Monday, 1 June 2009
Since he was 15 in 1988, the BBC have been following the ups and downs of John Davidson from Galashiels and condition that has plagued his life - Tourette's.
Tourette's is a neurological dysfunction that is responsible for involuntary ticks: jerks and spasms, and very often shouting - especially swear words.
Not for one minute would I poke fun at John - his school life was ruined by the condition as little was known about it then and he lost out on fun and friends which is certainly no laughing matter - but as he said himself, if people were asked to name the funniest disease, Tourette's would be it.
In this update we check in on the now 37-year-old John and fellow sufferer, Greg Storey, 15, who is compared John at the same age, to gage how awareness of the condition has changed since 1988.
Now there are various shows that make most of us giggle, but I haven't laughed quite as hard for some time until I watched a particular scene in this programme, but not at the people concerned - with them...
John has worked as a caretaker at a community centre for many years. He has set up a Scottish group for Tourette's which meet for various weekends in which sufferers get together and hopefully learn something new.
One of said weekends, started with a relaxation session. Everyone was sat in a circle whilst one of the group was guiding the closed-eyed sufferers, including John, through a lovely field...the sun was shining, the grass was sweet and green. "Look at the grass, " she said, "How long is it? " to which John shouts: "I'm up to ma knees in ****ing cowpat!"
Not quite the relaxation we were looking for...But the thing about Tourette's is that these statements actually go through minds - mine at least. The difference is, most of us can resist shouting them. Well, sometimes.
Next on the agenda was a meeting with a local benefits expert from the Citizens Advice Bureau, Heather Smith.
Joining the group was John's mate Chopper - who only developed Tourette's at 33 - who has similar 'ticks' to John.
John put a keyring in his mouth to try and stop any outbursts triggered by Chopper.
Heather starts by saying that she Googled the condition and the very narrow information it gave.
She gallantly carried on her speech as Chopper shouted:
"**** off nosey!"
which spurred on John to shout:
"Chopper dyes his p*bes ginger!"
To which Chopper replies: "Your dog's got t**ts!"
That made John say: "p**s!"
By which time poor Heather, trying hard to carry on, blurted 'incap***ity benefit', instead of 'incapacity benefit' which makes everyone in the group burst out laughing and made John exclaim: "You've got Tourette's by proxy now!"
BontB, at this point, was crying with laughter.
What brave people these are to make the most out of their lives with this disease and I wish them all the very best.
But my, they are ******** funny.
Saturday, 23 May 2009
Don't you just love Simon Cowell and the way his cheesy TV company has us weeping, laughing and cringing every Saturday night?
What is it about the pathos, the highs, the lows, that has us so addicted? It's like a televisual form of cocaine. And who released the tear gas on the show. And in my lounge?
Damn him and his perfectly veneered canines...
Any road, this week, we saw the last auditions in which we were introduced to 'Nick Hell' who swung a bin from his earlobes and put a coat hanger through his conk, a geriatric breakdancer, (who has got more moves than teeth) and...er, Martin.
Martin looked and sounded rather like an accountant from somewhere cutting-edge like Knott End. He came along to the auditions carrying something very special in his large black box. Was it a bird? Was it a plane? No...It was light-up guitar.
Martin trudged onto the stage and started to sing Queen's 'I Want To Break Free'. And for the love of Christ , the audience wanted to break free too.
If you've ever heard a cat on heat, sat on burning hot coals in the rain, you will be able to understand where Martin got his vocal inspiration.
But that wasn't all.
For the guitar solo, the guitar lit up like Blackpool Illuminations on acid. In fact the instrument had more talent than him. The irony however, was that Martin got through to the next round.
Simon was the only one to, quite rightly, buzz him. He told Martin that he was pretty rubbish but Amanda and Piers liked him.
Usually that would be the end of the matter, but Martin's biggest fan, his mother-in-law, strode onto the stage and told Simon he was very nasty. Simon's reply? Silence. AT LAST!
Have I missed something, or is this show supposed to be based on talent?
In an extended episode, we got to find out who, out of the 200 acts, would be going through to the semi-finals and I've got to say there were a few surprises.
