack cocaine. I, no matter how often my girlfriend offers them to me, have never tried either. I have enough trouble sustaining my Cadbury's Chocolate Trifle habit. I don't think I'm too far off the mark when I say that heroin and crack are, although not particularly calorific, massively bad for you. I honestly don't get it. Why are our bodies structured in such a way? Surely evolution should have brought us to a point where the nicer things are, the better for us they are.

There is probably someone reading this who feels we've already reached that place. Right now, she's nibbling away at a bag of seeds whilst in a yoga position. Tonight, she might 'treat' herself to some pumpkin soup before her nightly jog. She tells herself that carbs make her feel bloated and she actually much prefers a night out without a drink. Over the Christmas break she's thinking of reading Wild Swans for the 8th time. Well, if you are reading this - stereotypical girl who I've just made up - I think you're lying to yourself. When you do eventually die at the age of 106, I think you might wonder whether you really needed the extra 30 years that healthy lifestyle has given you. As we all know, by the year 2050 Earth will be a dystopian hell ran by Apple cyborgs. You, girl who I've made up, will spend you're twilight years under their titanium thumbs. I, meanwhile, will have had the memory of a thousand late night cream horns to keep me happy on my early death bed.

This is all obviously bullshit I tell myself to make me feel better about my subscription to the local Indian takeaway. That is why I don't jump headfirst into the hedonistic lifestyle. I am aware of the damage that pleasure can do and therefore ration my pleasure intake. Instead of drinking 6 times the recommended weekly alcohol limit, I just hang around daringly a bit above it. Instead of downing entire tubs of Ben and Jerry's I go through them in thirds. I have found a compromise. Neither slim nor obese - podgy. Neither a life brimming with pleasure nor a life lacking of it - content. So I may well live long enough to see the Apple cyborgs. I just won't be fit enough to fight them.

Monday, 19 December 2011

My appearance in Jonathan Creek and other abominations.

When I enter a room people often ask me if I'm cold. This is because I have the sort of posture that suggests that I am cold. I have the posture of a cold man. Those of you who saw me brilliantly deliver the single line 'How can you tell?' in a 2003 episode of Jonathan Creek will not be surprised to learn that I went to drama school. There my posture was somewhat of an issue for the faculty. A lot of time was spend trying to correct it. I think they feared I'd have a career of simply playing cold men. Upon arrival at drama school I was very skinny and so was not too worried. I was quite happy to play Gulag prisoners in big movies for the rest of my days. But then my diet of potato waffles, chicken burgers from Abduls and Guinness helped my waist to expand and my career in the Gulag seemed no longer guaranteed. I too, started to worry about my posture.

The thing is posture isn't a very easy thing to correct. Although I did seem to spend every morning doing Alexander technique (rolling around on the floor) it didn't seem to be changing for me at any noticeable rate. Other students waxed smugly about the wonders it was doing but it always looked to me like they had perfect posture in the first place. It grew into a massive annoyance for me. It's a weird thing to move to the other side of the country to learn your trade and to find that not being able to pull your shoulders back is your biggest obstacle.

I'd like to think that my posture is moderately improved although if a former teacher was to see me they'd no doubt tell me it's still shit. It's almost certainly had an effect on the type of roles I've been given. I seem to have played a remarkable number of children, freakish virgins and mentally handicapped people. Perhaps if my shoulders would simply move an inch or two back I'd be competing with Ryan Gosling.

That reminds me of a story. Years ago I changed agents. My new agent was contacted by a casting director from The Bill who had been trying to track me down for a few days. They were very keen to see me for a role they thought I was perfect for. I awaited the script with excitement. The Bill, back then, was a rite of passage it seemed and it looked like I was about to make my mark. What was the role that I was so perfect for? A new bad boy PC? A local villain?I'll tell you what it was. A 15 year old with special needs. At the audition I gave it my best. Then the casting director told me I didn't need to do 'the voice'. Here's the thing. I wasn't doing a voice. I wasn't doing a voice! This means, ladies and gentlemen, that my voice to that casting director sounded like a bad actor attempting the voice of a teenager with special needs.

Whilst I'm in the mood to tell you grim stories from my chequered career I'd like to briefly bring you back to my appearance on Jonathan Creek. I did in fact have three lines in that episode but two of them were cut. Why? Because I shit. It was my first TV job and I had no idea what the frig I was doing. In the unlikely event that anyone reading this runs a drama school (I know I have a big readership in the Eastern European absurdist theatre world) then do by all means try and coax your students shoulders into optimum position. I do, however, suggest that you spend at least a modicum of time teaching them how the fuck a TV shoot works. The thing is that's where they are likely to find the bulk of their income and if they walk onto their first set utterly clueless then they are going to look like a giant twat. I was and I did.

It's hard to describe just how useless I was that day. Without knowing any of the technical jargon and being riddled with nerves I must have looked like a 6th century Native American who'd been transported and forced to walk around the Ideal Homes show in Earls Court. I distinctly remember hearing the director and the writer debating as to whether they could cut my part and still make the scene work. The answer was in the edit. They kept the one line and then quickly cut to Colin McFarlane who would later appear in The Dark Knight. Well done, Colin. Nice to see you've done so well. How come you don't keep in touch anymore? It's me! Fergus! I played the paramedic in Jonathan... Colin?... Colin?

It occurs to me that in the current climate in which there is less and less work for actors talking about how shit I can be may not be wise. If any casting directors are reading this I should point out that I am in fact amazing. I have moved on a lot for my Jonathan Creek appearance which is about 5 mins 30 into this clip...

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Massive house in Hampstead.

On Monday I spent most of the day filming in a four storey house in Hampstead. I haven't spent much time in rich people's houses in the past as all of my friends are scum and during my seven year affair with Princess Anne we usually spent the night at my gaff. The Hampstead mansion was in one sense very impressive. For the price of a one bedroomed flat in Hampstead you could pay the wages of Canada's civil service for 5 years so with a four storey house you could probably get China's navy. I regularly checked in cupboards for gold bullion.

In another sense it was a bit of a shit hole. Well, not a shit hole, but if it was on MTV Cribs I don't think I'd like the person. All the walls were white and adorned with modern, no doubt expensive art that looked like it had actually come from Ikea. There were plenty of book shelves impressively stocked with hard back copies of every single book that has been recommended by a broad sheet newspaper in the last ten years. There wasn't one book that could be described in any way as embarrassing. That to me is suspicious and embarrassing in itself. I have to say the books looked remarkably untouched. Perhaps there was a draw somewhere filled with well thumbed autobiographies and Coleen Nolan's novel.

The bedroom was where, for me, the dream house properly crumbled. It was, of course, massive and en suite. There were two sinks in the same area as the bed. Fine. There is nothing wrong with seeing someone brush their teeth. Then there was a bath hidden by a little wall that didn't extend across the whole room. Fine. I don't mind hearing someone slosh about whilst I pretend to read a hard back on Russian gulags. But then there was a toilet. Not fine. You couldn't see the toilet but there was nothing to stop you hearing or smelling everything that was done there. I'm no prude. I like water sports as much as the next perv but I do not want to wake up to the smell of shit. How must it feel to have spent £8 million on the house of your dreams only to wake up to the smell of your partner's morning dump?

This is the problem. The wrong people have all the money. Give it to me please. Give it to me.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Theme parks.

Whilst in Florida (keep up) we stayed in a lovely hotel connected to the Universal theme parks. As you no doubt remember Warwick Davis and his family were also there. That strikes me as rather sad - a family of dwarfs staying beside a theme park where none of them were tall enough to get on the rides. You're right. That is quite a cruel observation to make but it is a true one and we will leave it at that.

I on the other hand am tall enough to get on the rides and have been for some time *takes a puff on a cigar and says 'ladies'*. It took me until I was well into my 20s until I developed the courage to get on proper roller coasters though... 'ladies'. Now I bloody love the bastards. If I could take a roller coaster to work I would. For that to happen I will first need to get a job.

There was a guy at Islands of Adventure that day who was having an even better time than me. He was about 30, on his own and had full Darth Maul face paint on. My guess is he thought to himself... 'I'm at a theme park. I obviously have to get face paint done. I am, however, an adult so getting Mickey Mouse would be sad. Wait! I know! I'll get Darth Maul! Now I look super cool... ladies'. Brazilian Darth Maul (I for some reason decided he was Brazilian) was everywhere we went. He powered down the artificial streets with a massive smile on his face, camera in hand, taking pictures of everything he saw... Popeye, dinosaurs, lampposts, hot dog stands and trees. I reckon he made his money on the Brazilian stock market, retired early and now he stands outside Universal at 6am every morning waiting for it to open.

On Friday we went to Epcot. For those of you who don't know, Epcot is a science museum/theme park/collection of fake countries. The funniest part is probably Future World. Having been built in the 1970s, Epcot's vision of the future is like a 1980s shopping centre. Seriously, it's like the Arndale Centre in Manchester. I half expected to find a key cutting machine.

Another funny attraction is a short 3D film made by George Lucas and featuring a Bad era Michael Jackson. I found it hard to follow but this is what I gathered - Captain Eo (Jackson) and a band of what appear to be stuffed toys have to defeat an evil woman in space. They do this by gradually, through the medium of music and dance, turning each of her space soldiers into backing dancers. With every step they become stronger until it is eventually a Michael Jackson music video. Then for, as far as I could see, no apparent reason Angelica Huston is carried on and joins in the festivities. Made in 1986, I'm impressed that it's stayed open for so long. When Jackson was on trial few could have had more invested in the verdict than the staff who work on the Captain Eo attraction at Epcot. Now that he is dead and sainted their positions are forever safe.

