World of Chig   


Diana to be commemorated by "puddle"

This report of today's announcement includes the words, "The water will be shallow enough for children to paddle and play in." They missed out the words "and drown".

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Chig on TV tonight!

Well no, not really, but some friends might be, and there's a slim chance I may be spotted in the background of Future Sex, tonight (Wed 31/07) at midnight on C4. Late last year, visiting some friends in London, I was dragged kicking and screaming (not dragged up, just dragged) to this. Obviously I would never have willingly gone to such a night of perverted fetishism, and it's pure coincidence that I had my Villa kit with me in London. On arrival, we found that the night was being filmed for a series which I watched first time around (when it was called Digital Sex), mainly because the presenter, Amory Peart, was a friend of mine from Uni days. He was plain old Skinny Northern Mark then, who did theatre design with my flatmate at the Birmingham Poly site which was next door to our (Aston Uni's) student union building. Four of my friends (four of the 'London skinheads in Tallinn, for those of you who've read the Eurovision adventures of Mike and Chig) were interviewed for Future Sex, sitting outside the pub. I declined, and scuttled inside to try and chat up the only other bloke there in a Villa top. Hey, this was London, I was curious, and he was f*****g horny too. Turned out his boyfriend (Yuk! I hated hearing him say that word) had loaned him the top. I'm not even sure he knew which team it was - a bitter disappointment. Anyway, goodness knows what my mates were saying outside on camera, but as Michael was involved, it will have been very rude. Later, I was one of the three people dragged up (that phrase again) on stage for the Best Kit competition (insert your own kit inspection/tackle joke here), which more than compensated for the missed TV opportunity.
Tonight's programme is definitely the 'fetish' themed one of the series, so if we're on, this is the one. Having said that though, they previewed the programme at the end of last week's and there was no mention, nor clips, of footie kit clubs or fetishes. So don't blame me if you stay up to watch it, and we've hit whatever's the digital equivalent of a cutting room floor, do you hear? You filthy pervert.
(It's on after Make Me A Man, the transsexual docu, and Lesbian Love Stories. Something for everyone on 4 tonight!)

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Slave to the wage

Chig is back in the world of regular daytime work. And while I'm not exactly jumping for joy at the prospect of being stuck in an office while it's hot, hot, hot outside, I'm pretty happy about the job itself, and over the moon to be earning some money. (I was beginning to have self-esteem 'issues'. No, seriously.). Today (Monday) is day four and I was given internet access earlier. In marked contrast to my previous call centre job, it's perfectly okay to mess around on the internet, write e-mails, read the paper, play games on screen, eat and drink at your desk etc. It certainly takes some getting used to working in such an easy-going atmosphere. All this is simply because there are times when there's nothing to do. Not great big, long periods of inactivity, but periods in between calls, so it seems fair enough really.
The agency called me last Tuesday. "Would you like some work?" Yes, please. "Do you have a car?" Yes. "Can you start tomorrow?" Yes! And so I had to go into the office, because I'd only dealt with this agency by phone, and e-mailed my CV to them a fortnight before. Unlike some of the others, they don't put you on their books until they find you a job. I found it very strange that I've been employed by them without doing any tests whatsoever, not even the Excel and Word tests that I've done elsewhere, but who am I to complain?

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The Final Countdown

As it will be (probably):
Winner: Alex
2nd: Jade
3rd: Kate
4th: Jonny

How Chig would prefer it with the four we have left:
Winner: Jonny
2nd: Kate
3rd: Alex
4th: Jade

How it should have been:
Winner: Spencer
2nd: Alison
3rd: Sandy
4th: Lee (for his aesthetic value only)

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Did you notice...

...that lonesome David in Six Feet Under has a VCR where the picture can be kept on pause overnight? Mine turns into 'stop' mode after five minutes. Aren't they all like that? And let's face it, he's so goddam anal that he would never have left the TV switched on overnight. (The porn came on too quickly for the TV to have been off when Nate grabbed the remote.) No other complaints about the prog though; still totally brilliant, unmissable TV. No wonder it has 23 Emmy nominations.

