World of Chig   


Which 45 is at 45, pop pickers? It’s the man with the stick! Also known as…?

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Pop Quiz: Four Plus Two equals Six, which is the name of the Irish ‘Popstars’ group (above), but no act whose name begins with ‘six’ has ever topped the UK chart. Only one has even made the top ten – who are they?

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“My love and I will be, in love eternally and that’s the way, that’s the way it’s meant to be.”

#46= Concrete And Clay – Unit Four Plus Two

[191] Writers: Brian Parker & Tommy Moeller. Producer: John L. Barker.
25 Feb 65 – 15 weeks – #1 for 1 week; 08 Apr 65

This was the second hit, and only top ten appearance, from a UK group with a singer called Peter Moules (French for mussels). Actually, I’ll come clean. That’s who one book (GboHS) says the lead singer was, but another (Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits) says it was Tommy Moeller; one of the co-writers. Who knows which is right? Maybe they both sang lead on different songs. Anyway, Concrete And Clay appears in this countdown due solely to points from our over 50s voters, but this is in my top 20 too. It’s one of those songs that everybody knows when they hear it, but I bet a few points have been lost in pub quizzes over the years by people not knowing the group’s name. They were originally called Unit Four, which was the name Alan Freeman gave to the top ten on his Pick Of The Pops radio show, but then they recruited two more members, so they changed the name. There’s a good biography of the group here and a shorter one here . They only had four hits, and within a year of being at #1 were never in the charts again.

The song was a biggish hit (#11) again in 1976 for Randy Edelman, which was never off the radio during that Summer of the heatwave, drought and hosepipe ban, I seem to recall. It was also covered more recently by Kevin Rowland, but failed to chart, probably because the scary man was wearing women’s lingerie on the cover. We’ll be seeing him in more reasonable attire later in the countdown, but will it be once, or twice?

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Tomorrow’s tune? Continuing the French theme, a band whose lead singer’s name is French for a type of edible sea creature. Mais qui est-il?

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Pop Quiz: Ian Dury’s last appearance in the singles chart was as guest vocalist with one of the UK’s most successful groups. Who are they?

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“Je t’adore, ich liebe dich.” “Das ist gut, c’est fantastique!” “C’est si bon, mm? Ist es nicht?”

#46= Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick - Ian & The Blockheads

[432] Writers: Ian Dury & Chas Jankel. Producer: Chas Jankel.
09 Dec 78 – 15 weeks on chart – 1 week at #1 from 27 Jan 79

The first of two singles at #46. (I promise you there are no tied positions once we reach the top 30.)

No, I haven’t made a mistake – there was no ‘Dury’ name on this single, although he was billed as 'Ian Dury' on the single before, and everything after. This single has a lyric in three different languages, making Ian Dury the first person since Elvis Presley to sing in German on a #1 hit. (I’m guessing that would have been on Wooden Heart in 1961 – anyone know otherwise?)

This was Ian Dury & The Blockheads’ second hit, following What A Waste which had made # 9. After the next single, Reasons To Be Cheerful (Pt. 3) reached #3, they never had another one. In fact Ian Dury’s fame and influence seems to have been entirely disproportionate to his chart success, which was pretty short-lived in retrospect. His hits dried up completely in 1985 after eight of them, but three of those were completely different versions of Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, with a remix in 1985 and a remake in 1991 also making the top 75. However, he is remembered with a great deal of affection, and an inspiration, particularly to people with disabilities, not just because he was partly paralysed from polio from an early age, but for his totally original lyrics (which he wrote) and music (which Chaz Jankel wrote).

‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’ is a quirky, unusual single, with a most extraordinary lyric and the some of the rawest, squeakeist (in a good way) sax playing ever committed to vinyl. It sounded like nothing else, before or since 1978. It’s Mike’s #3 and Dipti’s #4. Mike says,

“ Christmas 1978, and I attend my third concert: Ian Dury & The Blockheads in Kilburn, North London. My first two live experiences (a crappy local punk band, then Bowie at an atmosphere-free Earls Court, so far away that we needed binoculars) had been disappointments, but this gig completely blew me away. The Blockheads were at their artistic and commercial peak, with Rhythm Stick already in the Top 5 and heading for Number One in January 1979. They played, faultlessly, for nearly two and a half hours, and thrilled me to my very soul.
My life was on a cusp at that point - crippling teenage angst and self-consciousness was on the point of melting away, and the first shoots of independence were coming through. This song soundtracks the excitement I felt, right at the beginning of that period of transition.”

The album released after this single, Do It Yourself, was their most successful, reaching #2. It was available in a multitude of covers, all featuring different designs of wallpaper. (No Marcus, not THAT wallpaper.) You can see some of the collection here. (Link to be added later.)

After Ian Dury died, his ‘New Boots And Panties!!’ album was remade by contemporary artists such as Sinead O’Connor and Robbie Williams as Brand New Boots And Panties. The Blockheads are still recording together.

‘Rhythm Stick’ ended the three week run at the top by the Village People’s Y.M.C.A., and was replaced at #1 a week later by Blondie’s Heart Of Glass. But will we be seeing either of those later?

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Tomorrow's tune? A single featuring a lyric in not one, not two, but three languages. Any ideas?

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Pop Quiz: The video for Ashes To Ashes (above) features which famous shoplifter?

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"One flash of light, but no smoking pistol"

#48 Ashes To Ashes - David Bowie

[464] Writer: David Bowie. Producers: David Bowie & Tony Visconti
16 Aug 80 - 10 weeks on chart - 2 weeks at 1# from 23 Aug 80

So, who's back at the top in 1980? Why, it's Major Tom, ... And already I’m disappointed, as my personal #6 barely manages to squeeze into the Top 50.
David Bowie, despite being the major influence to so many people in the 70s, had scored only one number one by the decade's end, with the re-release of 1969 hit Space Oddity in 1975. So what does he do to get his second one, five years later? He carries on with the story, that’s what. So, looking backwards and forwards at the same time, the musical chameleon resurrects Major Tom, who’s been floating in a most puck-yoo-lear wayay since 1969, and dresses him up in new romantic garb. Grabbing Steve Strange and his cronies from the Blitz club to ponce around on the beach for the video, filming it in weird colours too, was a master stroke.

22 years later, Bowie teamed up once again with Tony Visconti for his well-received Heathen album in 2002, featuring the fantastic ‘Everyone Says Hi’, but it sounds a million miles away from Ashes To Ashes. The man in the clown costume may be back later in the countdown – but will he be alone? And will that Vanilla Ice bloke be rapping all over it? Er, no to the last question.

