Saturday 31 December 2016


...Sir Ken Dodd, Sir Andy Murray, Sir Bryn Terfel, Sir Mark Rylance... and Sir Ray Davies:

In addition to a damehood for the lovely Patricia Routledge, there's also Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, and Dame Anna Wintour!

Among others honoured: Baroness Shirley Williams, Dame Evelyn Glennie and Sir Roger Bannister, Companions of Honour; Angela Rippon CBE; Victoria Beckham OBE, Maggie Philbin OBE, and Tim Pigott-Smith OBE; and the super-sexy Chris Mears MBE. I'm arising...

Congratulations, all!

My damehood was obviously overlooked this time around.

New Year's Honours 2016-17

Friday 30 December 2016

RIP, 2016

It's one hell of a list...

Natalie Cole (US singer)
Guru Josh (Paul Walden) (British club DJ and musician)
Stevie Wright (Australian singer, the Easybeats)
André Courrèges (French modernist/futurist fashion designer)
Robert Stigwood (Australian band manager: Cream, the Bee Gees; producer: Saturday Night Fever, Grease)
Pierre Boulez (French modernist composer and conductor)
Kitty Kallen (US singer and UK "one-hit wonder", Little Things Mean A Lot)
Ed 'Stewpot' Stewart (British radio DJ, Junior Choice)
David Bowie (British singer-songwriter and icon, an influence on everybody)
Sylvana Pampanini (Italian actress and singer)
Alan Rickman (British theatre and screen actor, Truly Madly Deeply)
Robert Banks Stewart (British television producer, Shoestring, Bergerac, Lovejoy)
Dan Haggerty (US actor, Grizzly Adams)
Dale Griffin (British rock drummer, Mott the Hoople)
Glenn Frey (US guitarist, co-founder of The Eagles)
Lord (George) Weidenfeld (Austrian-British book publisher and politician)
Sheila Sim (British actress, Lady (Richard) Attenborough)
Lord (Cecil) Parkinson (British politician and former cabinet minister)
Colin Vearncombe (British singer aka Black, Wonderful Life)
Sir Terry Wogan (Irish-British broadcaster and "national treasure", Radio 2, Eurovision)
Frank Finlay (British actor, Three Musketeers, Bouquet of Barbed Wire)
Maurice White (US singer and musician, co-founder of Earth Wind & Fire)
George Gaynes (US actor, Police Academy)
Boutros Boutros-Ghali (Egyptian statesman, former UN Secretary-General)
Harper Lee (US author, To Kill A Mockingbird)
Umberto Eco (Italian author, The Name of the Rose)
Vlasta Dalibor (Czech-British puppeteer, created "Pinky and Perky")
Frank Kelly (Irish actor and performer, "Father Jack" in Father Ted)
John Chilton (British Trad Jazz musician, George Melly's "Feetwarmers")
George Kennedy (US actor, Naked Gun )
Tony Warren (British screenwriter, creator of Coronation Street)
Nikolaus Harnoncourt (German orchestra conductor)
Nancy Reagan (US First Lady)
Ray Tomlinson (US computer scientist, inventor of email)
Sir George Martin (British record producer: The Beatles, Cilla Black)
Keith Emerson (British rock musician, Emerson Lake & Palmer)
Anita Brookner (British author and art historian)
Asa Briggs (British historian and co-founder of the Open University)

