World of Chig   

Justice is done

Shilpa won. Thank goodness for that. I would have loved to see Jade's face.

Tonight's programme started with six people left in the house and the first thing to happen was the double eviction of the last two English people left, Jack and Danielle. All the other people who were in the house were English, apart from these last four.

Then the public even chose to get rid of the last Brit standing; Welshman Ian Watkins.

So, what do we have left at the end of the series that will always be remembered for the racism row? We have the three foreigners ending in the top three positions, and the two non-Caucasian contestants (apart from Jade herself, whoi is technically mixed race) have finished first and second. I think that's excellent and sends out a really good message, after all the negativity.

Shilpa had 63% of the final vote, so I guess she didn't really need my two votes. Still, it felt good phoning them in.

Another thing that struck me during Jo and Danielle's interviews this weekend (and Jade's last weekend) was that it's very rare to see the bullies get their come-uppance. Even if it happens in the real world, the bullied don't get to see it, so that's why the eviction interviews with the three bitches have been such compelling car crash television. Uncomfortable, but fascinating at the same time.

Shilpa may now be up for a starring role in a film with Johnny Depp, apparently. I hope it brings her the crossover success that she deserves, not because she's been a victim, but because she's lovely, and one of the most gracious and forgiving people I have ever seen. Good luck to her.

I think what's needed now is for Shilpa and Jade to do a substantial TV interview together, and perhaps Jermaine Jackson could get his little brother to come over and sing Heal The World and Black Or White to them. Then we could all hold hands and the world's problems would be over.

Meanwhile, back in the real world...

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It's all Cle-o-ver now

Poor Cleo Rocos. She should have stayed in longer (although I wish I'd put money on tonight's two evictees as I was spot on, in the right order). Jo didn't do herself any favours in her Davina interview, did she? At least Jade wasn't defensive last week, but went through the whole mea culpa routine. I imagine Jo will be under protection and suicide watch as of right now.

I'd quite like to adopt Cleo, if she's available. Not through any Catholic adoption agencies, obviously. I think she's fabulous. She also brought a tear to my eye earlier in Celebrity Big Brother when she talked about her love for Kenny Everett. It was very touching.

(PS. Shilpa to win.)

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Crash (part 2)

It's all over, without the shouting. Rather unexpectedly, the other driver's insurance company rang me today to say that he has admitted full responsibility for our collision. (It was, after all, his fault, but it's not in his interest to admit it.) So that's it. No legal wrangling. No delay. No £200 excess to pay. No damage done to my no claims discount. No whopping increase in my premium for next year.

I then had two insurance companies offering me their repair service and courtesy cars, so the only big decision I've had to take was which one to accept. I've decided to stick with my own insurers as we've already decided that they're collecting my car on Tuesday to repair it and it's better that I deal with the company to which I pay the money as it gives me more power if things drag on or the repairs aren't done to my satisfaction.

A good end to a bad week.

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334 shopping days left.

Please be aware, it's only eleven months until Christmas.


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Slow down, you're gonna crash

I'm a bit pissed off today, to be honest. Last night I had my first proper car crash. Don't worry, no hospital visiting will be required. I was back at work today. I haven't even put in a claim for whiplash. The car's not that mangled either. I'm just annoyed that it happened and that I've had to make my first ever car insurance claim for structural damage, after nearly 23 years with no driving claims, just the odd smashed window and a stolen windscreen. (Yes, a stolen windscreen.)

This comes just four months after my previously unblemished licence was graffittied by some Sussex copper, adding my first ever points for my first ever speeding offence, committed on Brighton's main drag. What's particularly galling is that I was blissfully unaware of this speeding incident until the fine arrived in the post, and my moment of madness (41mph, apparently) occurred just three minutes from the end of a journey from Brum to Brighton which had taken over four hours. Three minutes!

I'm annoyed about last night's collision because it was caused by someone else's moment of stupidity, and although you might expect me to say this, I've thought about it in detail and it wasn't my fault at all. All I have to do now is get the insurance companies to agree this too, or it will cost me the £200 excess to have the repairs done, plus losing two years on my no claims discount if they decide I was to blame after all. Guess who decided to stop protecting their NCD last year, in order to trim my insurance costs a bit, as my car premium is so bloody expensive? Yep. But when you live in a high premium postcode area and you have to leave your car on the street, you get so ripped off that I had to do something to keep it down.

What happened was this. I was driving home from work. At about 19:15 I was on a fairly wide A road, when the car in front of me turned left into a smaller residential road. No problem so far, but as the car was turning left, I moved nearer to the centre line ready to pass the car, to give it more room. However, as I approached the turning car, a man decided to pull out of the same side road and attempt to turn right. The driver can't possibly have known if there were any cars behind the car that was turning in beside him, but he decided to pull out anyway and attempt to cross the carriageway that I was on and turn right. By the time I saw him pull out in front of me from behind the turning car, it was too late. It all seemed to happen in slow motion from this point. I had to make a split second decision how to steer a path between the end of the car I was passing and the car that was crossing my path and turning towards me into the neighbouring lane. I didn't slam on the brakes, because the road was wet. Luckily, I managed to pump the brakes quite sensibly and come to a halt in the middle of the road, without locking the steering, but not before I had grazed along the driver's side door of the other car, smashing my sidelight casing, denting two panels on my car and pushing in his driver's side door.

He kept on going, but turned into the next side road and stopped. I drove into the side road that he had come from and we swapped details. I was remarkably calm and polite, because I wanted his details and I had immediately come to the conclusion that there was no point ranting and raving at him. I would let the insurance companies sort it out. I didn't apologise and nor did he. He was friendly enough, for someone who had just caused a crash, and just before he left he said, "it's just one of those things". If I said anything, it was just an "Mmm", because I was thinking, 'Yes, it's just one of those things if you're a reckless idiot who pulls out onto main roads into oncoming traffic, on a wet road, when your view is obstructed. Twat.'

