Friday, August 29, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Book is real

Well, my book is finally listed on Amazon, which makes it feel more real. It appears to be coming out on the 16th of October. This is also exciting. Mind you, McCoy's now do "Thai Sweet Chicken" flavour crisps, and that's a fact that takes some beating.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Olympics closing highlights!

Oh marvels! I wake up to see Michael Phelps on BBC Breakfast talking about stroke technique. Bang! And, to top it all, their latest replacement Kerplunk is dressed as Alice in Wonderland.

This puts the jaw-dropping wonder of yesterday's closing ceremony into the shade. Although I suspect it will vividly haunt my dreams. Lots of points for Boris waving a flag. Minus many points for the monstrous lack of taste when the bus folds open to recreate the London skyline in hedges and instead looks like the 7/7 wreckage. Grr.

But then you may have them back for the athletes climbing an airport stairway to nowhere and looking poignant. Lose them again for Leona Lewis flying out of the bus to sing "Every Inch of My Love" - tamed down to "Whole Lot Of Love", which is a shame. We're a nation of hapless shaggers, and should celebrate that to the hilt.

But then, even more points for David Beckham a woman crouched at his knees, smiling and waving. Watching it in a cafe with the sound off, we gasped in giddy wonder. Was the highlight of the ceremony going to be Beckham felated in front of an audience of billions?

Sadly, now I've watched it again with commentary, it appears she's ten. Still, at least it wasn't Tom Daley.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Turning up to the festival this year is a bit like arriving late at a barbeque where it's been raining all afternoon. After a month of solid rain, everyone is sodden. Last year was bad enough, but this year the city flooded.

Those young ladies of student theatre are still wafting around in calico slips and flip flops, while the boys still slump around in t-shirts and afghan scarf-ette things, which really can't help. And yet, you can tell that the rain has got into their souls. The flyering is less hectoring, sometimes suprisingly honest.

"Look," said one yesterday, "They've only been getting four or five people in, so it'd be nice if you went," - like a duty visit to a sick relative in hospital. Then the masterstroke: "And you wouldn't have to go back outside, either..."

By the end of the first day, I am soaked. Worse, I'm staying in a £180-a-night kitchen. Some nightmare of modern student living, it's all steel breadbin and giant oven, with a bed cowering uncertainly in the corner. While we dry out over late vodkas, Rick perches on the bed, Kate wedges herself by the pan cupboard, and I perch on the breakfast bar.

We stand outside to smoke. There's nothing explicitly forbidding smoking in the room, but the receptionist cooed "If you plan on using the toaster or the hob or the shower, the smoke alarm is a mite over-sensitive, so could you pop the extractor fan on?" This is a nice way of saying "It'll go off if you even look at a pack of Camels."

So that is why I'm standing in the street at 3am. It has stopped raining, and I'm wearing all that I own that is dryest. Which is a pair of board shoots and a jumper.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

2012 Olympic Ceremony Revealed

Boris Johnson has today revealed that the Bonekickers team will be handling the 2012 Opening Ceremony. A moment of great cultural significance, a big flame, and lots of fireworks... what's the worst that could happen?

Bonekickers drinking game

While we wait for genuine Bonekickers spin-off merchandise - such as a duvet cover that sets fire to itself - here's the Bonekickers Drinking Game. I get the grim feeling that archaeologists did not appreciate this show.

Team GB

I hate the phrase "Team GB". Especially when it just refers to a horsey-looking girl who can swim, and some sailors. Which sounds more like your average crowd at the G-A-Y Bar.

PS: Thank heavens that the weird paedo-lure diving boy is out of the games. It was annoying and wrong. Apparently, straight friends have had similar trouble for years with Hermione in the Harry Potter films, but that doesn't make it better. I'm overjoyed that we now have the Phelps - let's face it, he's the American boyfriend we all dream of - a grinny enormo-lunk who drinks.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Spooks Code 9

Finally caught up with this. Sadly, nowhere near as entertaining as I'd hoped. It's about a lot of young people running around while a cameraman tries to keep up. It's all very grey and uninvolving. The characters all share a house, which means that they can bitch about terrorist insurgency and hair in the bath - but that doesn't make them at all likeable.