Sylvia Anderson (British producer and co-creator of the "Supermarionation" children's TV programmes, voice of "Lady Penelope")
Cliff Michelmore (British broadcaster and presenter, the Moon landings, Tonight programme)
Sir Ken Adam (British film production designer, James Bond films, created the car in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)
Frank Sinatra Junior (US singer)
Adrienne Corri (British actress, A Clockwork Orange, had a famous on-air spat with Dorothy Squires)
Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (British composer, former Master of the Queen's Music)
Paul Daniels (British magician and TV host)
Rob Ford (Canadian politician, controversial mayor of Toronto)
Johan Cruyff (Dutch footballer)
Garry Shandling (US comedian)
Paolo Poli (Italian actor and drag queen)
Patty Duke (US actress, The Miracle Worker, Valley of the Dolls)
Ronnie Corbett (British comedian and "national treasure", The Two Ronnies)
Andy "Thunderclap" Newman (British pop pianist, Something In The Air)
Ernestine Anderson (US jazz singer)
Zaha Hadid (Iraqi-British modernist architect)
Denise Robertson (British writer and television broadcaster)
Leon Haywood (US soul singer, Don't Push It Don't Force It)
Merle Haggard (US Country & Western singer)
Linda Woodward (British (Welsh) wife of Sir Tom Jones for 59 years)
David Gest (US producer and entertainer, notoriously former Mr Liza Minnelli)
Gareth Thomas (British (Welsh) actor, star of Blake's 7)
David Swift (British actor, Drop the Dead Donkey)
Guy Hamilton (British film director, Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever)
Emile Ford (US singer, What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For?)
Victoria Wood (British comedienne, actress, writer and legend)
Prince (US singer, musician and superstar)
Billy Paul (US singer, Me & Mrs Jones)
Philip Townsend (British celebrity photographer of the 1960s)
Barry Howard (British actor, Hi-De-Hi)
Valerie Lush (British character actress, And Mother Makes Three)
Corry Brokken (Dutch singer, Eurovision Song Contest)
Marisol (French-Venezuelan "Pop Art" sculptor, friend of Warhol)
Reg Grundy (Australian TV producer, Neighbours)
Gareth Gwenlan (British (Welsh) TV producer, Reginald Perrin, Only Fools and Horses)
Barry Kent (British singer, The Good Old Days)
Burt Kwouk (British-Chinese actor, "Cato" in the Pink Panther films)
Carla Lane (British TV scriptwriter, The Liver Birds, Bread, Butterflies)
Muhammad Ali (US boxer and civil rights spokesman)

Peter Shaffer (British playwright/screenwriter, Amadeus, Equus)
Janet Waldo (US voice-over artist, "Penelope Pitstop" in Wacky Races)
Jo Cox (British MP, murdered)
Patrick Mayhew, Lord Mayhew of Twysden (British politician, senior negotiator in Northern Ireland peace talks in the 1990s)
Ronnie Claire Edwards (US actress, "Corabeth" in The Waltons)
Scotty Moore (US rock'n'roll guitarist, Elvis's accompanist)
Gordon Murray (British animator and puppeteer, Trumpton, Camberwick Green)
Caroline Aherne (British comedienne and scriptwriter, Mrs Merton, The Royle Family)
James Gilgert (British TV executive and commissioner, The Two Ronnies, Last of the Summer Wine)
Frank Dickens (British satirical cartoon strip creator, Bristow)
Garry Marshall (US director and producer, creator of Happy Days and Pretty Woman)
Marni Nixon (US singer, dubbed for Deborah Kerr, Natalie Wood and Audrey Hepburn in movies)
Vivean Gray (Australian actress, "Mrs Mangel" in Neighbours)
Sylvia Peters (British broadcaster, BBC continuity announcer for HM The Queen's coronation)
Gloria de Haven (US musical film actress and singer)
Queen Anne of Romania
Ruby Winters (US soul singer, I Will)
Duke of Westminster (Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, Britain's third richest man)
Kenny Baker (British actor, "R2-D2" in Star Wars)
Arthur Hiller (US film director, Love Story, The Out-of-Towners)
Lord Brian Rix (British actor and campaigner, pioneer of the charity Mencap)
Antony Jay (British writer and producer, Yes, Minister)
Toots Thielemans (Belgian jazz harmonica player, theme from Midnight Cowboy)
Sonia Rykiel (French fashion designer)
Gene Wilder (US comic actor, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, The Producers)
David Jenkins (British clergyman, controversial former Bishop of Durham)
Prince Buster (Jamaican Ska musician)
Alexis Arquette (US transgender actress)
Edward Albee (US playwright, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?)
Charmian Carr (US actress, "Liesl" in The Sound of Music)
Arnold Palmer (US champion golfer)
Shimon Peres (Israeli statesman, Nobel Peace Prize winner and president)
Ann Emery (British actress)
Sir Neville Marriner (British conductor and violinist)
Rod Temperton (British songwriter, Michael Jackson's Off The Wall and Thriller, Heatwave)
King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand
Dario Fo (Italian playwright)
Jean Alexander (British actress, "Hilda Ogden" in Coronation Street)

