Monday, November 20, 2006

Competitive Shriek

Robert Allen talks like Frank Bruno and sings like Luther Vandross used to before he unfortunately died. Yesterday Robert, or rather his dream, died as he was voted off the X-Factor. At least I know this time I was not responsible because I voted for the former Homerton Hospital porter, soon to be dad and all round fine geezer, twice. The first time I phoned I was so taken by being thanked effusively by Robert in his best Frank Bruno voice that I immediately dialled the number again just to repeat the experience. I have never voted on a reality show before except the time I voted for Tara Palmer-Tomkinson on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here. It’s a long story - don't ask.

Everyone says that Britain is racist because we keep voting off the black contestants. If thirteen year old girls can be considered racist for fancying gormless anorexic white boys with faces that aren’t yet properly formed, then I guess we are. I fancied Davy Jones of the Monkees when I was thirteen and he was not much bigger than a clothes peg and probably lived on a diet of celery and cherry coke as well. I got Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones one Christmas and was in teeny bop heaven. I had no idea what the song Randy Scouse Git was all about. Still don’t.

Simon Cowell’s hair looks like it’s been permanently flattened by wearing sunglasses on top of it for thirty years. I don’t know why he voted Robert off since he’s had nothing but praise for him and only vitriol for the pasty-faced scousers, Eton Road. Maybe it’s tactical, although it’s difficult to see the logic. Anyway, history has shown that it’s better not to win these competitions. Winners tend to end up in rehab where all they will get is relationship advice and the name of a crack dealer from Pete Doherty. Or they could end up in panto. I hope Robert doesn’t have to go back to the Homerton. He may end up doing panto, in roles created by Frank Bruno. Good luck to him.

At least the X-Factor is a competition that doesn’t cost us anything except our TV licence fee and 35p every time we vote. The bill for the London Olympics has already skyrocketed from the original guesstimate of £2.5bn to anything up to £8bn and this is before all the contractors have started installing substandard materials at extortionate prices and filed for bankruptcy. Now that we know the calculations were really executed on the back of a fag packet and this wasn’t just a metaphor, we can all spend the next six years speculating on how long it is possible for a piece of string to be. There may even be a Guinness World Record in it. Longest piece of string ever used to work out how much of long-suffering council tax payers’ money to waste on a frivolous folly springs to mind. On Friday the International Construction Review made a rather bald statement of the obvious,

‘Jack Lemley must obviously have been aware of what was on the way in terms of the rising London Olympics budget when he decided to quit his appointment as leader of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).’

His acting successor, Sir Roy McNulty, under examination by the London Assembly (which has an oversight function for the 2012 Games), refused to disclose the scale of the increases.

Sorry, what was that? Another one of these knighted knaves is refusing to tell us how much of our hard-earned cash he is preparing to sacrifice to protect the vanity of his self-obsessed cronies. His first class ticket to Buenos Aires is presumably in the post. Argentine authorities might want to conduct an environmental impact study. The heavy concentration of regally approved miscreants currently jetting in could well be adversely affecting their air quality. It gets better,

On the reasons for Jack Lemley’s resignation, Sir Roy said that there were ‘serious differences’ between Mr. Lemley and the ODA board.

He also claimed there was a ‘mismatch’ between Mr. Lemley and the political environment in which the delivery authority operates.’

So poor old Jack Lemley couldn’t take the whole cult of secrecy concealing gross incompetence and flagrant nepotism thing then. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the queue for anabolic steroids man. That’s what I say.

Why don’t we just do the whole Olympic thing as a TV reality show? We know that all the big plans for regeneration are just going to be scaled back to the point where we’ll get a couple of tube stations and a school named after Kelly Holmes anyway so why not just start from there? Let’s get people in who we know are guaranteed to squeal if they get a cricket popped into their shorts. There are literally thousands of people in this country who can ride a unicycle backwards, all taught courtesy of previous regeneration projects. Why not concentrate on what we’re good at? Let’s get Bruce Forsythe in to commentate. I can’t wait for the rest of the world to learn how the sentence ‘Nice to see you…’ is conjugated. Wouldn’t it be brilliant to see Simon Cowell tell Ian Thorpe, ‘this is a swimming competition’?

And Robert – keep working on that Mr Bojangles routine, I think I might have a plan…

Photo of Robert Allen from


Ben said...

I voted for Ben


Last night I watched a Dublin movie called Intermission with Colin Farrell and Cillian Murhy.

Have you seen it?

It takes one away from the quoditian corruption of state and twists the head a bit in a startling take on live. A patchy quality about it, but a film which floats for some bizzare reason I was unable to fathom, as the film itself is un-pigeonhole-able if you get me.

I was nicking the gags from your rant and decided to write after detecting an anti-imperialist stance in the tenor of your text.

A note of defiance.

That's so pants said...

Didn't see Intermission. I'm rather wedded to Torchwood I'm afraid but last night's episode was absolute pants. Anti-imperialist eh? Mmm. I think of my self more of an anti-tosser, actually.