World of Chig   


Did someone declare this week Celebrity Death Week, without me noticing? In the last six days, in the worlds of entertainment and sport, we've lost Ben Hollioake, Kenneth Wolstenholme, Milton Burle, Dudley Moore and now Billy Wilder. Quite a list, especially as it's not even Winter. (Any more I haven't noticed?)

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Not so good Friday

[Book of Chigiticus; v1-11]
And lo! It came to pass, as the prophets hath foretold, that on this holiest of days in the year of our Lord two thousand and two, the saviour of breakfast television known as Big Breakfast was nailed to the crucifix of fluctuating taste, never to be seen again amongst the people. A decree had gone out, from the tax collectors and accountants in the temple known as Horseferry Road, that all the people be gathered together for a census, known henceforth as ‘ratings’. Since the assembled masses worshipping the messiah now numbered only a quarter of a million worshipping before the Messiah BB, where once there had been one million times two, the tax collectors, in their greed to gain more of the tax known as advertising revenue, had decreed that BB must die. And on the canal footpaths in that part of Galilee known as Bow, was there much wailing and gnashing of teeth, although some didst claim that BB would one day rise again.
And so, the Last Breakfast didst take place this very morn in the house of Lazarus, sometimes known as King Richard of Bacon, wherein the faithful didst reminisce on the glorious past of the god BB. Lazarus’s miraculous recovery didst not pass the lips of the Apostles gathered together in the house, wherein his life was near destroyed by the inhalation of mysterious white powder and his career was cast out into the desert, thought dead, only for the god BB to bring it back to life many moons later.
The apostles gathered in the home of Lazarus included St Amanda the Baptist, faithful to the god BB until the end. Three wise men came from the East (Leyton) bearing grins to lay down before the people, including Saint Richard, Mayor of Wetwang, who continues to lead daily afternoon worship at 4.15pm, and Saint Johnny of Vegas. The third was sent by King Herod, who was unable to attend, namely Saint Ralf of Little as his Royle envoy.
The congregation noted that it was forbidden to mention the whore of the temple, the excommunicated St Kelly of Brook, for she hath once brought shame upon the great god BB, and she now liveth in sin with the villain Jason of Statham. St Paula of Peroxide was mentioned in passing, for she has gone to a higher place, far away from worldly people (either heaven or BBC4). Original apostle Judas Lamarr was similarly absent from the feast.
And a strange celestial body did appear in the sky toward the East, namely the spaceship transporting the gods of comedy known throughout the land as Zig and his brother Zag back to the planet Zog, from whence they came in nineteen hundred and ninety-two.
And in its final hour, did the god BB turn back the hands of time to remind the assembled congregation of the former glories which hath made it much talked about throughout the land.

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[Book of Chigiticus; v12-22]
Tablets of celluloid were revealed to the assembled crowd. The first great prophet, known as the ginger one, didst preach to the people of his former wonders. His handmaidens St Gabrielle and St Zoe didst similarly opine, as they did wash the soles of his feet. St Lisa of Rogers didst weep openly in front of the people. And the people did recall how the saviours had abandoned them, forcing the god BB to spend many years in the wilderness.
“Vengeance is mine,” sayeth the prophet Moses McLean, as he didst wheel his idol to the temple of the infidels known as Channel 4 Head Office in Horseferry Road, in the London Borough of Nazareth. There he didst set his idol, which the believers saw as a ten foot garden gnome, with two digits thereof set in blasphemous V-shape formation, to face the infidel accountants and controllers in their ivory towers. And back at the house of Lazarus was there much choking and disbelief that the blasphemer had done this in front of the tax collectors. And the people didst consider that the blasphemer may never work in the medium known as television again, but they hath derived much merriment form his blasphemous act.
And so, after nine score minutes, didst the time come for the execution. The huddled masses in the garden didst sing the incantation known as the Friday Song, whilst God shone down on them from the heavens. And in the World of Chig was there a big lump in the throat. And the prophet Moses McLean didst return from the ivory towers in time to lead his people triumphant through the parted waters of the canal, to pastures new.
And then didst the prerecorded endpiece appear on the screens of the congregation. The electronic eye swept around the deserted house of Lazarus, dwelling momentarily on the fallen images of St Johnny, St Denise and other disciples. And ghostly spirits were heard, including the Holy Spirit of Birkenhead known as Lily. Thence did the congregation see the wondrous view from the heavens, of the house and the waters that floweth nearby. And then was there an almighty explosion, as god didst strike down and the house did explode, scattering rubble throughout the meadow. And the people were sad.

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Tonight's footie on TV: Why is David James wearing a mop on his head?

