World of Chig   

Princes & paupers

"I say, Harry, does one think one can get away with dressing as Mr Bradford and Mr Bingley in this day and age?"

"Most definitely Wills. What's the worst that could happen? It's not as if Bradford & Bingley is going to go under, is it? Fancy Annabel's? It's raining."


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Sauce maker dies

Paul Newman also did some acting, apparently.

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Home Secretary Jacqui Smith holds one of the proposed ID cards, shortly before shoving it up her arse.

Oh, sorry, that was just wishful thinking.

Tomorrow, a senior civil servant will leave the database of the entire UK population on a train, on a memory stick. It will save time waiting for the inevitable. Don't say we weren't warned.

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Here Comes The Summer!

The sun is shining here in Brum. There's tennis from Wimbledon on the telly. Summer has finally arrived, on its last weekend! (Summer ends on Monday afternoon (22nd) in the Northern hemisphere, for those of you not keeping up to speed with your equinox dates.)

Time to venture outdoors, methinks. Enjoy the last weekend of Summer!

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Shalom, Geoffrey! Shalom Bungle!

Shocking as it may seem, this is apparently the new Prime Minister of Israel. Shalom Zippy! (Unless I've misheard, of course.)

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Sir Cliff comes third in bi-curious sex three-way

...which means he still hasn't had a number 1 single in the noughties, to give him a chart-topper in six consecutive decades.

It was a close-run thing all week between Kings Of Leon, who have entered at number one on downloads only, Katy Perry, who slips to #2 and Cliff Richard, who enters at #3. Up to Wednesday night, Kings of Leon had sold 36.2% of sales between the three of them, Katy Perry 32.6% and Cliff 31.2%. It's quite surprising that he didn't at least overtake Katy Perry, in her seventh week on sale, especially as he has done the rounds of daytime TV all week. Still, there's something delicious about Cliff being denied the chart achievement by one song about raunchy sex and a bi-curious anthem. It also gave Fearne Cotton the opportunity to tell American Caleb from the Kings of Leon that, "you have beaten off Cliff Richard" on the Radio 1 chart show, in one of those double entendres that gets lost on the Yanks.

It goes to show that you can't have a number one single just because you ask people nicely to give you the chart record. Here's some advice for Cliff's record company if they want to try again, say at Christmas.

1) Don't restrict sales of the CD to Woolworth's only. Cliff's fans, like the rest of us, would have had trouble locating the singles section in any Woolworth's these days, because the display is so small. By Christmas, it will be impossible, as Woolworth's were due to stop selling singles last month anyway. If the single had been in HMV, Cliff would probably have been number one today.

2) Teach your fans how to buy downloads. Start by teaching them how to turn on a PC. Cliff has at least topped the physical singles chart today. Hardly any of his sales were of the digital variety.

3) Release a better song. 'Thank You For A Lifetime' is syrupy rubbish. To be fair, it would have been nice if Cliff had achieved his noughties number one in 2006, with 21st Century Christmas, which was lyrically original and interesting, unlike this new load of mush. It ended up being stuck at #2, behind Leona Lewis's début single.

4) Check the release schedules and don't go up against something as good as the Kings of Leon single. They may never have made higher than #13 in the singles chart before, but this is a stormer of a track and a well-deserved chart-topper. The CD single hits the shops tomorrow.

For the record, Cliff Richard has appeared on fifteen UK number one singles so far, in each of the first five decades of the chart era, but not the sixth:

Twice in the 1950s:
Living Doll (1959). With The Drifters (the early name for The Shadows).
Travellin' Light (1959). With The Shadows.

Seven times in the 1960s:
Please Don't Tease, I Love You (both 1960). Both with The Shadows.
The Young Ones (1962). With The Shadows.
The Next Time/Bachelor Boy (1962), Summer Holiday (1963). Both with The Shadows and The Norrie Paramor Strings.
The Minute You're Gone (1965)
Congratulations (1968)

Once in the 1970s:
We Don't Talk Anymore (1979).