Countess Raine Spencer (step-mother of Princess Diana, daughter of Barbara Cartland)
Jimmy Perry (British TV comedy writer, Dad’s Army, Hi-de-Hi!, It Ain’t Half Hot Mum)
Bobby Vee (US singer, Rubber Ball, The Night Has a Thousand Eyes)
Pete Burns (British singer and style pioneer, Dead or Alive)
Tammy Grimes (US actress and singer)
Janet Reno (first female US attorney general)
Kay Starr (US singer, The Rock And Roll Waltz, Wheel of Fortune)
Sir Jimmy Young (British radio broadcaster and legend)
Leonard Cohen (Canadian singer-songwriter)
Robert Vaughn (US actor, The Man From UNCLE)
Mose Allison (US jazz pianist, singer and composer)
David Mancuso (US DJ and pioneer of the New York Disco scene)
Florence Henderson (US actress, The Brady Bunch)
Fidel Castro (Cuban former president and revolutionary)
Margaret Rhodes (British nobility, HM The Queen's first cousin)
"Leonard of Mayfair" (British celebrity hairdresser: Twiggy, The Beatles)
Colonel Abrams (US dance music singer, Trapped)
Andrew Sachs (British actor, "Manuel" in Fawlty Towers)
Bernard Gallagher (British actor, "Ewart Plimmer" in Casualty)
Peter Vaughan (British actor, Citizen Smith, Porridge)
Greg Lake (British rock musician and singer, Emerson Lake & Palmer, King Crimson)
John Glenn (US astronaut)
AA Gill (British journalist, restaurant critic and social commentator)
Ian McCaskill (British TV weather forecaster and national treasure)
Lord (Jim) Prior (British former MP and cabinet minister)
Mike Nicholson (British television reporter and broadcaster, ITN)
Bernard Fox (British actor, Bewitched)
Henry Heimlich (US doctor, invented the "Heimlich manouevre")
Zsa Zsa Gabor (Hungarian-American actress and socialite)
Rabbi Lionel Blue (British cleric and broadcaster, first out-gay Rabbi in the UK)
Jean Dawnay (British model of the 1950s, later Princess George Galitzine)
Michèle Morgan (French actress)
Coral Atkins (British television actress, A Family At War)
Rick Parfitt (British rock musician, Status Quo)
George Michael (British singer and songwriter, Wham!)
Liz Smith (British character actress and "national treasure", "Nana" in The Royle Family)
Richard Adams (British author, Watership Down)
Carrie Fisher (US actress, Star Wars)
Debbie Reynolds (US film star, singer and dancer)
China Machado (Chinese-Portuguese fashion model)

Rest in peace, one and all.

Boogie down with David now

Before I get to the annual "roll of honour" for what has to have been one of the most remarkable years for "beloved celebrity deaths" - of course there are always loads of notable names who die in any twelve-month period, but among those we said goodbye to in 2016 were people who I (and many, many others) genuinely loved - I feel the need to do a little preamble.

We bid RIP this year to some "names" of the highest magnitude (Muhammad Ali, Prince, John Glenn, Robert Stigwood, Fidel Castro, George Martin, Robert Vaughn, Nancy Reagan, Leonard Cohen, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Gene Wilder, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds and all), and to numerous British "national treasures" such as Terry Wogan, Caroline Aherne, Ronnie Corbett, Jimmy Young, Paul Daniels, Ed Stewart, Liz Smith, Andrew Sachs, Brian Rix, Cliff Michelmore, Jean Alexander, Frank Kelly and Ian McCaskill. We lost people whose innovations were a big part of my childhood, such as Carla Lane (creator of some of the biggest TV comedies of the 1970s including The Liver Birds), Gordon Murray (who created Camberwick Green), Janet Waldo (the voice of "Penelope Pitstop" in Wacky Races), Sylvia Anderson (the voice of "Lady Penelope" in Thunderbirds), Jimmy Perry (creator of Dad's Army, It Ain't Half Hot Mum and Hi-Di-Hi) and Vlasta Dalibor (co-creator of the puppet show Pinky and Perky).

And then there were those without whom my life would have been so very, very different; people who I never knew but nonetheless were a constant source of inspiration (and were "there for me" in many a milestone moment); the ones whose loss is very painful indeed - George Michael, Pete Burns, Victoria Wood, and the greatest of them all, my idol David Bowie.