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What's at #48 tomorrow? Someone’s been floating around for a few years, but he’s back. And he’s in a bad way. As Men At Work once said, who can it be now? (And will we be seeing those Antipodean songsters in our Top 50? Er, no, as only Charlie gave them any points.)

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Pop Quiz: Which two of Abba’s #1s do you think DIDN’T get any points in this poll?
I’ll tell you when someone gets it right.

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“Breaking up is never easy, I know, but I have to go”

#49= Knowing Me, Knowing You Abba

[403] Writers Benny Andersson, Stig Anderson & Bjo:rn Ulvaeus. Producers: Benny Andersson & Bjo:rn Ulvaeus
26 Feb 77 – 13 weeks on chart – 5 weeks at #1 from 02 Apr 77

You like Abba, don’t you? No, I mean you REALLY like Abba, but you can’t quite decide which of their nine #1s you like best, so this one can only manage to share the #49 spot with The Kinks. A staggering 21 out of the 40 voters had an Abba song in their top ten #1s. Richard S had three. But how many of the nine have made the Top 50?

It’s easy to look at the instant number ones in the charts now and forget that, back in 1977, even top notch Abba singles like this could take six weeks to climb to the top. They had been famous for three years and already notched up four #1 singles, but they had something to prove with this single, as previous release Money Money Money had ‘only’ made #3, following a hat-trick of #1s. In fact, Knowing Me, Knowing You persevered admirably, making it to the top even after it stalled for two weeks at #2 behind Manhattan Transfer’s Chanson D’Amour (which Jacky will be disappointed to know we won’t be seeing here, as no one else gave it any points).

Knowing Me, Knowing You therefore turned out to be the fifth of Abba’s eventual nine #1s, and the start of another consecutive hat-trick of them. It was also the last of the three singles taken off the Arrival album; their first UK #1 album of original material, after Greatest Hits had also topped the UK chart. You could hardly get away from Abba’s huge chopper in 1976-77, as there they were with it on the Arrival cover, years before Bjo:rn Again pastiched it in their own photo shoot.

You may think Knowing Me, Knowing You is, like so many of Abba’s songs, about their relationships breaking down, but in fact it’s a tribute to Buddy Holly. Or is it?

Why not learn it in Spanish?

Chris A has this as his #3 and sums it up as “peerless songwriting!” But now, the memory of this song has been tarnished by Alan Partridge and that spoof chat show. Such a shame, as I have a feeling this would have been higher otherwise.

You don’t need me to tell you that this isn’t the last we’ve heard from the super Swedes in this Top 50. But will we be seeing that chopper again with the other #1 from the Arrival album? With homosexuals involved in the voting? Of course we will.

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What's the other song at #49= tomorrow? The power of television ruins the chances of a perfectly decent song. Aha.

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“You got me so I can’t sleep at night”

#49= You Really Got Me The Kinks

[177] Writer: Ray Davies. Producer: Shel Talmy.
13 Aug 64 – 12 weeks in chart – 2 weeks at #1

Despite the best efforts of pop’s statistical surgeons, the two songs born at #49 were numerically conjoined twins, and could not be separated. Please shed a tear then for #50. It was never meant to be. So, in reverse alphabetical order, here is the second of the inseparable pair. The first one will be tomorrow. If you see what I mean.

This debut hit for The Kinks was actually their third single, after two chart no-shows. This was the first of their three #1s; one in each year from 1964-66. Twelve more top ten hits followed up until 1970, with Tired Of Waiting For You and Sunny Afternoon also hitting the top. Then a hit in 1972 and a hiatus until four more hits in 1981-83. The influence of Ray Davies was acknowledged by Paul Weller, who named him as his greatest musical influence. Davies also wrote hits for the Pretenders, amongst others, and the marvellous 'Days' which Kirstie MacColl recorded, and he is still performing.

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What's the first tune of the Top 50? It’s another one to please the mods – and amazingly it’s by the man who Paul Weller used to say was his main musical influence. Any guesses?

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While I quietly kill my friend Mark.
"Something's happening here today"

#51 Going Underground/Dreams Of Children – The Jam

[454] Writer: Paul Weller (both tracks). Producer: Vic Coppersmith-Heaven.
22 Mar 80 – 9 weeks in chart – 3 weeks at #1

Bruce Foxton, Rick Buckler and Paul Weller had paved the way for this, their first #1, by hitting the top ten for the first time with their previous single The Eton Rifles four months earlier. It had made #3, after eight previous singles had hit between #13 and #40. Memorably, Going Underground also entered at #1; a rare feat in those days. The Jam were on the crest of a wave in 1980, and this #1 provoked a re-release of all their other singles, six of which re-entered the charts all at once a month later. Prime Minister Thatcher was barely a year into her stride – “You choose your leaders and place your trust”. John Lennon was still alive (for a few more months), but hadn’t troubled the charts for five years, and some of Weller’s songs had a political edge to them that was lapped up by this 13 year-old budding leftie. “You'll see kidney machines replaced by rockets and guns.” Going Underground was a hard-edged track with a rumbling base, one of the most recognisable intros ever, and – hey! – shouting on it. “Make this boy shout! Make this boy scream!” It’s about being an outsider, about not fitting in, not understanding the world, and about opting out. And boy, did I feel it. "I don't get what this society wants." We also thought it was about hiding from the impending nuclear holocaust.

Dreams Of Children? I didn’t know it at the time, and I couldn’t sing it to you now. Such is often the fate with double A-side tracks. It’s not even on my ‘The Jam – Greatest Hits’ album.

22 years later, Paul Weller currently sits at #1 in the UK album chart. Bruce Foxton had three solo hits, including the strikingly unusual Freak, and Rick Buckler….whatever happened to him?

The Jam had three more #1s after this, with Start! (which I actually preferred, even if it was a bit too similar to Taxman by The Beatles), Town Called Malice/Precious and Beat Surrender. None of the Jam's singles appear in this Top 50, but we WILL be seeing Mr Weller later. Oooh, how can that be….?

Going Underground was the #1 choice of David H. Hope you're not too disappointed David. You're not the only person whose top choice hasn't made the Top 50 at all.

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Countdown is,, dos, tres, cuatro!

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Quack, quack, hooray!

Congrats to Scary Duck, who is announced today as the winner of the Grauniad's Best British Weblog Competition. It's a refreshing surprise, firstly that it's a blog that I've never heard of before, and secondly that the site itself IS a refreshing surprise! It appears to be by a 36 year old Arsenal fan, so we have at least one thing in common (but you can't have everything), and a deserving winner, after a brief skim of his more recent postings.
Go there and leave him a message.

