There's an exciting project coming up on World Of Chig. If you've paid any attention to popular music in the last 50 years, it will have you glued to this 'ickle blog from the fading light of September through to the dark days of November. But first, Chig needs your help to make it work....
In the next few days, I'll be revealing full details of this little music-based project. In the meantime, if you could start thinking about your favourite UK number one singles of all time, and narrowing them down to ten, that would be marvellous. Stand by and await further instructions. I thank you.
Trash TV Titbits
I would just like to point out that, despite shameless TV whoring in the past, I am NOT featured in 'The Campest Men In Britain' on ITV1 tonight. At least, not as far as I know. Besides, I don't need to be on TV myself, when 'people I used to know' keep cropping up on the box all the time. Last week's Perfect Match had gorgeous Graham being eulogised by the panel, before being dismissed by them for being "too fit". You're not bloody kidding! He used to work at a comedy club across the road from my previous workplace, and the nearest I ever got was chatting to him in the sandwich bar of a lunchtime. He was impervious to my charms. Seeing him on TV last week, with the relationship experts going "but he is gorgeous" and the subject of the programme ALMOST picking him for the Amsterdam trip, I found myself muttering at the TV, "yes, yes, we know he's gorgeous, now get him off the screen before everyone realises. I saw him first..."
And now I find myself watching Celebrity Survivor (AKA the snappily-titled 'I'm A Celebrity - Get Me Out Of Here!'), primarily to follow the adventures of Rhona Cameron, who I used to see an awful lot on the comedy circuit in her early days, and later several times at Edinburgh Festivals. She's not having a good time. And Uri Geller is psychoanalysing her behind her back too. Rhona has never been one for keeping her opinions to herself, bless her, but if the slebs think she's mouthy now, they should thank their lucky stars that she hasn't been allowed near alcohol. Tonight, she has to be buried alive. She almost puked up when they told her about it. It could be an ordeal.
I have to confess, I have also been watching Britain's Sexiest, presented by the surprisingly good Kerry Chipshop Kitten Katona McFadden, and the surprisingly wooden Michael Greco. I gawp in incredulity at the tastes of the British public, as so far they have chosen Britain's most gormless fitness instructor, Britain's scrawniest male cabin crew and, er, yes, Britain's sexiest teacher. (He was absolutely bloomin' PHWOARSOME!) Oh, there were some women involved too. It's clear that the whole shebang is biased in favour of the firefighters, who appear in Saturday's heat, when the TV audience will be much bigger, giving them a helping hand to win the overall final on Sunday. Besides, aren't all firefighters, male and female, who don't look like the back end of a bus Simon snorkel engine, already used to performing for the cameras, because of their modelling work? Having said that, the preview of tonight's five builders all appeared to be fine specimens of the genre, but the film clips can be deceptive. We'll see. That's IF I'm watching, of course. I'm sure I will have something better to do (he lied).
Finally, just to clarify, tonight's The Campest Men In Britain is NOT a repeat of last night's Britain's Sexiest Airline Staff. You could be forgiven for thinking they were the same programme.
I'm not an envious person, but I think Dave McAleer may possibly have the best job in the world....
Phew! It's fifteen minutes since the final episode of 24 ended, and I think my pulse rate has just about returned to normal. My heart was pumping so much, I was physically shaking during the programme. Absolutely, breathtakingly, brilliant, and even though it's pretty grim stuff, a welcome 45 minute distraction from the horrid, grim reality that's been all over the TV and radio news this weekend fom Soham. If you haven't been watching 24, you've missed something really special. It's probably the most exciting drama series I've ever seen, but you can buy the video/DVD and watch it all at once.
The day the music fat bloke on the toilet died
I know exactly where I was 25 years ago today, when Elvis died. On a family holiday, in a caravan at Treyarnon Bay in North Cornwall. It must have been the morning after (the 17th) that we found out, and I distinctly remember going to the camp shop (no sniggering please) for milk. I don't think I would have considered myself an Elvis 'fan' then or now, but at 11 years old I remember being shocked, and feeling it was pretty significant.