In recognition of the fact that it is the weekend, and there is indeed "The Party Of The Year" to look forward to tomorrow (I spent today shopping for the buffet, and the music playlist is almost done!), I feel it is only fitting for the great man himself to jolly-up the mood with John, I'm Only Dancing (Again) - and Thank Disco It's Friday!

Hold onto your hats, though, dear reader - next up is that "great list"...

Thursday 29 December 2016

Unsinkable no more

So, mother's gone too! Too, too sad for words.

This, my darlings, is how we will remember her...

Mary Frances "Debbie" Reynolds (1st April 1932 – 28th December 2016)

Wednesday 28 December 2016

Drowned in moonlight, strangled by her own bra

"Remember the white dress I wore all through that film? George came up to me the first day of filming, took one look at the dress and said: 'You can't wear a bra under that dress.'"

"'OK, I'll bite,' I said. 'Why?' And he said: 'Because ... there's no underwear in space.'"

"He said it with such conviction. Like he had been to space and looked around and he didn't see any bras or panties anywhere."

"He explained. 'You go into space and you become weightless. Then your body expands but your bra doesn't, so you get strangled by your own underwear.'"

"I think that this would make for a fantastic obituary. I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra."
Carrie Fisher (21st October 1956 – 27th December 2016)

Tuesday 27 December 2016

If you're gonna do it, do it right

I was somewhat premature when I declared our visit to Grandma's Party to be "our last timeslip moment of 2016" - for here we are again, crash-landed awkwardly in the last vestiges of the year when the mobile phone, Eastenders, the "hole" in the ozone layer, Calvin and Hobbes, the Amiga computer, Neighbours, the "AIDS test", the Discovery Channel and "Super Mario" all arrived; the year of Reagan and Gorbachev, of Mohamed Al-Fayed (who bought Harrods) and Madonna, of the "Unabomber" and Live Aid... 1985!

In the news thirty-one years ago this month: unemployment fell in the UK for the third month running; the new Nissan plant in Sunderland was completed, ready to open the following year; the Comic Relief charity was launched; in the ascendant were Microsoft Windows 1.0 (which was released for use on home computers in time for Xmas),the Abu Nidal terrorist group (which wreaked havoc in a series of murderous shootings at airports in Rome and Vienna) and Les Misérables (which made its West End début at the Palace Theatre - and is still in the West End today!), but it was sad news for gorilla conservation as naturalist Dian Fossey was found murdered in Rwanda. In our cinemas: Legend (with Tim Curry), Kiss of the Spider Woman and Back to the Future. On telly: a Wogan Xmas special with the cast of Dynasty, the 25th anniversary of Coronation Street, and Minder (on the Orient Express!).

In the final chart of December 1985: Shakin'-bloody-Stevens was at #1, and also in attendance in this Xmas lineup were Whitney "somebody slap her" Houston, Band Aid (for the second year running), Pet Shop Boys, Aled Jones, Dee C Lee, Phil "not dead yet" [why?] Collins, Queen Madge and Bruce Springsteen - but taking up two positions in the Top 10 was dear, sadly-missed, George Michael and Wham! At number 6 was a return visit for Last Christmas, but not long departed from the top spot was this one - I'm Your Man!

Call me good
Call me bad
Call me anything you want to baby
But I know that you're sad
And I know I'll make you happy
With the one thing that you never had

Baby, I'm your man (don't you know that?)
Baby, I'm your man
You bet!
If you're gonna do it, do it right, right?
Do it with me

So good
You're divine
Want to take you, want to make you
But they tell me it's a crime!
Everybody knows where the good people go
But where we're going baby
Ain't no such word as no!

Baby, I'm your man (don't you know who I am?)
Baby, I'm your man
You bet!
If you're gonna do it, do it right, right?
Do it with me
Come on baby, (ooh, take me home
Please don't leave me here, to do it on my own)

First class information
I'll be your sexual inspiration
And with some stimulation
We can do it right

So why waste time
With the other guys?
When you can have mine
I ain't askin' for no sacrifice
Baby your friends do not need to know!
I've got a real nice place to go

I don't need you to care
I don't need you to understand
All I want is for you to be there
And when I'm turned on
If you want me
I'm your man!