The bulk of the park is taken up by replicas of countries. First was the United Kingdom. I was geared up to be offended but I found it fairly acceptable. It featured a pub (the Rose and Crown), a gift shop selling football shirts and tea related things, some red phone boxes and a bandstand in a pretty park. There is of course more to Britain than that and it is a rose tinted view. I don't feel the need though, to demand a replica of the Thamesmead estate or Fred West's patio. If you're going to boil down our country to a few things then I'm fine with pub, tea and football.

One last thing which made the day at Epcot quite creepy. There was a plane in the sky that kept writing religious messages. As it wrote 'Love' I thought it rather charming. I pondered on whether people ever train to be a pilot with the sole intention of writing in the sky. 'I like calligraphy, I like planes. Why not combine the two?'. But then it evolved (ironic) into 'Love God'. Now this plane was making demands of me that I didn't feel I could live up to. The messages kept on coming... 'God is love', 'Jesus is God, worship him' and 'Moses is such a cutie pie'. I made that last one up but the religious plane did exist. Pray to God it never comes your way.

I can't get it into this blog but here is a link to Captain Eo...

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

I Bloomed In Orlando

Those of you who could be arsed to get your heads out of those bloody comics of yours to read my blog yesterday will remember I left you with a cliff hanger. Someone paid for me and my girlfriend to fly first class last week but where were we going and why? The answer is we were going to Orlando, Florida (USA) and we were going because my suspiciously unnamed girlfriend (Robert) was being inducted into her old University's Hall of Fame. This is remarkable for a couple of reasons. Firstly, my girlfriend's success in her own career so outweighs mine that I'm proud of my ego for surviving our relationship. Secondly, educational institutions in the States can be so rich that they can afford to fly one of their former students' boyfriends to Orlando in first class. Not only that but they paid for us to stay in a lovely hotel for a week too. The very same hotel that Warwick Davis and his family were staying in no less.

The Hall of Fame ceremony was both incredible and to cynical British eyes a little ridiculous. As I describe the events I want you to imagine how a similar ceremony would be played out at your old college/school. The image in my head consists of a sports hall and two bowls of crisps.

First, a series of celebrities were introduced in a very American presenter voice as they walked down a fully fledged red carpet. The celebrities included two members of the band 'Disturbed' and Stedman, Oprah's boyfriend. Robert (Robert's real name is Laurie) had foolishly given me the task of being her 'presenter' which meant that I had to introduce her once the ceremony was under way. Each of the 'presenters' were individually announced as they walked down the red carpet. I have been on a few of red carpets in my life. Most of them at badly decorated B and B's, one of them at the BAFTAs. No one has ever taken the slightest bit of interest in me on one. But here I was in a foreign country where NO ONE beyond my girlfriend's family had a fucking clue who I was and literally 20 photographers were frantically taking my photo as I gingerly walked down it.

I should give you some context here. The ceremony was being held at 9am on a Monday morning and the night before a jet lagged me had been treated to a free drinks do. After a couple of beers I decided to have a glass of whiskey. In Britain a glass of whiskey is actually a thimble of whiskey which has been poured into a glass. In the States a glass of whiskey is... A GLASS OF WHISKEY. Brits tend to be sneering about Americans capacity for heavy drinking. Brits tend to be wrong.

So there I was sat in my chair on the stage, sweating alcohol and waiting for the ceremony to begin. We watched on a big screen as the inductees (including Robert) walked down the carpet. A camera cut to shots of the inductees proud families in the audience. Another camera, on a crane, took swooping shots of the room as a whole. This show had a bigger budget than most of the TV series I have appeared in. In true American style, the ceremony's pre-amble was topped off with us all standing for the national anthem sung by the group 4Sure who nearly made it to the finals of American X Factor. None of this is a lie.

Then the head of the university made a speech. He was a certain kind of American. The kind that truly has no British equivalent. He appeared to be utterly devoid of cynicism and spoke with what looked to be the upmost sincerity about that university's 'family'. As a Brit I smelt a whiff of bullshit. Looking back though, I think I may have been wrong. It must say more about me than him that I found it creepy for a man to speak so positively about his work.

And then came my introduction for my girlfriend. I couldn't help but see this as my first overseas gig and littered my little speech with gags. To my delight the Americans lapped it up. I mean they properly chowed down on my humour. And so I left the room truly in love with Americans for their apparent openness and positivity. Would a British audience, on a Monday morning, have been so ready to laugh? I fear not. In fact, in my experience a British audience on a Friday night is rarely so ready to laugh.

It is decided. I am moving to America. Based on last week it is a land of nothing but free booze, free hotels, unending positivity, easy laughter and theme parks. Tomorrow I will tell you about the rest of my trip for there is much to tell.

Note: for the purpose of a theme I have characterised Americans as exclusively positive, fun loving hippies. I did and have, in fact, met many negative American energy sieves. Robert, for example.

Monday, 14 November 2011

First class

Yesterday I flew first class for the first time in my life. Actually I flew first class on BMI to Glasgow once but with that I just got to sit near the front and there was enough time be handed a bag of nuts. Yesterday was proper, BA, transatlantic first class with metal cutlery and everything.

I was actually meant to be flying first class last Saturday but I was downgraded which was more than a little annoying. I have built the idea of first class flying up in my head for a long time so when it was cruelly taken away from me I felt like crying. I was casually told that the flight was 'oversold'. This seems such an odd phenomenon to me - airlines overselling flights. In what other field is it acceptable to sell more of something than you can actually provide? Lots probably. I should read more.

Fortunately we were given access to BA's lounge at Gatwick so didn't feel like the complete normaloids that we are. Myself and my girlfriend had arrived there early just to experience the lounge. In my head it was a leather seated paradise, an indoor Club Tropicana with dancing girls, foot massage and American pool tables. In actuality it was more like the awkward bit before a Coventry based accountant's leaving do started. There were some free drink and nibbles but not much else. It was like a Travelodge without the glamour.

Having said that, Britain's most famous dwarf, Warwick Davis was there. What if he was one of the bastards taking our seats in first class? I mean this in the nicest possible way - it's not like he needs the fucking legroom! Sure enough, as we left for our departure gate, Warwick and his family were headed the same way. What an injustice?! It seems that all you have to do to be guaranteed first class is appear in about 10 of the highest grossing movies of all time. Disgusting! It turned out Warwick was in premium economy with the rest of us premium plebs.

Celebrity spot!... Warwick Davis watching his own sitcom 'Life's Too Short' on his ipad on the plane and pissing himself. Fair play to him. Most of my weekends are spent watching my 3 second appearance on Jonathan Creek on a loop.

Miracle of miracles we weren't downgraded on the return flight and I got to experience first class to the fullest. These are my impressions...

1. You do indeed get metal cutlery and proper glasses. The assumption here I think is that terrorists can't afford to fly first class. My point would be that if you're prepared to kill yourself and hundreds of others you might not feel guilty about taking out a loan you can't pay back.

2. You do get turbulence in first class. I thought this was only an economy thing.

3. Being able to lie fully horizontal on a plane feels enormously decadent. You are, however, in an enclosed space with lots of stangers. It's a bit like a youth hostel dorm except everyone is rich.

4. Everyone in first class looks pretty normal. I thought it would be 70% Arab sheiks. I guess they fly Emirates.

5. You get a little bag with moisturiser and toothpaste etc. The bag itself is worth no more than £20 but somehow it adds to the idea that spending an extra £2,000 on a flight is worth it.

I should say now that neither I nor my girlfriend paid for these flights. As I know that my demographic have short attention spans and no doubt need to get back to head butting walls, I'll tell you who paid for them and why tomorrow. Bye!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Stags and Hens and Wallys and Bellends

On Saturday night I was unfortunate enough to take a train from Newbury to Reading. The train was, myself excluded, entirely populated by 20 year old bellends in costumes. I am not saying that being a 20 year old in a costume makes you a bellend by the way. That would make Jedward bellends which is absurd. I am saying that the people on the 9.05 from Newbury to Reading were bellends. Consider the evidence;

About 70% of them (honest guess) were dressed as Wally from Where's Wally? There were three separate groups of Wallys. Nothing says 'I'm wacky and crazy' like being in a group of 25 all wearing exactly the same outfit (sarcasm). I don't get why groups all wear the same costumes. It seems so depressing. It was like a Hitler Youth night out. I'm not sure if they were stags and hens or just off to a party. Either way they, to me, they were just a giant globule of shouty Jagermeister vessels in red and white. At one stage one of them turned to me and showed me a picture on his phone, asking if I thought it was funny. It wasn't funny but was horribly racist. It showed a black child in a supermarket trolley with the caption 'Get used to the bars little nigga'. If you're ever in any doubt as to whether racism still exists in Britain - just take a trip to a small town. The fact that he didn't think twice about showing it to a stranger and was surprised when I pulled my Guardian reading face of disapproval says it all.

Slightly related question - what has happened to stag and hen nights in the last few years? If early Neighbours is anything to go by a stag night used to just consist of a night at The Waterhole, a stripper who Des will marry and die in a car crash (don't they all?) and then the stag getting tied naked to a lamppost. Now everyone has to go to fucking Prague. Stags and hens of the world! It is not fair to essentially force your friends (and your fiance's brother) to spend their holiday money at a destination of your choice. I am lucky enough not to have any real friends but everyone I know at the moment seems to spend every other weekend doing massively expensive activities miles away from where anyone taking part actually lives. All this simply because an old school friend who they no longer have anything in common with (hence the fucking hat making weekend) has found a mate.