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Chig on TV again; it's been and gone

It's not that *I* needed to see it again; I have it on video from March 2001 after all. However, I did promise you on 14th April that I would try to tell the world when Chig's appearance on 15-to-1 was due to be repeated, but postponements due to cricket and horse racing on C4 made it difficult to keep track of where we were at with the current repeat series. Then I went out on Saturday night, and not one but TWO people told me (I vaguely remember through a deep alcoholic fog) that I was on last Thursday. "We were texting each other, saying Chig's on the telly" said one friend. No one bothered to text ME!! Huh. Oh well, I still didn't win. I made it to the second round, and was then picked on by the older people, as I was the youngest contestant. Did a fairly good rabbit in the headlights impression every time I was on camera, but the reason for looking uncomfortable, as Said has said in the comments below, is that I took along two of my favourite, trendiest short-sleeved shirts; one black, one grey, but because too many people were wearing dark colours, they marched ME - and no one else - to the rail of vile coloured shirts and forced me to wear a lime green fluorescent number. All I could think when in the studio was 'I must tell everybody this isn't my shirt'. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.

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Is it just me, or does that "then it fell apart" bit from his new single 'Extreme Ways' sound like 'Sorry I'm A Lady' by Baccara?

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Talk Talk (2)

At last, some excitement on tonight’s Big Brother. It’s only taken them eight weeks. They should have encouraged them to drink alcohol more often. If anything, tonight’s prog just proved more than ever why only Jonny (primarily) or Kate (second choice) are even half near to deserving that seventy grand. (I can't blame Jonny at all for hiding in the loo to calm down instead of argue with people. It's what I would have done too.) If whiny Alex, miserable Tim or For Fuck’s Sake Shut Up Jade win the vote next week, Endemol and Channel 4 should just give the dosh to charity. It’s the only decent thing to do.

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Talk Talk (1)

Let’s play fantasy chat show! In the unlikely event that I was given the chance to host my own one-off TV chat show, where I could have one guest and one musical act, there’s a fair chance I would choose this hairy-chested actor and this duo. Needless to say I was delighted by last night’s V Graham Norton! I'm surprised Graham didn't show this fantastic photo of Paul in Goodbye Charlie Bright. Who would YOU choose for YOUR chat show?

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Big Blubber

I'm just a ginger-hiding, chest-shaving, hair product-loving, public school fagging, Timmytoasting, lying, deluded, wine-stealing, soon to be liberated under armed guard, unknowingly single, whining, boring, cry baby, who doesn't know how to write 'I'm' or pronounce 'comprende' properly. Comprende?

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The Sound of ....

Another technical innovation hits World Of Chig today! Turn up your speakers and you will hear the new, permanent soundtrack to this website. It's a composition of my own, called 'Infinite Silence'. Enjoy.

And if you think I'M mad, you should see these two.

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"I'm glad you liked the show - that crowd was dope"

Mike will do the review for the Pet Shop Boys last night at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall. I'll just give you the set list!.

1. Home and dry
2. Being boring
3. A red letter day
4. I get along
5. Love comes quickly
6. London
7. You only tell me you love me when you’re drunk
8. Domino dancing
9. New York City boy
10. Always on my mind
11. Sexy northerner
12. Where the streets have no name (I can’t take my eyes off you)
13. Birthday boy
14. West End girls
15. Love is a catastrophe
16. Go West
17. Left to my own devices
18. It’s a sin
19. Here

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Pet Shop Boys: The end is nigh?

Going to see them tonight in Nottingham with Mike, who has compiled his top 20 list of PSB songs today. I popped into town this afternoon and bought all three versions of the new single, I Get Along, to stick in the lovely little box that Neil and Chris sent me last week, in which to keep them all. (Of course I don't believe it was their record company's marketing agency; Neil and Chris sit in Chris's designer flat stuffing CD covers into envelopes. Please don't destroy my fantasy.) As usual, I checked out the Woolworth's 'prediction' top 40, to see where I Get Along is predicted to enter the chart on Sunday, and IT'S NOT IN THEIR TOP 40! Not only does this mean Woolies don't EXPECT it to do very well, it means THEY AREN'T EVEN SELLING IT, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, as they are the nation's biggest singles retailer. It's a disaster. Expect a very lowly new entry on Sunday. Which is a real shame, because one of the extra tracks, Between Two Islands, is absolutely brilliant. Gig review tomorrow. From Mike, I expect.