I drove home, and although I thought I was fine, I felt very, very tired and was in bed by 22:00. I think there had been an adrenalin rush, which then wore off very quickly. I made my claim on the phone this morning. I don't even have to fill in a form, although it would be much easier to draw a diagram of the accident than it was to describe it verbally. (They may need one later, if the insurance companies get into a dispute, so I wasted valuable minutes at work today by drawing one while it's still fresh in my mind.) The car's being collected on Tuesday to be repaired, and I'll get a courtesy car while it's done. (See, the insurance premium was worth it after all.) Luckily, it's still driveable, and even the sidelight still works, despite the casing being gone. Whether or not it's legal has been the subject of much (inconclusive) debate today with colleagues. I borrowed a good camera phone and took four photos, which I e-mailed to myself to keep as evidence. And that's that.

Oh, the name of the residential road from which the other car appeared? Chance Drive. You have to laugh, don't you?

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4: Skins

So that's where Harry Enfield has gone!

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I've got the key, ain't got the secret

(With apologies to the Urban Cookie Collective)

Sometimes, life gets a little surreal.

Three or four months ago, I came home from work one day and found a shiny new key lying on the hallway tiles. Using a process of elimination (ie. it wasn't mine), logic told me that someone had put this key through my letterbox. I presumed that someone must have intended to post the key through someone else's letterbox. I thought that perhaps there would be a knock at my door at some point, or a note, from someone asking me if I had received a key through my letterbox by mistake. Surely this error will come out in conversation with someone sooner or later? What else was I to do? Tour my neighbours and ask if they were expecting a key? No. I did nothing and I still have the key. It was just a bizarre one-off, obviously.

Until yesterday.

It's happened again!

What is this? Does someone think I collect keys? This is all getting a bit weird. If you can think of any reason why someone might be putting keys through my letterbox, please do tell. If it happens again it will freak me out.

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The Hope of The States

Hurrah! The words we've longed to hear have been uttered at last. Hillary's in!

The only slight doubt I have over this is that Barack Obama seems like a potentially good Democratic candidate as well. Maybe they'll end up as the Golden Ticket double bill?

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Shilpa to win

Originally uploaded by lijomanarcad.

No sponsor. No crowd tonight. No more perfume sales for Jade's pong. Celebrity Big Brother is falling apart.

The one cause for optimism amongst all of the unpleasantness that's been dished out by Goody et al this week is that the British public aren't stupid. On, over 40% now 55% support Shilpa to win, with between 0% (Danielle) and 5% (Jade) support for the nasty bitches (and that includes Jack).

Shilpa really deserves to win this series, for the dignity she has shown in the face of the vile harridans. Let's hope she does. It might restore a bit of our faith in this country.

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The Brits - The Nominees

An ongoing post, as Chig watches the launch on ITV2...

Hurrah! At last! The Brit Awards show is going to be live on our TVs again, for the first time since 1989. Hurrah again! We love the unpredictability. Presented by Russell Brand. Thrice hurrah! It's on St. Valentine's night. That should cause a few arguments across the country. Thank goodness for singledom.

Performing on the night: Amy Winehouse / Snow Patrol / The Killers / Corinne Bailey Rae / Take That / Red Hot Chili Peppers / Scissor Sisters / oasis

No superstar collaborations as yet. I hope they will come later.

Outstanding Contribution Award: oasis
Hmm. Leaving aside the fact that the Gallaghers' egos hardly need feeding, this seems rather too soon. They haven't split up yet. Still, as the Spice Girls were given this award, it was completely devalued anyway.

There's a very modern innovation with this next award.

British Single:
For the first time, this is to be decided on the night, presumably by a televote. (Chig's alter ego writes: What else could it be, you fool? A show of hands in the hall? An 'It's A Knockout' style contest between the nominees, live on stage? Tsk.)

Put Your Records On - Corinne Bailey Rae
Fill My Little World - The Feeling (Not even the best of their own four singles.)
A Moment Like This - Leona Lewis
You Give Me Something - James Morrison
She Moves In Her Own Way - The Kooks
Smile - Lily Allen
America - Razorlight
I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair) - Sandi Thom
Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol
Patience - Take That
All Time Love - Will Young (Yes, it was only released in January 2006. It seems much older.)

British Album:
Black Holes and Revelations - Muse
Back To Black - Amy Winehouse (Currently the UK's number 1 album.)
Eyes Open - Snow Patrol (The UK's biggest seller of 2006.)
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not - Arctic Monkeys
Alright, Still - Lily Allen

And where, may I ask, is The Feeling's 'Twelve Stops and Home'?

British Male:
James Morrison / Jarvis Cocker / Lemar / Thom Yorke / Paolo Nutini

British Female:
Amy Winehouse / Lily Allen / Corinne Bailey Rae / Jamelia / Nerina Pallot

British Group:
Snow Patrol / Muse / Kasabian / Razorlight / Arctic Monkeys (Last year's British Breakthrough winners)

International Album:
St. Elsewhere - Gnarls Barkley / Futuresex/Lovesounds - Justin Timberlake /
Modern Times - Bob Dylan / Ta-dah - Scissor Sisters / Sam's Town - The Killers

British Breakthrough Act:
The Kooks / James Morrison / Corinne Bailey Rae / The Fratellis / Lily Allen

British Live Act:
Robbie Williams / Kasabian / George Michael / Guillemots / Muse

Where are Take That?