If you're gonna do it, do it right, right?
Do it with me

Now listen
If you're gonna do it, you know what I say?
If you're gonna do it don't throw it away
Don't throw it baby
I'll be your boy, I'll be your man
I'll be the one who understands
I'll be your first, I'll be your last
I'll be the only one you ask
I'll be your friend, I'll be your toy
I'll be the one who brings you joy
I'll be your hope, I'll be your pearl
I'll take you halfway 'round the world!
I'll make you rich, I'll make you poor
Just don't use the door

Do it with me

Seems like yesterday.

More Wham! here, here, here, and - significantly - here.

Monday 26 December 2016

C'est très efféminé

It's over now - I have had just about enough of this festering season, and of mourning yet another icon of my youth passing [I only hope Debbie Harry is keeping well...].

A new week opens, and we're hurtling towards the great end-of-year celebrations (at this rate "good riddance" might be appropriate).

It also happens to be the 87th birthday today of a Patron Saint - Mademoiselle Régine Zylberberg! So let's celebrate that fact on this Tacky Music Monday with a welcome revisit to one of her campest moments - in the company of a bevy of "safety gays", here's Les femmes ça fait pédé...

More Regine here, here, here, here and, of course, here.

Régine (born Regina Zylberberg, 26th December 1929)

Sunday 25 December 2016


Can 2016 get any fucking worse..?

Now it's RIP George Michael, who died today aged 53.

A quaint tradition on this day...

...around these parts, anyhow:

Bah Humbug.

Saturday 24 December 2016

Xmas Totty

It's the night before Xmas - so, Santa, please put in my stocking...

Ricky Martin (born Enrique Martín Morales, 25th December 1971)

Díma Bilán (born 24th December 1981)

Justin Trudeau (born 25th December 1971)

...and Giorgos Alkaios (born 24th December 1971) and especially his "friends"!

I still say "Bah Humbug" - till they're delivered!

Friday 23 December 2016

Farewell to a Fierce Rulin' Diva

Andy as "Sandra" - Fierce!

RIP Andy Lindup (12th November 1980 - 15th December 2016)

I'll miss ya.


It is the last day in work before the madness descends, and I anticipate we may get out of the office a little earlier than usual (which inevitably leads to a huge round of attempted "buck-passing", as people suddenly realise they haven't done something important because ordering stuff on eBay was far too time-consuming to concentrate on - umm - work). I am aiming to be in the pub at lunchtime...

Regardless, and despite my loathing of the Festering Season, at least it means we won't be back there for another TEN DAYS! Whoo-hoo!

I think it appropriate to get this party started with a rather "special" number, courtesy of the awesome talent that is Charo... and Thank Disco It's (Xmas) Friday!!

As one reviewer surmises, a song that will be played at Christmastime in Hell.

Thursday 22 December 2016

A flash, a mob, and a feast

It's finally arrived!

Back in November I, John-John, David, Lloydy and numerous others gave up a whole Sunday to dedicate ourselves to playing our part in recording another "film epic" - the video promotion to launch Camden and Islington LGBT History Month (which takes place in February).

And here's the result...

"I'm ready for my close-up, Mr DeMille!"

Everybody's going to the party

It's our last timeslip moment of 2016...

Let's race back one final time to that most memorable of years - the year of Pol Pot, Nadia Comaneci, Entebbe, the great British heatwave, the "Gang of Four", The Omen, the US bicentennial, Brotherhood of Man, the "Son of Sam", and the final end of the Vietnam War (as North and South Vietnam were merged) - 1976, for another bout of nostalgia.

In the news forty years ago in December 1976: the US of A was celebrating the arrival of its fresh new President Jimmy Carter; the Sex Pistols shocked uptight Britain by saying the word "fuck" on live television; in the ascendant were Northern Ireland peace campaigners Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan (who won the Nobel Peace Prize), and The Eagles (who released Hotel California), but Bob Marley narrowly survived an assassination attempt; and the UK Labour government's disastrous economic mismanagement was exposed when Chancellor Denis Healey secured a loan from the International Monetary Fund to prop up a huge deficit. On our big screens were The Pink Panther Strikes Again, Survive! and Picnic at Hanging Rock. On telly: The New Avengers (with Joanna Lumley), Multi-Coloured Swap Shop and The Two Ronnies.

And in our charts this week in 1976? Johnny Mathis held the #1 slot with When A Child is Born, and following close behind were Showaddywaddy, Abba, Queen, Mike Oldfield, ELO, Yvonne Elliman, Tina Charles and Smokie. But leaping upwards was this eternal party favourite - it's the lovely Mr Paul Nicholas and Grandma's Party!