Not big, or clever

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Tonight’s TV: Stars And Their Doubles (ITV1)
It’s car crash TV; I knew I shouldn’t watch, but I just couldn’t help myself. I thought it was ITV Digital that was in trouble, not ITV1, but this programme is just scraping the bottom of a barrel labelled desperation. Some of the people on this lookalikes’ awards show do look amazingly like the stars they’re supposed to, and good luck to them. Others though, require a lot of imagination. I thought the Geordie Britney Spears was supposed to be Jordan. The supposed Keanu Reeves looked no more like Keanu than my Gran does. How do these people have the cheek to do it? As for the music category, bloody hell! We were ‘treated’ to performances from pop lookalikes of Louise Nurdin and Debbie Harry. They looked okay, but had voices that wouldn’t have lasted ten seconds in the Pop Idol auditions.

When I was out in the car today, I looked in the mirror and could have sworn Brad Pitt was driving the car behind me. He was a much better lookalike than the one who won a prize for being Brad on tonight’s programme. Consequently, next year, expect to see me on this show as Kiefer Sutherland. About once a year, some drunk person in a club tells me I look like him, and now that he’s back in the limelight with BBC2’s ‘24’, my time has surely come!

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Celine Dion to play Glastonbury? No, I wouldn't have thought so either, but it seems she is a treehugger after all.

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H&M’s latest press ad reveals the result of a bizarre gene-splicing experiment. They’ve successfully managed to merge Tim Vincent with Josh Rafter from Big Brother, and produce someone as attractive as that idea would imply.
(At this point, I was going to link to their website, but he doesn't appear to be on there, so you'll just have to check out the inside cover (p2) of heat magazine next time you're in the newsagents! Sorry.)

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It's tonight! Neil on Coronation Street!
[Update] ...and indeed he was, and very good too. The storyline was extremely flaky though. As if votes in council chambers are really made like that. It was all a bit silly.

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Not news
Have BBC TV news editors been spending too much time partying with the fashionistas? It certainly seems so. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of people have been killed in Afghanistan's earthquake and a gunman has gone on the rampage in France, but what's the lead story on today's lunchtime news on BBC1? Naomi Bloody Campbell wins £3,500 from The Mirror. I know the case has 'implications' on press freedom, but fer gawd's sake can we get some perspective here?

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I know this will seem inconsequential to most people, but I'd just like to mark the fact that this blog received its 1,000th visit last week. Thank you to all those people who have been here more than once!

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Oscar marathon

It’s now 5.20am, and I’m still up! That’s Monday buggered then. I’ve stayed up to watch the Oscars live. It was worth it to see Halle Berry’s stunned reaction to winning best actress. She was genuinely stunned, and just kept saying ‘Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God.’ I gather she’s the first black actress to ever win, and that a black woman has only even won supporting actress once. Consequently, she gave a hugely emotional speech; a far more hyper performance than Gwyneth Paltrow’s tedious weepie, because she understood the historic significance of what she’s just achieved.

I haven’t even heard of Monster’s Ball, the film for which Halle Berry has won. It isn’t out in the UK yet, it’s low budget, and even Jonathan Ross hasn’t seen it!

“It’s been a very large door, and I’m glad that she was the one who’s kicked it down,” said host Whoopi Goldberg after Halle Berry’s win.

(ten minutes later…) And Denzel Washington has won as well! That’s a bit of a shock, but it completes a black double for the acting Oscars. No award for Russell Crowe. “Two birds in one night, huh?” was Denzel’s first comment. I've no idea if he deserves it for Training Day, but he should get it for past achievements such as Biko anyway (and maybe Malcolm X, but I haven't seen that).

A Beautiful Mind has won Best Film and Best Director for Ron Howard. That leaves the final totals as follows:
A Beautiful Mind = 4 (Best Film, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actress: Jennifer Connolly)
Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring = 4 (Make-up, Cinematography, Visual Effects, Original Score)
Moulin Rouge = 2 (Costume Design, Art Direction)
Black Hawk Down = 2 (Editing, Sound)

Don’t think any other film won more than one. Randy Newman won his first Oscar for his Monsters Inc. song, after 15 nominations, apparently!

Jim Broadbent was the big British winner, for Best Supporting Actor.
Sidney Poitier is the youngest-looking septegenarian man I've ever seen - he must share Joan Collins' surgeon.

Right, it’s 5.55am, the programme’s finished over an hour late, and I’m off to bed!

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Ooooooh! Gareth hasn't "even" sold a million! 850,000, shock, horror! Career in jeopardy, blah, blah, blah. Will's best! Will's best! Oooh I feel childish today.