Stags and hens! I understand that it is your 'special day' but does it have to be your 'special four day weekend' and does it have to be in fucking Krakow and do we really have to drink shots at 7am before we go fucking paint balling?

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

A visit to the nurse.

Last night I couldn't get to sleep until about 4. This is not unusual for me. A couple of weeks ago I had a night in which I couldn't sleep till 7.30 in the morning. That is proper bullshit. That night went something like this; Lay in bed for an hour, get up and go to the toilet, lay in bed for another 40 minutes, get up and watch some baseball (!), lay in bed for another hour, get up and flick between baseball and Fox News, lay in bed for another hour, get up and go to the toilet, lay in bed for another 40 minutes, wake my girlfriend up to tell her I can't sleep, get up and watch Daybreak for the first time ever, go back to bed and watch my girlfriend get up for work, fall asleep. Your sympathy is gratefully received.

In other news my 81 year old Grandad phoned me up on Monday. Something had happened to him on a trip to the hospital which he thought I could use in my 'comedy'. Amazingly he went to the trouble of writing the whole story and emailing it to me. Can your Grandad use email? No. He can't can he? Gutted.

Here's the story he sent me, word for word. If you're at all unclear, the implication is that it sounded like he and the nurse were having sex. As far as I know, they weren't...

A visit to the Nurse

The waiting room was full as usual with a mixture of retired pensioners and young mothers with their offspring creating the usual mess on the floor with all the toys.

I took my place at a convenient seat near the door I was going to be called into.

In due course the door opened and the nurse called me by my Christian name “William” and I rose from my seat and went into her treatment room, without any apprehension, as it was only a breathing test I was having to check my lungs were functioning properly.

The nurse prepared me for the test by explaining in hushed voice what she would be applying to me in order to get the best test results.

She explained all the graphs on a screen like a T V which would record all the efforts I was capable of achieving, each one had a significance to some part of my Bronchial efficiency.

The procedure had 3 bouts of breathing activity I would be asked to follow.

The nurse was very enthusiastic in going over all the details of how I was to respond to her instructions.

She told me to take a very deep breath and in a loud instruction she encouraged me to take more and more and kept saying “more William more” and “don’t stop, don’t stop”, then the instruction changed and she exalted me to push harder into a tube in my mouth, “push William push harder” repeating it over and over. Then she said, “ When I say start I want you to give it all you’ve got and force as much as you can”. “ Right start now, More William don’t stop keep going keep going, that’s lovely, keep going, don’t stop your doing very well, very well.” “Now I want you to do it all again only this time push harder”. “ Wait until I say start, right start now, fill it up as much as you can and then push with all your might William, don’t stop that’s wonderful, give it all you’ve got, don’t stop William, your doing so well its brilliant, don’t stop William.” “I want you to push as hard as you can William. “I’m so pleased. “O yes you have reached the right mark William, I’m so pleased.

I relaxed for a moment or two and then had to start the procedure all over again. This time with even more encouragement and with all the enthusiasm and words of praise as to my performance.

Just then the door to the treatment room opened and the doctor came in and asked “what is going on “ but saw the equipment being used and understood and said “I see” “But could you keep your voices down as The patients can hear what you are saying”.

When he left another nurse came in, who usually took my blood for tests, and said, “ What are you doing to my William, He’s my patient” and laughed.

As I left the surgery I got some very mixed looks from many of the waiting patients, some of envy and some of disgust

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Near death experience.

Last night I was approached by a man outside my house. I instantly knew that he was going to ask me for money and I also knew that I wouldn't give him any. He was pretty dishevelled and only one tooth had bothered to stay in his mouth. In a sense I shouldn't be judging him on his appearance but, you know, so would you.

In London I am frequently approached by people asking me for 'money for the bus'. These people always look like alcoholics or crack heads. Either alcoholics and crack heads just love riding the bus or they're lying. It is a sad state of affairs when my instant response to a stranger in need is an immediate 'no'. Especially considering their stories are often quite elaborate and believable. What if they're true? What if one day I end up getting beaten up, losing all my money and need to get the bus back to Penge to see my sister who's sick? And what if that all happens on a day I have chosen to dress like a crack head? Then I will have to hope that I find someone nicer than me.

What was interesting about last night's guy was his method. He played a genuinely startling mind trick. He starting by taking an i.d card out of his wallet. My first thought was that he was trying to prove that he was a responsible member of society in a fix by showing me that he had a normal job. Instead the card was from Brixton prison. He told me that he'd just left there. He then showed me cuts on his wrists which he said were from recently applied handcuffs. I ruled out inviting him in to watch Dragon's Den with me. He explained that he needed money for the bus (don't we all - thanks BORIS!) and that he didn't want to reoffend to get it.

Ahhhh. So that's the trick. For a second I considered giving him it because I was so bamboozled. Not least by the fact that they give you an i.d card when you leave prison. What possible circumstance would that be useful in other than... I don't know... applying for a job at News International?! SATIRE!! Then I figured that if he really needed the bus then he could just hop on a fucking bendy one. I said 'no, sorry' (always polite) as I was walking into my house and then he said 'that's a nice house you've got, I might have to reoffend and burgle that'. Well, just as long as you only burgle £2.20's worth for bus fare and not a penny more.

This is the sad thing about the city. We don't trust anyone and we're right not to. If I ever ask for directions it always starts with the person looking away in fear at first and I look like a sick school boy.

Here is something I can't be arsed to fit into the structure of the blog post. Consider it a bonus feature; There's another guy on my street who frequently asks me for money. Each time he has a bloody mouth and says he's just been punched in the face. First off it's sad that he is so desperate that he regularly punches himself in the face to try and get what he needs. Secondly, it's sad that he's stupid enough to do it on the same street, to the same people every night.


Monday, 19 September 2011

Getting my hair cut.

I was going to go for a haircut today but I've decided not to. I don't like getting my haircut. There are two different types of people who cut my hair; When I am feeling flush I go to expensive places. The first time I went to one and got a head massage it blew mind. She just started groping my head. 'This feels nice, don't say anything' I told myself. What I don't get about the head massage is that it's never mentioned. Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don't and we never talk about it. When I don't get one I feel like saying 'excuse me but where's my fucking head massage?'. But I don't.

I always feel out of place at the expensive places. Usually because I'm the only customer with a penis (and a rather impressive one at that). On an average visit my hair is cut by a gay Scottish guy coming down from a pill and it is clear within 15 seconds that we have nothing to talk about. I fein interest in a magazine that is 2 inches thick, costs £8 and seems to feature ONLY adverts.

When I'm not quite so flush (my finances fluctuate like a moderately pretty actress's self esteem) I go to what is known as a 'barbers'. There I feel even less comfortable. I find it strange that male hairdressers are either gay and expensive or ridiculously blokey and cheap. It's clear that there is no place for a man like me in this business. Here, in the barbers, my accent will always do it's very best to go authentic cockney. I have serious trouble with this phoney accent brought on by my feelings of inadequacy as a man. In the presence of barbers, taxi drivers and Mickey Flanagan I leave a pile of dropped h's by my feet. When I'm in Manchester my accent goes Corrie without me even noticing it. Then people ask where I'm from and I find myself sounding like Reg Holdsworth as I say 'I'm from London, me, love'. By the way I've noticed that on IMDb it says I was born in Ireland (never been there) and on Wikipedia it says I was born in Manchester (not true). Where was I really born? You shall never know. Or care.

At barbers you don't always get magazines either which leaves me to simply look at my own face in the mirror for 20 minutes. Well, that is a depressing sight. I think my face looks like a pale chubby child's school photo after it's put through a computer ageing programme. Then no matter what I look like at the end I feel like I've got the worst haircut ever. This is in direct contrast to what I tell the barber. 'Yeah, that looks great. Fanks very much!'.

Congratulations on reaching the end of this blog post. As a reward here is a video I found funny...

Friday, 9 September 2011

Advert auditions

This afternoon I am going to go through the ritual humiliation of an advert audition. If it's so humiliating then why am I going? Because adverts pay large amounts of money (sometimes really, really large) for one day's work. So this afternoon I am entering a lottery with relatively good odds and a nice cash prize. The difference is I don't pay for my ticket in cash - I pay for it in dignity.

I should say that not all advert auditions are awful but a fuck of a lot of them are. For those of you not blessed with the talent to be in my industry let me describe them to you. You get a time from your agent (let's say 1.20) to go to a casting usually in a small room somewhere in Soho. You get there at 1.10 and find 20 other people that look like you but a bit younger have taken all the seats. A young runner behind a desk with a trendy haircut hands you some forms and a script. If you are a man and about my age that the script will most likely be;

a) A group of likeable lads wind each other up in a likeable laddy way. Their problems are either solved by or their friendship somehow represents alcohol, junk food or BT.


b) A geeky but likeable guy is embarrassed in the company of an attractive woman. He either becomes attractive to her because of or takes comfort in alcohol, junk food or BT.

You then wait for an hour and a half to be seen. This is perhaps the most annoying part of advert auditions. I believe that the assumption on their part is that we, the auditionees spend our days waiting for the opportunity to sell Wotsits to an unwilling world. We do not. We spend our days working on other stuff so that we can get to a point in our lives in which we are happy to turn down thousands of pounds to sell Wotsits.

