World of Chig   

Doctor Who and the voices from outer space TV Centre

That first scary scene was weird, wasn't it? Billie Piper is wandering around the storeroom, and you're expecting one of the showroom dummies to pounce on her at any moment, when, out of the ether, comes the not-very-mysterious voice of Graham Norton. Oh god, I thought, someone's left his mic on from the previous programme! Then, just as it's supposed to get really scary, as the dummies start to attack Billie Rose, Norton's unmistakeable voice appears again, jabbering on about where he should be in the studio. Heads will roll for this, I thought. Then I suddenly made sense of the bit that had confused me about a minute earlier. When Rose had walked into the storeroom, there had been a burst of cheering. I thought it was a surprise party for her, but there was no one there. I then thought it was supposed to be the dummies, but now I realised it was just a cock-up; it was the sound of the studio audience from Strictly Dance Fever, Graham's programme which had been on immediately before. Still, it worked quite well, in retrospect, and my sister also thought it was party noise until I showed her my DVD copy today and we realised just what a sonic mess it all was. Even the Doctor's sonic screwdriver couldn't sort that one out. (Why not get one for Christmas?!)

The very start of Doctor Who had been mucked up as well. There was a shot of the tardis with the approaching flame, then the trailer for another show was shown - but in sound only, with a dark screen, and then that was interrupted by the 'tap-dogs' station ident. A complete mess.

Russell T Davies, the Executive Producer of this new Doctor Who series, writer of last night's episode, and all round lovely man, told me when I was journalisting on the set of Queer As Folk (which he devised and wrote, and which Chig 'appears' in as an extra) that he likes to sit at home and watch things he's written going out live, at the same time as everyone else. No matter how many times he'd seen QAF on set, in the editing suite, on video or at preview cinemas, he liked to watch it in context, as an ordinary viewer, complete with ad breaks, to see how it really came across. No ad breaks last night, of course, but I can imagine him sitting watching it. Some writers would have been seething at the technical blunders (which are acknowledged by the BBC at the bottom of this article today). However, part of me thinks Russell was probably laughing his socks off. Russell, if you're reading? (He knows this blog exists, you know...)

Russell just couldn't resist having some buggery in the new series.

Personally, I think it's all a sinister conspiracy by the BBC to overdub Doctor Who with something that has now spoilt it, to make us all buy it when it comes out on DVD. And do you know, I think it might just have worked...

Anyway, who cares? Doctor Who trounced Ant'n'Dec'n'Becks last night, so Auntie must be thrilled.

Oh, the programme itself? I thought it was pacey, exciting, occasionally funny and very contemporary, but possibly tried to cram in the whole Autons story a bit too quickly. As a curtain-raiser though, it worked just fine, and I felt a real sense of occasion watching it. We can see from the episode guide that there is MUCH more excitement to come (including Simon Pegg!), so last night's episode functioned perfectly to whet our appetites for more. I'm hooked.

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Halloo? Copenhagen?

You have to see this! The video for this year's entry from Bosnia & Herzegovina is here. Feminnem, as well as having a great name, have actually made a Eurovision video - a real Eurovision video, taking the piss ever so slightly, and with more than a few references to the contest's most famous winning Swedes. Funny, and fabulous!

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Javine and her slot of doom

Until two years ago, no country had ever won Eurovision after singing in 2nd or 4th position in the running order. Then Sertab blew away the curse of fourth by winning the damn thing. Now, for the superstitious, there is only one position of death, one number you didn't want to see when the draw was made in Kyiv today; a big, fat number two. And guess where 'poor Javine' has ended up? She's only in the number 2 slot, isn't she?

Perhaps it's time to cheer ourselves up with that tit shot after all?

<-Hello Rowen!

(The number of visitors to World Of Chig trebled two weeks ago when we briefly mentioned Javine's nipple. There, I've said it again. Let's see what happens now!)

Here's the draw for the final on 21 May, as drawn today by Eurovision hosts-to-be Volodymyr Klytschko and DJ Pasha. (Ruslana has the 'flu and couldn't attend. Too much travelling, my girl - slow down a bit.)

The slots marked 'qualifier' are reserved for the ten countries who get through the qualifying round on Thursday 19 May - see below. So, this year, we won't know who'll have the privilege of opening the 50th final until 48 hours before. Oh, actually, we probably do know - it'll be Ruslana, you can bet your bottom hryvna.