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George Michael needn't have been so worried that he released Freeek! in the same week as Gareth Gates. Five OTHER singles have outsold George too! Who would have thought he'd go in as low as #7? He was #2 midweek, slipped to #3 by Friday, but four more places yesterday? Very surprising.
I held my breath for the Pet Shop Boys to have a top ten hit, but knew it might be a disappointment, with them at #9 in the Saturday chart. They've managed #14, which is one place higher than the first single from the Nightlife album, and exactly the same as New York City Boy, so they're fairly consistent really. Of course, after those two they had a #8 with "...Drunk", but that was an exceptional position, caused by it coming out in the first week of 2000, when little else was released.

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Thatcher not dead, but Hollioake is
Channel 4 News stands accused of raising my hopes yesterday, by putting the headline "Thatcher bows out" on screen. Sadly, it wasn't the news we've been longing for - just another publicity stunt for her book. Oh look, I've gone and fallen for it as well.
And then, just before I go to bed, I hear on Radio 5 that Ben Hollioake has been killed in a car crash. Now I can't even feign the mildest interest in cricket, but I knew who he was, and that his brother Adam plays as well. Much like Aaliyah in a way, Ben was one of those people who was already a star in their own field, but was at the threshold of crossing over into general public conciousness and becoming a real star. Life is just so unfair sometimes.

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Chris Lowe speaks!

Midnight: Still in shock after flicking over to Jonathan Ross tonight and seeing the Pet Shop Boys – talking! Like, both of them! Looks like they’ve been forced by the record company to ‘do some media’ for the new album, after the flop that was Nightlife. Monday night, 7pm,they’re on Simon Mayo’s album chart show on Radio2, talking about Release. That’s their new album, not the drug education charity of the same name.

Tonight has been a watershed point in my life, for I have come to the realisation that I now fancy Neil more than Chris. Seventeen years of fancying Mr Lowe has come to an end, as seventeen years of him shying away from TV close-ups comes to an end. It’s no coincidence. He looks good in the shadow of that hat, but not when you cn actually see his face. Cruel, but true.

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Some google searches which have lead people to this blog.
Every single person here will have been bitterly disappointed when they arrived.

strength programmes for footballers; Baccara tour dates 2002; Dannii Minogue who do you haircut picture short; Gareth Gates underwear; pictures of Gareth Gates with shaved head; Gareth Gates skinhead: Gary Lucy cock picture; pictures of vaginas with cosmetic surgery; Christian Ingebritsen from a1 pictures of his family; the real sex tapes of R Kelly fucking 14 year olds; Celebs Kaci tits.

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Music for Fongettes

Troubled diva's comparison of the singles charts of the last five decades reminded me this week what a pop classic Helen Shapiro's 'Tell Me What He Said' really is.

If you were ever at the Black Cap for Regina Fong in the late 80s and early 90s, you'll know this track very well. I never lived in London, but I seemed to be there quite a lot. Whenever this was played, you had to lean forward and rest your head, on top of your arm, on the back of the person in front for the first slow line. Then you turned around for the second slow line, and did the same, leaning on the person behind you. Then you had to go COMPLETELY MAD for the fast bits. Ker-azy! Actually, that reminds me, is Regina Fong still going? She was always such a London phenomenon back then. No, make that a Camden phenomenon, but I'd be interested to know if she's still doing the rounds.

Even if you were never a Fongette, it's still worth listening to this top pop from the 60s, from the girl who toured with The Beatles and was the youngest girl ever to have a number one single until that nasty Billie Piper came along. Not with this song though; this only made number two. You can get a very quick download of it here.

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Bavarija booted - booooo!!

Oh bugger! I know I said it once before, but then it turned out not to be true after all. Today though, Lithuanian group Bavarija were finally disqualified from Eurovision. I'm gutted. At least we know this now, before I trotted off to the betting shop. I'm sure they would have won. As if it wasn't bad enough that the most fun song is out, and possibly the second best-looking act, after Cyprus, it looks as if the THIRD placed song in the Lithuanian final may be replacing 'We All'. The second song was pretty good too, but it seems the artist has 'other commitments'. What?! The replacement third song is called Singing In The Night, by Saules Kliosas, and it sounds like.....Shakatak! Or The Rah Band. Now that's a revival too far.

Oh well, bring on the live music! Tomorrow night I'm returning to gigging after about eight weeks. I'm going to see Crazyface in a local, band-friendly, but extremely low-ceilinged pub. They are fronted (well, I *think* he's the singer) by Simon, the ex-boyfriend of one of my girly friends. I've known about them for well over a year, but I haven't seen them live, or heard their single, or in fact heard anything by them. (I am currently downloading a track from peoplesound though.) Watch this space for a review.