International Male:
Jack Johnson (Last year's International Breakthrough winner.) / Damien Rice / Bob Dylan / Justin Timberlake and, of course, Beck. (It's good to see that some things never change. Does Beck sponsor this award? He must have beaten Annie Lennox's nomination tally by now, surely? He's won this three times, in 1997, 1999 and 2000. I have a feeling he's been nominated every year, in-between and since.)

International Female:
Beyoncé / Pink / Nelly Furtado / Christina Aguilera....and Cat Power. A nation screams 'WHO?????'

International Group:
The Killers / Gnarls Barkley / Scissor Sisters / The Flaming Lips / Red Hot Chili Peppers

International Breakthrough:
Gnarls Barkley / The Raconteurs / Wolfmother / Ray LaMontagne / Orson

I have a sneaking admiration for Wolfmother. I've only seen them on TV a couple of times, but never has a combination of wailing and MASSIVE hair made such an impression on me. Good luck to them.

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RSS feed - it's back (I think)

I know that some people view World Of Chig via the RSS feed. It has been drawn to my attention this week by Mike and Luca that the feed hasn't been working lately. Subscribers were being told that there hadn't been any update on this site since 12 November. I am happy to say it has now (hopefully) been fixed. The only problem with this is that people who are subscribing via the link that was in my sidebar won't know this until they happen to visit this page in the regular way instead, because the destination URL has changed. We'll have to live with it.

Thanks to Mike and Luca for bringing this problem to my attention. Even more thanks to Luca for investigating what the problem was and giving me a simple enough explanation that I could understand it and fix the problem. Quite frankly, technical stuff like this is beyond my experience and comprehension normally, so it would have stayed broken for ever if someone hadn't helped me fix it. I am very grateful.

Now, as you are reading this, and if you know enough about RSS, please could you tell me if it's working for you and if you're seeing recent updates? That would be very useful. Thank you.

PS. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you don't need to worry about it. Carry on doing what you were doing.


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Fifteen down, five to go. Chig's Big Multi-media Quiz of the Year is just below (here). Why not pass the questions around the office or something, before we all get bored of me mentioning it?

If you've answered some already, feel free to come back and answer some more. Please. Or people called Simon will have to carry on doing them all and confusing me with their similar names.

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Soopa Doopa Koopa

It's only taken a week for the new chart rules to allow an act who wouldn't previously have charted to secure themselves a big hit.

The big story of tomorrow's chart will be unsigned band Koopa hitting the top 20 on downloads alone with their single 'Blag, Steal and Borrow'. I've heard the singer speaking on the radio twice in the last 24 hours, and their story (which sadly also includes a family tragedy) is all over the internet: NME, Channel 4 News, The Independent, Revolution, MTV.

Koopa - not to be confused with:

Krupa (Apollo 440 hit from 1996)
Gene Krupa (Drummer, after whom the above hit was named.)
Koop (Swedish-based drag jazz duo - really!)
The Cooper Temple Clause
Tommy Cooper

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Sexy's back

Originally uploaded by

"It has always been our preference not to comment on the status of our relationship, but, out of respect for the time we've spent together, we feel compelled to do so now, in light of recent speculation and the number of inaccurate stories that are being reported by the media. We have, in fact, ended our romantic relationship and have done so mutually and as friends, with continued love and respect for one another."
A very mature, respectful statement, released today by Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake. All of which means...he's available again!

Originally uploaded by


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Ding! Dong! The builder's dead*

Yikes! I've seen some TV murders in my time, but BLOODY HELL, Tracey Barlow! Quite literally, a bloody hell. That was gruesome. And long before the 9 o'clock watershed. How did Corrie get away with it?

My favourite line in tonight's shows came just seconds after Tracey staggered out of the bloodbath to Ken and Deirdre's, having just murdered Charlie with a statuette. Claire popped in and said, "Shall I put the kettle on?" How wonderfully, marvellously British.

Norris came a close second with his "Yes Audrey, I have seen CSI", when she warned him to keep away from the crime scene. Brilliant.

So, Charlie's dead................................................*or is he? (Caution: plot revealed.)

Full gory picture story here. You have been warned.

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Look children, he's always been mad.

Here's proof that Leo Sayer has been on television with a load of muppets before.
This is priceless. What did we do before YouTube?

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Anyone fancy a doughnut?

I'm just glad I recreated the Roy-Castle-and-a-cast-of-thousands-tap-dancing-around-the-fountain-routine when I did, albeit as a solo piece.

(I'd been drinking. It was dark. No one else saw, okay?)

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News 24 running out of stories

News 24 running out of stories
Originally uploaded by Thoroughly Good.

They're right out of correct facts as well. Just where exactly did Daz Sampson come fifth last year? (Look closely at the caption.) It certainly wasn't in Eurovision, where he finished nineteenth. And a note to the subtitler. It's spelt 'Jemini'.

On a positive note, this is my friend Dean being interviewed yesterday on BBC News 24. Last seen by me at the Schlagerboys' Eurovision party on Christmas Eve Eve. Oh, the media circles in which we move! Very handsome and authoritative he looks too. No idea what he said.

This is the second in a continuing series called 'photos of people I know being interviewed on News 24, which Jon took of the office TV and which I've linked to from Jon's flickr page'. This time, I have shamelessly used his title as a header too, because it made me laugh. Thanks Jon.

Because Jon is an intellectual type, he was also listening to something called Radio 4 last night, in which the Morrissey for Eurovision 'news' 'story' was elevated to the level of high culture by being discussed on Front Row, which is apparently an 'arts' programme. I understand that Birmingham's most excellent (resident) music journo Stuart Maconie (whose book, Cider With Roadies, I am currently reading) gave Mozza the big thumbs up. We can all listen to it on the Listen Again thingy here. (Go to Front Row in the alphabetical list, then click on 'Tue'. It's 25 minutes in, if you want to skip forward.) I would be doing this right now if I didn't have one hand eye on Jesse Metcalfe's return in Desperate Housewives.

