World of Chig   

London: Olympic City

1,434 days.

Or 204 weeks.

Or 3 years, 11 months and 4 days...and a mere £9.325 billion.

... until Friday 27 July 2012 - the start of the London Olympics and Paralympics.

You wouldn't want to be Lord Coe, would you?

London officially becomes the next Olympic city at the end of today's closing ceremony in Beijing. (BBC One coverage starts at 12:00 BST.) This is despite the fact that Beijing is still to host the Paralympics, which start in thirteen days' time. Bumbling Boris, who will hopefully be voted out of office two months before the London Olympics start, will be handed the Antwerp flag and then it's all ours!

At exactly 14:04 BST today, if it runs to time, London will be given eight minutes of the closing ceremony to give a flavour of what we can expect to see in 2012. (It's that Chinese lucky eight thing again.) This will apparently include:

  • A London bus being chased into the stadium by three of our cyclists; gold medallist Victoria Pendleton, triple gold medallist Chris Hoy and BMXer Shanaze Reade (who fell off in her final, thereby showing the full range, from British excellence to plucky, heroic British failure).
  • A soundtrack which includes the shipping forecast.
  • David Beckham.
  • The bus opening out like a flower.
  • Leona Lewis and Jimmy Page doing 'Whole Lotta Love'.

I'm still unsure whether to be horrified or excited by this prospect. It's clearly going to be a bit naffer than 5,000 years of Chinese history, which was done so effectively in Beijing's opening ceremony. It looks very much like it will be done with a cheeky, British sense of humour, which will basically be the UK saying, "Look, we can't afford the forty billion that China has spent on the games. We're going to do it our own way, on the cheap, if that's okay with the rest of the world."

While all of this is going on in Beijing, there's a party in The Mall in London, where the Olympic spirit will be celebrated, appropriately enough, outside the home of Phil The Greek. Apparently, he and his German wife Liz won't be at home.

London has thirty screens up today to watch the closing ceremony and the gig on The Mall, in which the acts taking part, including Will Young, James Morrison and The Feeling will be doing sport-related songs. (Spandau Ballet's 'Gold', by any chance?) There's also rumoured to be a link to Notting Hill Carnival, where Heather Small will perform something. Hmm, I wonder which song that will be...

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Welsh winner

No, not another one in the Olympics, but in the final of Mr Gay UK last night. Congratulations to 20 year-old Dino Fabian Gamecho, representing Pulse Café Bar in Cardiff, shown below after winning the title last night in Manchester, at the start of Manchester Pride weekend.

There's been at least one winner from a Scottish venue in the sixteen year history of Mr Gay UK in this format, but I believe all the others have been from England and Dino is the first Welsh representative to be Mr Gay UK. It's all timed rather nicely for Cardiff Pride in two weeks' time. We will be there.

In the meantime, Dino might want to think about changing his MySpace profile name if he's going to try getting on with people. I don't think 'F*ck RIGHT off!' (without the asterisk) is the most welcoming of names. Young people, honestly.

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Today's great Olympic debate

Synchronised swimming. I hadn't watched it for years until today's BBC Olympic coverage. It's clearly come on a long way in terms of ambition, gymnastics and theatricality, but two things stand out for a 'sport' which includes the words 'synchronised' and 'swimming' in its name.

1) Much of it isn't synchronised.
2) There's no swimming.

'Water dance' would be a more accurate name. Is it a sport? Should it be in the Olympics?

More importantly, given that we don't do it, please can it be replaced in the Olympics by snooker, darts and ballroom dancing? We're quite good at those and not many countries do the first two. Unfortunately, those pesky Russians have just won the synchronised swimming team event, giving them both of the available gold medals in synchro. This has taken them above Team GB in the medals table with 19 golds, pushing us down to fourth with 18. Pah!

(Photo (c) The Tribune, India)

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Where in the world?

Chig has been away, to the city that is mourning the loss of one of its musical legends yesterday, but will be celebrating later today when an act from the city claims the UK's number one album spot.

Where has Chig been? Answers in the comments, if you please.

ANSWER: Yes, it was Dublin.
EXPLANATION: The headline news in Ireland on Saturday was the death of Ronnie Drew, the founder of legendary band The Dubliners, at the age of 73.

In the UK, The Dubliners had two bouts of chart success, twenty years apart. They had three hits in 1967, then returned to the top ten in 1987 with this 'duet' with The Pogues on the old classic, 'The Irish Rover'.

On Sunday, the newest stars to emerge from Dublin, The Script, entered the UK album chart at number one, as both of their singles climbed back up the charts too. 'The Man Who Can't Be Moved' went back up one to its previous peak of #3 (and is currently poised at #2 in the midweeks). Previous single 'We Cry', which made #15 in May, leaps from #55 to #33.