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15-to-1's music expert

A paraphrase of today’s first question:
William G: “Pop music: Her hits included ‘Your Love Is King’ and ‘Smooth Operator’ and she received an OBE in this year’s New Year’s Honours List. By which single name is she known?”
Contestant: "Lulu."

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Out of the mouths of babes...

You know that advert with the talking toddlers, for some financial services organisation? (Kinda proves the advertising isn’t working, as I can’t remember which company it is, but I digress.) Well in the new one, set at a wedding, the baby girl says, “I might not get married”. Mum enquiringly goes, “Oh?”
Don’t you just wish that the next line from the girl was “I might turn out to be a lesbian”? ‘Cos I do.

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Penis gourds

Now there are two words I wouldn’t have put together before Wednesday night. But that was before I caught the end of a documentary on BBC1 showing a village (somewhere in Africa, presumably?) where the menfolk wear penis gourds and very little else. It’s like putting your willy in an ice cream cone, and then tying it around your waist with a piece of string, so that you seem proudly erect all the time. If I hadn’t seen the rest of the programme, I would have thought this was a scene from Brass Eye, or some other spoof documentary. Very bizarre. The two white, British men who were visiting the village, decided to join in, to ‘bond’ with the locals, but one of them had a problem finding a gourd to fit. As his friend helpfully put it, “Bruce is hung like a brontosaurus”. Did he know this before?
This reminds me that dictionary corner on Countdown yesterday came up with the word ‘erection’. Strangely, Carol didn’t put this up(!) on the board. She probably knew I would photograph it and display it here.

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Ski Shun Day

[Chig steps back for a second to laugh at his own hilarious headline and wonder why he is not writing for the tabloids...]
I'm not the only one pondering the fate of Alain Baxter today, although Buni's reason's may be different(!) The 'disgraced skier' is being trundled around TV and radio studios like a startled lamb on a PR offensive. The thing about PR though, is that you need to have A Message, and preferably a very simple one, for public consumption. Poor Alain doesn’t seem to know what his message is. A TV reporter, asking him if he had received a list of banned substances before the Olympics, caught him out yesterday (as shown on the TV news). (Alain said his doctor probably had it, but he hadn’t seen it, which is just so unlikely for a top class athlete.) Today, he was on Radio 5 Live, in Nicky Campbell’s studio, and the calls and e-mails they were getting were apparently split between support and condemnation. When Campbell asked him quite bluntly if he had ever taken drugs for recreational purposes, he was VERY hesitant before saying no. A caller advised him to drop his protest now before his whole life gets raked over by the tabloids, and I would have to agree. He made a stupid mistake, now let it go.

If a British athlete had come fourth in an event, and this drug doubt had hit the bronze medallist from another country, we would be calling for their head, not just their medal. We can’t just say, ‘oh, but he’s British’ and expect the rules not to be applied, can we?

I do find myself asking though, if Vick’s inhalers DON’T give you an amphetamine rush, why on Earth did I find myself on dancefloors in the early 90s with people, including myself, who were snorting them? They certainly seemed to heighten the ecstasy experience at the time!

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Neil on Corrie

My sister has just e-mailed me, to tell me that her ex-partner (they split up last year after several years) is in Coronation Street next week. Or, as she put it, "Hi all, Just thought I'd let you know that Neil is on Corrie on Weds 27th March (next week) playing a councillor with Curly................"

Couldn't resist the temptation to e-mail her back: "Playing a councillor with curly...what? Chig (Very concerned that it might need straightening, whatever it is.)"

Of course, 'Curly what?' is very close to the character's name.

Neil was in the street only two years ago, playing the driving test examiner of Tyrone, the cheeky lad who works in Kevin's garage.

Neil in Coronation Street

The proof!

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Reasons to be cheerful, part One

On 25th May, you'd better be at your TV sets right at the start of Eurovision. The first act on is called One. (It's just a coincidence that they are song number one as well, honest.) They are Cyprus's version of the Backstreet Boys, only attractive. I saw their recent performance as the interval act in the Greek final and came over all funny. The lead singer is a long-haired mess, but two of the other four are extremely cute. They were wearing black leather trousers, with white stripes down the side. It was enough for me. Can't wait to meet them in Tallinn. "Fancy coming clubbing boys? I know this great club here where you could wear your leather gear...." Tee hee.