LATER: I've listened now. Excellent little piece from Mr. Maconie. He has a wonderful turn of phrase (as evidenced in the book, which I highly recommend). I particularly liked the idea of a "low level furore" and his description of Daz Sampson's Teenage Life as "a Balamory version of gangsta rap".

And yes, the "cultural bric-a-brac" of my own teenage life exactly matched the indicators that Stuart describes. I still have one of those albums, and the cassette recorder, which I mentioned the other day in that Bowie rundown.

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Yeah, Jackiey

She's gone. I was wrong. Teenage girls and Heat readers must be voting for Jack.

That eviction revelation was just cruel. Why does Big Brother have to do these horrible things to people?

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Just Jack

He may be pretty, but could it possibly be anyone else evicted tonight?
Jade's going to be furious. But first, she'll just be confused.
Should be worth watching.

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Mozza 4 Helsinki?

Originally uploaded by
Thoroughly Good.

The 'Morrissey for Eurovision' rumours are buzzing around again. Only this time, there's some substance to the story. It's been on News 24, with the lovely Paddy O'Connell being interviewed, as shown by my friend Jon's thoroughly good photo of the office TV (above). (Thanks Jon.)

It may just be a quiet news day, but here's the story from the BBC, Orange, ESC Today and The Sun (with 'hilarious' mocked-up picture of Mozza in Buck's Fizz).

"The BBC says it is in talks with the singer to write and possibly perform a
track for this year's contest in May. But a spokeswoman for the corporation
warned "nothing is confirmed at the moment".

The BBC has approached several other high-profile acts as it tries to "up the ante on the calibre of artists" taking part in the annual competition, she added."

That obviously means that Radiohead are being held to their promise, made on Jonathan Ross's TV show in 2003, immediately after the Jemini débacle, to write a song for Eurovision. Doesn't it?

It's no secret that Morrissey's a big Eurovision fan, but would he actually do it? The BBC's announcement a few weeks ago that the UK's song would be chosen in March surprised nobody, but it was telling that it didn't mention Making Your Mind Up, leading to inevitable speculation that the process might be changed. The BBC doesn't have to have a contest at all. The UK could just do what some other countries do and select the artist and song internally, or pick the artist and allow the public to choose the song (as we have done before).

If, as is mooted by the BBC in their own news report, Morrissey writes a song for someone else, who could do it justice? A return for Sandie Shaw?! Be still, my beating heart! Nancy Sinatra? Has anyone else covered a Morrissey song apart from those two?

Here's the Morrissey video from last April for You Have Killed Me, which really gives the game away about his love of Eurovision:

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Thoughts from off sick

Is it any wonder people who are stuck at home all day get depressed? As if unemployment/illness/screaming kids weren't enough, there's daytime TV too.

So far on This Morning:
  • A woman who can't have sex because her sexual bits have clammed up due to vaginismus.
  • A woman whose sister murdered their mother.

I'm just off to slit my wrists.

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Everyone Says Hi...

...and Happy 60th Birthday to David Bowie.

It's a big day for musical birthdays; Shirley Bassey is 70 today and Elvis Presley would have been 72. (Sean Paul and R. Kelly also celebrate theirs.)

To commemorate Bowie's big day, here are my ten favourite Bowie songs (off the top of my head today, at least). What are yours?

01 Ashes To Ashes - The sequel to number 2.
Because it's brilliant and nonsense and brilliant nonsense, with a wonderfully pretentious video and an association for me that I can't go into here(!)

02 Space Oddity - The prequel to the sequel.
The re-release of this 1969 hit in 1975 coincided with me getting my first cassette recorder. (Kasuga, wherever they came from.) I used to play this a lot and drift away during that bit where it all goes weird, imagining I was in space. The storyline also used to scare me a bit.

Interesting homemade(?) video:

03 Starman - Why do I like all the space-themed ones best? Boy George's favourite Bowie song, as covered by him when he won Celebrity Stars In Their Eyes.

04 Absolute Beginners
I’m possibly the only person in the world who loved the film, which was savaged by the critics AND this, Bowie’s theme tune, but I do, so there. I even have Absolute Beginners on video, partly because I attended the swanky Birmingham premiere. Oh yes. (I've never attended any film premiere since.)

05 Boys Keep Swinging
Because when you're a 13-year old closeted gay boy, hearing a song on the radio that says 'when you're a boy, other boys check you out' is very, very exciting indeed. The best (and yet the most ludicrous) song ever written about being a boy.

06 China Girl
Brilliant song, brilliant video.

07 Let's Dance
As above.

08 Under Pressure (with Queen)
Because you can't beat a bit of overblown pop with an 'um ba ba beh, um ba ba beh, do dey da, do dey da'.

09 Hallo Spaceboy! (with Pet Shop Boys)
Another spacey one! Perhaps I should have been an astronaut. Given the combined stock of these two acts in 1996, I've never understood why this only made number 12.

10 Dancing In The Street (with Mick Jagger)
Because the drummer on this track (and behind Bowie at Live Aid) once stayed in our student house. It was Prefab Sprout's Neil Conti. More than that, I cannot say. Happy memories of that student house (even though it should have been condemned).

(I tried to squeeze eleven songs into my top ten, so Fashion has just missed out.)