Then when you enter the audition room you are confronted by a friendly casting director and five advertising goons in deck shoes on their iPhones. The advertising goons refuse to look at you while you stand on a spot and say your name and agent to a camera. Then the director (usually much more polite than the goons) tells you that the script you've been looking at for the past 90 minutes is the wrong one. They'd like you to improvise something for them. This, I think has become a major problem. Advertisers get comedy people to come in and 'improvise' and thereby 'help to write' their advert for no fee. The role is then offered to Ralf Little.

What has become unbearable for me is the dynamic in the room. From the goons point of view I am a shit actor, struggling for work and this is a massive opportunity. Their assumption, I think, is that only the shittest of the shit end up at Wotsits auditions. The fact that they are making a Wotsits advert doesn't seem to lead them to question their own place on the shit scale at all. In this small instance these bellends have a power over me - the ability to pay me a huge wad of cash for my services - and, too often, they abuse that power by treating me like doggy plop.

There's certainly an arrogance on my own part at play here. I don't like the idea that these people seem to feel above me. I want them to know what I've done and respect it. Respect me, God dang it! Just because I wouldn't mind a 12 grand cash injection to help pay for my mother's crystal meth habit doesn't mean I haven't given one of the finest Prospero's the world has ever seen. I mean, I haven't (I'm far too young for the role) but how do they know that?

I fear I haven't quite described the sheer disdain and smugness that oods from many of those advertising goons. This Cardinal Burns/Fat Tongue sketch which you've probably seen displays the humiliation pretty well...

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The most sexist place left in society is around a pool table.

Below are the beginnings of a post I wrote whilst slightly drunk in a hotel room a couple of weeks ago. I consider it an unfinished masterpiece and feel it is my duty to release it. If I die before it is completed - like Speilberg completed A.I for Kubrick - I elect George Orwell to complete this blog. That is assuming he doesn't die first. What?! He has?! How did I miss that? In that case I designate the responsibility of completing any unfinished works in the event of my death to Gaby Roslin....

I'm in the Holiday Inn Express Cardiff City Airport and my career has reached a nadir. I'm not sure I know exactly what nadir means but I'm prepared to say that I've reached it. Earlier on this evening I did a gig at the Barry Memorial Theatre and it was pleasant enough. As a young boy who was so desperate to perform that at the age of five I voluntarily did a talk in assembly about the pillars of Islam (true) I never dreamed that I'd get this far.

I'm starting to appear sarcastic aren't I? In this instance I'm not. I mean it's not a nadir (whatever that means) but it's been lovely. I'm on my own. When I arrived at the Holiday Inn Express I decided to have a drink in the bar downstairs. I usually do this when I'm away. Hotel rooms are essentially just fancy bedrooms and I don't really do anything in bedrooms except sleep and MAKE LOVE.

So there I was in the bar downstairs with a pint of Caffreys. Beside me I had a copy of Tina Fey's Bossypants (which is brilliant) but being a prick I was embarrassed about it because there were builders around. The builders were playing pool and I decided that I wanted a go. Guess what? I am fucking brilliant at pool. I mean really. To a builder I probably look like I'd rather stick a pool cue up my arse than pot a ball with it but I am honestly really good. I

And there I stopped. I remember that I was worried that, being drunk I might regret posting. I think it was alright. I wonder what I was about to say with that final 'I' that made me stop. Perhaps the 'real me' was coming out and I was about to unleash a tirade about immigrants. Anyway, I did beat the builders at pool because I am, indeed, brilliant at it. That wasn't just drunken bravado. It's a source of great pride for me that I am good at pool and I love surprising people with it. Lots of men seem astonished that someone with no muscles and the gait of a bi-curious teen can beat them. They forget that pool is a game of skill not braun.

The most sexist place left in society is around a pool table. My girlfriend is very good at pool (when she's not on the crack pipe) and the way men handle it is incredible. If she plays a male stranger they nearly always start by giving her advice. This is before she has even done anything. Then when she plays a couple of good shots they make a point of saying 'good shot' quite loudly but clearly believe in their heads that it was a fluke. Then when she eventually beats them they lay on the praise a little too thick as if she's just done the impossible. "Fifty years ago the world saw it's first talking woman but never did we think we'd see the day when someone with a vagina could create the necessary angle required to pot a ball".

Many women play into the sexist atmosphere around a pool table. Of course, plenty of them are shit at it but there is no need to act so helpless. There is something very 1950s about the way they giggle and defer to the be-testicled for advice. It's not that hard of a game. Just work it out for yourselves, ladies. And if you really can't do it then maybe I could give a private lesson some time. At my place. Nekid.

There a two things that strike me about this post. First, the story in the original one about me giving a talk about Islam is genuinely true. I will have to tell you about that sometime. The other is that although I flatter myself to say so I think my two favourite phrases in the history of this blog are included within this post. They are; 'the gait of a bi-curious teen' and 'be-testicled'.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Friday, 12 August 2011

People are horrible.

Did anyone see those riots on the news? Nasty business. The overwhelming feeling I got from them was that people are horrible. First off, what the rioters themselves did was horrible. No, no, come on, it's about time someone said it. What those rioters did was not on. I'm not sure it's entirely a generational thing though. I can think of maybe 3 or 4 people that were in my year at school who were naughty enough to throw a brick through the window of a JD Sports and then torch the joint. Not that we had a JD Sports in Braintree. We had a Jenny's Burgers though. I reckon there were 30 or 40 other people at my school who were naughty enough to stand around and watch, then go inside and nick some of Jenny's Burgers. I fit into neither camp. There is a strong chance that I would have missed out thanks to the intensive rehearsal schedule of the school's production of Under Milk Wood. Oh, and thanks to not being invited to the looting for being a dweeb.

People have been awfully quick to find reasons for the riots. Some folk seemed to think the closing down of youth clubs was to blame. Table tennis is a great game but I'm not sure that it can prevent large scale country wide rioting. I'm being facetious. Not having much to do probably is one of the many and varied reasons why these bellends did this. It does not however change the fact that they are bellends. How they came to be bellends is another matter. Some people are born bellends though aren't they? If we can accept that a percentage of society is born gay can we not accept that a similar percentage are born bellend? If you don't believe me think of Paul Robinson. He had an excellent parent in Jim and has been given chance after chance but he consistently proves himself to be a bellend. That's genetics. Or simple archetypal soap script writing. One of the two.

Not all the bellends were rioting though. Some of them were in the EDL 'protecting' their neighbourhoods by chasing innocent black teenagers. Apparently a couple of weeks ago the EDL had a 'meeting' in a pub in Plymouth. They got pissed, wound each other up about 'bloody immigrants' and then smashed up a kebab shop. I like to think that the following night they got pissed, fancied some post-pub nosh and then realised they'd shot themselves in the foot.

Other non-rioting bellends include the people who are taking massive glee in calling for strict punishments. By all means punish the rioting bellends but the idea of taking away their council housing and benefits is a little silly, no? What happens if you take a group of people who are already prepared to riot and loot and then make them homeless and take away their income? If you think it's apply for a job at Halfords, I'm not so sure. And if it is apply for a job I sense the people calling for this aren't the same people who would give them one.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Adolescent political rambling I will no doubt be embarrassed by in two weeks time.

Good news guys! I've worked out the fundamental problem with free market capitalism and the reason why I will most likely never be able to afford a nice house in a nice area. For those of you who prefer my blog posts about poo and testicular examinations - stick with it - you might learn something.

In many ways I quite like the idea of capitalism. It strikes me that all the alternatives I've come across don't really work. When I was a kid we sent food parcels to my mum's relatives in Communist Poland so I had a very real sense that that little theory wasn't working out. The basic premise of the free market (I think) is that if you work hard and have good skills, ideas or a good product to offer you'll do quite well. There are of course lots of uncomfortable issues with that (what if you're thick, weak and chronically depressed?) but I at least get it. I reckon, in the States particularly that theory worked out quite well for a while.

But here's the problem. Get ready for my theory because it's going to blow your fucking mind. Some people are really really smart. Now it seems that there are a small but significant number of people with a 160 IQ who work 80 hour weeks and only care about money and Top Gear. Let's call these people 'Dicks'. These 'Dicks' now control the world by virtue of having all the money and capital and they are too smart and 'Dickish' to ever let it go. These 'Dicks' have been buying up all the houses in London for years, thereby pushing up the prices and leaving me the holder of a mere 7 GCSEs, a meaningless degree and a casual disregard for money unable to buy one.

Some of you may well be thinking that if they were so smart they wouldn't have let the economy crash like it has. The 'Dicks' didn't really lose out though did they? They all walked off with shitloads of money. The people who are supposed to keep the 'Dicks' in line are the politicians and the regulators but they are nowhere near as clever as the 'Dicks'. If they were then they'd be 'Dicks' themselves and earn a lot more money than they do. Of course some of the politicians are 'Dicks'. But as we all know 'Dicks' look after 'Dicks'. That's just basic biology.

So there we are. My argument is impenetrable. I've worked out exactly what's wrong with the world and at the same time, through my shambling prose proven why I don't have the IQ to ever be a 'Dick'.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

The most sexist place left in society is around a pool table.

Below are the beginnings of a post I wrote whilst slightly drunk in a hotel room a couple of weeks ago. I consider it an unfinished masterpiece and feel it is my duty to release it. If I die before it is completed - like Speilberg completed A.I for Kubrick - I elect George Orwell to complete this blog. That is assuming he doesn't die first. What?! He has?! How did I miss that? In that case I designate the responsibility of completing any unfinished works in the event of my death to Gaby Roslin....