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Get real, you big wuss, that's such a bad combover!

Just three of the new words and phrases in the new Oxford English Dictionary, out today (or at least the press release is).
1) phr. 'Come off it'
2) n. 'weak or ineffectual person'
3) n. an attempt to hide thinning hair. See Bobby Charlton.

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Let's have a heated debate!

Before finalising the chart positions later today, I seek your advice, especially if you’re a statistician (or a moral philosopher, he said, grandly). Not surprisingly, there are a few tied positions in the top 50, where two or more tracks have received the same number of points. It would be boring if we had lots of tied records in the same positions in the chart. It would also mean that the countdown would jump positions, say from ‘equal 49’ to ‘equal 47’, and we don’t really want that. So the question is, how do we separate them, fairly?

The problem is that the method used can determine or change the final result. Two possible options are the ‘countback’ method, (as used at Eurovision) or the ‘most voters’ option. The countback method means that when songs receive equal points, we then look to see which one received the most 10s. If they are still tied, which one received the most 9s, then 8s, 7s, etc. The other possibility is to count how many different people voted for each song, regardless of how many points they gave. The latter method would imply broader appeal and therefore arguably the most popular song, but the winner by the countback method has higher points and therefore STRONGER support. Which do you think is most fair?

Let me show a hypothetical example;
Song A and song B are tied on 33 points.
Song A has received votes of 9+8+7+7+2 = 33
Song B has received votes of 9+7+6+5+3+2+1 = 33.

Using the countback system, both songs have received one 9, but song A wins because it has received an 8, whereas song B’s next highest vote is a 7.
Using the ‘most voters’ system however, Song B wins, because seven people voted for it in their top ten, against five people who voted for Song A.
It’s a dilemma, isn’t it? Your opinion is valued. Please leave a comment below. Or if you have another, better method of separating tied scores, please let me know that too. Thanks.

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The 50 Number Ones Project

A public service announcement: the countdown WILL start today, as promised, but it will be this evening after I get home from work. Wouldn't want you to waste the whole day checking back every few minutes to find out what number fifty is! Aren't I good to you?
Needless to say, after receiving a steady trickle of top tens at a rate of one per day for the last two weeks, there was a last-minute flurry of activity, with about 8 received in the last 48 hours. The master computer would normally have been able to cope with this, but some of them were, let's just say,'unclear'; attachments missing, top tens upside-down without explanation, ten songs with no positions attached, or had included - gasp! - a track that was never number one. All these had to be followed up. All but two are now input - more info later. The exciting thing about this is that I have no more idea what number 50 will be than you do at the moment! Oh, the tension....!

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It's Now Or Never

Today is the last day for sending in your top ten number ones, so please do. (See 04.09.02.)
There's been a flurry of e-mails since Friday, and particularly yesterday, but the master computer is up-to-date, and the single in pole position now has a smaller lead than it had last week. There's an almighty scrap for the next few places though, including two singles tied in third place. One of these singles didn't have any points at all from the first fifteen voters, but has picked up points dramatically from the last few people.
There are currently 55 singles in the 'top 50' due to tied places, and a huge 157 singles nomionated so far (ie. with at least one point).
And still two of the most prolific number one acts of the last few years have failed to score a single point (but I can't say I'm that surprised).
I'm also pleased to reveal that the top 12 now includes singles from four different decades, but only just...
I think that every year since 1964 has a song with at least a point, plus some of the years before that too, but there are gaps.
Thanks very much to everyone who's participated so far - I really appreciate it. Keep 'em coming!
The countdown starts on Thursday.

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Spoke too soon

A message for any readers of the Berlin Morning Post today (and isn't everybody?): Ignore the front page. The bit that has Stoiber saying "Wir haben gewonnen." They didn't. He lied. He looks really stupid this morning. First rule of politics; don't open your gob until the decisive votes have been counted.

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Soft Cell - The Triumphant Return... evidently not going to happen. I knew Monoculture was due out this month, a full ELEVEN months after I saw Marc Almond proclaim "this is our new single" in concert in Brum last October. They don't believe in rushing things. While perusing the new singles chart last night, I noticed that it had sneaked in at #52. This bodes well, I thought, it's made #52 ahead of release, as many singles do, with import versions being sold. Should fly out of the shops next week. But no. That WAS its official release. Say hello to the chart this week, wave goodbye next. Has anyone actually seen it, like, in a shop?

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Major shock in the Midlands -

Villa win!

Joke shamelessly pinched from a Radio 5 Live listener, Thank you very much.
And if anyone ELSE was thinking of sending me the 'hilarious' photoshopped picture of Peter Enckelman dressed as a clown, please don't bother. Seen it quite enough already, thank you very much.

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I Feel The Earth Move*

...and welcome Autumn. With a bang. Or a shake. A bloody enormous great shake. Those 15 seconds at 00:54 this morning were without doubt the most terrifying fifteen seconds I’ve spent in bed since....oh we won't go into that now.