About 20 minutes in, they kill off the only likeable character. "Haha!" it says, "Are you not shocked and surprised?". "Not really," I think, "She was the only reason I was still watching." And so I stop watching.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Back hair update

I now have two. Oh, it's horrible being in your thirties.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bonekickers finale

Magwilde! What a woman! Not since Heinrich Schliemann accidentally laid waste to the ruins of Troy in the 1870s has archaeology had such a hero.

In last night's thrilling climax, she finally found Excalibur... and broke it. Lest we forget, this is a woman who's been responsible for the destruction of
  • The True cross
  • Boudicca's body
  • The bones of Joan of Arc
  • and a few temples and shit along the way.

Last night's episode was more jam-packed than an arse at an orgy. Ancient Masonic conspiracies! Dexter Fletcher eaten by rats! A threat to civilisation! Men in masks! Gay Tennyson! A water-soluble vicar!

So, it was a shame that at some point in the script development process, someone said "But what's Gillian's Journey in this episode?". So, as well as scampering through history like an old lady at a jumble sale, Gilly also had to shout at all her friends until they left, and then came back a few scenes later to prove that she was Redeemed.

"No one walks out on me!" she screamed. "Get out!" she roared, "You're fired!" she raged. And then, like a dumped twink, she promptly started texting them.

Then she went to see her mother, and discovered that she'd handily put her in the kind of old people's home that includes a secret cellar under the floorboards of every room. I would love to see the brochure - "Guests are welcome to bring personal belongings, small items of furniture, and millennia-spanning enigmas. No pets."

All the while, Magwilde is being hunted by a secret society run by Justin Timberlake, who turns out to be a torture coffin kept in a stately home. Again, imagine the signs - "Visitors are reminded that we open at 9.30 on Wednesdays to allow for staff training and ritual execution". Luckily, Dolly Parton comes to her aid, shouting "My head is full of dates" (a remarkable fruit-related image) followed by "Don't mess with me, I'm an archaeologist!"

There was an end. It involved a cathedral! Fighting! Scuba diving! Gillian as the Lady of the Lake! The sudden appearance of the Reverend Exposition!

"Reverend Abrams!" gasped the Bonekickers. "Who?" I gasped. "I have no idea who you are." It was like forgetting to include the caretaker in an episode of Scooby Doo. But luckily, he fell in the water and promptly vanished. Like their viewing figures.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Save Bonekickers!

With the audience for last week's (actually rather decent) show down to 3.9 million and Metro calling it "A National Laughingstock", I think we have to rally round.

I'm not sure I can cope without hearing "Magwilde!" bellowed across a trench while some long lost treasure goes up in smoke.

If they cancel the show, we're just going to have to carry on making it.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Oliver Postgate

Oliver Postgate is sadly extremely unwell and is resting at his home in Kent. Please send your good wishes and kind prayers to him, to Naomi his partner and to his children.

He is 83.
[Dragon's Friendly Society]

Really sad.

My book

I was just thinking "hey, I should start linking from here to my book in a shamelessly promotional way" when I discover that it's suddenly no longer listed on Amazon. I find this needlessly, but consumingly worrying. The book's coming out, but it suddenly seems less real if it doesn't exist on Amazon. Wow. What did neurotics do before the internet?

I keep finding myelf composing emails to Amazon but stop as I realise they all make me sound Completely Mad.


This week's Bonekickers was actually pretty good. Still had its moments, but the script was just tonnes better, and the characters actually behaved a bit like people. I was nearly as disappointed by last week's Marple, and then they didn't even bother explaining who did one of the murders and the last ten minutes were jubble.

I do hope Bonekickers doesn't stay good. I'd be very disappointed. Mind you, Spooks: Code 9 starts tomorrow, and the trailers look hilariously promising.

In other news, am watching Boston Legal Series 3, which is an object lesson, Harley Street, in how to do an ensemble show about randy professionals dealing with strange things. Rule number one: It's not just about topless Paul Nichols and Suranne Jones in an expensive haircut, you know.

PS: Has anyone worked out what the point of the latest X Files movie was? No, thought not.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Germans got it right

The German title for "Murder She Wrote":

Murder Is Her Hobby. We knew this.