It has taken the guys a long time to reinvent themselves from their former incarnation, the boyband Mytown, which included, I believe, two current members of The Script. It's nine years since this made #22 in the UK. 'Party All Night' was Mytown's only UK hit. Check out those jackets! Even in 1999, they weren't cool.

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I've never liked cherry chapstick...

...which probably explains everything.

Former bible-bashing singer Katy Perry continues her transformation and her path to world domination today as her bi-curious anthem* 'I Kissed A Girl' makes its inevitable climb from #4 to number one and sees off the copycats at the same time. The two cover versions which crept into the UK charts last week and led to Perry's track being released early and midweek last week have both disappeared from the chart today.

The song, which includes Max Martin and Cathy Dennis amongst its four co-writers, has been number one for nine weeks in Canada and seven weeks on Billboard's Hot 100 in America. 'I Kissed A Girl' is also number one in Australia and climbs from #10 to the top in Sweden this week. It's number two in Denmark and New Zealand and climbs from #16 to #2 this week in Ireland. It's #3 in the Netherlands and #4 in Finland and Norway.

There's a chance this may become the biggest-selling song of the year in the UK until the X Factor winner hits us in December. The CD version isn't released here until Monday 1st September, so there's every chance of this song 'doing an Umbrella'.

It has also spawned more YouTube cover versions than you can shake a cherry chapstick at, with variations including 'I kissed a frog/horse/squirrel/your mother...' etc. This 'gay version' (like the original isn't entertaining enough already to gay men) is typical of the rubbish that's around, but it has some nice pictures:

* Can you think of any other song which can be referred to as a 'bi-curious anthem'? I think Katy Perry has carved a niche all of her own here. One of her previous songs is called 'UR So Gay'.It's a song to her boyfriend who is adopting 'gay ways' despite not actually fancying men. ("You're so gay and you don't even like boys.") Her album's called 'One of the Boys'. Are you sensing a running theme of gender confusion here?

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Day two at the Olympics and the first medal for Team GB is a gold! Well done to Nicole Cooke (above) for winning the women's cycling road race, particularly as it looked like most of it was in the pouring rain! It's the first Olympic gold medal for Wales since 1972, when Richard Meade won a solo and a team gold in equestrian events; two of Great Britain's total of four golds for the whole 1972 games.

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Ani Lorak at the Scala

The photos are old news, I know, but I haven't made them public before. I'm just experimenting with making slideshows at This is my first attempt, with a random selection of my photos from the Eurovision Winner's Show at London's Scala, when Ani Lorak totally outshone Dima Bilan. You should be able to hear Scissor Sisters while this is playing, but I can't hear the track. Can you?
The music track did work, but has now been removed after extensive user testing and feedback. Thank you Mark.

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Fanny remains unnailed

Dale is being evicted from the Big Brother house, but I told you that this morning. (See the crossed out bit below.) Thank goodness. No doubt the female housemates are relieved, since they know now that he won't be carrying out his audition tape threat, "If there's any fanny in the house, I'll nail it". Darnell, who was brought up in America, where that F word has a different meaning, has probably been running scared too.

Who'll be the one to tell Dale that Jen went right off him when she saw his VT, including the bit where he said, "I'll screw them all over for a hundred grand", and that she's gone back to the husband who used to beat her up? (I believe everything I read in the Daily Star, obviously.)


Just wanted to make that clear.

Who's the loser now Dale?

That photo is one of many posted by Dale's friends on facebook, as are the three below. Although I have struggled to like him as anything more than eye candy because of his introductory VT on day one, I have to admit he came across pretty well in his interview with Davina tonight. If I hadn't watched the opening night this year, I would probably have liked Dale more than I did. He was an enthusiastic housemate in the tasks and actually had conversations which were fun and not about himself. (Darnell would do well to take note.) However, he was also very easily roused to anger, and quite frighteningly yobbish on 'fight night' after 'picturegate'. Let's hope he is lured away to a life of modelling and 'gay-for-pay' webshoots and never, ever gets to finish his teacher training. Would you want such a potty-mouthed and aggressive person in charge of any children? I think not. His talents clearly lie elsewhere. And here they are below. Best stick to the DJing. Expect to see him on the cover of attitude around October, when he may just have finished sorting through his facebook friend requests.

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Going For Gold

It's 08/08/08; the day the Chinese chose to start the Beijing Olympics as the number 8 is considered so lucky in China. So, at 8.08pm local time, the opening ceremony will start and drag on for about three and a half hours. I'll watch the highlights later.

We'll post today's golden videos tonight, probably while watching Dale's eviction from Big Brother. In the meantime, if you are on the dole or self-employed, enjoy the world's biggest firework display from Beijing later!

Wow! What an opening ceremony that was. I don't agree with the Olympics being in China, but as a spectacle this afternoon, that was amazing. It looked like they had spent the last seven years rehearsing.