Final - Saturday 21 May

01 (Qualifier)
02 United Kingdom – Touch My Fire – Javine
03 Malta – Angel – Chiara
04 (Qualifier)
05 (Qualifier)
06 Turkey – Rimi Rimi Ley – Gu:lseren
07 (Qualifier)
08 Albania – Nese:r shkoj – Ledina Celo
09 Cyprus – Ela, Ela – Constantinos Christoforou
10 Spain – Brujeria – Son de Sol
11 (Qualifier)
12 Serbia & Montenegro – Zauvijek Moja - No Name
(Ad break)
13 (Qualifier)
14 Sweden – Las Vegas – Martin Stenmarck
15 (Qualifier)
16 Ukraine – Razom Nas Bohato – Greenjolly
17 Germany – Run And Hide – Gracia
18 (Qualifier)
19 Greece – My Number One – Helena Paparizou
20 Russia – Nobody Hurt No One – Natalya Podolskaya
21 Bosnia & Herzegovina – Call Me – Feminnem
22 (Qualifier)
23 (Qualifier)
24 France – Chacun Pense A Soi - Ortal

Qualifier - Thursday 19 May

After Lebanon withdrew last week from making their Eurovision debut, because their law forbids them to mention Israel and therefore they would have had a mysterious 'technical failure' during the Israeli song, we're now down to 25 songs. It's more than enough really, but a damn shame that politics has come in the way of the song contest - though certainly not for the first time.

Below is the result of today's draw for the qualifying round. The ten songs in bold are the ones Chig would put through to the final, as of today, although this is subject to change extensively. It's not a prediction - we'll worry about that later. Chig would actually like to put 18 of these songs through, so they must be doing something right this year, after a poor start, quality-wise, with some of the earlier selections.

Please bear in mind that, along with everyone in the world who's not a Portuguese TV exec, we haven't heard the Portuguese song yet. Despite Chig having a word with Nadia (see left sidebar) to get her countryfolk to get a wriggle on, the lazy arses only managed to publicly name their song and artists today, just before the draw. (The deadline was yesterday, but they probably revealed it in the Heads of Delegation meeting, taking place these last two days in Kyiv, to avoid breaking the rules.) Albania chose their song in their national song contest on 18 December! Come on Portugal, how hard can it be to pick one decent song? [Chig pauses to remember good Portuguese entries from the past.] Hmm, you actually find it quite difficult, don't you? It's 23 years since 'Bem Bom', you know? You can't trade on that forever.

It's good that the qualifier starts and finishes with Austria and Poland; two of the liveliest songs in the contest, both of which are dead certs to get through and could both be challenging to win the final.

01 Austria – Y Asi – Global.Kryner
02 Lithuania – Little By Little – Laura & The Lovers
03 Portugal – Amare (Love) – 2B
04 Moldova – Bunica Bate Toba (Granny Plays The Drums) – Zdob si Zdub
05 Latvia – The War Is Not Over – Valters & Kaza
06 Monaco – Tout de Moi (All Of Me) – Lise Darly
07 Israel – Hasheket Shenish’ar – Shiri Maymon
08 Belarus – Love Me Tonight – Angelica Agurbash
09 Netherlands – My Impossible Dream – Glennis Grace
10 Iceland – If I Had Your Love – Selma
11 Belgium – Le Grand Soir (The Big Night) – Nuno Resende
12 Estonia – Let’s Get Loud – Suntribe
13 Norway – In My Dreams – Wig Wam
14 Romania – Let Me Try – Luminita Anghel & Sistem
15 Hungary – Forogi Vilag – NOX
16 Finland – Why? – Geir Ro:nning
17 FYR Macedonia – Make My Day – Martin Vucic
18 Andorra – La Mirada Interior – Marian van de Wal
19 Switzerland – Cool Vibes – Vanilla Ninja
20 Croatia – Vukovi Umiru Sami – Boris Novkovic
21 Bulgaria – Lorrain – Kaffe (TOILET BREAK! TOILET BREAK! TOILET BREAK!)
22 Ireland – Love? – Donna & Joseph McCaul
23 Slovenia – Stop – Omar Naber
24 Denmark – Talking To You – Jakob Sveistrup
25 Poland – Czarna Dziewczyna (Black Girl) – Ivan & Delfin

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I know she had to, but it doesn't mean I'm any less hurt. ;-)

5th March:

Chig: Will you be in Kyiv in May? Will you be in the show?
Ruslana: Of course.
Chig: Will you be presenting?
Ruslana: No, I am organiser.
Chig: Yes, you are Minister for Eurovision, practically!
Ruslana: No, [laughs] one of them. A member of the board.
Chig: Yes, along with some government ministers.

Today: Guess who's presenting?