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The dangers of live television

[Sunday 07/07/02] Oh dear. Channel 5 is showing the Capital FM Party In The Park live on TV. A young interviewer is sent amongst the crowd to meet the fans. She's talking to some Gareth Gates fans. Like a red rag to a bull, she stupidly asks one teenage girl, "Why do you prefer Gareth to Will?" Before her interviewee can answer, a neighbouring teenage girl shouts out, "Because Will's gay!" Predictable, and annoying, but an experienced presenter like Dermot or Davina would have admonished the vile specimen there and then by saying something like "Well that's a pretty stupid reason, isn't it?" Not this one, though. Clearly a little bit embarrassed, she moves on quickly along the row, and flicks the peak of rude girl's baseball cap in a way which says to me "I really wish you hadn't said that, but I'm feeling too flustered to know how to respond, so we'll ignore it". It was only a small TV moment, and it was on C5, so hardly anyone can have been watching (ha, ha), but this kind of unchallenged homophobia (and, let's face it, just stupidity) makes me REALLY angry, because the audience of mainly teenage girls is exactly the kind of audience which has their attitudes shaped by pop stars and TV programmes like this. I really wish C5 had apologised for the remark, but nothing was said, so easily-influenced viewers will now think that liking a pop star because they are straight and not gay is perfectly rational and acceptable. Grrrrr. Gareth was on stage later, but Will had been on earlier. I just hope he didn't hear the girl. He would despair as much as I have.

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No Irish, no blacks, no gays

I've added those last two words myself, but the first two thirds of that headline was apparently a common sight on signs outside Birmingham pubs in the early 1970s. The IRA pub bombings, coupled with unchallenged racist attitudes, made life here very difficult for anyone with darker skin or an Irish accent. Last night's eviction of Adele from the Big Brother house made me think that this unfortunate slogan now sums up the programme. Those commissioning editors at C4 responsible for 'minority' appeal must be cursing the televoters (and Endemol). I was, and still am, shocked by the result, as my mouth hit the floor when the word 'Jade' didn't spill forth from Davina's lips. It wasn't even close, despite what we had been led to believe (to encourage more of us to swell the coffers by voting, of course). Around 64% for Adele, 34% for Jade, and 1% each for Kate and Jonny. So, with the eviction of the last of the three black people and the only one who has admitted to anything other than heterosexuality (as well as being the most duplicitous person in the house), we are now left with officially The Most Boring Big Brother So Far. Sunita walked of her own accord, leaving three black contestants. It's been particularly noticeable that these three have been voted out in the first five evictions decided by the public. (The first eviction, of Lynne, doesn't count for these purposes as the housemates decided who was leaving.) Also, every black contestant has been voted out at the first opportunity that the public has had to vote for them. But am I reading too much into this? Am I making a disctinction that the public isn't really making, and assuming racism on the part of C4's audience which isn't really there? Maybe. I was comforting myself with the thought that the results of previous years have shown a good cross-section of society in the final threes. A gay winner, an Irish, lesbian ex-nun second. Dean and Darren both black men in the final three. But then it struck me - I don't think Dean and Darren ever faced the public vorte. They both reached the last three because they were popular in the house. Then, on the final day (or penultimate day, whenever it was), three people faced the vote, and the black contestant was out first each time. Oh dear, oh dear, please tell me I'm wrong. It's all very worrying.

As for the Irish angle, this was surely a cock-up of huge proportions by Endemol. Each of the previous three Big Brothers (including the celebrity version) had an Irish contestant, thus ensuring Irish viewers and Irish advertisers. Anna came second, Tom was well-liked, Keith Duffy was funny, Brian won. This year, nothing. I've heard from friends in Dublin that viewing figures in the Republic are well down this year, and no one is talking about Big Brother over there. An opportunity missed, I think.

On the positive side, good to see a bit of humanity in the house tonight,as Kate and PJ reacted to their video messages. PJ clearly has deeply ingrained emotional issues, being scared his mates in Brum might see him expressing perfectly normal tears. SiIly boy. And what an inspired idea to have the possible evictees declared on Saturday night instead of Tuesday night. SIX WHOLE DAYS of income from televoting for Endemol instead of three! Just call me cynical...
[Originally written, but not posted, on Sun 07/07/02]

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As I have the memory of a goldfish, I sometimes plan to write little bits and pieces on here, and then forget all about them until something else reminds me. Then the stuff I was carrying round in my head loses any urgency and relevance it may have had. Here are two such pieces. Pretend it's last weekend while you read them. The internet: immediate and relevant. Except this bit of it.

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"We're having a heatwave..."

[12.40] Well, we will be tomorrow and Monday - I've just seen the weather forecast. Phew! Hurrah!

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Scary bald man let loose on Brummie public

Have you ever seen a man more pumped up on testosterone than PJ was last night? I thought the arrogant Brummie love god was going to explode - in more ways than one. Fair play to ya, as he would say. Milk that fifteen minutes of fame for all the shags you can matey, cos you ain't gonna be no TV presenter...

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Happy Birthday Spiky!