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I've started, so...I've finished

Damn. Doesn't it feel like all the presenters of our youth are dying? Raymond Baxter, Alan Freeman and now Magnus Magnusson. So quickly as well; he was only diagnosed with cancer in October. The man was a TV legend. I never met him, but I did once work with one of his children for three weeks at the Edinburgh Festival. (There's no real relevance to that statement, but it's true.)

I've also discovered today that Dave Mount, formerly the drummer with Mud, died last month. They were my favourite group when I was 8-9 years old.

My sympathies to family and friends of both.

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New Beginning - Chig's Chart Chatter

Today we have the first 'songs' chart under the new chart regulations, and what's changed, now that we can see, without exclusions, just what people are buying, in any format?

It's useful to take a look first at last week's download chart. I've picked out all the tracks that were in the download top 40 last week, but didn't appear anywhere in the overall Top 75, for various reasons. These are the tracks which would have been thought most likely to break into the top 40 today, with the restrictions lifted.

In green, I've added where they are in today's combined chart, or red if they're not in it.

Last week's
chart position / Title - Artist Position in today's SINGLES chart.

04 Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol 9 Re-entry
10 All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey Not in Top 75
23 Monster – The Automatic 33 Re-entry
24 Maneater – Nelly Furtado 38 Re-entry
30 You Give Me Something – James Morrison 50 Re-entry
31 You Don’t Know – Eminem/50 Cent/Lloyd Banks 32 New entry
32 Last Christmas – Wham! Not in Top 75
35 Everytime We Touch – Cascada 42 Re-entry
36 Crazy - Gnarls Barkley 30 Re-entry
37 When You Were Young - The Killers 55 Re-entry
39 Mad World – Michael Andrews feat. Gary Jules 58 Re-entry
40 A Great Big Sled – The Killers Not in Top 75

So, it's pretty much as expected. The three Christmas tracks have disappeared completely, but all the other tracks which were selling strongly on download but were excluded last week have re-entered the singles chart today. The Eminem/50 Cent/Lloyd Banks track is the exception. It becomes a first time entry at 32 as the CD release was previously sold with a free gift, which broke the former chart regulations. That freebie now has no bearing on the track's download sales, so it's allowed to enter the chart for the first time, after being out for a few weeks.

There are, as yet, no tracks which have come 'from out of nowhere' to enter the chart, but it will happen, sooner rather than later, I imagine, certainly from any major celebrity's death (although there's been no James Brown surge, which is perhaps surprising). It could also come from a track being featured prominently in a TV programme or advert. If these new regulations had been in place while The X-Factor was on, we would have seen The Proclaimers back in the Top 40. (It's at times like this that we will miss Top Of The Pops more than ever!) This was due to the MacDonald Brothers' performance of their song, 'I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)', which caused a massive surge in download sales for the original. (It happened to a lesser extent with several songs performed on The X Factor. From songs covered by the contestants to the album track that Westlife performed with Delta Goodrem, many of them appeared in the lower end of the download chart, as did Kelly Clarkson's original version of Leona's hit song.)

Below the Top 40, only three 'oldies' have made a reappearance due to being 'allowed' in again by the rule changes and none of them are really that old;

64 Numb/Encore - Jay-Z & Linkin Park (Originally no. 14 in December 2004.)
66 Promiscuous - Nelly Furtado ft. Timbaland (Number 3 in September 2006.)
75 No Tomorrow - Orson (Number 1 in March 2006.)

Of the other new entries in today's chart, both of the big ones, from Eric Prydz vs. Floyd at number 2 and U2 at number 4 were available on CD anyway this week, so they're not download new entries. It's the third highest entry, from JoJo at number 22 which has benefited from another of the rule changes. It has charted on downloads alone TWO weeks before the CD release. It would have had to wait until next week; one week before CD release, to chart under the old rules. It will therefore have to chart again next week on downloads alone, so it will be interesting to see if she can maintain the momentum, or whether the track goes down, perhaps before going back up again when the CD hits the shops. Her previous two hits made number 2 and number 8, so she'll be hoping for higher than today's entry position.

The success story of today is undoubtedly Amy Winehouse, perhaps on the back of her appearance on Jools Holland's Hootenanny on NYE. (Yes, I know, we were out, not watching the telly, but it's been repeated at least twice already at more reasonable times.) As her new single enters on downloads only at 40, the fabulous Rehab, which made number 7 back in October, continues to lurch its drunken way back up the chart, from the gutter of 37 two weeks ago, to last orders at 25 last week, to a crafty lock-in at number 20 today. But the big news for Amy is that her local off-licence is still open second album seems to have become the main beneficiary of record token shopping, leaping back up from 16 to number 2, where it has peaked before. (Mathematicians may note the significance of her products occupying numbers 2, 20 and 40, but I would have to go and put my chart anorak on if I pointed it out, so I won't.) All these sales should keep her well supplied with mascara and booze for a good while yet.

After all that, and some people's fears that the new chart would be dominated by several tracks from the same album, are there any album tracks selling strongly enough to make the Top 75? The answer is yes, but only one: 'Stick To The Status Quo' by the Cast of High School Musical squeezes in at number 74, joining their two singles in the chart (and there's a fourth track of theirs at number 90, according to James Masterton's chart commentary). So, it's not exactly an invasion yet, but it may happen one day.

Overall then, an interesting start for the new chart and Leona claims yet another record (to go with 'biggest selling download ever' and 'most downloads sold on one day') by being the first artist to top it.

Related links:
Diamond Geezer's report on the new chart.
James Masterton's chart commentary on Yahoo! Music.
Further comments from James Masterton on his personal blog.
Report from BBC News on the new chart.
The Top 75 'singles'.
The Top 200 downloads. (This page has published the top 200 downloads for many months, but they've carried on calling it the top 40 downloads, for reasons best known to Yahoo! Music.)
The new chart rules. (Official guide in downloadable PDF format.)