I wasn’t particularly tired last night, so at 00:54, despite knowing my alarm was set for 05:45, I still had my bedside lamp on and was just beginning to drift off, while listening to Edwina Currie, broadcasting on Radio 5 Live from just down the road at Pebble Mill. All of a sudden, the windows are rattling, but not in the irregular way they often do when there's a storm blowing outside. This was insistent, full-on rattling, with a deep rumble behind it. At the same time, the floors are shaking, and the house is swaying from side to side. Bear in mind I live in a row of twelve Edwardian terraced houses. I am three houses in from one end and ten in from the other. It's pretty stable. But at 00:54 it felt like a giant hand had picked up the house and was trying to shake out the contents. For a millisecond, as I opened my eyes, I thought someone was attacking the house and shaking the windows from outside. But the house was moving so much it took about two seconds to dismiss that theory. Then I thought that one of the trains that rumble through Balsall Heath, one of the controversial NUCLEAR trains, had perhaps derailed. Or the Iraqi bombing had started. Or one of my neighbours houses had exploded. Or my own cooker had exploded. All of these things went through my mind, one after the other, and only after all of them did I consider it was an earth tremor. I have never been so scared in my life. I never thought it was possible for the floors, the whole house, to shake so much. I felt like I was going to cry. I needed to check if anything had exploded, so when the shaking eventually stopped I got up and looked out of the window. No sign of any exploded houses. No sign of curtains twitching. This made me think it was even more likely there had been an explosion in MY house. I gingerly went downstairs, wondering if anything had fallen off the walls, or if the kitchen was a smouldering mess. Nothing. Still shaking. Need local news. Retuned the bedside radio to BRMB. But BRMB joins up with Capital at night, so there won't BE any local info. Thankfully, 01:00 is when it comes back to Brum again, and straight away the presenter says, "Did the Earth move for you? We are getting reports of an earth tremor. It was fairly frightening, but we think that's what it was." I'm so relieved - I am not going mad. I resist the temptation to phone my Dad, as I had just felt a need to talk to someone. In my panic at 00:54, I had actually missed Edwina Currie commenting that the BBC studio was shaking, but when I go back to Radio 5, they are dealing with phone calls and e-mails, getting an instant picture of where the tremor was felt. From Aberystwyth across to Lincoln, in Birmingham, from Gloucester to Rochdale and The Wirral, Birmingham again, as far South as Northampton, Birmingham again. This morning we're told the epicentre was in Dud-laaaaaaay. Sorry, Dudley. See epicentre map. That's so close. No wonder it felt like nuclear war had started. It was 4.8 on the Richter scale, and apparently it needs to be 5.0 or 5.5 before any structural damage occurs. I really feel for people who live in earthquake zones, because our tremor will just be a talking point in a few days; it hasn't caused more damage than a few broken windows. But we don't expect that kind of thing, and it was terrifying. I'd be quite happy never to experience that again. With the adrenalin pumping through my veins after that, I have had very little sleep. Today could be knackering. According to the British Geological Survey, last night's tremor was the strongest since 1926. Did the earth move for you too? They want to know - tell them here.

(*What other headline did you expect? 'Shake, Rattle and Roll', perhaps?)

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So, that was Summer. What a beautiful weekend the last two days of Summer have been, weather-wise. I went out cycling on Saturday and for a walk with my Dad today - never done that before. It didn't feel like the 21st and 22nd of September. Farewell Summer....

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The list is complete

So, there you have it. P!nk becomes the UK's 936th official number one single, and the last one you can choose in your top ten favourite number ones (giving us 937 as we're including Deee-Lite, which a few people seem quite pleased about). Two days to go before the deadline (midnight BST on Tuesday). Send your list in now! (See 04.09.02 if you don't know what I'm talking about!)

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Single of the week

Supergrass - 'Grace'
It was such a close run thing this week, between three top quality releases, so I had to wait until I'd played them a few times, but Supergrass is the one that's come out on top, by virtue of it having lodged itself in my head for the last few days. Goodness only knows what it's about, but it sounds like they're making a bid to depose S Club as the official Children In Need theme band, with their 'Save your money for the children' chorus. It also has an intro which sounds not unlike 'Alright', which can't do them any harm.
Both suede's 'Positivity' and David Bowie's 'Everyone Says Hi' could have been my top tune in any other week. I only bought the green CD of Bowie's three, and I'm wondering if I should have bought the other two, as the extra tracks are so bloomin' good, especially ' Baby Loves That Way'. I absolutely adore suede and this single is no exception, but Mike and I have written quite enough about it on Mike's blog to be going on with.
In a just world, all three of these would be heading for the top ten today, but it looks as if only Supergrass are going to come close, and even they were clinging to the number ten slot in yesterday's (Saturday's) chart. Instead, we have the baffling prospect of P!nk, and not Eminem, being the act to depose Atomic Kitten, which is okay in a way, but a crying shame for these three.

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The Worst

Due to popular demand (well I’m sure Rob’s popular, and he demanded it in my comments box), here’s a little tease about the #1 singles which you have voted the WORST ever so far. There won’t be a chart of these, but I will do features on them during the countdown of your Top 50 favourites. If you’ve sent me your top ten and not included your worst #1, feel free to do it now; there’s still time.

You all have such varied reasons for hating stuff, so only one single has been named by more than one person so far. The chief crime of this record is well known – it prevented a classic record from reaching the top, depriving them of ever having a number one single, and some people have very long memories. It’s utter crap as well, which helps.

TWO singles which you have named as your worst ever have been named in someone else’s top ten favourites. One of these is from an Antipodean superstar - possibly not the one you’re thinking of - which scraped in at number ten on someone’s list. The other is a tune (and I choose my words carefully) which is actually in the current UK top 40. I happen to quite like the #1 concerned, but I grudgingly acknowledge it could be a bit annoying.

Other culprits include the largest non-adult group ever to make #1, an annoying TV presenter, an annoying Austrian, and the record which blew the cool image of one of the funkiest groups of the 70s.

One person has nominated the same artist for their worst and their best, citing their worst track as ‘a shocking waste of talent’. One person has gone on a rant about being force fed a certain ‘gay anthem’ in the clubs. Other nominees include a Christmas chart-topper from someone who’s had a few, the debut hit from the biggest singles chart success story of the late 90s, and the soundtrack to a nation’s grieving. Plus the bastardised theme to TV show.

That’s about it for now, but in the race for the top of your favourites list, I think one track has pulled into the lead today, after rising steadily through the ranks, and being equal top yesterday. It’s a track that I never, ever realised was so popular. I didn’t even think it was one of this act’s more popular songs. Conversely, there’s a track which consistently comes in the top five whenever polls are done to find the nation’s favourite songs, and it hasn’t featured on ANYBODY’S list yet. Not one single point. You never fail to surprise me! This is fun….

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The Friday Questions

In no particular order of importance.

1) I’m supposed to be going to a birthday party tomorrow at a friend’s house. The theme is to wear a hat. But what sort can I wear, with minimal preparation and little imagination)?

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2) It’s Jeans For Genes in two weeks’ time, which we always used to participate in at my old office. But in this office, we wear casual clothes all the time anyway. What should we do?

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3) In the French singles chart, Enrique’s #30 hit is listed as “Love to see you cry (Tes larmes sont mes baisers)”. That’s not exactly a translation of the title - it’s ‘your tears are my kisses’, or ‘my f*cks’ if you mispronounce it! - but does this mean he’s recorded it in French? Where can I get hold of it?

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4) Why is P!nk heading for #1 here on Sunday with her dull single, and not Eminem with his offensive yet catchy one?

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5) Which film should Gregster and I see next week; Insomnia or Signs?

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6) How many other people saw Chig and Gingerprince propping up the bar on ‘That Gay Show’ on BBC Choice last weekend? Everyone except us, it seems! It was filmed on 7 June – we thought it went out ages ago!