A number one single and an 18th birthday in the same week? Why yes, Gareth Gates can legally drink alcohol from today. Cheers!

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Last night’s terrifying TV

It’s 9pm, and I settle down to watch an eagerly anticipated TV moment. The story of a vindictive man taking advantage of his helpless victims, a generation apart from himself. But this is not ‘Shipman’ on ITV1. This is The Secret Life Of The Office on BBC2. And after working in a call centre for nine years in various roles, I can tell you that nothing in that programme was a surprise. The pressure, the twatty people who have swallowed a dictionary of marketing jargon, the boss interfering and undermining other people’s job roles and authority. I shuddered at the familiarity of it all. Thank God I left in time…(jabber, jabber)

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What was I worrying for? JobCentre interview lasted about four minutes. Very nice man. Didn't even ask to see the list I had typed out of 'what I have done to find work'. Two of those minutes were him telling me about how the government keeps moving the goalposts and making life more difficult for JobCentre staff. I thought this chat was about MY job, not yours? Smiled and nodded in all the right places. Relief.

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Some forthcoming number one singles

More to pencil into your diary. August seems a bit free at the moment.
Sunday 14 July: Gareth Gates - Anyone Of Us (Stupid Mistake)
My Mum, a renowned expert on these matters, agrees with me that this is indeed a stupid mistake - of the grammatical kind. It should be Any One Of Us (four words), as this isn't the way 'anyone' should be used. However, my Mum is also convinced that this is a cover of an old song, but it can't be, as the second track 'Forever Blue' is by the same writers and copyright 2002. (It's not a tribute to the enduring qualities of the UK's fave boyband, in case you were wondering.) What do you think, dear reader? Superb pop single though; catchy as smallpox. Selling by the bucketload as I write.
September (date TBA): Madonna - Die Another Day
Madge + Bond theme = surefire #1 (her 11th). Except if it's crap.
September (date TBA): Gareth Gates & Will Young - The Long And Winding Road
Aaaaah, bless, they've done a duet, just in case you thought they hated each other now. The old Beatles song makes it two and a half number ones each so far.

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Beppe Belfast Bum Boy Baseball Bat

Now I understand why Michael Greco left Eastenders. He wanted to go to Belfast and enter their Mr Gay UK heat. And whaddya know? He won!
And while we're perusing this year's heat winners, most of the pics of Brum's Route 2 winner are very pleasing to the eye indeed (as are the pics I took of him when he was runner-up in the Nightingale's heat), but what the hell are they trying to say with THIS one?!

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Greetings, Arsenal and PJ

I'd like to say hello to some new visitors to my comment boxes from the last few days. Real visitors, not the people who visit by mistake for one second, after a google search. Hello then to Jonathan, Rob and Arseblogger, whatever your name is. Yikes! At least two of those three are Arsenal fans. What AM I doing? Guess that's two more people who've been phoning to evict PJ this week. Kate hasn't been wearing that Dennis Bergkamp t-shirt for nothing, you know. Carry on boys; PJ may be from my beloved (adopted) home city, but he plays for the wrong team. No, no, not like that! Like this. (Pride of the Midlands? My arse!) To say nothing of PJ's dubiously unreconstructed views, which I think he is trying to keep suppressed. The whistles about Alex were a clue, but the fact that NO ONE in the house told him Adele was bisexual until she'd gone speaks volumes about how trusted he is. Be off with you and your suspected homophobia! Go and have your two minutes of fame posing around the bars of Broad Street next week, when Dermot's finished with you. Oh, you know you will....

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Advice for British friends coming back (temporarily) to the UK from Australia this week for their graduation ceremony

1) Pack clothes for ANY meteorological eventuality. Shorts, sun cream and those Jesus boots you insist on wearing, plus waterproofs, umbrella and hat would be a good start, and that's just based on the last two days here. It will probably have snowed by the time you arrive on Friday. How else to explain that yesterday I spent three hours weeding, pruning and lounging in the back 'garden', getting a nice rosy tan in shorts and beach shoes, and today I awoke to the aftermath of rain, grey skies all day with not one moment of sun, and since 6pm have had the central heating on? You'll probably end up with 'flu by the time you go back to Sydney.
2) Don't mention Lleyton Hewitt while you're here.
PS. Can't wait to see you again.

