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The Coca Cola con

CAN anyone tell me what relevance Coca Cola has to Christmas? In a cynical marketing ploy, the great big red lorry tour dates for 2015 have now been announced – but not before they were accidentally leaked online. ‘Avid fans’ were told by the consumer giant to keep their eyes peeled for the official list, but it wasn’t soon enough and fans were quick to spread rumours about the lorry’s tour destinations, including Chester and Colwyn Bay. Apparently Bristol has lost out to Swindon this year, which is causing some local rivalry.

I’m told many see the Coca Cola ‘holidays are coming’ tour dates as the start of the Christmas festivities. OK, you can drag your kids out on a freezing cold night to see a big red lorry which features in a TV advert. You can also get to listen to a choir – presumably singing Christmas carols – and you get to sip free coke. But sorry, I still don’t get it.

TALKING of ‘holidays are coming’, there is a story doing the rounds this week about women who say they can’t cope without eight holidays a year. A survey carried out by the Association of British Travel Agents revealed people in ‘A grade’ jobs (joint income of £100,000) go on holiday every six-and-a half weeks. They say these holidays provide them with much-needed rest and give them time to spend with their children.

The survey also reveals that your average British six-year-old has already been abroad four times. Not in my day they hadn’t. Your parents saved up all year so you could spend a week in a caravan in Blackpool living off home-made egg and sand sandwiches and drinking stewed tea out of a flask.

The Steadman family – she runs a beauty business and he is a general manager for a hotel group – have taken no less than 10 holidays this year. One, to celebrate their 40th birthdays was a trip to Richard Branson’s Necker Island at a cost of £20,000 with other breaks in Crete, Zante, Provence – the list goes on. I clearly have the wrong career.

THAT loud-mouthed columnist Katie Hopkins had her fair share of grief in the Heathrow arrivals lounge this week when she flew in from Greece. She and her three kids don’t all share the same surname. Two of her children used her first husband’s surname and the other child her second husband’s name.

In these times of human trafficking and the refugee crisis, and the fact Hopkins had flown in from Greece, the Heathrow staff were in vigilante mode. “Who are these people?” the passport woman asked Hopkins’ six year old son. “Do you know any of these people?” while gesturing at the other family members.

The next day Hopkins asked her son what he thought about the woman at Passport Control’s questions. He said: “My teacher says, if you are confused, ask an adult. Maybe she has got it wrong”. Bright lad!

FORMER Top Gear Script Editor Richard Porter has hit out in a new book about his time on the programme. He said that Jeremy Clarkson punching one of the show’s producers during a row over a steak dinner was ‘a smack in the chops’ for the whole Top Gear team. Porter also insists Jeremy Clarkson’s half-hearted apology for his behaviour was even worse than the fracas itself. He said Clarkson’s attack on Oison Tymon showed a ‘lack of respect’ to all those who’d worked tirelessly with him on the show.

He said: “We would work long and late trying to find a unicorn, a Talbot Samba and a cat that looked like Kylie Minogue it that’s what Jeremy wanted”.

Jeremy Clarkson’s nickname is Axl Rose on account of his love for Rose wine. Another way to describe him would be that he is a thoroughly obnoxious bloke who needs taking down a peg or two. Good riddance, mate.

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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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