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It’s just possible that some of you visiting today are here for the first time, so I’d like to say a big ‘welcome’ to the World Of Chig. I sent out an e-mail to multitudes of people in my address book last night, inviting participation in the 50 Number Ones Project (see 04.09.02). It seems to be working, as I’ve had a few replies (and top tens) already, by 11am. If you haven’t been here before, or visited a blogspot before (and I’m now feeling like the Harvester woman), feel free to have a look around. There’s nothing of any importance, so feel free to touch the exhibits. Entries are in reverse chronological order as you read down the page. The highlighted bits of text are links which you can click onto, and there’s a comments box for you to add anything you like at the end of each piece. Please do – it makes me happier than you could possibly imagine. Have fun!

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Freaky Food

Well knock me down with a stick of rhubarb! I've just been out at lunchtime and seen something extraordinary that I've never seen before! There's a farmers' market down the road in the local park and high street. I bought some cheap free range eggs and a gorgeous-looking olive and herb loaf. And then I walked past one of the vegetable stalls and saw these! I've never seen one of these before (but I might have known it would have its own website!) I said this to the stallholder, and she said, "you and everybody else who sees them here". They look totally surreal. She said people think they've sprayed or painted them. Apparently, they taste just the same as the white ones if you close your eyes, and they're very good if you're having trouble getting children to eat their veg. She also said they look good in a designer kitchen, which prospective purchasers of designer kitchens may like to bear in mind.
The stall also had some of these; called Romanesco. They look like a vegetable that's bolted (can you tell we had an allotment when I was little?) They also look like nature's 3D versions of those fractal designs, but then I suppose fractals are 'natural' mathematical, er... things anyway.
I'll stop now before I display any further vegetable (or mathematical) ignorance.

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The 50 Number Ones Project

[10:27] Chig's own all time fave Number One is playing right now on the office stereo. (Nothing to do with me.) And about five people are singing along to it, in a veritable cats' chorus. I think I may have to reconsider....
Seven days until the countdown starts. Six days left to send in your top ten.....

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Fat, Friends

A summary of Chig's activities last weekend:
Friday night: Meal out at The Green Room and cinema; The Bourne Identity (superb, exciting), both with Gregster.
Saturday night: Meal out at Gingerprince's flat (no website as yet). Popstars - The Rivals, Millionaire, food, 1.5 bottles of wine, followed by two pints at The Cross.
Sunday lunchtime: Meal out at The Garden House, with S&R; friends up from London.
Can you spot a common theme there, dear reader? And I wonder why my waistline is expanding...

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Apostrophe watch

Today's prize for Most Inappropriate Use of an Apostrophe goes to the Birmingham Evening Mail for this appalling headline spelling of 'heroes'.

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Where Are You?

I have now finished what I was trying to say in the Manchester piece below, and updated it with a controversial link. (Stir, stir.) We had network problems when I was writing it; the jinx of Friday the 13th, so I had to stop. And now, this! As if it wasn't bad enough being challenged by Manchester for second city status, it now appears that softy, shandy-drinking southerners don't even know where Brum is! In fact, they don't seem to know where anywhere North of Watford is.

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There's a gaping hole in Chig's sad little life this morning; there's no midweek chart in the Popbitch mailing. How will we all cope without our Thursday morning preview of Sunday's chart? If you work in the biz and have the new entry positions, any info will be gratefully received. Pretty please?

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The 50 Number Ones Project - Stat Attack!

Including yesterday’s top tens, 99 singles had received at least a point in your votes for The 50 Number Ones Project. Those 99 singles actually account for 101 of the 935 Number Ones ever (so that's given away two of the contenders to those of you who follow these things!) If Eminem is Number One on Sunday, you will be able to include him in your list, but frankly, I’d be very surprised if ‘Cleaning Out My Closet’ featured in your top ten #1s of all time. There are still six days for you to compile your list, so please, please send it to me (via the Contact Me e-mail link on the left).

Just to whet your appetite, here are some scientific statistics churned out by the master computer, from the songs you’ve nominated so far. Remember, this doesn’t indicate what will be in the Top 50 countdown when it starts next Thursday – this is every song that’s appeared in someone’s top ten so far.

1950s = 2%
1960s = 14%
1970s = 24%
1980s = 31%
1990s = 23%
Noughties = 7%
(Total = 101% due to rounding.)

Where do respondents live? UK = 86%, Australia = 7%, unknown = 7%.

Gender of respondents: Female = 14%, Male = 86%

Make of all that what you will, but if you are a woman who doesn’t live in the UK, then you’re particularly welcome to enter. But everyone else is too!

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And about time too!

But I thought Greg Dyke hated Dr. Who? If it does come back, there's a possibility that the scriptwriter will seem very familar to fans of a certain queer TV drama series. I'm e-mailing him now....

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"You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar..."

And guess what? Kelly Clarkson, who thankfully beat Hair Bear himself from the Hair Bear Bunch in the American Idol final, really was! (You can rest assured that the song quoted above will be appearing in the 50 Number Ones countdown here, by the way...)
And talking of Popstars-type audition programmes....
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND from Gingerprince as we watched Popstars - The Rivals on Saturday. After screwing up our faces in pain, watching the Dr. Dre lookey-likey do his Shaggy karaoke impression, Gingerprince commented, "Yeeeees, now try 'Too Many Broken Hearts' ''. I confess, I was close to blubbing when the blind lad was on though. Tear-jerking TV indeed.

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Ms. Dynamite? Tee hee!

Honestly, you wait nine years for a woman to win the Mercury Music Prize, and then two in a row come along.
As I said to a couple of friends yesterday, when does the favourite ever win the Mercury? And so the bookies proved to be the kiss of death for The Streets. Ms Dynamite was only fourth favourite, at 6/1 yesterday. She won't have done herself any harm with her appearance on Monday night's Johnny Vaughan show, where she was really interesting and talkative, with Elvis Costello on too. Now there's a duet waiting to happen....
(Only 44.35% of people think that "the Mercury music prize jury got it right", as it stands on the BBC website at 08.00.)

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Can you tell what it is yet?

The 50 Number Ones Project
It had to happen. One of today's entries has seen the first time where there is an overlap between someone's top ten number ones and someone else's WORST ever number one. Of course, I couldn't possibly reveal what it is yet, but I may have left a revealing clue... All will be revealed in the top 50 countdown, starting next week.

Thanks to everyone who has entered so far. There's still over a week to submit your top ten, so please do. (See the 'We Want You ' entry below for full details.)

It's worth mentioning that the first ELEVEN top tens received all had DIFFERENT singles at the top of their list. Consequently there is no runaway leader as yet, and your votes could have a real influence on the scores. Currently, there are just TWO points separating the top FOUR songs.