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Almost there - a Eurovision round-up

Revealed today - this year's official Eurovision poster:

We've seen that skyline idea somewhere before:

Still, if it ain't broke... For those who haven't read the official blurb from the designers of this year's stage set in Kyiv (and if not, why not?), here's the basic concept:

Ukrainian flag = yellow cornfields under a blue sky. (See sidebar.)
Yellow + blue = green, so the stage set is full of greenery.
Last November's political protests = Orange Revolution, hence orange blob.

In the meantime, we're on the home straight, as the Eurovision pre-season comes to an end on Sunday, when Belgium holds the last national final. Well, if you can call it a national final, when it's between two songs. Yes, two. I ask you, is it worth it? Couldn't they at least show willing and have 75 songs like Ukraine, and then, after 15 weeks of heats, parachute in a song that was basically chosen by the President? Non?

France chose their fair-to-middling song last night, leaving just the following entries unheard and not yet in our MP3 collections:

Iceland - the return of Selma Bjornsdottir from Eurovision 1999, with 'If I Had Your Love'. She came second in Jerusalem in with the fantabulous 'All Out Of Luck'. Her new song will be revealed on Icelandic TV on Saturday, amidst high expectations. Which means it will probably be rubbish.

Portugal - the most secretive country this year. They promised to reveal their song today, but nothing has filtered through yet. No artist or title yet, but it's rumoured it will be one of the boys from Operacion Triunfo. Chig hopes it's David or Rui. Either would make their song much more bearable and aesthetically pleasing.

Monaco - only a brief clip exists of Tout de Moi by Lise Darly, so we await the full version.

Denmark - 'Taender Pa Dig', which won the Danish final, was yesterday announced as 'Talking To You' in its English, Eurovision version. We haven't heard it yet, but it can only improve their chances, as the scores for this unhummable song in Danish were never likely to be good in Kyiv.

Ukraine - the EBU ordered a rewrite of the Orange Revolution's theme song, 'Razom Nas Bohato' as the lyric was too political. The duo, Greenjolly, have duly obliged, but we don't know what the new lyric is yet.

Fnally, there's still a possibility that Belarus will change horses mid-race, with Angelica Agurbash abandoning her song 'Boys And Girls' because they have taken note of reaction across European websites and realised that nobody likes it. If they've left enough time, it will be a very sensible switch. ARE YOU LISTENING, BULGARIA? You still have four days to withdraw your tedious 'Lorrain' song!

Next Monday, tickets go on sale, and the 40 Heads Of Delegation, at their meeting in Kyiv, will officially submit their countries' songs. Then, on Tuesday, it's the draw! We'll get to find out the running order for the qualifier on 19 May and the final on 21st. I'm praying that Poland and Moldova don't get drawn next to each other, as they may ruin each other's chances, and that Javine doesn't get drawn after Turkey or Greece, for the same reason. Fingers crossed.

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Few! Thats all write then...

English Genius
You scored 93% Beginner, 93% Intermediate, 93% Advanced, and 77% Expert!
You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!
Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

The 'commonly confused words' test.


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Diamond Geezer is 40 today. His mother had him on her 30th birthday, the poor thing. And just look what a cute 'ickle baby he was. Happy Birthday to them both.

While you're passing that way, why not read the fascinating tale of DG's murderous ancestor? In all my family history research, with 800+ people linked in my family tree software, I haven't come across any stories quite as interesting (and bloody) as this in my own family. Still, at least I don't have to worry about inheriting the genes!

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The Bloggers' Disco

World Of Chig is delighted to participate in the Troubled Diva 'Bloggers' Disco', in aid of Comic Relief. As Mike's readership (and some of you, dear readers) have just conclusively proved, 1985 was the best year in popular music.... ever! Something like that anyway. So, it's with this in mind that Chig's choice is continuing the spirit of '85, when it was a remixed #4 hit (after missing the charts altogether when it was released in 1983).

And the choice is: Stephen 'Tin Tin' Duffy's 'Kiss Me' - specifically the very long 12" version, which I often played to packed floors when I was a DJ in Aston Uni's Guild of Students. This mix is so long that I could pop to the loo when it was on. A fabulous tune.

There we go. It costs Comic Relief only 24p per day to feed each person in some countries where they work (vague and badly researched comment, I know, but I heard it on the radio). So doing this has fed four people for a day. Mike is donating up to £100 if he gets enough responses (and the CDR should be fabulous!) Well done Mike.

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They must be stopped.

Arses in the air if you're ruining a national institution.

The new Radio 1 chart show on Sunday with JK and Joel wasn't as bad as I had feared. It was worse. Much fucking worse. Diamond Geezer seems to agree. I still haven't calmed down enough after 48 hours to write a rational critique of the 'show' without exposing you, dear reader, to even more expletives. Luckily, someone else has done it for me. I urge you to read this in full. It made me angry all over again. We must do something about it and get the idiots kicked off, because this country of ours, this BBC cannot 'make do' with a chart show that doesn't even play the friggin' new entries. Anyone want to join me?