Here, because it exists, is a shirtless picture of the hunks:


And here they are, pretending to be a Westlife album cover:

Give me head(s)

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TV Questions that Chig is asking this week:

Why is Brookside now in Dirtyvision™?
Yuk! They’ve changed the film (or the filming technique) on Brookie since I’ve been away. It’s now brown. Not quite as bad as the ‘film soaked in iodine’ look that seems to prevent Family Affairs from having any viewers, but still murky. One of the appealing things about Brookie was that it looked brighter than, say Eastenders. Now they’ve spoilt it.

Why has TOTP2 been cut down to 25 minutes?
It used to be 45. Give us back our nostalgia immediately, BBC!

Does anyone care that Mandy from Crossroads is dead?
If ever there was a mercy killing in TV land, this was it. Since Crossroads (re)opened for business twelve months ago, the poor girl’s acting has spanned the whole range from wooden to expressionless. She had to go. The actress involved clearly didn’t want to go though, if her final scene was anything to go by. “She’s dead!”, cried Mandy’s Dad. Camera pans to a very pasty faced Mandy, lying there in bed. Her eyes move. Credits roll. She couldn’t even bloody well play dead properly.

Is David Paisley the most gorgeous gay thing on TV?
Quite possibly. Hurrah for the return of Tinsel Town this week. It seems like ages since series one finished, the drama which featured possibly the most erotic gay sex scene since…well certainly since Queer As Folk, and possibly ever. That was the young Ryan and the older police officer. It was better than soft porn, and all the more so because of what it didn’t show, rather than what it did. Very horny. This week’s new series started with an indication that the horniness is going to be cranked up to another level; a gay threesome (twice), and lots of ‘underpants only’ scenes. It all seems so much fun when you know that David Paisley who plays Ryan (and the gay midwife in Holby City) is happily out and gay in real life too. He must be having a whale of a time on set (although he has a boyf)! The storyline didn’t really get going in ep one, but it’s early days. We still had the usual drugs, party, parents smoking drugs, etc. Plus ace music again and interesting filming techniques (slo-mo and monochrome scenes), which really grab your attention. Hurrah for Monday nights!

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Flag it up

I’m not normally the kind of person to plan my clothing in advance. In fact, ten minutes before going out is probably the norm, even on Big Nights Out. Today, however, I can tell you what I’ll be wearing in 66 days’ time. “Mais, pourquoi, Monsieur Le Chig?”, I hear you cry. Well, last week, those lovely, lovely people at the BBC confirmed that they have given me media accreditation for the whole of Eurovision week in Tallinn, and then the lovely, lovely people at Estonian Television sent me an e-mail confirming this. Consequently, I have had the perfect excuse to go out and buy one of the Union Jack shirts currently filling the shops (yes, they are!) This is partly because the flag is the main theme of Lambretta clothing’s very nice ‘mod’ influenced garments this season. Normally, I would consider this to be a bit nobby (along the lines of Union Jack boxer shorts being worn by fat, sunburnt British blokes in Ibiza), but I’m quite proud to be one of only 25 representatives of the UK media with the BBC in Tallinn, and I’ll be proud to visibly support the UK song. The international competition at Eurovisions, judging from the two I’ve attended before, is very good-natured, and just good fun. And it all helps to reclaim the flag from the fascist right too. Besides, I AM proud of being British, goddammit, AND I like our song. If Surf’n’Turf had won the UK’s A Song For Europe, I probably wouldn’t have bought the shirt.

Fact: Union Jack shirts make you look thinner.

There is another, slightly more mercenary reason for this purchase. I plan this year to push myself a bit with the media crews in Tallinn who will be looking for people to interview on a regular basis, and it won’t hurt to have a Union Jack shirt handy! In 1998, my post-Dana International interview was shown five times on L!ve TV’s news, sadly to an audience of one granny and her cat in Edgbaston. But I cherish the video of the interview, if only as a warning against the over-use of fake tan. I looked more orange than Dale Winton. At Eurovision 2000, I was interviewed by a German TV crew outside Globen, asking me what I thought of the German entry. (I was speaking in English. Mein Deutsch is nicht so gut fu:r die Fernsehen.) I have no idea whether it was ever shown. More of this kind of thing would be fun. If I’m lucky, maybe someone will even want to pay for my opinion. No, maybe not.

The setting for Eurovision 2002; Tallinn's Saku Suurhall

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I've noticed a new disease creeping through blog land. For some strange reason, some people are starting to put a hyphen in the phrase 'no one'. Why? It's wrong. Stop it at once or I will link to repeat offenders!! If in any doubt, try typing 'no-one' into a Word doc. You'll see it gets underlined by the spellchecker. I know Microsoft's spellcheck is sometimes wrong (eg. it thinks 'worldwide' DOES have a hyphen, when it doesn't), but on this occasion it's correct.