Other triv: the entire top ten when I last checked the master computer's calculations (not including today's entries) consisted of number ones from just TWO different decades. In fact, the other four decades are not represented in the top twelve.
Only one single has appeared on as many as FOUR people's lists, but that song has received a smattering of low votes, so it's not challenging for the top, as yet.

There are currently 52 songs in the top 50 (if you see what I mean, due to tied places.) As of today, it will only take six points to get a song onto that list, so send in your entry today!

86 different songs have appeared in the top tens so far, from the 12 lists fed into the master computer. At least two more top tens to add tonight. Further teasing revelations in the next few days. Keep 'em coming!

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No, no, no!

You wait sixteen years for a local derby and it ends up in humiliation. Including the most embarrassingly conceded goal in the history of football.
Today is the day the oppressed Blues minority exact their revenge on us, the majority Villa fans in the office, after sixteen years of not playing each other in the top division. And it's started already, at 7am. I was away from Birmingham last night, intending to avoid hearing the result until I watched the late highlights, but as I arrived home at 21.30 and stepped out of my car, a shudder went through me. I could HEAR St. Andrew's singing! I don't even live that near the ground, and in five years of living where I do, I've never heard them before. I knew that this was bloody loud, and my heart sank, realising we must have lost. Little did I suspect how badly we had lost, until I saw the TV news. First the goals were on the national news, and then it's time for Midlands Today. "Blues fans won't mind that we're going to show the goals from tonight's game again. Villa fans may like to look away now." I would have laughed if I wasn't crying. And now we're below West Brom AND Blues. It's all going horribly wrong!

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Manchester, so much to answer for

It's all kicking off here in Brum! The gloves came off yesterday in the most ludicrous battle of the year. All over the papers and last night's regional TV news were the results of a nationwide MORI poll which showed 34% of people named Manchester as England's second city, but only 29% name Birmingham. (For the benefit of overseas readers, Birmingham has always been known as the second city, and by population it IS the next biggest in England after London.) Much trumpeting on Midlands Today last night of Birmingham's achievements and facilities; some worthy, some ridiculously irrelevant. And of course the local papers in each city have set out their stalls; see what the Birmingham Evening Mail has to say on the matter. Note the use of the phrase 'rain-swept Manchester' in the very first sentence. Note also that the MORI poll was commissioned by Marketing Manchester in the immediate wake of the successful Commonwealth Games. Rather embarrassingly though (and I feel like a traitor drawing your attention to this fact), the Evening Mail's website currently has another, internet poll, asking which is the second city, and Birmingham is losing, with about 65% versus 35%. On a Birmingham website! A spectacular own goal for Brum, if ever I saw one! (Although I predict another spectacular own goal in Birmingham in three days' time...Mystic Chig has spoken.)
UPDATE, 19/09/02: The Manchester Evening News couldn't resist. They have seized on the above poll result with glee in this inflammatory piece.

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Long Hot Summer

Well, it hasn't been that hot, but at least it's proving to be long. Three consecutive hot days here in Brum, and as I write this at 14.30, it's still gloriously sunny. For the second time this week, I spent my lunchtime sunbathing in a local park. You have to make the most of it, don't you? At least I don't live in the frozen North. Which brings me to the next contentious issue...

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Happy 2000th Top Of The Pops!

It's tonight. But I can't get too excited about a programme that's decided to allow Status Quo back to do 'Rockin' All Over The World'.

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Single Of The Week

Rather belatedly, due to 'PC access problems'. (I'm training someone new at work, who has a constant view of my screen. Don't employers realise I have a blog to write, and the home PC is buggered? It's so inconsiderate.)
It's Liberty X of course, and their rather fine and funky version of almost-forgotten Mantronix classic 'Got To Have Your Love'. Ah, those Hacienda days! Coming complete with a very sexy video, I thought this was a shoe-in for number one on Sunday, but they have a fight on their hands. Not from Ronan, whose last single, like Liberty X themselves, was number one, but from those incumbent kittens. Fewer than 1,000 sales between them in the midweek chart, according to popbitch. Ronan blew his chances by releasing a carbon copy of Lovin' Each Day. Please God, as the man is so fond of saying, we don't need to buy it again. Ask that nice New Radicals blokey to write you something new, bejaysus. Buy the Liberty X single now! The kittens have had their two weeks at the top. Also purchased this week (apart from both versions of Liberty X): only Kelly Osbourne, with her cover of the Jessica Garlick classic, Papa Don't Preach. What? Someone else did it first? But I saw Jessica in the flesh, performing it on Saturday at the Nightingale! (And I went backstage for a bit of a chat with her and her hunky boyf.) She also did 'Come Back' (of course) and a superb version of New Labour's election song; D:ream's 'Things Can Only Get Better'. Turns out that she's working with Pete Cunnah, who has previously worked his charms, very successfully, for a1. It bodes well for her album, if she can find a label to release it, because last week's popbitch goss was true; Sony have decided not to release her second single or album.

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Say Hello, Wave Goodbye... your fingers. It's not funny. No, really, it isn't.
(via Liquid News)

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Not so respectful...

So anyway, the company decides we'll be taking part in the minute's silence today, and sends round an e-mail yesterday to that effect. At 13.30, someone in the office puts on Radio2, so we'll know exactly when it's happening. 13.46 duly comes around; we keep quiet, which includes me cutting off phone calls as they ring into the office. Thirty seconds in, and the security office makes an announcement via the tannoy, that we will be observing the minute's silence. An unneccessarily LONG announcement, embarrassingly late. Which he then repeats. By the time he has finished, the minute's silence on the radio (and across the country) is over. What a cock-up.

Earlier, a colleague started work mid-morning. As the radio news was about to start, someone mentioned the date, and he asked the whole office, "Anything blown up yet?". Oh come on, we were all thinking it...

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One Year On

Hard to believe it was twelve months ago, isn't it? I remember exactly where I was, as I saw the drama unfold on TV. Some people seemed surprised, even shocked, but I can't say I was. Lots of people had predicted it would happen. Yes, it was exactly a year ago today that PJ Harvey won the Mercury Music Prize.