Three times in the 1980s:
Living Doll (1986). With The Young Ones, featuring Hank Marvin
Mistletoe & Wine (1988).
Do They Know It's Christmas? (1989). Part of Band Aid II.

Twice in the 1990s:
Saviour's Day (1990).
The Millennium Prayer (1999).

This total of 15 chart-toppers includes the Band Aid II single from 1989, which some sources choose to ignore. Only six of the fifteen have been under Cliff Richard's solo name; the other nine have all been collaborations or had co-credits.

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Songs to mark a momentous day

'Blind Vision' - Blancmange

'Sight For Sore Eyes' - M People

After many weeks of headaches, culminating last week in the most severe migraine I've ever experienced (for six days at its most intense) and a fortnight off work, the inevitable has happened. The lovely Boots optician has informed me today that I need glasses for reading and being on the PC. I always suspected this day would come, as my sister, both parents and all four grandparents are/were spectacle wearers, but it still came as a shock today, even after 42 years! I have therefore been railroaded into choosing two pairs of frames very quickly. It was a badly-considered, rushed decision, so I will probably decide I don't like them when I get them next week. I have also been relieved of two hundred pounds. What a day.

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The chips are down.

Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has set the US presidential race alight overnight with her strong, confident and rather bitchy attack on Barack Obama. She described herself, indirectly, as a pitbull in lipstick. I think I've met a few of those.

Seven days ago, Sarah Palin was almost unknown, even in America. However, John McCain's announcement of his running mate didn't seem unfamiliar to those of us who remember A Fish Called Wanda. After all, we've seen the McCain-Palin combination before:

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Who goes? Who wins? Who cares?

For the first time ever in nine years of Big Brother, there isn't anyone left in the last seven who I want to win, or who I think deserves to win. My winner of this series was Luke, who was evicted shockingly early. He's the ringtone on my mobile and the main reason I was watching, as he was the entertainer and the viewers' commentator on the house. By last week, I had just about come round to the idea that if anyone left had to win, it might as well be Lisa. Then she was evicted on Friday. (She wouldn't have won anyway as she's already won £25k, so the public wouldn't have let her win twice.)

So, who's going tonight and who do you want to win?

I'd love to see Rex and Darnell go tonight, as I can't stand either of them, but it won't be happening. If viewers had been voting to evict, there would be a chance, but as they've been voting to win, I have a feeling that the two who will be walking this evening will be Sara and Mohamed. They're the only two of the seven left who have no chance of emerging as the winner.

The person I would have most liked to see evicted from this whole BB season is Zezi, the bloody awful co-presenter of BBLB. How the hell has she survived for so long? She's like a demonstration video of how not to present television, interrupting guests immediately after she's asked them a question, not listening to their replies, not understanding words she's saying in the script...and with an annoying voice to boot. Thankfully, we have Davina presenting BB's Big Mouth all this week from tonight, to remind us how to do TV properly.

Given the choice of housemates left to win this season, I'll only be vaguely happy if Mikey (thankfully now the bookies' favourite), Kathreya or Rachel win, but none of them have shone like I would expect from a winner. If self-obsessed, self-pitying Darnell wins this bloody series, or obnoxious, arrogant Rex, I think I will slit my wrists because of what it says about the viewing public. There will be no hope for humanity.

UPDATE: Mohamed is indeed the first out. He agrees with me and thinks Sara will be next. We shall see...

ANOTHER UPDATE: Oh, for heaven's sake. These housemates are pathetic. Kathreya is announced as the next evictee and you would think she's being sent to the gas chambers, not to meet the lovely Davina and see the others again in three days. She blew her chances with her ridiculous over-reaction to Darnell the night before last, which must have lost her a lot of sympathy. It certainly did here. The big question is, will they use Siouxsie & The Banshees' 'Happy House' for her best bits?

Yes, they bloomin' well did!
Well, not her best bits; for her first VT compilation package.


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