I'm in the Holiday Inn Express Cardiff City Airport and my career has reached a nadir. I'm not sure I know exactly what nadir means but I'm prepared to say that I've reached it. Earlier on this evening I did a gig at the Barry Memorial Theatre and it was pleasant enough. As a young boy who was so desperate to perform that at the age of five I voluntarily did a talk in assembly about the pillars of Islam (true) I never dreamed that I'd get this far.

I'm starting to appear sarcastic aren't I? In this instance I'm not. I mean it's not a nadir (whatever that means) but it's been lovely. I'm on my own. When I arrived at the Holiday Inn Express I decided to have a drink in the bar downstairs. I usually do this when I'm away. Hotel rooms are essentially just fancy bedrooms and I don't really do anything in bedrooms except sleep and MAKE LOVE.

So there I was in the bar downstairs with a pint of Caffreys. Beside me I had a copy of Tina Fey's Bossypants (which is brilliant) but being a prick I was embarrassed about it because there were builders around. The builders were playing pool and I decided that I wanted a go. Guess what? I am fucking brilliant at pool. I mean really. To a builder I probably look like I'd rather stick a pool cue up my arse than pot a ball with it but I am honestly really good. I

And there I stopped. I remember that I was worried that, being drunk I might regret posting. I think it was alright. I wonder what I was about to say with that final 'I' that made me stop. Perhaps the 'real me' was coming out and I was about to unleash a tirade about immigrants. Anyway, I did beat the builders at pool because I am, indeed, brilliant at it. That wasn't just drunken bravado. It's a source of great pride for me that I am good at pool and I love surprising people with it. Lots of men seem astonished that someone with no muscles and the gait of a bi-curious teen can beat them. They forget that pool is a game of skill not braun.

The most sexist place left in society is around a pool table. My girlfriend is very good at pool (when she's not on the crack pipe) and the way men handle it is incredible. If she plays a male stranger they nearly always start by giving her advice. This is before she has even done anything. Then when she plays a couple of good shots they make a point of saying 'good shot' quite loudly but clearly believe in their heads that it was a fluke. Then when she eventually beats them they lay on the praise a little too thick as if she's just done the impossible. "Fifty years ago the world saw it's first talking woman but never did we think we'd see the day when someone with a vagina could create the necessary angle required to pot a ball".

Many women play into the sexist atmosphere around a pool table. Of course, plenty of them are shit at it but there is no need to act so helpless. There is something very 1950s about the way they giggle and defer to the be-testicled for advice. It's not that hard of a game. Just work it out for yourselves, ladies. And if you really can't do it then maybe I could give a private lesson some time. At my place. Nekid.

There a two things that strike me about this post. First, the story in the original one about me giving a talk about Islam is genuinely true. I will have to tell you about that sometime. The other is that although I flatter myself to say so I think my two favourite phrases in the history of this blog are included within this post. They are; 'the gait of a bi-curious teen' and 'be-testicled'.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Visit to the doctors.

When I was 21 I thought I had a lump on one of my testicles. At the time I was in a play and we were in the States (United, of America). After a couple of days of touching myself I decided that it definitely was a lump - a small one - but a lump nonetheless. After speaking with the tour manager (I always kept him up to date with my testicles) I decided to wait until I returned to Britain before seeing a doctor. About a week later I was back home and the lump was still there so I set about booking an appointment. I didn't have a doctor though so had to go through the ball ache (ha!) of registering. It wasn't until about 3 weeks after originally noticing the lump that I actually saw the doctor.

On the morning of the appointment something horrible happened. The lump wasn't there. Do I cancel the appointment? No. It was 8 in the morning. I hadn't been up before 11 for weeks. The chances were, I figured, that my lump was keeping the same hours as me. Once I was showered, dressed and at the surgery the lump would know what was up and make an appearance. Sat in the waiting room, I desperately wanted to know if it had awoken yet but stopped short of feeling myself in public.

Now I'm sat on a chair in front of a doctor. 'What's the problem?' he asks. When people walk in do doctors try and guess what's up with them in their heads? They must do. 'I think I have a lump on one of my testicles' I say. 'Bingo!' he thought to himself. At this point I actually just really hoped I did. 'Ok, well I better have a check, pull your trousers down for me'. Oh, ok, this quick? No pre-amble? Can't we at least get to know each other a little first? I like movies, good food and long walks by the sea. How about you? You're putting on a glove. Right, ok.

In his room there was a curtain. He didn't suggest I stood behind it. So, here I am in the middle of his surgery, my jeans around my ankles and, yep, it's happening now, he's feeling my balls. I look over his shoulder. The blinds are open. Someone walks across the car park.

'Which one was it?'

'The right one. My right'.

Being fresh out of the theatre I nearly said stage right.

'I can't feel anything'

Well, this is embarrassing.

'I think it's a bit further back?'

'Right.... no, I really can't feel anything'. He looks me in the eyes... 'There's nothing there'.

At this point I should give you an idea of his tone. It wasn't a sort of 'looks like you don't have anything to worry about' tone. It was a sort of 'how dare you come in here without a lump on your bollock?!' sort of tone. I think he genuinely thought that I just really really wanted someone to feel my balls. To be fair, I actually did, but not under these circumstances and not a 50 year old Asian man. I pulled up my trousers and thanked him for the most humiliating two minutes of my life. And then I left. There was no... 'come back if you think you have one again' or 'oh well, better safe than sorry'. There was just a very firm... 'Goodbye'.

The lump never returned.

I realise that in my last two blog posts I have written about having a poo and now my testicles. I'm sorry. I will try and keep the next few posts above the waist.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

I was on the toilet.

As I mentioned the other day - I'm obsessed with this phone hacking malarkey. If you're not then don't give up on this blog just yet. It takes quite an interesting turn. Yesterday was a big day for me. I prepared for the committee hearing with the Murdochs like it was a World Cup game. I got up early, excited, and started to watch the build up. As the event drew closer I pondered when I was going to have my shower - I shower daily (!) - I worried that if I timed it wrong I might miss out on a pre-match interview with one of the players.

The actual hearing itself managed to be enormously exciting and terrifically boring at the same time. Jimmy Murdoch provided most of the boring moments. His long, entirely meaningless answers helped drag things on to such a point that I couldn't hold in my much needed shit any longer. I'd unwisely had a pretty significant burger the night before and am not renowned for uncomplicated digestion. Not wishing to miss a single moment I took my laptop into the toilet with me and watched the live feed. After about 5 mins or so (I'd set aside a good 15) I heard a massive commotion coming from my telly in the living room. With my (not quite) live feed having a delay those of us having a shit (me) were in the dark. It really was like the World Cup now. It was like I'd gone to the toilet, heard a cheer from a nearby pub and realised that I had missed a goal. The difference here is I had no idea what I'd missed.

Once the 'pie throwing incident', as it will forever be known, hit my toilet laptop screen I was still none the wiser. Some of you will remember that at that stage it was unclear what had happened. I quickly tried to wrap up my excretion (not like that) and ran into the living room. I frantically rewound my Murdoch provided Sky Plus and tried to work out what had happened to the old charmer. My twitter feed filled up with people asking 'What happened?' interspersed with Jedward thanking their German fans. Then the oddest thing happened. Marcus Brigstocke retweeted Michael Legge asking 'Is that Fergus Craig?'.

Wh-wh-what?! Now, bare in mind, having rewound my telly I'm still watching the past. How have I suddenly been drawn into this hacking scandal? I guess it was bound to happen at some point. Should I resign? I reset my TV to 'the present' and see a man in handcuffs with what I at the time assume to be paint on his face. Two things cross my mind - 1. Oh, so it was just some bellend making a 'point'. 2. Two comedians with over 80,000 followers between them think I look like that bellend. They think I look so like that bellend that they think it's worth pointing out to their followers, the majority of whom, no doubt, don't know who I am.

What I'm still not sure about is did they actually think that was me? Confidence in my own appearance tends to fluctuate - this week I was feeling fairly good. When my twitter feed filled up with other people calling him a 'fat twat' that confidence dropped a little. I'll take it on the chin. The extra weight I'm carrying will soften the blow. I'd like to think that I would have chosen a nicer shirt. Neither Legge or Brigstocke knows me massively well (no one ever will) but I'd like to think they wouldn't expect me to do such a thing. If nothing else, I'm far too lazy.

We found out not much later that he was, indeed, a comedian - a comedian who now has 16 times as many twitter followers than me and is therefore 16 times as funny.

In unrelated news I woke up with this song in my head today...

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Let kids swear.

Get this! My girlfriend is watching the Crystal Maze. She's foreign (America or Mexico I think) so has no childhood memories of the show. This means that she is able to see past the ridiculous clothes and enjoy it for the puzzles. Yeah, puzzles! My bitch love dem puzzles!

When it comes to the look of the show the Crystal Maze has dated horribly. They're all wearing these brightly coloured yet still somehow faded jumpsuits. Also, every woman seems to have the same permed haircut. At the time of course we didn't notice this. I guess every woman in our lives in 1991 had the same permed haircut and we accepted that as what a woman's hair looked like. By 1996 the Crystal Maze already looked dated. Would a 2006 episode of the Weakest Link look dated to us now? I suspect it would. Just a little bit.