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That tattoo in full, glorious technicolour!

All hail the first photo to be included in my blog! Here's a pic of the Taurus tattoo, on the day it was done, when it was looking a little more 3-D than it does now.

Stupid comment of the week came from my Mum when I showed it to her, having already 'warned' her in an e-mail from Oz that I'd had it done, AND said exactly what it was too. After sneeringly saying "I suppose it's not toooooo bad" (which in my book is rapturous approval - you have to know my mother), she said, "What is it? Aries?" "Yes Mum," I replied, straight-faced, "I randomly chose one of the OTHER eleven starsigns to have tattooed on my arm."

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Gay Times joy and Pink Paper horror

I'm quite proud of the fact that I have not one but TWO articles in the current edition of Gay Times; a write-up of the new club in Sheffield and my first Vox Pop, on the subject of school, done on the night of the drunken blog (see below, Sunday 03/02/02 @ 03:57).

And while we're on the subject of gay magazines, I didn't know whether to laugh or be horrified today when I opened this week's Pink Paper, picked up at the weekend. There on page three is the headline "Scene targeted in new drugs programme". Underneath it is a picture of a very spaced out looking druggie, with the tiny sidebar 'posed by model'. You're having a laugh! Model indeed! That's my friend Chris, that is! Although it would be tempting to believe that the Pink Paper paid someone to look really, really awful for the purposes of illustrating a news story, I don't think they needed to - this is just a picture of Chris after one of his average nights out, bless him. I met Chris and his boyf (who works for the Pink Paper, hence the existence of the photo, surely?) two years ago, and we all ended up in a (non-sexual) three in a bed situation at their hotel. I have photos of Chris where he looks considerably better than this 'wrecked' picture (and a couple of him asleep on said night too). This is a far cry from his modelling stint in (now defunct) Fluid magazine late last year, when he looked, as he usually does, rather attractive. Which is why this weekend's picture is so funny.

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Hello, hello, I’m back again!

Chig has been back from Oz for eight days now, and is only just about in the land of the living. Jet lag is frigging horrible - I feel like I’ve spent the last week in a daze; absolutely shattered in the evenings and yet waking up unfeasibly early in the mornings feeling as bright as a button. (Just how bright IS a button, by the way?)
One of the many things I learnt on my Australia trip is NEVER to do the whole journey, the two flights, all at once. On the way out there, as we disembarked at Bangkok for a refuelling stop, I realised how stupid I’d been in my haste to get to Oz. Stepping out of the plane about 2pm in their afternoon, I was met by a wall of heat, and I thought to myself ‘I’m in Thailand, somewhere I’ve never been before, and I’m not staying’. Fifty minutes later, we were being herded back onto the plane. So that was the Asian part of my trip. All the other six Brit friends who went to Sydney had been staying in Bangkok or Hong Kong beforehand, and were going back via Hong Kong (different friends), or Perth and South Africa. Next time, I’ll do something like that, with Singapore a possibility as well. I feel like I’ve let a tourist opportunity pass me by, as well as knackering myself unnecessarily with a 23.5 hour plane trip back in a very uncomfortable seat, with a wildly fluctuating temperature on board. It was horrible.

Anyway, dear readers, the next few entries will probably be in some incomprehensible order as I get some pressing topics (you wish!) off my chest. Special thanks first though to troubled_diva, who is on the point of changing his name officially (for blog purposes) to troubled-diva (subtle, but important), but who is still known occasionally as Mike. He came over for twenty-four hours of drinking, Swedish Melodifestivalen on video, and a bit of Brum culcha this weekend. He spent a lot of time fixing a few gremlins in this here technophobe’s blog, for which I am eternally grateful. Note then that the large, bold text entries have been repaired, and I now have links on the left here to some of my fave sites. Hurrah! Coming soon: photos! Hurrah again!!

Also coming soon:
Eurovision: all 24 songs reviewed by Chig
Will Young – my thoughts on the whole coming out thing, and why I was nearly on TV last week.

Australia’s Top Ten Singles for the week I left (if I can find the piece of paper)

Call My Bluff – and why I’m really an intellectual. Oh yes.

Sydney stories: some of the adventures I haven’t written up yet, including;
Being insulted at the Shagtag night
The ‘frog on bottom’ story.
The ‘shock of seeing my name in a museum’ story

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So long Oz - with a permanent reminder

It's Saturday, 12.10pm. Yesterday I finally did something I've been talking about doing for years - I got a tattoo. Nothing too ostentatious, and certainly nothing that will be subject to the whims of fashion. (Celtic bands? Soooooo 1990s dahling.) It's a very simple Taurus symbol, in a vaguely original design (not copied from a book) by the tattooist in collaboration with myself. I told the boys when I arrived here that I wanted one done, and we left it until my last full day to sort it out, but I'm really pleased with it. It's on my upper right arm by the way, hidden by ordinary t-shirts but obviously visible with sleeveless ones. I am particularly thrilled that the tattoo designed and drawn by a guy who is called Happy. Yes, that's his name - I saw his certificate on the wall and got his business card. What a glorious name.