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The Winner Takes It All

(Pictures courtesy of BBC News.)

At last! Deal Or No Deal has a big winner! It's only taken 351(ish) programmes, but I've just watched contestant Laura Pearce (24) win £250,000. I thought this may never happen, but she declined a final offer of £19,999 and risked winning only £3,000 in the other box. She had the quarter million in her own box all along. Fortune has favoured the brave. Excellent!

(It's great that I didn't hear about this before it happened too. Was this kept out of the media, or did you know?)

The programme will be repeated on More 4 on Tuesday at 11am, but it'll probably be on YouTube in a few minutes, as are the last ten minutes of many other Deal Or No Deal shows. (Seriously.)

UPDATE: It's also being repeated on C4, at 16:45 this Saturday, 13 January.

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Another day, another departure

It looks like Ken Russell is about to leave the CBB house. Damn. The others will no doubt be relieved to get some sleep, but I want to see more of him.

Perhaps he can't wait to hear today's 'new' 'singles' chart, with re-entries expected from Snow Patrol, Gnarls Barkley, Nelly Furtado and Michael Andrews featuring Gary Jules. I may have to grit my teeth and listen to the Radio 1 chart show, as I am vaguely excited about this, the most unpredictable chart ever! It's even more unpredictable because there's been no Popbitch mailing this week, so I have little clue what the positions might be, or even if Leona is likely to be deposed, either by U2 or Eric Prydz vs. Floyd (as they have renamed Pink Floyd, for reasons best known to the lawyers).

We'll be back later tonight with some blinding comments on the shape of the new chart. Probably.

Must go now. I'm trying to watch Dermot's BBLB and Match Of The Day Live (in which Villa will surely go out of the FA Cup to Man United) at the same time. It's surprisingly easy with two TVs next to each other.

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Begins at home

As it's Twelfth Night and I'm taking down the Christmas cards, I feel I should share this information, in case anyone from these charities, or the Charity Commission, might find it useful.

I noticed that I was getting more charity Christmas cards than ever this year. I've just done a quick count and discovered that charity cards account for over 54% of all cards received, with nine different types (accounting for thirteen different charities in all). Congratulations to Oxfam for being the provider of three; more than any other charity. Here's the full list, showing the number of cards for each charity that I've received:

3 Oxfam

2 The Woodland Trust
2 Macmillan Cancer Support, Samaritans, Multiple Sclerosis Trust, Whizz-Kidz* & Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. (All together.)

1 Cancer Research UK
1 Crusaid
1 Dyslexia Action
1 Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy
1 Shelter
1 WaterAid

*Whizz-Kidz are winners! They were Matt Willis's nominated charity for I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!

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Hello Goodbye

Chig's Big Multi-media Quiz of the Year

Friday Fun! It's back! (Which can only mean one thing; yes, I'm off sick again, being tormented by painful sinusitis, but, moving on...)

Here are twenty questions, made up by my good self, concerning (mainly) the year that's just ended. I suppose I'd better ask you to only answer one question at a time, but I'm sure we'll open it up to a free-for-all over the weekend. Some questions are in several parts, but feel free to answer all the parts if you feel like it.

Answer as many as you like!

Some of these are dead simple, while others would be a lot trickier if I hadn't given multiple choice options. Good luck and have fun! Full answers next week (if they haven't all been answered by then), but I'll add the correct answers as you guess them.

2006 quiz

1) Which two primetime Saturday night TV entertainment shows both took their names from a whole line of a song from a musical?
How do you solve a problem like Maria? (from The Sound of Music, obviously) and Who wants to be a millionaire? (from High Society, although I associate it more with this scene from The Goodies!) Correctly answered by Simon P.

2) Which chart-topping singles act shared their name with a character in Desperate Housewives?
Orson. The group hit number 1 in March last year with No Tomorrow, while Orson in Desperate Housewives is a danger behind the wheel. Correctly answered by Simon P.

3) Who said this, and of whom? “That’s a face for radio, not for television.”

A: Louis Walsh about Dr. Gillian McKeith
B: Dr. Gillian McKeith about Michelle McManus
C: Michelle McManus about Simon Cowell
D: Simon Cowell about Louis Walsh

4) Who was in Doctor Who on TV and Starter For Ten in cinemas?
Catherine Tate. Correctly answered by David S.

5) Who was in Starter For Ten and Shameless?
James McAvoy. Correctly answered by David S.

6) Who was in Shameless and Housewife, 49?
David Threlfall. Correctly answered by Simon P.

7) Who was in The Ruby and The Smoke and Doctor Who?
Billie Piper. Correctly answered by Simon J.

8) Who was in The Ruby and The Smoke but definitely NOT in This Life +10 (despite being in the first two series)?

A: Andrew Lincoln
B: Jack Davenport
C: Ramon Tikaram (Correctly answered by Mike)
D: Amita Dhiri

9) What number did Matt Willis’s album reach in the charts, on the back of his I’m A Celebrity win?

A: Number 6
B: Number 26
C: Number 46
D: Number 66 Correctly answered by Simon J. Poor Matty.

10) What was the title of the number one single shown on the final weekly Top Of The Pops?
Hips Don't Lie (by Shakira featuring Wyclef Jean). Correctly answered by Mike.

11) How many people won the maximum prize of £250,000 on Deal Or No Deal in 2006?
None. Correctly answered by Simon J.
(Good job I was specific - the first £250,000 winner was yesterday!)