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Being Boring

I'm being a bit crap at this blogging lark, aren't I? And why is this? Is it because it's been sunny? Possibly. Is it because I've been away? Possibly? Is it post-Glastonbury comedown? Yes, amongst other things. Is it because I have nothing to say? Absolutely not. In fact, quite the opposite - I have too much to say (although a lot of it revolves around Big Brother, to be honest, plus Glasto and my Mardi Gras weekend), and I don't know where to start. I have also been distracted for hours today by other people's blogs. I started off reading a few accounts of London Mardi Gras, which led to the perusal of some other really good blogs. And some have photos! As a result, in addition to my forthcoming petit copain Olivier Rochus (see 26/06 below), I have now fallen in lust with at least two people men (why am I tempted to use such pointlessly ambiguous language?) who are featured in other people's photos. But I'm too shy to say who. Hell, I don't even know their sexuality. Perhaps I should read their blogs (where applicable)! (Even though it was LMG day, it's wise not to make assumptions; everyone goes out with their mates, especially when they're gathered in Soho Square, or when someone is leaving the country (or both)).

Actually, there's a reason why the muse has deserted me for the last few days. I'm paralysed by fear. Fear of tomorrow's JobCentre interview and of defaulting on my mortgage payment next month. The two aren't entirely unrelated. Not that I'm really afraid of the JobCentre. I've done the odd bit of freelance work lately; enough to show them that I do make some effort, and I'm on the books of two agencies. It's just that I know the interview will be tortuous. Back in March, on returning from Australia, I had to start a new claim. (You're not allowed to go out of the country and still claim dole.) I left there thinking I knew more about their procedures and how to fill in their forms than the inept staff did. Tomorrow, as almost every fortnight, my interviewer will undoubtedly ask once again if I have had any interviews. As always, I will grit my teeth and tell them politely that you don't have interviews for the kind of work I do from time to time. Then they will ask if I've done any work recently, and I can truthfully say yes. Then they will ask, fingers poised at the keyboard with an excited 'I can input something here' look on their face, when I had an interview for the job I've just had, and why I left. I will scream inside and politely explain, v e r y s l o w l y, the concept of freelance journalism. Wish me luck.

Funny thing is, I was actually offered a "job" yesterday, but felt obliged to turn it down, as I felt underqualified. Well, not underqualified exactly. 'Unable' would be more accurate. I don't think I'll tell the JobCentre about this one; they'll probably stop my benefit for refusing a job offer. Walking along New Street, I bumped into a very horny friend of about 14 months exactly. Funny how I remember exactly when we met. He has recently lost his job and is on the books of a couple of temping agencies. (Indeed, he gave me a tip about one, which has led to a positive-sounding lead today. I've e-mailed my CV to them tonight, but agency woman already called me back this afternoon to say she had a client who was interested in me. Perhaps I'll be able to tell the JobCentre to bog off after all very soon?) Anyway, I asked this friend how he was managing to survive, and he tapped his backside, laughed and said "selling my arse, of course". I laughed too, but not too much. He wasn't actually joking. He's done it before, ads and everything, and frankly I am envious, because he has the face, body and personality to be a very good rent boy escort indeed, and I am still hoping for a free sample of his wares. Then came the job offer. He told me that he's looking for a slaveboy, on behalf of someone else. I politely declined. Obviously it's shockingly immoral and disgusting and I couldn't possibly consider it. Now if he'd said a master....

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Hooray, hooray, it's a homo holiday!

Government notices poufs and dykes go abroad shocker!

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Off With Her Head!

Hero of the week: Paul Kelleher. It’s just a shame he’s been arrested, for doing something so many of us would have liked to do.

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Flippin’ ‘eck Tucker!

‘e’s off, ain’ ‘e? But will it be the AIDS wot does it?

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Made It Back

Ten hours! Ten fucking hours! That's how long it was between getting into my car in the Worthy Farm car park at 12.35 yesterday and arriving home at 22.35. Not that the actual journey home from Glastonbury took long once I'd made it out the gates, but the first SEVEN HOURS were spent in the car park, not moving anywhere at all, just queuing and waiting...and waiting....and waiting. News went around that there had been an accident somewhere. Or was it just the sheer volume of traffic? I've just read on Ceefax that the body of a 36-year old man was found at 2pm yesterday in his tent. He was found by his girlfriend and was near the Dance Tent. I was leaving from the car park nearest the Dance Tent, so perhaps the roads were being kept clear for emergency vehicles? Then again, if he was already dead, maybe not, and I didn't hear any sirens. Apparently, a sudden, natural death is suspected, not anything suspicious, as you were thinking (and so was I).
Oh, the festival itself? Well, it was brilliant. Varied and interesting. Best show of the weekend? I'll tell you later, but there's a clue in the title(!)

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