(UPDATE 19/03/02: See a photo of the tattoo above, on 19/03/02)

M&N suggested yesterday that I try to stay a bit longer, and I leapt at the chance. I'm allowed to change my departure flight, but the downer is, there are no spaces available on any Qantas flights for ten days, which is too long. So as it stands, I'll be leaving the flat in four hours, getting my flight home in six. I feel really sad about that - I don't want to leave. It's been a blast. If you've been reading this, thank you, it's meant a lot to me. See you in Blighty, where I will bore you with literally hundreds of photos. Some of them AREN"T of men's backs, believe it or not!

We're going out now to the Bandstand Cafe. It's nearby, and it's the cafe that M&N's previous flat (their second one here) overlooked. Some of you will have seen their photos of it. It's a cute little cafe in the middle of a small park, in waht used to be....can you guess?...a bandstand! It's where we had brunch a week ago, before Mardi Gras, trying to guess where the English skinhead waiter was from, and as we thought, it's Manchester. C ya!

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Roll call!

I'm curious to know who's reading this, so if you are, please could you sign in, in the comment box below. Ta, Chig.

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Bats and Bingay

I am fairly pissed right now, at 01.25am, but I've had a brilliant night out, with Cath, a friend of SH, who I'd never met before tonight. As regular viewers will know, he recommended inviting myself round to her flat to watch the bats' flypast, which I did, and which was well worth it. Then we went to Bingay at the Imperial Hotel. I'd completely forgotten about this suburban Sydney treat, despite it being featured on BBC1's 'Holiday: You call the shots' programme recently. It was brilliant, and I won a bottle of wine to show for it!

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A Song For Pop Idol

I suppose I'm pleased that Jessica Garlick won A Song For Europe yesterday, as it was the most respectable song of the four left, even if I can't summon up any real enthusiasm for it. What I'm most pleased about is that she won by a mile, which stops the moaning minnies who say it should have been this, that or the other. Even without knowing the fourth placed song's televote, you can work out that she scored at least 59.3%, with DJ Romeo second on approx 25%. No complaints, and from what everyone's saying, she performed it very well, although her backing singers were screeching. What I need to know is, what was under these shorts that Tricia Penrose pulled off from a male dancer (backing singer?) during DJ Romeo in blatant Bucks Fizz revival attempt?

Here's Jessica, looking alarmingly like Patsy Palmer:


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Brilliant! Absolutely bloody brilliant! The Mardi Gras parade was worth coming out here for on its own, regardless of all the other brilliant things I've done out here. Lost M&N VERY early on at the official party, but made my own entertainment. Drug free, but pissed for hours. Throwing in my towel and dancing with my shirt off - well it was practically compulsory. Don't know who to, don't know which acts were on - the place was HUGE! Fell in lust with a Lebanese guy called Abraham, who had the most perfectly rounded, hairy pecs, which I couldn't help touching whenever I spoke to him. This gave me the raging horn, and as I was tired too, I left about 6am. I went somewhere else afterwards though, to deal with the raging horn problem, and made it home at 7.40am today. M&N had apparently got in about 5- 6am (so we were closer than you thought Mike!)

New nationalities added to Chig's 'Shags of the World' list: 3: Australian, Hong Kong Chinese, Indonesian.

More about Mardi Gras soon, but I'm knackered, and yet conversely am going out (now 9pm). M&N are having dinner in Circular Quay with M's Aunt and Uncle, who are on a world tour. I am meeting the four London skinheads, S&R plus M&S, in a sauna we haven't tried yet.

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Just in case it turns out to be true, I should also mention that P!nk is rumoured to be playing the party, but other rumours are that the party isn't going to sell out (20,000) and that there are indeed NO big stars. To think that Kylie has played it before - I've been robbed!!