Today in the office, someone was playing an Elvis compilation, but I've ousted that now in favour of this one from my own collection. This is one of those albums which I think everyone should listen to at least once, and it's going down very well here. 'The King' is a postman from Northern Ireland called James Brown (another coincidence), who has a gift; he sounds just like Elvis, not in a comedy way, but in a totally brilliant way. This album is the album Elvis would possibly have made if he were still alive, with covers of songs by artists who are all dead themselves (hence the 'Gravelands' title), from ACDC to This Mortal Coil. It's really quite amazing, and not the novelty album you might expect. He's done a second album - I must get that one too.
Hearing and seeing all the news coverage today about the surge in A Level passes has really brought it home to me that nearly as much time has passed in my life since getting those results myself as my age was at the time. In other words, it's eighteen years ago today that a nervous 18 year-old Chig went back to school to see the results stuck on the windows of the school foyer, there for all the world to see, and realised that my escape from small town conservative living had been achieved at the first attempt. It was a gloriously sunny day, like today. I went back home, and pretended to be disappointed as I approached my Mum was in the garden. When I told her I'd passed, she burst into tears, and so did I. She was crying because I would be leaving home about six weeks later. I was crying at the thought of the big city and the excitement that was practically bursting out of me that I would be able to 'be gay' at last. I hadn't told anybody at that point, but I knew, from attending an open day and seeing a flyer on a noticeboard, that the uni I was going to had a L&G Soc, and my life could start at last. And it did!
Who would have thought that, 18 years later, the Junior Education Minister who's been all over the media today talking about the A Level results would be an old friend who I met as a result of achieving those very results myself? (We share an ex-boyfriend. No, not share in that way.)
Oh, I managed a BBCD, by the way. That General Studies B got me into uni with a point to spare.
Only nine months and nine days until Eurovision 2003 in Latvia. Regular readers won't be surprised to know that, earlier this week, six of us booked and paid for our plane tickets to Riga next May. And today, RTE has announced that where Spain has been already, Ireland will follow. Ireland's forthcoming version of Pop Idol will be combined with the competition to choose their Eurovision song, which is exactly what Espana did with Operacion Triunfo, which produced Rosa for Eurovision this year. (Quite why RTE have named their show after a Lighthouse Family song hasn't been explained.) Here in the UK, the BBC is about to unleash its own version of Operacion Triunfo upon us, in the shape of Fame Academy. This will be running at the same time as ITV1's Popstars: The Rivals (which will be producing the Christmas Number 1 and Number 2 singles, taking all the fun out of guessing, except which way round the boy group and the girl group will be.) It's a talent show frenzy! Like OT, Fame Academy is a kind of 'Pop Idol meets Big Brother', where we don't get to see the audition process, but the twelve finalists are locked up in an 'academy' and coached by experts, while they are whittled down each week by those experts and the viewers. The difference with the BBC version though, is that they're appealing for a wider range of talents for the show; it's not just for singers. If a singer wins, it would be interesting to see if the Beeb considered them as our Eurovision entrant. At least it would put paid to the rumours that S Club are going to be our entry next year!
Oh, purleeeeese! Can't we come up with anyone better than this?
Actually, we've had a think here in the office, and we can't. Jasper Carrott, Julie Walters, Simon Le Bon, Lenny Henry (pushing it; he's from Dudley) and UB40. None of them 'international' enough. We're having to concede that maybe Ozzy IS the most famous Brummie in the world. And he lives in America. Great.
I'm not saying it's quiet in the office, but we have spent far too long today laughing at this. Deface various celebrities' faces! Make Kylie look like Pinocchio! Make Will Young's chin EVEN BIGGER! Give Beyonce bingo wings! Hilarious.
CHIG'S TOP TIP: Just make one small change, like dragging their nose upwards to look like a pig, or raising an eyebrow in a Roger Moore kinda way, and then click 'Undo' repeatedly. Hours of childish fun.
Let's go outside
It looks like George Michael has decided to distract himself from pondering the crap sales of 'Shoot The Dog' and volunteered to help in the hunt for Holly and Jessica.
Do you ever get confused over what day it is? I know I do. Things could be worse though; we could live in Turkmenistan.
"Won't someone please explain, the reason for this strange behaviour?"