12) Match up these advertisers with the celebrities who voiced their TV ads in the run-up to Christmas (ie. A4, B6 etc.):

A: Blossom Hill wine
B: Tesco = 7: Julie Walters (Correctly answered by Simon P.)
C: B&Q = 4: Bill Oddie (Correctly answered by Simon J.)
D: Comet = 1: Edith Bowman (Correctly answered by Simon J.)
E: Woolworth’s
F: Co-op
G: Nokia

1: Edith Bowman
2: Jo Whiley
3: Margarita Taylor
4: Bill Oddie
5: Su Perkins
6: Fearne Cotton
7: Julie Walters

13) In the last decade, how many times has the UK’s best-selling single of the year been by the winner of a TV talent search?

A: None
B: 1 Correctly answered by Simon J. Only Will Young's Anything Is Possible/Evergreen has done the trick, in 2002, although others have come close, as Simon says;
"Hear'Say lost out to Shaggy in 2001, lovely Shayne Ward lost out to Tony Christie in 2005 and lovely Leona lost out to Gnarls Barkley in 2006."
Will Young did sing a solo line or two on Band Aid 20's single, which was the best-seller of 2004, but we're not counting that as his own hit.
C: 2
D: 3

14) Which celebrity, who Chig met for the second time last year, is the grandchild of a former Maltese Prime Minister?

15) Who said this in the Big Brother diary room, shortly before being evicted?
“It’s not really an eviction outfit is it? ‘Cos I don’t really think I’m going.”

A: Grace
B: Sezer (Correctly answered by Simon J.) If I remember correctly, Sezer was shirtless at the time, wearing nothing but beach shorts and a microphone pack. His body turned out to be the only good thing about him.
C: Mikey
D: Spiral

16) Which football aficionado said this?
“To me, Aston Villa and West Ham have the same uniform.”

A: Graham Norton
B: Julian Clary
C: Prince Philip
D: Stephen Fry Correctly answered by Simon P. It was indeed on QI, during a discussion about the subtle differences between Beefeaters and Yeomen of the Guard (and their uniforms).

17) Who said, “All of us do things that we’d prefer not to see on the front of the papers”, shortly after appearing on the front of the papers?

A: George Galloway (Correctly answered by Simon J.)
B: Jade Goody
C: Kate Moss
D: John Prescott

18) In which soap did this conversation take place between two female characters?

Woman 1: Maybe I should get meself a gay boyfriend, give meself a laff.
Woman 2: Hmm, sex wouldn’t be too good though.
Woman 1: Oh, I dunno. Better than some I’ve ’ad.

A: Eastenders
B: Hollyoaks: In The City Guessed, but wrong.
C: Coronation Street
D: Emmerdale

19) How many people won a million pounds on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? in 2006?

A: None Guessed, but wrong.
B: 1
C: 2
D: 3

20) Which one of these acts DIDN’T win two Brit Awards in 2006?

A: James Blunt
B: Coldplay
C: Green Day
D: Kaiser Chiefs Correctly answered by Simon J. All the others won two, but the Kaiser Chiefs won three.

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I Say, I Say, I Say

This afternoon, I listened to the police officer behind The Policeman's Blog (AKA Copper's Blog) doing a radio interview with Simon Mayo on Five Live. Like fellow bloggers from Girl With A One Track Mind and Random Acts of Reality, he has turned his life experiences and his blog into a book. It's called Wasting Police Time: The Crazy World of The War on Crime, written under his pseudonym, PC David Copperfield.

The thing I found most interesting about the whole interview was the idea that he thinks he can remain anonymous, even with this book out. I wish him well, but does he really think that he can avoid being outed, as happened to the above-mentioned Girl, in a way which shook up her life quite considerably? I think he's living in cloud cuckoo land. Even more intriguing was the way that he kept giving clues. (He works in a town of 60,000-70,000 people, in the Midlands, North of Birmingham. He admitted he's on holiday today, back at work tomorrow afternoon.) He said he didn't think his colleagues would be listening, but they can't ALL have been at work, and as it didn't seem he was disguising his voice, he'll surely be spotted straight away if any of them hear? I don't know if he's originally from the place where he works, but if he is, I've placed his accent to within 20 miles. It won't take long before he is outed, and I can't help thinking that, playing with fire like this, being outed is actually what he wants. Either that or he has been getting away with it for so long now, even with his blog attracting a lot of attention within and without the police community, that he is feeling delusional and thinks he can't be touched. Good luck to him, but I fear he doesn't have long.

PS. I hope that no police officers who were working today ever discover BBC Radio's 'Listen Again' facility, particularly the MP3 of today's Simon Mayo programme, which anyone can download now.

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Zune...just one look and then my Ma went boom!

None of my Christmas presents were this exciting. Normally, you'd have to pay extra, but Walmart in the States is giving away gay p*rn for free. Will we be getting this here in Walmart's Asda stores?

For how long did the parents have to watch this, in order to count how many people were in the film and note the running time? Then again, this is Fox News, so it's quite likely the whole 'exclusive' story is made up.

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Ken Russell!

In the CBB house! Bl**dy hell!

And also...

Jermaine Jackson: Let's get serious with Michael's brother and one of David Gest's many showbiz friends. (Perhaps Jermaine will spill the beans about Vaginika Semen. He must have met her.)

Danielle Lloyd: Deposed Miss GB and Teddy Sheringham's bit of stuff (WAG).

Jo O'Meara: Probably S Club's best singer and showbiz partner of Chris Fountain in last year's Just The Two Of Us. Lucky cow. One solo single - number 13. Unlucky cow.

Leo Sayer: The third of the five so far to have topped the UK chart! Doesn't really need any more introduction, but will 'Thunder In My Heart Again' or any of his older songs be the first beneficiaries of the new chart rules on Sunday? Intriguing.

