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Farewell Victoria; hello Gary’s grundies

GOODNIGHT, Victoria Wood. The world would have been a much more miserable place without you. You’ve raised many a belly laugh in my house and when I saw you perform live in Bristol, I left the theatre with my ribs aching. The audience ranged from nine to 90, such was your appeal.

Victoria was a ‘national treasure’ but she would have punched me in the face for saying that. Other treasures like Patricia Routledge (who played the legendary Kitty character created by Wood) and Alan Bennett are still trying to shake off that ridiculous moniker.Your funeral must have happened by now – no luvvies gathered or photos in the Daily Mail. A very private person.

In my opinion some of the funniest lines written by  Victoria Wood were for her character Kitty in Victoria Wood, As Seen on TV. One favourite monologue goes thus:

“Good evening. My name’s Kitty. I’ve had a boob off and I can’t stomach whelks, so that’s me for you. I don’t know why I’ve been asked to interrupt your viewing like this, but I’m something of a celebrity since I walked the Pennine Way in slingbacks in an attempt to publicise Mental Health.”

Or the immortal line: “I have a grumbling ovary which flared up in the middle of The Gondoliers”.

Lines like this are unforgettable. My wife knows all the sketches and songs off by heart. I just hope she doesn’t ask me to burn the buttons off her flame-proof nightie any time soon.

ONE wonders how the silver-tongued Gary Lineker is feeling this week. He vowed to to present Match of the Day in his underpants if his former club Leicester City won the league. The 55-year-old revealed last week that he had already spoken to the show’s bosses after vowing on Twitter in December that he would present the show in his boxers if Leicester did it.

And Lineker, who played for his home club between 1978 and 1985, even joked this week that he was worried about ‘rising during the challenge’ when delivering his promise of the show. It came after his ex-wife, model Danielle Bux, mocked up a photo of him with fellow presenters Alan Shearer and Danny Murphy in his smalls.

Lineker said: “In December I categorically knew there was zero chance that they (Leicester City) would win. I’m in good shape. For an old bastard. I’ll probably work out for the two weeks beforehand very, very hard”.

It’s not yet clear when Lineker will appear in his boxers, although he will only have two more chances to do it this season – either this Saturday or on Sunday, May 15. Watch this space. I bet you more women than ever before will watch. And he’ll probably leave it until next season anyway.

I KNOW the face of our High Streets are changing at an alarming rate and that for many of us, they are almost unrecognisable from those of our youth. I’m about to come over all misty-eyed about Fine Fare and Dewhurst’s, but the announcement about the demise of BHS (British Home Stores) really is taking things a step too far.

As 11,000 BHS employees face an uncertain future, the owner, billionaire Sir Philip Green was seen visiting his super yacht in Monte Carlo. He bought the company in 2000 but sold it last year for just £1, although he did take some £400 million in dividends from it.

Green is facing an investigation into whether he did enough to protect the pension funds of 20,000 BHS employees while he was in charge of the company. If it is found that he acted negligently, the courts could force him to reveal his UK assets, some of which he may be forced to hand back to BHS. Let’s hope so.

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Kevan Blackadder

Written by Kevan Blackadder

Kevan Blackadder is a media consultant who runs Blackadder Media Limited. Kevan was previously editor of the Gloucestershire Echo and assistant editor of the Bristol Post. A Cumbrian who moved to the South West “for a couple of years” in the 1980s, he can’t quite believe he’s been there ever since.

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