My head hurts. Crystaltipps and I had one of the most bewildering nights ever last night. And it didn't even involve any alcohol. I strongly recommend never, ever seeing Memento and Mulholland Drive on the same night; it's just too much to take in. Being objective though, Memento was, as expected, brilliant. Crystaltipps was seeing it for the second time, and revelling in new things she didn't spot first time around. I really enjoyed it, and the philosophical debate we had on the cinema's doorstep between the two films. Mulholland Drive, I now think in the cold light of day, was a step too far. I'm really intrigued by David Lynch, I was a massive fan of Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet and I'm all for a bit of surrealism, but Mulholland Drive just doesn't go anywhere. And it does that very slowly, with some moments of excruciatingly hammy acting (intentionally, I'm sure). You look back on it and think, '"well what did that scene mean?", "why didn't that man crop up again?", "where the hell did that box come from?" and "why have The Borrowers appeared?". In the end, I felt like a joke had been played on us, and we had wasted two hours of our lives trying to make sense of a film in which there IS no sense, unless you ARE David Lynch, and even then I'm not so sure. The cake was lovely though. A great big doorstep of bread and butter pudding, with a nice coffee. Yum.
They're not going to be number one on Sunday (according to popbitch). Even more worryingly, this lot look set to return to the top twenty. Which radio stations are playing their stuff these days?
Crystaltipps has invited me to see Memento and Mulholland Drive tonight. They're on as a double bill (linked by the theme of memory loss, I guess) at our local 'second run' trendy cinema. (A cinema designed for people like me who always intend to see new films, but never get around to it. You know it's trendy because they sell nice cake, and you don't get that at the UCI.) Will Mulholland Drive be too much to take in after the brain-taxing Memento? Will there be time for cake in between? The second film is free when they do double bills like this. I was planning to stay in and watch this, about a sad gay man who can't get a boyfriend. Something tells me it may be useful. PS. My sometime colleague, who happens to share the same name as the subject of tonight's programme, has e-mailed me and everyone else he knows to make us think it's about him, but we're not fooled.
Chig’s (Childish) Chart Chatter
It’s only of numerical significance, but there’s a threesome of Pop Idols book-ending the UK Top 40 this week. While Darius sits on top, Gareth manages a number two, and Will Young slides down a couple to hold the bottom position. What a lovely picture that conjures up, eh boys and girls?
And let's hear it for The Human League! Back in the top twenty for the first time since the remix of Don't You Want Me? in October 1995, with their new remix of Love Action (I Believe In Love). This week's #12 new entry beats the #28 peak of the last time we heard Phil Oakey's voice in the chart, on the fantastic First Man In Space single by All Seeing I almost three years ago. Love Action reached #3 first time around, exactly 21 years ago this week - scary, huh? It's such a shame that this time, the remixed Love Action singles have ALL been mis-labelled. My copy unfortunately says George Michael on the front.
Down Under / On Top
Australia announce this morning that they intend bidding to host the 2014 (football) World Cup. Call me cynical, but after failing to reach the last two World Cups, (yeah, yeah, I know, they were 'unlucky' in play-offs both times....Iran? I ask you....) could it be that they've finally rumbled a way to get into a competition in which they're not very good? Mind you, it is just about the only sport left in that category.
While we're on the subject of football, thanks to BBC Sport Online for doing this in the last couple of days, and giving the mighty Villa a great psychological boost. With thirteen days to go before the Premiership season starts, the BBC websites have suddenly ditched last season's table, which was on every team's page until a few days ago, and have re-arranged it ready for kick-off. Gratifyingly, this means that, for two weeks at least, we are second, on alphabetical order. (And yes, dear Gooner readers, you know who's top, don't you?....) Villa had better make the most of it, as we don't play until the Sunday when the season starts, so it's definitely downhill from here.
Interesting trivia fact learnt from tonight's TV
According to I Love Jamaica on BBC2 tonight, this totally tropical drink ISN'T AVAILABLE in the Caribbean at all. I feel conned. But then, that's the point of advertising, isn't it?! I guess it's a similar situation to Castlemaine XXXX, which I believe isn't available in Australia either. (I certainly didn't see it in my month there earlier this year.) Next, you'll be telling me you can't get Carlsberg in Denmark. Any more examples of this?.....