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Feelin' hot, hot, hot!....and pectorally and chemically challenged

If there is a god, she likes poufs and dykes. The rain of recent days hasn't showed its face today, Mardi Gras parade day, and the sun is shining gloriously. It's 5pm now, and the chests are on parade already. People have been lining the route like in London for a royal wedding since lunchtime, bringing crates with them. I just had trouble walking back from the city centre, because even pedestrians are being diverted by the road closures, so I had to walk down sidestreets. There I saw the floats being prepared and, four hours before the parade even starts, people in costume or horribly underdressed in full body make-up and glitter. It's going to be fab. The parade starts at 7.45pm and we have reserved seating in a stand (for which we have paid a lot). The party, with 15,000ish people, theoretically starts at 10pm, until 10am, but in reality dosen't get going until people have been home and changed after the parade. I believe Frankie Knuckles is DJing, plus Rachel Auburn - oh joy! Relive those glorious Flesh at the Hacienda nights that she used to do! Game time: place your bets now in the comments box below as to what time you think the three of us will leave the party. Bear in mind that Es here are 50 dollars, so I have refused on principle to buy any (that's FOUR times the price at home, and they are crap, apparently). So, it's Mardi Gras unaided, unless I crack. Wish us luck!

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Trannies' telephone trouble
I knew there had been some controversy in Slovenia over picking their Eurovision entry, but didn't realise it had come to this! Thanks to troubled_diva for the link.

The trannies causing all the fuss:

Sestre (Sisters) from Slovenia do an impression of three Pam Anns

Am also gutted that my fave song (and cutest men) picked for Tallinn have been disqualified. Boo hoo. The Lithuanian song 'We All' by B'Avarija should never have been in the national comp as it was released on their album last year, which everyone knows is against the rules. Silly billies. Thankfully, my second fave Lithuanian song, 'Happy You' came second on the night and will go to Tallinn instead. Here are B'Avarija, cuddling up by the fire, but they looked even cuter in their live performance:

Bavarija from Lithuania

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Ozblog: Day 18
Yesterday (Wed 28/02) was a long day of amazing contrasts. Firstly to the gym early lunchtime for my fifth (!) visit, and still feeling the benefits. Then later ticking off two of the 'must dos' on my tourist agenda; the aquarium and the Summit/Orbit bar. Both were brilliant and well worth a visit. Being underneath sharks at the aquarium is unreal, and many of the tanks are just beautiful. I think the five of us spent two and a half hours in there, including sloving all my present worries at once in the gift shop, with no rip-off prices. Five of us then had an excellent meal at Blackbird Cafe on Darling Harbour, before getting the monorail back part of the way home - totally unneccessary as it goes in a circle which makes it no quicker than walking, but just for the experience.

Orbit bar and Summit restaurant (or is it the other way around?) are basically the same thing. On about the 28th floor of a round tower, the whole bar revolves, giving you a view of the neon splendour of Sydney for miles and miles and miles, in a ninety minute complete rotation. It is a truly magnificent experience. Add to that the restrained funky music in the background, and the 'nouveau seventies' feel to the furniture, and it is a great cocktail experience, like I've never had before. I even actually HAD cocktails! Have never bothered before.

Plans to go home after this with M were brushed aside when one of our party, more recently arrived in town, asked if I'd go for a drink. Just a couple then, as it's already 1am. I made it home at 6.10am. Let's just say the sauna was good, and I'll be going again. Earlier, in Stonewall bar, there had been a group of six of us talking, none of whom I knew before last night. Along with me from the UK and my new friend from Ireland, the others were a Spaniard and a German who live in Ibiza, a Canadian (Ontario) who lives here, and his American friend. Welcome to cosmopolitan Sydney - and not an Aussie in sight!

More coincidences unfolded earlier in Summit bar. (Names changed here to protect the innocent, but the story's still true.) M and I arrived first. We were meeting Jane and her partner Diane, who are absolutely lovely and who live here, and whom I've met a few times already. Jane, as well as being a lesbian herself, has a gay dad, Eugene, who is visiting here for Mardi Gras with his partner of 15/20 years, Tony. We all meet, they're introduced to me as Chig, all having quite a laugh. At some point, it's mentioned that I live in Birmingham, and I overhear Tony and Eugene say the name of one of my friends in Brum, Roger. I say 'did you just say Roger Murphy?', and it transpires that Tony and Roger were best friends from school in Ireland. Then my real full name is mentioned, and Tony goes 'So YOU"RE C*** H******!), like I'm famous or something, and he tells me we've met before, when he visited Roger in Brum. All I can say, once again, is 'small world'. And indeed it is.

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Fri 01/03/02, 14.20 Only 27 hours to go until the big day of the Mardi Gras parade and party. Only Deborah Cox confirmed still for the party, but Alcazar, Human Nature and Bardot are all strongly rumoured. Frankly, I'll be disappointed if there's no one bigger, even if I do own singles by all of the last three.

For some reasons to hate Mardi Gras, see this from the Sydney Morning Herald:

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