This is my theory. At every stage in time we as a people think we've finally cracked fashion. We think what we're wearing is ridicule proof. But think about what you're wearing now. If a photo is taken, will you be embarrassed about it in 5, 10, 20 years time as you sit in your silver space suit? I am currently in my pants (Calvin Klein, actually) with a blanket over my legs to keep them warm so I'm not sure I fit the experiment. My embarrassment is 'in the now'. But what about the plain brown polo shirt I'm wearing. It's so conservative and 'normal' that surely that won't look odd? It probably will though. They'll be something about the colour and the collar that will be so... 'Oh my God dad! I can't believe you actually fucking wore that!'.

In my vision of the future I have kids and it has become socially acceptable for children to swear. Ah, now there's a point worth side tracking into. Why don't we just let kids swear? If we are personally offended by swearing then fine. But if we ourselves swear all the time and don't really see what's wrong with it then why won't we just let them do it. It's one rule for us and another for them. There's a good reason why parents won't let their kids drink - it'd be too expensive - but why not just let them say 'fuck'? It's a cheap, safe way for them to enjoy themselves. Kids fall off bikes and break their bones all the time. I've never heard of a swearing induced injury. In fact it probably makes them safer. If you were a peodophile (just imagine it, don't do anything) would you go for the kid innocently riding his bicycle or would you go for the one shouting 'fuck off wanker!'.

This video represents what I actually want fatherhood to be like. If you can see past the prejudices about Americans from the South that I imagine my readership has then you might get the heartwarming feeling that I do. I have now watched this video 5 or 6 times but not in a creepy way...

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Festivals and camping.

I'm going to a festival tonight. Luckily I have a lift back to London otherwise I'd have to stay overnight. I hate festivals. Well, no, that's not true. I'm just not built for them. For a start I don't like camping. I point blank do not get it. No one has ever been able to explain the appeal to me. If you have the means and the opportunity to sleep in a bed and with a roof why would you choose to do otherwise?

Admit it. Camping is shit. Any task in a tent is a massive ball ache...

'I need to blow my nose. Where's the tissues?'

'Get the torch'

'Where is it?'

'I think it's by my feet'

'It's not there'

'It is, in the bag'

'Which bag?'

'The one by my feet. The little one'

'Right. Got it. Where's the tissues?'

'In the big bag. In the side pocket'

'Not there'

'Maybe in the front pocket'

'Right... Oh fuck'


'They're soaking wet'

Added to that I am the sort of person who struggles to sleep under normal circumstances. Under a centimetre wide canvas with strangers talking two feet either side of my tent I find it impossible. The only solution I've found to this problem is to get drunk and pass out. The problem with that is that you get to sleep at 3am and at 5am the sun decides to shine. Suddenly the place that was freezing cold two hours ago is boiling hot. Now you're awake in a cramped, sweaty cocoon with some fresh insect bites and a full bladder. So you go through the enormous rigmarole of putting on your trousers (putting on trousers will never be harder) and walk to the toilets. There there's a queue and a powerful stench of other peoples piss.

So no, I do not like camping. I am told that by a lake and a natural beauty spot it's much nicer. Still, it strikes me that the fundamentals are the same. I'd much rather be in an en suite hotel by a lake and a natural beauty spot. Even without the camping I don't really like spending three days at a festival. Now I like music as much as the next man (unless the next man is Steve Lamaq) but three days of it in a field feels a bit much. When do we get to just have a nice sit down? In a chair? A proper chair? With a telly in front of it?

Now! That's when! And Neighbours is on in 20 minutes! Fergus wins at life! Fergus wins at life! Fergus wins at life! Fergus wins... Chant it! Why aren't you chanting with me? Why?

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


I am obsessed with this phone hacking scandal. Obsessed. So obsessed that as I write this blog I am concerned that I might be missing out on valuable new information. I just went to get a sandwich and missed much of Andy Hayman's evidence at the select committee. By all accounts it was very entertaining and I am livid. Sure, they'll replay the best bits later on but I wanted to see it live... LIVE! Give me LIVE NEWS!

For as long as I can remember I have had a massive boner for news, particularly politics. That's right - as long as I can remember. When I was five I wrote a letter to Reagan and Gorbachev asking them to give up their nuclear weapons. My mum insists that this was my idea. They never got back to me but I like to think that my letter might have been a contributing factor in the slowing down of the arms race and the eventual fall of the iron curtain.

At school, when I was 10, we were asked to stand up in class and give a short speech saying why we should be prime minister. All the other kids offered things like free sweets for everyone and 'no more school'. It was a harmless little exercise aimed, I suspect, at introducing the children to the idea of democracy and public speaking. I declared that I would 'continue this government's path of privatisation'. Being in the Labour stronghold of Newcastle I obviously lost. God damn commies! My interest in politics really took off when I was off school for 7 weeks with whooping cough during the 1992 general election campaign. Looking back I genuinely think that I may have faked my whooping cough or at least it's severity so that I could watch the election coverage. Other kids bunked off school to sniff glue and steal Twixes. I bunked off to watch John Major take questions on weird phone in shows.

Here's the thing though. My infatuation with politics is on an almost entirely superficial level. I have very few political convictions, if any. I just enjoy the theatre of it. I like seeing smart people argue. My own opinions usually work like this - my first response to any political topic is to take the reactionary, usually left wing point of view. For example - anti-war, pro-immigration, anti-Murdoch. Then a couple of days later I start to think that lots of smart people think otherwise so in the interest of balance I look at things from their point of view and try to read things that support it. Before long I am utterly confused and don't know where I stand on anything.

When Thatcher left office we had a discussion about it at school. I realise it sounds like I went to a type of x-men academy for young politicos. This was actually the only other instance in which I remember us talking about politics. All the little Geordie boys and girls said things they'd most likely heard from their parents. They said that Thatcher was a horrible woman who had ruined this country and that they were glad to see her go. What with it being Newcastle and all this was the dominant opinion. Upon reflection, the chances are that a lot of their parents (and perhaps my own) lost jobs because of her policies. I, however, sensed an injustice. Who was going to stand up for Maggie? I stood up and said my piece. I distinctly remember feeling quite emotional and getting very close to tears.

'I think that she has done some bad things but she's also done a lot of good for this country and we should be thanking her for that'.

Two teachers looked at each other with raised eyebrows. I now know that they were thinking 'Tory parents eh?'. My parents weren't Tory. I was just a strange, strange child. I didn't even know what the good or the bad things were that she had done. I guessed that there must have been some good things and that I ought to defend her.

Now it's time for me to turn the telly back on and see where we are with this hacking shit. There are far more important things going on in the world but it has all the ingredients of my ideal news story. Pantomime villains, corruption and the pursuit of justice. Somebody has already said this week that it's like The Wire and the parallels are indeed, delicious. Sorry this blog hasn't been that funny. My brain is full of NEWS.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


When I was at school I would always have a packed lunch. A friend told me a while ago that she always thought that it was called a 'Pat Lunch'. Most people's pat lunch consisted of this... cheese and pickle/ham on white bread sandwiches, a Club, a packet of Quavers, possibly a piece of fruit and a Capri Sun. Mine consisted of a soggy wholemeal sandwich, two pieces of fruit and a rice cake. Once I was in my teens that lunch was hardly ever eaten.

It was the sogginess of the sandwiches which made them most unappealing. They always seemed to be really flat too. I felt guilty that I wasn't eating my lunch. Every night I'd come home with the soggy sandwiches in my bag and fear that my mum would find out that I wasn't eating them. Then I would do something really odd. I would put them in the top of my wardrobe. That's insane right? Why didn't I just throw them away at school? Did I not understand the concept of rotting food and the resulting smell? Soon I did, as my bedroom developed a stench that went beyond the normal teenage boy's smell of B.O, hormones and misery.

What now? Well, I did what any rational person would do and took the sandwiches from the wardrobe and threw them from my bedroom window and into the bushes in our front garden. These sandwiches were now green and furry so I would retch as I did this. Picture it. I look hot don't I? Now, it's important that you know that the sandwiches were still in the cling film they'd been wrapped in. So I wasn't really solving my problem. There was now just a pile of cling film and rotting sandwiches at the bottom of our garden that would surely be found by my parents. My parents would have also surely heard the rustling in the bushes. Perhaps it frightened them.

This is where, as I look back, I realise just how fucking mental I was - I repeated this process for I reckon about 2 years. I continued to not eat the sandwiches. I continued to not dispose of them at school. Instead, I placed them in the top of my wardrobe. Then, once the stench became unbearable I threw them into the bushes outside my window. These are the actions of someone who is surely 0.01% away from being a serial killer. Amazingly, my parents never found out. Or if they did they never confronted me about it. Perhaps they were seriously worried about my mental wellbeing. That explains why most of my holidays were based around a strict programme of Electroconvulsive Therapy.

People are stupid. I guess I just expressed my stupidity in an eccentric way. Which, I suppose, makes me quite cool. That's right bitches! My spin on this story is now that it makes me cool. Real cool. Someone at work was talking to one of the ushers the other day. This is how the conversation went...

Usher: You're from up north innit?

Actor: Yeah.

Usher: Yeah, my mates are from up north... Devon and Cornwall.

Everyone is stupid in their own way. I have a friend (Christ, I've got a lot of friends) who went to see a mortgage advisor the other day. The mortgage advisor kept on saying 'We can borrow you three times your income'. BORROW YOU! It is her JOB to talk about LENDING money all day every day and she doesn't know the right word! How did this happen? Surely, you would have thought, that someone might have told her. At least I managed to keep my stupidity secret for 15 years. This poor mortgage advisor is wearing her stupidity every day like a badge. Everyone who walks into her office sees it like a giant corn on the cob stuck in between her teeth.