Anyway, it's now time for our final couple of Olympic countdown videos. We're on a gold run Bob! This is also Olympic cliché alert time. If you see or hear Spandau Ballet's 'Gold' or Shed Seven's 'Going For Gold' used on any TV or radio coverage over the next sixteen days, let us know and we will name and shame the unimaginative culprits. Both great songs though, it can't be denied.

'Going For Gold' - Shed Seven

'Gold' - Spandau Ballet

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Olympic countdown - Beijing -1

The Olympics officially start tomorrow and our music-related countdown continues.

Since the dawn of time (1952), there have only been three top 75 hits called 'Silver'. The one that didn't make the top 40 was by a Canadian group called Moist. Let's not even go there.

Instead, here are both top 40 hits called 'Silver'. First, a number 15 hit from 2002 by Hundred Reasons, Then a hit from 1984 by Echo & The Bunnymen, which is much better, but only made number 30. There's no justice in the world. Which leads us nicely onto China. We'll be going for gold tomorrow, with no sign of Henry Kelly.

'Silver' - Hundred Reasons

'Silver' - Echo & The Bunnymen

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Big Brother exclusive!

We bring you the pictures that the others have missed. Here's a moment of intimacy today over the Big Brother garden fence, as ginger prince Rex and girlfriend Nicole demonstrate the true balance of power in their relationship. Ain't it sweet?


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Olympic countdown - Beijing -2

I thought it would be a nice idea to post music videos based on bronze, silver and gold in these last three days before the opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics. (The games have started already in some sports, but we're not supposed to notice yet.)

However, this great plan has been scuppered already. Can you believe there has never been a top 40 hit single which includes the words 'bronze' or 'bronzed' in its title? (Why didn't Peter Andre ever release a song called Bronzed Adonis? Opportunity missed.) Nor has any artist with either of those words in their name ever had a top 40 hit.

There is a Bronze Records label, set up in 1971 and releasing music by acts including Osibisa, Manfred Mann, The Real Kids, Motörhead, The Damned, Girlschool and Hawkwind. It's also the label which scored a #19 hit in 1978 with this pop gem. There'll never be a better excuse...

'Mirrors' - Sally Oldfield

That wasn't really the point though, so instead of a bronze song, let's have one of the two hit songs to ever feature the word 'Olympic' in their title. Sadly, there is no YouTube footage of 'An Olympic Record' by The Barron Knights from October 1968; the month of the Mexico City Olympics, so here's the other one. This is one side of 808 State's number 10 hit from 1990 - not even an Olympic year - when it was paired with 'Cubik'. It's the only top 40 hit to be called 'Olympic'. Funnily enough, hearing it now, it sounds vaguely Chinese at the start, don't you think? It was released eleven years before Beijing was even chosen for 2008.

'Olympic' - 808 State

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Battle of the biceps

It's Dickhead Dale versus Sulky Stuart in this week's hunktastic Big Brother eviction battle. Both of them have been moping around and both have said they want to go, so they can hardly complain.

In a brilliant twist, there won't be a phone vote this week, but Dale and Stuart will literally fight it out. They're going to wrestle each other in the Big Brother paddling pool filled with mud, oil or chocolate in a series of battles over the next three days, wearing nothing but Speedos. The overall loser will be evicted on Friday.

Oh sorry, that second paragraph was just a dream I had. It's a phone vote, as usual.


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Quote of the Day

Elizabeth Taylor is ill, which is a shame. However, her publicist would like it to be known that she's not as ill as some reports have made out. I've never seen or heard her publicist, one Mr Dick Guttman, but some sixth sense tells me he may well be a screaming queen. Here are his reassuring words about Dame Elizabeth today:

"At present, she is surrounded by family, friends and fabulous jewels."

Phew! What a relief she has all three. I'm sure they're all aiding her recovery immensely. I know I can rarely move from my sickbed without covering it in rubies and emeralds.

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Potentially quite annoyed

Chig will be spending the evening in the company of kd lang (and more than a few lesbians and Radio 2 listeners, I suspect). It'll be a lovely evening, I'm sure. However, friends will be texting me the results of tonight's Big Brother eviction and if it's Luke who gets evicted, as the bookies are predicting, I will be very, very cross indeed. I would urge you to vote for someone else, but there's nothing we can do now; the lines closed at 23:59 last night. My faith in humanity will be severely dented if the most entertaining housemate and deserving winner gets the boot tonight over self-obsessed Darnell, dull Rachel and the other five.

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Free at last

Chig is extremely pleased to hear that justice has finally been done for Barry George, freed today after being wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of Jill Dando for eight years. Anyone who followed the original case or watched the Rough Justice programme (or whatever it was called) about the case has been waiting for this day to come. There's no way he killed her, as even some of the original jurors now realise. His conviction is one of the biggest stains on the reputation of the criminal justice system in this country. It has deprived an innocent man of years of his life and allowed the murderer to relax in peace. Perhaps the police will now put some effort into finding the real murderer. You know, someone with the motive, the capacity and the weapon? Just a thought.

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