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Ooh, aah! Wild! Mersey!

Three Eurovision goddesses... (The babes just can't keep their hands off the Chig. Why does this never happen with blokes?)

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Nipple search

How bizarre. World of Chig is already number 2 result on google for
"eurovision bbc saturday night javine nipple"

And I haven't even mentioned it. Yet.

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My friend Bryan has a reputation amongst those of us on the 'eurovision general' list at Yahoo! Groups, for liking, shall we say, the camper songs. He has frequently bemoaned the absence of sequins and glitter in recent national finals. Last week he was given one of the group's honorary awards for his 'one man campaign against rap'. But many people on the list have never seen Bryan, until now. Just after posting this, I'm going to send this link to the group, so that everyone can see Bryan admiring this sequinned clutch bag. (It's not actually his.) There is a serious point to this too. Anyone who's joining us at BBC TV Centre on Saturday for Making Your Mind Up will now be able to recognise him. We look forward to it!

...And we'll try not to be too pissed off that Jordan is clearly going to walk it, barring - oh please let it happen - a total Jemini fiasco. No, scrap that, she'll win, even if that happens. People will think it's funny to send an 8 month pregnant non-singer to Kyiv. God help us. Only the housewives can save us now. Vote Tricolore! The other three, sadly for Javine, don't stand a chance, unless Blue fans (and Wales) come together for Andy Scott-Lee, but otherwise I think he'll be vying for last place with Gina G.

So, here's Chig's pointless prediction:

1st Katie Price
2nd Tricolore
3rd Javine
4th Andy Scott-Lee
5th Gina G

Chig is off now to hide in a cottage in Shropshire from Friday to Monday with 16 friends, only taking a break to go to London on Saturday. If you're having lunch in Putney on Saturday lunchtime, or you're at TV Centre in the evening, at the Shadow Lounge in Soho later and (probably) at G-A-Y even later, I may see you. If you're Ruslana, I will definitely see you (for the interview on Saturday afternoon). Please do say hello!

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Eurovision shocker!

I knew they'd get the hang of it eventually. After some dismal national finals in which countries have repeatedly picked the wrong songs (Bulgaria, Ukraine, Denmark, Russia and Slovenia being particularly guilty culprits, although Slovenia will still do well), we've had two national finals tonight, and for the first time this season, two half-decent songs chosen. Well done Israel (which we watched on the web) and an even bigger well done to Greece (which we watched on TV, grateful that we weren't actually in Greece, where it was nearly 1am when the interminable programme finished). The Greeks have picked a song that could win the whole damn thing. 'My Number One' is instantly appealing and is sung by that woman who was in Antique for them four years ago, so she's been there, done it before. It's a memorable pop song, with added Greek-ness; a superb combination. I will make a prediction now, with just over half the songs revealed, that Greece gets the UK's 12 points in Kyiv. Just like last year. Israel joins the queue of strong female ballads, with Malta and the Netherlands. I wouldn't like to separate them at this moment.

Oh, and more news to make Mike happy. 'My Number One', while disregarding rule number two of good Eurovision songs; the key change, manages to adhere to rule number one. Yes, it has a fire/desire rhyme! Hurrah! That's Cyprus AND Greece so far. Is there something in the water?

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In memoriam

Chig has gone a bit quiet because he is in mourning. Last week Pop!, this week V. Just what is it with our short-named pop groups? Both dropped. Perhaps it's a warning that you won't survive if your website name is the name of your group followed by the word 'official'? Chig is particularly upset that V split up before he could get his hands on them get to meet them. Not one PA at the Nightingale, as far as I am aware. Every pop act has to play there. It's the law. At least with Pop! Chig had the pleasure, twice. But 60% of those V boys were, er, spunky and, social services or no social services, Chig would.

The real tragedy of the V split is that those lovely boys have all lost their 'jobs', but I bet the record company bigwigs responsible for allowing this heinous spelling mistake to reach the shops on this V single...

...are all still employed. It's 'indestructible', you plonkers!

This Saturday at the Nightingale, Triple 8, who must be living in fear.

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Which decade is tops for pops?

Troubled Diva today reveals the number ones from the five decades in the contest. Chig has cast all his votes. If you haven't done so yet, you have until Friday to
prove that 1985 was the best of the five years (LATER NOTE: That says 1985 under the comedy crossing out, just in case you thought Mike was comparing the Edwardian pop charts.)
prove that modern singles are rubbish
prove that the 1970s weren't as bad as people make out
have your say.

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