Then again, there's probably a fair percentage of people who don't even notice her error. Because, they themselves are stupid. My point is that we are all stupid. Cripplingly, shamefully stupid buffoons who do not deserve oxygen let alone the vote. Even the world's greatest minds (Hawking, Dawkins, Vorderman) must have secrets that match my sandwich story for sheer idiocy. Maybe not. Goodbye!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Tears of a clown

My birthday's coming up in three weeks. If you don't leave me a birthday message somewhere then I gonna be so mad! Right, here's a dangerous subject. Birthday messages on facebook. Every year I get a few and I am of course grateful for each and every one. I do, however, always get a couple from people whom I'm really not sure if I know at all. There's usually one from someone who I don't remember ever speaking to at school. Fifteen years later though they take the time to leave me a birthday message. I must stress that the thought is lovely but it's a little weird, no? Some people must leave birthday messages every single day of their life. I realise I will now get no birthday messages this year.

As long as I get some cards I'll be happy. That's another thing though. I find birthday cards a little weird too. Christmas cards even weirder. What purpose do they serve? I guess it's a way of saying that you want to wish someone a happy birthday/Christmas so much that you are prepared to go above and beyond the call of duty and put that sentiment into writing. In practice though it is usually done out of a simple respect for protocol. That is why I never give cards. I am a renegade. Once again, I have fucked myself over there. No birthday cards this year I suspect. I will no longer be able to weigh my popularity in cards.

Hey! Did anyone see Beyonce at Glastonbury? Wasn't she good at the singing and the dancing? I do really like Beyonce. I think her and Ronnie O'Sullivan are probably the two most talented people on earth and are missing a trick by not going on tour together. Seriously. They could alternate it - one night they'd play an exhibition match and then one night she'd do a concert and he'd come on and mumble like Tricky did on Sunday night. That was sad by the way. I used to love Tricky so much but he was shit. She might as well have brought Kevin Whately on.

Talent like that makes me quite emotional. Beyonce, not Whately. I don't cry at anything in my real life (because I am tough) but I do well up whenever I see someone being really talented and getting the respect they deserve. Whenever I see someone win Wimbledon, no matter who it is, when they lift that trophy I cry a little bit. I'm just so happy for them. It's like a weird little fetish for me. The only other thing I cry at is weddings on Neighbours. Honestly.

Here is a video of Beyonce shot by Jay Z on his iphone that I am unashamed to say made my lip quiver. This will surely test the strength of your music snobbery. Right, stop saying I'm not cool because I cry at Beyonce. I am! I am! I am cool! I'm wearing Calvin Kleins for crying out loud!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Slagging people off

Last Saturday night something truly terrifying happened to me. It may count as one of the most horrifying incidents to have happened to anyone, ever. Strap in chaps...

I'm in a play at the moment. A real one, with lights and everything. As is the way with all tortured artistic geniuses we often go for a drink after the show. I find that it's the only way I can shed the character. Being a dedicated actor of some repute I get into character at about 6 in the morning. I then spend the rest of the day doing what I think my character would do. My character eats a lot and watches a fair bit of telly. Once the show is over I am physically and mentally shattered. The only way I can wind down is to have a drink or two.

On Saturday I and much of the 'company' (wanky theatre word) had quite a few drinks. At about 3.30am I was in a taxi with another cast member and some of the crew. I try to treat the crew with the same respect as actors although they are obviously not quite as important or talented. I was drunk. We were all drunk. As I remember it we were talking in a drunken, shouty way but I don't know what we were saying. Then I received a phone call from another cast member...

"Hi it's (insert name). Can you stop slagging me off please?..."


"(insert name)'s just called me on his phone in his pocket and I can hear you slagging me off!"

My pants were gently browned. What was going on? In my drunken state I was entirely unable to handle this situation. Had I been slagging her off? I had no idea. Now, I'm going to level with you guys for a moment. I have, in my time, slagged people off. I don't do it all day, every day but I do do it for a bit of the day, lots of days. I have rightly slagged off appalling people. I have wrongly slagged off lovely people. I have slagged off people because I feel wronged by them. I have slagged off people because I am jealous of them and want to feel better about myself. I have slagged off people to garner respect from other people. I have slagged innocent people off for the sake of a joke or out of boredom. You have all done all of those things. Unless, that is, you haven't, in which case I have just revealed myself to be a cunt.

Surely you have though? I can tell you now that I have probably slagged off at least 3 of the people reading this. There may even be someone reading this who has slagged me off at some time or another. I find that unlikely though as last time I checked I was the only person in human history not to have been slagged off by anyone... comedy forums don't count. In all my slagging off though I cannot remember ever having been caught. That is the greatest fear of the slagger-offer. Being caught and, no matter what the other person may have done to deserve criticism, immediately becoming the villain.

On the phone I went into full blown denial mode. I had no idea what I had been saying but that seemed like the only course of action available to me. I'd like to think that a more sober me would have cunningly got myself out of it but I have no idea how. It appeared that I had been caught red handed. I was OJ Simpson except that the glove seemed to fit quite snuggly.

I woke up the next day remembering only the phone accusation and my pathetic denial. I was terrified that I had hurt someone's feelings. Someone who I actually really like (well, moderately) whom I had to work with for another three weeks. For all the apologising and grovelling I planned to do I clearly faced three weeks of awkwardness and ostracism. Throughout Sunday and Monday I cowardly avoided calling (insert name) to apologise/find out what the fuck had happened.

Come Monday night I prepared myself for the horror that awaited me at work. It did, of course, turn out to be fine. I think. What had happened is that she had been accidentally been called and heard us singing Area Codes by Ludicris. I'm not joking. It's something of a cast song. Somebody then said 'Oh, (insert name) loves that song'. I replied '(insert name) needs to grow some motherfucking balls, (insert name) needs to motherfucking man up'. It was drunken bravado brought on by hip hop and a desire to be funny. (insert name), upon hearing this, thought it would be funny to call me and scare the shit out of me. (insert name) succeeded.

So all is well in theatre land. That is unless I really did say something properly horrible and (insert name) can't bring herself to discuss it. That's the problem with (insert name). She's so cowardly and two faced. If she's got a problem with me why can't she just say it to my face. I can't stand that bitch. Hope she doesn't read this.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Great Scot

A couple of weeks ago my agent called to tell me that I'd been nominated for an award. Instant ego-boner! 'What's the award?' I ask. Johnnie Walker Blue Label Great Scot Entertainer of the Year 2011. Bit long winded but, double boner! I then do a bit of research and it turns out this award is for Scottish people. Here's the thing. I'm not Scottish. I genuinely think someone was looking through Spotlight and went 'Fergus Craig - that sounds Scottish. He'll do'. I was left in a bit of a moral dilemma. Do I go to the ceremony and eat the free food and drink the free booze? Or do I have a bit of integrity, call them up and explain the mix up so that my place can go to someone more deserving?

So last night I went to the ceremony. As I walked past the bagpipes and into the lift the absurdity of my presence hit me. Inside the lift was me, my mate and six Scottish people in kilts including sometime Newsnight presenter and pimp (one of those is true), Gavin Esler. Upon leaving the lift I saw Richard Wilson, Sam Torrence, Willie Carson, Douglas Alexander, Lorraine Kelly, Kirsty Wark and plenty of other Scottish luminaries. If a bomb had hit that venue last night then all Scotland would be left with is Sir Alex Ferguson and the band, Travis. I felt like Dane Bowers at the MOBO's. A fraud. A waiter handed me some haggis and I thanked him, disguising my accent.

How the fuck did this happen? My name is also kind of Irish sounding. Will I be at an Irish award ceremony next week living it up with Jedward? After some champagne and Scottishy hors d'oeuvres we sit down to dinner. I kid you not - we are sat next to former Scotland manager George Burley and opposite blind Mikey from Big Brother 9. I try to break the ice with Burley by telling him about me being English. Funny eh? He doesn't think so. He clearly thought one of the Krankies should have been in my seat. Once the booze started flowing things lightened up but at first the conversation was pretty stilted. Mikey and Burley were both on their own and chatted about how they didn't like salmon.

What if I win? - I thought. Clearly, I wasn't going to but what if I did? I had two options. Either I tell the audience I'm not Scottish and hope they find it funny rather than infuriating or I mumble 'thank you very much' in my best Scottish accent. Luckily I didn't win. Guess who did - Lorraine Kelly. Bitch. First she beats me to the GMTV job and now this!

Funny old night. I'm actually a little hung over and don't feel I'm depicting the evening as well as I might had I not had those extra few drinks with Burley at the end of the night. Yeah, we got on in the end - me and Burley. We even had a bit of a dance together. Nothing sexual. At least not from my point of view, anyway.

Monday, 2 May 2011


USA! USA! USA! USA! Man, I wish my country's name could be broken down into an acronym of three letters. If it could then there is no doubt in my mind that I would roam the streets chanting it day and night. Team GB maybe? Yeah! We should chant it at all our proudest moments. Kate and Will are engaged... Team GB! Team GB! Kate and Will are married... Team GB! Team GB! Confirmation comes from the palace that the marriage has been consummated with the act of full blown penetrative sex... Team GB! Team GB!

