Archive for May, 2011

Top 5 narcissists on Desert Island Discs

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

1. Elisabeth Schwartzkopf is remembered by a handful of opera enthusiasts for her career as a soprano, but whatever singing ability she may have had is almost entirely eclipsed by her appearance in 1958 on Desert Island Discs, a BBC radio programme that requires interviewees to choose eight songs that would be their sole entertainment on a desert island. Seven of her choices featured her own voice, and the eighth was the instrumental prelude to an opera recording in which she was the star.

2. Norman Wisdom chose five of his own songs, including the appropriately titled Narcissus.

3. Rolf Harris, cartoonist, artist, pop singer and a national treasure who recently admitted that he’d never read any Shakespeare, has appeared on Desert Island Discs twice, so he cannot claim not to understand the concept. Nevertheless, for his second outing, in 1999,  he chose three songs of his own.

4. Only two people have ever chosen Gary Glitter records to take with them, and one of them was Gary himself. Paul Gadd, to call him by his real name, was interviewed in 1981, 15 years before he was convicted of abusing two underage girls.

5. And finally, Engelbert Humperdinck, the ham-faced cheese-peddler who, if placed under a metaphor grill, would be a crooning croque monsieur. He only chose one of his own records, but earns his place with his spectacular choice of book to take with him to the island: his own autobiography.

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Failed business ideas, number one in an occasional series

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Amish iPhone Store

Spanky Wilson – Sunshine of your love

Thursday, May 5, 2011


If anyone knows where I can buy this track (for reasons unfathomable, I cannot buy it from the MySpace site) then I’ll be as grateful as a cockney pensioner with a cup of tea.

Top 5 proposed front pages for The Independent

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Independent made a courageous decision to stand out from its rivals on the day after the Royal Wedding by using not a photograph of the event, but a drawing by Tracey Emin. The artist is not known for her drawing so much as her installations, but the Indy splashed on the image anyway despite its obvious shortcomings.

Will this become a trend, I wondered. Will Tracey become an artist-in-residence for the newspaper, composing impressionistic works of art in response to every news event? Here is a top 5 of how The Independent might have observed momentous occasions over the last 100 years, from the recent expiry of a certain terrorist mastermind to the sinking of the Titanic.

The killing of Osama bin Laden

September 11, 2001

The Tiananmen Square massacre

The US capture of Iwo Jima

The sinking of the Titanic

Malcolm Tucker in the White House?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Has anyone else noticed, in the widely circulated photograph of President Barack Obama and his staff watching the killing of Osama bin Laden, the presence of Malcolm Tucker, the foul-mouthed spin doctor from The Thick of It, sitting behind Hillary Clinton?

Official captions suggest he is Denis McDonough, deputy national security adviser to the President. I don’t usually count myself as a conspiracy theorist, but if you base all your judgment solely on these pictures then something is certainly awry.