(These dips in the sound on C4 are really annoying me. Will the buggers please stop swearing? It's all because the show isn't live; it's being broadcast with a 15 minute delay to avoid any Ofcom rap for the inevitable bad language.)

Shilpa Shetty: Bollywood film star (and a genius bit of casting from C4). Glamour! A voice I could listen to all day long! Faaaaaaabulous!

Carol Malone: Nope, me neither. Evidently this year's Germaine Greer. Will walk within a week.
Donny Tourette: Singer with hot'n'happening poodle punk band, The Towers Of London. They've grazed the Top 75 four times, with three hits making 32, 30 and 32 again. This year's Preston, without the looks but a bit more controversial. So, Tourette's in the house again! Rock and, indeed, roll! (How in heaven's name does he know Leo Sayer?!)

(The punters, not surprisingly, are singing, 'who are ya?' at Mr. Tourette.)

Ian 'H' Watkins: Hurrah! "Everybody loves a bit of cheese", he says. Yes indeed. He's no longer blond, but I feel a lifetime of panto work has been secured in the last two minutes.

Cleo Rocos: Oh, it just gets better and better! Glamour puss, loveable loon and Kenny Everett's fag hag extraordinaire. Has been out of the limelight for far too long. Please push her around in a wheelbarrow over a bumpy pavement while she carries some jellies and wears a corset. Again.

So, Leo and Cleo!

Dirk Benedict: When I heard he was a possibility a couple of weeks ago, I confess I had to google his name. It seemed familiar, but I couldn't place him. However, he's a lot more famous than that, as he was in one genuinely massive TV series (The A-Team) and one bona fide 'cult' programme, namely Battlestar Galactica. Unfortunately, I've never really watched either of them, but I bet he makes a lot of money doing PAs at sci-fi conventions. To some people, this will be big news, and a viewer hoover. Good choice.

That's it, but Davina says the CBB family moves in on Friday and they will adopt one of the celebrities. It's rumoured to be Jade Goody and her Mum. I hope that turns out to be wrong, but she does have a new fitness DVD to promote, so it seems likely.

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Who knew?

Bless his spangly little cotton socks. Ian 'H' Watkins - the one we never did refer to as 'the straight one' out of Steps - has given an 'exclusive' coming out interview to The Sun, in advance of him entering the Celebrity Big Brother house tonight. While most people on Earth knew that he was gay years ago and that he was going out with the male manager of Steps, apparently this is news to The Sun's readers. Guess what the headline is? 'The Only Gay In The Village'. Geddit? He's a gay and he's Welsh! Brilliant! Since Dafydd in Little Britain, all gays in Wales are now living isolated, lonely, downtrodden existences and all gay venues in Cardiff and Swansea have in fact closed down. Let's face it, gay and Welsh. How could H possibly be happy?

Oh well, now that he has sold his story and made some money while the fickle window of opportunity opens briefly for him again set the record straight (every pun intended), let's hope he provides some entertainment for us in the house. Some songs from musicals at the very least. Meanwhile, we await tonight's CBB with interest, to see if the rumours about Stephen Hawking entering the house were just a bizarre joke or one of the most compelling decisions in TV history.

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Today's TV

For those of us with an extra day off work today, how's this for a strange scheduling coincidence?

12:50, BBC 2: Great Expectations (1946) David Lean's adaptation of Charles Dickens's novel.
13:00, More 4: Oliver Twist (1948) David Lean's adaptation of Charles Dickens's novel.

I've opted to watch Oliver Twist, which I am doing right now. I have performed on stage in both 'Oliver!' and the little-known sequel, 'Dodger', so the story has always had a special place in my heart. (I was understudy for the vile undertaker's assistant in 'Oliver!', but I never did get to 'give' my Noah Claypole, daaahlings. I still remember the lines though!) Despite that, I've never seen this 1948 film version. It sure is grim in black and white, without all the singing and dancing. Dickens must have been furious that Lean took out all of his songs.

Of course, the main TV event of the season (for me, at least) is tonight, with the return of This Life after ten years, for episode 33. I was glued to the original two series and I can't wait to watch later. I have series 1 as a video box set, still shrink-wrapped, but that's because I watched them all twice anyway when they were broadcast. My Dad was also hooked at the time, and he has just received the DVD box set for Christmas, from my sister. He has watched the recent repeats of the first two series all over again on TV as well.

I'm really hoping that Egg has made it as a writer and that Miles hasn't been mad enough to remain with Anna, or vice versa. I'm also quite glad to hear who's apparently dead. The actor concerned always seemed so ungrateful about the fame that This Life brought him first time round, so I'm not surprised they didn't ask him back. His acting career seems to have gone the same way as his sister's music.

(Oh. Some plot details are given away here. Approach with caution.)

I wonder if we'll see the return of my favourite character, Cock-er-nee wide boy Jo, played by Steve John Shepherd. He was luvverly-jubbly.

Will you be watching This Life tonight?

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For The Record

This is the story of 2006 in terms of visitor numbers to World Of Chig. Totally meaningless, but here for the sake of history, if only to compare at the end of this year.

[Please imagine there's a little graph here, because Blogger has decided not to react when I click on the 'Add Image' logo. It's showing me a black 'no entry' sign. Anyone else having this problem?]

Something clearly happened around 10 December, which I've only just spotted. It seems the number of visitors trebled. I have no idea why!

[You'll have to imagine this one as well. Bl**dy Blogger.]

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'Bun venit' to Romania!
'Dobre doshli' to Bulgaria!

Please feel free to come and live here in your thousands, if only to piss off the Daily Mail, but please bear in mind that in order to fit in with your fellow low-paid workers, you will need to learn the language. The language is Polish.

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