Chig wins the lottery
Again! My age (36), birthday (6) and the house number where I was born (11) all popped up in tonight's lottery draw, so I've won a tenner, for the second time this year. Just me and 749, 923 other people. Hurrah! Every little helps. If only there were also a prize for three numbers plus the bonus (39), because I had that too.
A Night To Remember
I'm so glad I stayed in tonight. The Commonwealth Games have given us some fantastic moments in the last week, but tonight in the Manchester Aquatic Centre was exhilarating for us Englanders. A one-two-three for England in the men's breaststroke first, when not even Australia have managed gold, silver and bronze in the same race, and then, unbelievable! England's women do it too, in the very next race. Loads more besides, as Sharron Davies describes here. Eeee, it don't arf make ya proud...
(Please note, I managed to write a piece about swimming, and I didn't mention Speedos, pecs and lats muscles, how adorable James Hickman* is, in a 'take home to your mother' kind of way, or how gorgeous Adam Whitehead is. Some achievement, I'm sure you'll agree.)
Gold medallist Adam Whitehead
FACT: James would most like to meet....Kylie. Hmmm. Is that like when Will Young said his ideal date was 'tea with the Queen'?
[01.00] Well, well, well. Kit me up and call me Beckham! There's me going on about my non-appearance in tonight's Future Sex, and little did I know that the man my old chum was following around to sports shops and the Sports & Shorts club night at The Stag was, if I'm not mistaken, someone right here in blogland! (Not that we've ever met, but I've seen photos.) I have watched the crucial moments of Future Sex in frame-by-frame and failed to see any sign of footballing Chig, but my mates were on, and as predicted, Michael was talking dirty! Horny Villa-shirt wearing bloke was also featured, if you knew what to look for, from front and back, which was nice. I know I linked to the club's site yesterday, but I forgot to say that the photos of the night that was filmed are in the 'Pictures' section dated 21 October 2001 . That's how long ago it was filmed. Jonathan and Villa shirt man are featured here too. Chig is not.
10th, 12th, 14th May
Semi-Final 1 – Tue 20 May
01 Montenegro - Zauvijek volim te – Stefan Filipović
02 Israel – The Fire In Your Eyes (Ke’ilo Kan) – Bo'az Ma'uda
03 Estonia – Leto Svet – Kreisiraadio
04 Moldova – A Century Of Love – Geta Burlacu
05 San Marino - Complice - Miodio
06 Belgium - O Julissi - Ishtar
07 Azerbaijan – Day After Day – Elnur Hüseynov & Samir Javadzadeh
08 Slovenia – Vrag Naj Vzame – Rebeka Dremelj
09 Norway – Hold On, Be Strong – Maria Haukaas Storeng
10 Poland – For Life – Isis Gee
11 Ireland – Irelande, Douze Pointe – Dustin The Turkey
12 Andorra – Casanova – Gisela
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina – Pokušaj – Laka
14 Armenia – Qele Qele – Sirusho
15 Netherlands – Your Heart Belongs To Me – Hind
16 Finland - Missä miehet ratsastaa – Teräsbetoni
17 Romania – Pe-o Margine de Lume – Nico & Vlad Mirita
18 Russia - Dima Bilan - Believe
19 Greece – Secret Combination – Kalomira
Semi-Final 2 – Thu 22 May
01 Iceland – This Is My Life – Eurobandið
02 Sweden - Hero - Charlotte Perrelli
03 Turkey – Deli – Mor ve Ötesi
04 Ukraine – Shady Lady – Ani Lorak
05 Lithuania – Nomads In The Night – Jeronimas Milius
06 Albania – Zemrën e lamë peng – Olta Boka
07 Switzerland – Era Stupendo – Paolo Meneguzzi
08 Czech Republic – Have Some Fun – Tereza Kerndlová
09 Belarus – Hasta La Vista – Ruslan Alekhno
10 Latvia – Wolves Of The Sea – Pirates Of The Sea
11 Croatia – Romanca – Kraljevi Ulice & 75 Cents
12 Bulgaria – DJ, Take Me Away – Deep Zone & Balthazar
13 Denmark – All Night Long – Simon Mathew
14 Georgia – Peace Will Come – Diana Gurtskaya
15 Hungary – Candlelight – Csézy
16 Malta – Vodka - Morena
17 Cyprus – Femme Fatale – Evdokia Kadi
18 FYR Macedonia – Let Me Love You – Tamara, Vrčak & Adrian
19 Portugal - Senhora do Mar (Negras Águas) - Vânia Fernandes
Final – Sat 24 May
02 United Kingdom – Even If – Andy Abraham
04 Germany – Disappear – No Angels
19 France – Divine – Sébastien Tellier
22 Spain - Baila el Chiki Chiki - Rodolfo Chikilicuatre
23 Serbia - Oro - Jelena Tomašević ft. Bora Dugić
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from Chig66. Make your own badge here.