A dancing Darth Vader, a human saxophone, an overweight drag queen who eats his own naval fluff and guess who? Martin.
He's probably got through because if he didn't, the mother-in-law would give Simon a jolly good thrashing with a wet Jaycloth. Or something similar.
You couldn't make it up, because if you did, you'd probably get three buzzes.
So, it's good news for Susan Boyle fans and that fab Greek pair who do a Riverdance skit.
Who is your money on to win? I'll put a ton on that funny pair of Geordies who cheekily get on every week.
Great news! The earlobe man made it. To the semi final that is. Though perhaps he's in with a chance at the asylum too...
Thursday, 7 May 2009
Is it me, or is it very worrying that these candidates are in charge of actual sales departments somewhere?
In the latest installment of The Apprentice (BBC1, Wednesdays, 9pm), the candidates were under the illusion that they were off to sunnier climes for this week's task.
Ha ha numpties.
In a rainy service station car park, they were informed by Sir Al that they were indeed 'gaain' ap Norf' to Manchester and Liverpool to sell two of a possible 12 items to big business buyers.
This week's 'PMs' (God, don't you just hate people who abbreviate everything) were Mona and greasy Lorraine -you know, the one that's a cross between Marlon Brando's Godfather with the stuffed cheeks and Woody Allen.
At Manchester's Hilton Hotel the teams picked from a dazzling array of inventions from a 'Mojo Ball' and a 'Drill Mate' to the ridiculous stuff they actually chose to sell which included a sleeping bag with arms and legs and a two-handled dog lead. Pity there wasn't an invention to make Lorraine's hair actually appear clean.
But I guess science hasn't progressed that far yet.
Lorraine spilt up her team and she and pizza-faced Yasmina sold shed-loads. However, Geordy bighead Phillip, braces-wearing Ben and that blond bint with the wonky gob, didn't sell a bean. Which didn't go down too well...
In the boardroom, it was down to Lorraine to bring back two of her team for a possible firing so she chose Philip and the blond. Phillip, at long last, shot himself in the foot - unfortunately not literally - by slagging off Lorraine so much it was embarrassing. He even snapped at Sir Al.
And so it came to pass that it was the North-Eastern nincompoop, in the taxi, with the blue Samsonite.
And good riddance too.
Only one question remains...Deborah - why the long face?
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
Eeeee by eck.
Just when you thought it was safe to sail into the sunset, up pops Cassanova Ken Barlow to put a spanner in't works.
Coronation Street (ITV, Monday, 7.30 & 8.30) was full of 'unobvious' goodbyes for sad old Ken - 'Sail This Ship Alone' on the jukebox; "Make sure you look after your Daddy" speeches - you know, understated.
As he drank in the majesty of the cobbles and pigeons, he looked slightly sad to be leaving all this glitz and glamour for a 70 something who now- thanks to a needle, back stitch and a good tailwind- looks more like a 30 something.
Yes Ken has finally had enough of Dierdre's turkey-necked wheezing and Blanche's boggle-eyed bitchiness to run off with an actress who resides on a barge on Wetherfied canal. No, honestly.
Martha aka Stephanie Beecham, was everything that Dierdre aint: womanly, educated and able to speak without half her cartilage bulging from her throat.
Ken fell in love with old, sorry, young Martha on his secret visits to the barge whilst 'taking the dog for a walk'. Now, finally, he had plucked up the courage to write a note to Diedre and leave.
With one small suitcase, he trundled to the canal where she had her infamous homemade soup and a glass of Chablis waiting.
But in a dramatic twist as Ken untied the boat to sail off into the future, he actually jumped off and left her to sail on her own. And just when she thought she was getting a bit of 'how's your father', or, in this case, 'how's your grandfather'.
With a combined age of around 315, this couple, sadly, was not to be.
Now Ken has literally missed the boat to happiness for a life of dowdy wallpaper and halves of bitter down the Rovers.
And there was I thinking he had an education.
Silly old coot.
Monday, 4 May 2009
Just when you think it's safe to turn over to Channel 4 for a little light relief, we are hit with four very odd Brummies trying to cook a three-course dinner in order to win a cash prize of a grand.