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The Blogging Standards Commission (BSC) has ruled that the blog posting shown below, posted on World Of Chig in the early hours of Saturday morning, was inaccurate, potentially libellous, and used unjustifiable, offensive language. The broadcaster (known as Mr Chig) has accepted that there were factual inaccuracies in the brief story. He accepts that haranguing someone in the Nightingale club about their Attitude interview, fuelled by vodka, Stella Artois and champagne, and then following them into a taxi with two interior designers 'off the telly', does NOT constitute 'copping off' in any way to a reasonable, sober person. Mr Chig has also admitted to the BSC that, in the cold light of day, asking if he could leave the aforementioned taxi with the aforementioned actor, in order to escort him back to his hotel room, may have caused embarrassment and distress to the man concerned. Mr Chig apologises unreservedly, and has assured the BSC that he will never blog again, immediately following the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Mr Chig has also agreed to a voluntary ban from the VIP areas of celebrity functions, as he blames the free champagne for his behaviour. The BSC has reservations about Mr Chig's ability to commit to such a ban, but in the meantime the (admittedly hypothetical) complaints of Messrs Ryan, McAllister and Warburton are upheld.

Fuck! Fuck, fuck, fuck! It;'s 4.40am, I've just got in, and I'm pretty damn pissed! Firstly, I should trust my judgment more: Bristol Rob, my first choice, actually WON MR Gay UK, and he's absolutely lovely.

Secondly, how often is it that you get to travel home in a taxi with one of your favourite actors in the world, ever, having spoken to him at some detail earlier, only to be turned down at the last minute? I am so hot for him right now....more later.

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Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead!

At last! The best news I've had all day. It couldn't have happened to a more bigoted, evil, uninformed, old bitch. Tell me where they bury her, and I will go and do a dance on her grave for every lesbian or gay schoolchild whose life she ruined. Good riddance. Now let's get on with the 21st century.

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Help with your number ones top ten

The lovely Mike has made it even easier for you to sort out your fave top ten number one singles for the 50 Number Ones Project. He has put all 935 number one singles into a handy Excel spreadsheet, which you can download in a millisecond and peruse at your leisure, as you try to narrow them down to your personal top ten. Do it now, and e-mail your top ten to the e-mail address on the left. Go on, you know you want to...

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Tattooed Love Boys

It's tonight! Rest assured, Chig and Gingerprince will be there, at the Nightingale, with prying camera to hand. Especially now that the Mr Gay UK final is being compered by Craig Phillips; top totty Big Brother 1 winner. Sooner or later, I'm sure I will meet all the Big Brother contestants! He'll be the fourth, after Brian, Dean and Josh. Perhaps I'll take along my copy of At This Time Of Year for Craig to sign? I'm sure it's in very good condition, as I can't have touched it since the day I foolishly bought it. (Wonder what happened to that five album deal?) Expect a full report on the underwear fest over the weekend, with exclusive photos later. And if there's any justice, Mr Bristol will win, closely followed by Brum's Route 2 contestant and Mr Glasgow in third. But that won't happen, and I've a horrible feeling that home advantage could swing it for Mr Nightingale, who is, according to anyone who's met him, vain and dull. Not that I would repeat such spiteful gossip...

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Crikey! I've been besieged by e-mails in the last 24 hours! I'm replying to them in order. Apologies if you haven't had a reply yet, but I am very grateful for your top tens. Keep 'em coming!

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“We Want You, We Want You…”

So, what’s the deal with this so-called big project, I hear you cry? Well, there’s a major musical anniversary coming up in November, as the UK singles chart reaches 50 glorious years. From Al Martino to Atomic Kitten, 935 singles have held the coveted #1 slot. And so, just for fun, I want to find out the favourite number ones of World Of Chig’s much-loved readership. Yes, that’s you! (Plus me.) Even if you’ve never been here before, and are never likely to come back, I want your vote in 'The Fifty Number Ones Project'!

All I’d like you to do is send me the list of your top ten number one singles of all time.

You can check a full list of the 935 official UK number ones here: Click on All The No.1s and then All The No.1s again for a lovely little pop-up list. You can click on the song titles for details of each track.

(For the purposes of this little game, you’re also allowed to consider one other single, which should be on that list, but isn’t. Deee-Lite’s ‘Groove Is In The Heart’ from 1990, actually tied with The Steve Miller Band, selling exactly the same number of copies (in chart return shops, at least). In the olden days, they would have been declared joint number ones. Simple. But in 1990, some spoddy new ‘rule’ had been introduced, which meant that The Joker was declared sole Number One by virtue of being the incumbent. Never agreed with that stupid rule myself, so as this is my game and I make the rules, Deee-Lite are in, okay?)

As I receive your top tens, I will feed them into the master computer (AKA an Excel spreadsheet), giving them ‘inverse points’ (ie. 10 points for your favourite, 9 points for your second etc.). I will add up all the scores and work out the top 50 number ones, as voted for by you.

Now comes the exciting bit. Starting with No.50 on Thursday 26 September, World Of Chig will reveal your top 50 singles, one per day, along with a few comments from me (and possibly by you – I’ll get to that bit in a minute). The number one Number One will be revealed on Thursday 14 November, which is the 50th anniversary of the publication date of the first singles chart.

So, all I’m asking you for is your top ten number one singles. Simple as that. As optional extras, if you could include any memories of the songs in your list, anecdotes as to why you like them, who they remind you of etc., that would be even better. Plus, if you have one, your WORST Number One of all time. Oh, and your date of birth too.

Please send me your top ten BY E-MAIL via the ‘Contact Me’ link on the left here ( Don’t put your list in the Comments box, as it will be seen by people, and I want to reveal them over the fifty day period. Deadline is midnight on Tuesday 24 September.

I will do the rest. There will be constant reminders between now and 24th, don’t you worry…..! Thank you. There will be a small prize of the album of your choice (up to ten pounds) from for the 'best' entry (whatever best is, as judged by me).

Oh, and two other things:
1) 'The Fifty Number Ones Project' is the best name I can come up with for this. Any better suggestions gratefully accepted.
2) Can you design me a logo? Something like a circle with a ‘50’ in it would be fabulous. If the circle looked like a vinyl record or a CD, even better. I have neither the artistic skill, nor the computing skill to do this, but I know there are talents out there...

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wots ur prblm?

Deres dis report in da news tdy rite? Wot sez yung peeples spllng aint no good no more. But dats so gay innit? Cos me an me mates, rite, we txt ech uvver all da time rite, + we aint got no probs undrstdng each uvver. Its just teechers goin on bout it all da time, but vey dun spk da langwidge of da street innit? L8r!

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The Launch

...of Chig's super trouper dooper Number Ones project will be tomorrow. Sometime. All will be explained. Betcha can't wait.