Chig's Gigs & stuff 2007-2008
11/12 Steel City Tour: ABC, Heaven 17, The Human League - Wolves Civic
21/01 Sing Live! - B'ham Symphony Hall
05/02 Mika - Berkeley Square, London
13/02 Shayne Ward - Nott'm Arena
21/02 X Factor - Nott'm Arena
04/05 Scooch-Nightingale, B'ham
12/05 Hosting Eurovision night @ The Nightingale
17/05 Jason Donovan-Nott'm Royal Concert Hall
25/05 Pet Shop Boys - Wolves Civic
26/05 Liberty X - Nightingale, B'ham
27/05 Scooch & Björn Again - B'ham Pride
16/06 Muse, The Streets, Dirty Pretty Things, Rodrigo y Gabriela & Zane Lowe - Wembley Stadium
28/06 Brotherhood of Man & Buck's Fizz - Nott'm Royal Concert Hall
14/07 Sing Live! - Summer in the '60s & '70s - Royal Leamington Spa Centre
14/09 Rise - Leek Wootton Village Hall
16/09 Erasure & Onetwo - Wolves Civic
17/09 The Twang & The Priory - B'ham Carling Academy 2 (private gig - Janice Long's Radio2 show)
20/09 Turisas & Abgott - B'ham Carling Academy 2
27/09 McFly - Wolves Civic
10/11 Buck's Fizz & Futureproof (The X Factor), Nightingale, B'ham
17/11 Vengaboys & Andy Williams (The X Factor) - Nightingale, B'ham
01/12 The Human League plays Dare! - Hammersmith Apollo
10/03 Gary Numan Replicas Tour & Daggers - Wolves Wulfrun
15/03 David Gray - Symphony Hall, Brum 18/03 Russell Howard, Alexandra, Brum
20+22+24/05 Eurovision Song Contest, Beograd, Srbija
10/06 Eurobeat-Almost Eurovision, B'ham Hippodrome
12/06 Yazoo - Wolves Civic
14/06-16/06 Bingham Cup, DCU, Dublin
24/06 Westlife & Hope - Nottingham Arena
07/07 Duran Duran & The Duke Spirit - NIA, B'ham
01/08 kd lang - Symphony Hall, B'ham
Who is Chig? Contact me: chig at cmdh dot freeserve dot co dot uk
Chig is Nicki French's official stalker...but she doesn't seem to mind.
Chig's life can sometimes be a right pain in the balls...
Dogtown, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, Robin Hood, The X Factor, Spooks, Extras, Mock The Week, Popworld, Ideal, Deal Or No Deal, Eggheads, Hollyoaks, Never Mind The Full Stops, Doctor Who series 2 repeats on BBC3, The Bill, Match Of The Day, Ant'n'Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.
Chig has failed at two attempts to watch the whole series of Invasion, so if you have it on DVD...
Chig still fancies Jesse Metcalfe...
...and Brandon Flowers, Roman Sebrle, Jonas Armstrong, Matthew Fox, Stefan Booth, Stuart Manning, Gary Lucy...
Chig is directly descended from the following families. If you have one of these surnames, we're possibly related, so feel free to get in touch:
Crowe, Harborne/Harbourne, Higgins, Hutchins, O'Sullivan/Sullivan, Talliss/Tallis.
Above: My Gran with her Gran. Snitterfield, Warwickshire, c.1930.