Of course, now that Osama Bin Laden has been killed the world has forgotten about the Royal wedding. Nice one America - thanks for pissing on our chips. 72 hours ago, with the kisses on the balcony (Kisses! Plural! You spoil us your majesties!) our nation reached it's peak. We stood at the summit of our achievements and waited for the inevitable comedown. And now here it is. America reminds us who's boss. By the way, Fox News are calling him Usama Bin Laden now. Why the change? I notice they also call Gadaffi... Qadafi. I like this suggestion that the first letters of names can be anything you want. I may now be called Bergus. Mmmm... burgers.

Over the last few days I have fluctuated between irritation at the pro-royal coverage and irritation at people going on about how embarrassing it all was. Some of it definitely was embarrassing. When W and K (that looks like 'wank') left the palace in that car the BBC commentary was incredible. First came this gem... 'isn't it wonderful to see the future king driving himself?'. Do I need to analyse the idiocy in that sentence? I guess not. I've just put it out there for you to feel a little ashamed that you live in a world where someone said that. It didn't end there. WanK were driving slowly down that massive mall, with no traffic except for a protection vehicle when a BBC 'commentator' said 'He's a good driver isn't he?'.

It strikes me that this country treats the royals like disabled children on prize giving day. We pat them on the head for completing the simplest of tasks. It could be fun to be a royal. Just to see how low you could set the bar for head patting. 'Isn't it marvellous that Prince Bergus can chew food? It's easy to forget that the royals are just like us and capable of eating solids unassisted'.

But here's the thing. It seems so ball achingly obvious that the royal family is a ridiculous institution. Therefore, I find it quite dull when people bang on about it. I bang on about it all the time and kind of hate myself for it. Talk about something else, bellend! Who cares? Not the populous, of that we can be certain. For years, republicanism has been my strongest political conviction. That and my belief that all Virgos must die. Now, as I get older, I'm starting to give much less of a shit. They're not going anywhere so I might as well enjoy it. My mother genuinely watches all royal weddings whilst wearing her wedding dress. She does this whilst insisting that she is a staunch anti-royalist. That strikes me as quite a nice balance between common sense and mental. If you can't beat them - join them, but do so in a way that's borderline disturbing. Team GB! Team GB! Team GB!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Alone in Munich

Be honest. You've missed me. Sorry I haven't posted anything for a while. From what I hear the absence of my pithy prose has started to effect national morale. Fine. I couldn't give a shit about how you 'people' feel. What's worrying is that once national morale goes down so does productivity and with it - GDP. Once something starts to effect my wallet I take notice - so here I am. Bloggin'.

The reason for my disappearance is work based. I'm rehearsing a play which I'm being reminded is quite a serious and grown up thing to do. One of the director's frequent notes is - 'I think this bit needs to be... brilliant'. It turns out making something 'brilliant' takes quite a lot of effort so that's what I've been up to. Not now though. Right now, I am in a hotel room in Munich watching a snooker match between charisma mammoths Ali Carter and Graeme Dott with German commentary. In Britain snooker commentators are all ex players. I'm not aware of any German ex- snooker players so I wonder who these pricks are. I'd like to think they're just translators listening to a feed of Johns Parrott and Virgo.

Why am I in Munich? Well... having cancelled an American road trip that my girlfriend is now currently on (traitor) to be a theatrical bellend I thought I'd use the Easter weekend to get away. Booking the trip at short notice, flight times and cost left me with two options - Munich or Warsaw. I went for Munich. So far, so alright. I like going away on my own but in the first 24 hours I often flirt with depression. A baby has just started crying in the neighbouring hotel room so that's not ideal. I should of course be out enjoying the nightlife but I'm pretty knackered. I sampled a beer garden earlier on. There were some people wearing lederhosen and some young lads singing German football songs. That was enough for me to feel like I was abroad. Job done. Back to the hotel room.

Tomorrow will be more adventurous. There's a military shop opposite the hotel which from the looks of the window is pretty well stocked with automatic machine guns and massive knives. I was born on the cusp of Cancer and Leo and if I was more of a Leo than a Cancer instead of vice versa I'd probably head straight there and then go on a bit of spree. I am, however, more inclined to Cancer traits so I'll probably just settle for a sightseeing bus tour.

Well, Graeme Dott's just pulled it back to 8-8 and the baby's stopped crying. I might celebrate with a weird chocolaty wafer thing from the mini bar. I was desperate for a slice of cheesecake tonight but the little research I did suggested that it's not easy to come across in Munich. That may be why Blanche from Golden Girls was rarely seen here. Now that I'm doing obscure references from early 90s American sit coms I think it might be time to piss off. Quite frankly I'd rather be Hanging With Mr Cooper.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011


I have never had a filling. If I was a bawdy comic from another generation I might have turned that first sentence into a bawdy joke about my never having been penetrated. I am not though so I won't. For a man of thirty I think it's quite an achievement to have got this far without the need for a filling. Still thinking about penetration aren't you. I'll change tack.

I've never had a cavity in one of my teeth. Today I went to the dentist for the first time in nearly three years and thought, surely - now's the time. I drink fizzy drinks most days and I ain't talking about no motherfucking sparkling mineral water bitches! I never floss because I ain't got time for that shiiiit. But no! I still have a near perfect set of teeth. How? Are they superhuman? Am I special? Have I been sent here to save the human race?

I think the answer probably lies in two key areas. Firstly - I'm a thorough brusher. I know you think that you're a thorough brusher but your brushing doesn't come close to mine. I brush with purpose. It's not about the amount of time I spend on it. I would say that my average brushing session lasts less than a minute. But I attack those teeth with firm, aggressive brushing. Picture a right wing mother of three brushing rude graffiti off of the side of her house. 'I will not stand for this in my neighbourhood' she says as she brushes. That is the kind of attitude I bring to a tooth brushing session.

The second reason for my cavity free mouth (hello ladies!) is based on my upbringing. For most of my childhood I wasn't allowed sweets. Every day, at nursery when it came to 'story time' all of the children were given a lollypop. The nursery teachers were under strict instructions to give me a muesli bar or a piece of fruit. Not only was I a curiously camp weakling with a weird name who only really spoke to adults but I was also on a diet. One Halloween my dad took me trick or treating. What with it being a special occasion and all I don't think my dad would have minded me having sweets but because I was known as the 'no sweeties' kid I was given fruit. For years I resented my parents for this enforced outcasting. At the age of ten I had a fight with my mum over my right to buy a Push Pop. Christ, they looked good in the adverts. It was those adverts for Push Pops which push (popped) me over the edge into demanding 'MY RIGHT' to eat sweets.

She gave in and the next couple of years of walks to school I was accompanied by a Mars Bar. It turned out Push Pops weren't that good. I no longer resent my parents for their sugar rationing. It gave my teeth a good infancy for which I am still reaping the benefits. It was just unfortunate that in 1980s Newcastle it was considered freakish for parents to question a child's sugar intake.

If I end up having kids in my current neighbourhood (Stoke Newington) the story will be in reverse. I won't want my kids to miss out like I did and will no doubt be a push (pop) over when it comes to sweeties. They will, however, be surrounded by the lactose intolerant children of the Independent reading liberal elite. They will be considered freaks, just as I was, but instead for being allowed to eat bread or whatever.

I must not worry about my future offspring. The chances are they'll never come. I expect nature has balanced out my extraordinary teeth with disabled sperm. And on that note... a wank!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Dodgy territory.

So here it is. My 51st post. I'm guessing this is as big a moment for you as it is for me so I'm happy if you want to take a minute just to reflect on just how big of a deal this is...

Ok? Everyone alright? Super. It's fair to say that since I started writing this blog the world has become a better place. Oh, hang on. No. No, it's not. The news in the last couple of weeks has been properly awful. Death, death, more death, royal wedding, death, impending doom, more death, spat upon hope and death. And what was I doing while all of that shit was kicking off? Writing links for Mr T to say in a clip show he's soon to be presenting. I'm not joking. That's not only true but also a big fact fuck off reminder that in the grand scheme of things I and everything I do is meaningless. I don't mean that in a kind of - 'I am 1 of 6 billion - how much difference can one man make in the face of such incredible forces?' sort of way. I mean that in a kind of - 'What were you doing when the world ended?' - "I was writing the line 'Look at this FOOL on a skateboard!'" sort of a way.

People always say that comedians can provide an escape for people by making them laugh or showing the absurdity of life or whatever. There is a lot of truth in that - though I can think of some gigs I've done in which I have provided neither - Wimbledon, June 2009 anyone? Surely, there's only so much difference a comic can make though. What the people of Japan do not need right now is a 20 minute set from me. For a start they would get hardly any of my references. Perhaps John Bishop? He's a bit broader. Have I wandered onto dodgy territory now? Now that I've mentioned Japan explicitly and I'm still trying to be hopelessly pithy. Sorry. I am in a very real sense proving my impotence in such situations.

Fancy reading what someone who doesn't really understand everything thinks about Libya? Here's your chance. I do not envy our politicians in situations like this. It seems to me that there were many good reasons for trying to deal with Gadaffi when a few years ago he 'came in from the cold'. He was clearly a prick but having that prick on your side seemed like it made sense at the time.

Right. I've written and deleted this paragraph three times. I, a comedian and sometime Mr. T writer, cannot fully comprehend the complexities of our relationships with middle eastern dictators without coming across more out of my depth than Carol Vorderman was on Question Time. If you fancy it there's a link to an article below that got my fucking goat. Not only did we help to arm Gadaffi but it didn't even provide jobs in British manufacturing which is what the politicians always bang on about...

I will back soon to write about far less important things. Perhaps I'll meet an oddity in the street tomorrow or summat. For the record, 'summat' is how people say 'something' in Northern plays.