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Eurovision shocker

According to the popbitch messageboard, our Eurovision lovely and former Pop Idol finalist Jessica Garlick was dropped by her record label (Sony) yesterday. I do hope this isn't true. She's only released her Eurovision single here, but I really hoped for more after she came third at Eurovision, and I would have thought she has a future, with a supportive label. In the meantime, I'll be seeing her again at the Nightingale on Saturday...if she now bothers to turn up.

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Single Of The Week

This was going to be Underworld, but a visit to the record shop yesterday sprang a surprise on me. Let's backtrack slightly. Two years ago, I was 'consorting' with an attractive Mexican man, who came to visit me (from London, not Cancun). On a visit to Brum's finest record store, Swordfish (so cool, they don't have a website), we heard some tracks playing instore from an album which was so intriguing that my Mexican chum bought it there and then. He was hooked on the Latin rhythms of one Senor Coconut, and so was I. We knew nothing about him at the time, but the album was fab! My Mexican friend left, we fell out, I forgot about Senor Coconut. Fast forward two years, and I'm in Swordfish again yesterday, where Senor Coconut's new single is prominently displayed in the racks (unlike Woolies and HMV, where it's not in evidence at all). I realise that this is the strange cover version of Kraftwerk's 'Tour de France' that I've heard for a few seconds on Radio One. I buy. £1.80 well spent! Not only is it a sublime Latin version of the cycling song, but Senor Coconut has also turned his attention to the Teutonic tones of 'Showroom Dummies.' He's actually a German man who spends his time in Chile and dresses (in his spare time, when he's not recording under other aliases), like Margarita Pracatan. And it turns out there's a whole album of it. Bossa nova Kraftwerk! Merengue Kraftwerk! Kraftwerk, cha cha cha! I feel a purchase coming on...

This Sunday's number one? Atomic Kitten again, methinks, equalling Blondie's two week run with the song, and successfully repelling those Liam-shagging Appleton sisters, who seem to have gone for the '' look lately. Mind you, I think their single's okay, unlike this Guardian writer.

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The British Hit Singles website reveals the significance of the number three for Atomic Kitten hitting number one again yesterday. Here are another couple of number three-related stats they haven't mentioned:
1) When Blondie made #1 with the same song in 1980, it was their THIRD number one of the year, after Atomic and Call Me.
2) Atomic Kitten's number one means that this is the THIRD week in total that The Tide Is High has been at #1, as Blondie's version stayed there for two weeks.

The tide is very high indeed in fact, as a complete atomic tidal wave has washed Blazin' Squad away to the straggly seaweed of #2. (Am I carrying this analogy too far?) Last week, they were number one with only just over 50,000 sales of Crossroads. This week, they've sold a respectable enough 35,000 or so, but The Kittens outsold them by a staggering 110,000. Miaow!

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The Key, The Secret

Anyway, I don't know why I'm feeling so smug today - I did something very stupid this morning. I locked myself out of the house. I think I've done pretty well not to have done it before now, in the five years, one month and one week I've lived in my own house, but at 06.30 (which probably explains it, as I was not fully awake), I grabbed my keys from beside the door, stepped outside, slammed the door shut, and instantly realised that the keys in my hand were lighter than usual. It's all because I went out to Gregster's video-on-new-huge-TV evening (Dogma - really enjoyed it) on Saturday, and I didn't need my car keys, so I separated them from the house keys. I didn't step outside the front door yesterday (not as tragic as it seems; I spent a lot of time in the back garden), so when I picked up the bunch of keys this morning, the house keys weren't attached.

However, we have a back-up plan. Both Crystaltipps and Gingerprince, being local, have spare sets of my house keys. I am currently awaiting a reply from either of them, to see which of them will be home first and able to locate the spares, so they can spare me from an evening of sitting on my wall looking forlorn. Thank goodness for the back-up plan!

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Burn Baby Burn

Britain's Sexiest - the firefighter won. Don't say I didn't warn you (on Friday, 29th)!

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Everybody's happy nowadays

Phew! That's okay then!

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Too much love will kill you

There's been a lot of talk in the last few days about us Brits getting too emotionally involved after the deaths of people we don't even know, after Holly and Jessica and the fifth anniversary of Diana's death. However, this communal grief pales into insignificance compared to some countries. At least those deaths were of humans.

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Wherefore art thou? (At the Portland, actually)

So, David Beckham's secret is out at last! He's a closet Eurovision fan. What other reason could there be for naming the new baby Romeo? It can't be a tribute to Leonardo Di Caprio, surely? David does have a bit of a penchant for rap, but surely even he wouldn't name a child after one of the soloists from So Solid Crew? All footballers have a not-so-secret love of 70s soft rock, but Mr Big's finest moment is a step too far. The truth is, the Beckhams were absolutely gutted that Tricia Penrose only came second in this year's A Song For Europe, and therefore couldn't represent the UK at Eurovision in Tallinn. So they have named the baby after her song.

(And they chose a shorter name than Brooklyn, so that David will still have some space on his back for the names of the rest of the family five-a-side team, when they are born.)

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Blame it on the weatherman

I was very surprised, at 6.15 this morning, to hear Radio 5 Live's weather presenter declaring that 'we have now officially moved into Autumn'. But surely that's wrong, I thought; it's the 2nd of September today, not the 21st. The seasons always started around the 21st (of March, June, September and December) when I were a lad. Has Microsoft turned its attention away from redefining the world's spellings in spellchecker and set about redefining the seasons instead? But no, relax. Even Bill Gates hasn't been able to move the moon, as I suspected. I've checked. And I'm right. In fact, the start of Autumn isn't until 23rd September (See Q3.) That's alright then. Now what's the e-mail address for the Radio 5 weatherman?

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Pistol in my pocket

Toothpaste? Check. Toothbrush? Check. Deodorant? Check. Loaded gun? Check. I'm ready for my flight now.
Karem Chatty's lawyer promised over the weekend that his client would be able to explain why he had a loaded gun in his hand luggage at Sweden's Vasteras airport, and now a friend of Mr Chatty has given that explanation. He was in a rush, and "forgot" the loaded gun was in his bag. Doh! Clearly, he should be released uncharged - we've all done it, haven't we?....

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Confide in me

Good morning world! It's 7.49 on a Monday morning, I've been at work for an hour already with v. little to do, so it's time to answer the burning question of the day - which kind of Kylie am I? Not entirely surprisingly, I am Indie Kylie;
"Indie Kylie, the please-take-me-seriously grown up artist who hung out with the Manics and Nick Cave and consequently sold no records. You made a huge mistake by agreeing to work with washed up indie musicians and you're very, very sorry."
Which Kylie are you?

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