Quite simply, four complete strangers host a dinner party in turn for the other diners to vote on in secret. Sounds like a programme for toffs? Far from it...
First of all the viewers and the other guests were introduced to Fareeda, a bubbly Muslim lady who doesn't allow alcohol in her house much to the shock of her guests Natalie, Mike and Lee. They do instead don traditional Indian dress and eat on the floor.
But the curry went down well, even if the guests had to drink their bottles of wine in the taxi home. But for a couple of the guests, it doesn't look as if it would be an alien concept.
The next evening, it was all round to half-Spanish Natalie's pad. Well her mum and dad's mansion to be precise, for gazpacho, paella and creme brulee. It's here that the knives started to come out - and that's nowt to do with carving.
Aussie Mike didn't like salesman Lee because he's a bit full of himself which is a little rich considering Mike has strutted about like a constipated bulldog for the last two evenings.
Lee, with an eye for a sale, gives Natalie £40 for her very large sangria bowl complete with sangria. The next night, as it is his turn to cook, Lee hilariously puts two goldfish in it instead. And it went down like a mixed grill at a vegetarian luncheon.
Lee, convinced from the start that he was the winner, runs out of time when preparing his food. Consequently, his guests eat two hours later than planned. His burnt creme brulee got thrown out of the window and he gave his guests a bunch of asparagus and packet sauce to take home. His score out of a possible 40? Er, seven.
The last evening was hosted by Aussie Mike who was cockily assured of victory. He made all his guests wear loud shirts for some strange reason. However, his beef was tough and his veggies burned but his Prince Regent cake was a hit.
Pity the hit wasn't between a palm and his smug fat face.
The winner of the coveted prize is Natalie. But the biggest prize must go to Dave Lamb, narrator of the show who promptly took the proverbial throughout the show.
Sunday, 3 May 2009
Good evening TV fans.
Unfortunately, BontheB has been out of action but fortunately, she returns..
Stay tuned for reviews of 'Dirty' Ken Barlow, The self-absorbed toss-pots that could very well become The Apprentice and a homage to the king of the kitchen Marco Pierre White - otherwise known as God in a striped piny.
Thursday, 19 February 2009
Oh how we laughed at the latest Celebrity Come Dine With Me.
This time we were having dinner with Julia Bradbury from Watchdog, Christopher Biggins from I'm A Celebrity, Phillip Olivier from Brookside, and Edwina Currie from a vile place that breeds Tories.
First off, we are at Julia's where she starts of with a little Aquavit. Cut to a very camp Biggins reading the menu - "Aquavit! It's vile!" but when he later realises he got the drink mistaken for Advocaat he chirps: "Advocaat makes me vomit. Aquavit I adore. I went down the wrong avenue there."
Not for the first time Mr Biggins.
Julia serves up smoked salmon blinis and fillet of beef, which Phillip favours: "If it moves, I'll eat it."
Now there's a statement girls.
Plied with alcohol, Julia, Phillip and Biggins are dancing and laughing, but Edwina is not so happy: "I don't need to drink to enjoy myself." But perhaps, Ms Currie, others need to drink to forget you're there.
The next night, it's over to Phil's for chicken liver pate, grey bream and Eton Mess.
Edwina's a little more chirpy and wants to see Philip's chest as he done a lot of modelling including Attitude, the gay magazine. However both Edwina and Christopher have to make do with signed copies of Phil's calendar. That's showbiz folks.
Next is Edwina's house where she prepares her dishes with her 2 dogs on the kitchen floor - all bitches together then.
She prepares roasted tomato and garlic soup, pistachio souffle and individual Beef Wellingtons.
The guests go an nosey round her rather large house and Biggins notes a photo of a baboon on the wall: "A lovely picture of Edwina on holiday," he jokes.
Last but not least, it's the turn of Biggins who gets his housekeeper Steph to do most of the preparation for him while he's titivating the fresh flowers.
Edwina arrives walking like John Wayne and Biggins contemplates sticking a rude part of his anatomy in her food. Pity he didn't...
A great night was had by all and Biggins was the victor. Or should that be Victoria?
By the end of this hour, one phrase is on my mind though- I'm not a celebrity, but get me out of here.