Oh dear. I still remember it all too well.

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Everyone is joining in the group denial

Britain's relatives are preparing a range of strange and annoying behaviours for their Christmas visits, they have revealed.

Uncles, cousins and grandparents intend to antagonise hosts with activities including nosing around, irritating food requests and heating-based weirdness.

Uncle Roy Hobbs said: “When I visit my sister’s family for Christmas I’ll definitely be asking to look at their boiler for some reason.

“When there’s a good Pixar film on I’ll insist on watching an obscure programme about trout fishing I’ve discovered on Freeview. I don’t even like fishing.”

Grandmother Mary Fisher said: “I’m staying at my daughter’s for a few days, so there’ll be plenty of time for ‘helpful’ things like rearranging the kitchen cupboards.

“I also have an interminable bedtime ritual involving changing into a housecoat and doing things with creams, so I hope they’re not planning to use the bathroom at Christmas.”

Her husband Norman said: “I’ll be taking my grandsons on a long country walk, scaring them shitless with rubbish about ghosts and bringing them home on the brink of hypothermia.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

And here's the perfect musical accompaniment:

"Christmastime, you force a smile
Everyone is joining in the group denial
Folks behaving infantile
Family Christmastime."


Monday 19 December 2016

Winter is freezing time, teasing time and squeezing time

It is the final countdown to the dreaded Festering Season, and still a whole week in work to go...

Let's get ourselves in the mood to get out there - in the full and certain knowledge that all week the shops will be rammed with panicked faces, there'll be queues everywhere, shelves will be cleared of all mince pies (good! - they are horrid) and tinsel, zillions of overpriced box sets of scent'n'soap will be lying damaged on the floor of Superdrug, and on every tannoy Mariah Carey will be playing. I hate this time of year.

Never mind - on this Tacky Music Monday, we have something far better to ease our jingling nerves (see what I did there?) - it's yesterday's centenarian Miss Betty Grable and her Winter Show!

Elizabeth Ruth "Betty" Grable (18th December 1916 – 2nd July 1973)

Sunday 18 December 2016

Festive Goose

"There are many more lavish and spectacular pantomimes around but few, I suspect, with such unaffected warmth and heart." - The Guardian
And so it was that a hefty gathering of our regular "gang" (Hils, Crog, Madam Arcati, John-John, Julie, Jim and I) and chums (Steve, Sian, John B, Julia) ventured to the East End for a seasonal tradition - the panto at the historic Wilton's Music Hall (oh yes we did...).

"National treasure" Roy Hudd is a master of the Music Hall genre (he is president of the British Music Hall Society, and has bequested his extensive archive on the subject to the Suffolk New College), and celebrated 56 years in showbiz in 2016 (as an actor, scriptwriter, variety performer and comedian on stage, telly and radio). Thus it is all the more surprising that, in his 80th birthday year, this is only his second foray in the part of "The Dame" (see here for our visit to his first) - a role he is perfect for.

This year's Wilton's "extravaganza" - which Mr Hudd also wrote - is an adaptation of one of the earliest of its type. The original Mother Goose, which more-or-less launched the comedic pantomime art-form so beloved of us Brits, was a production created for the "King of the Music Halls" Dan Leno in 1902, and this updated version is Mr Hudd's tribute to his hero (he takes a photo of Mr Leno with him to place on his dressing-room table wherever he performs).

And what a joyful "tribute" it is too!

As with all pantomimes, there is a subtle balance between the very silly jokes, the - inevitably these days - clumsily-inserted pop songs and the simplistic fairy-tale storyline (all appealing to the children; one little boy along the row from us sat bewitched through the whole two hours without being bored) and the innuendo, smut, satirical references and knowing asides that keep the grown-ups entertained. In the hands of this fab cast (especially Mr Hudd, Gareth Davies (as the villainous "Vanity") and (as "Silly Willy") Ian Jones), despite the inevitable ad-libs and script "fluffs", the balance is maintained throughout. We laughed till tears ran down our faces at some of the preposterous antics - as Mother Goose, suddenly coming into money through the gift of golden eggs laid by the feathered monstrosity "Priscilla the Goose", transforms herself from tatty old lady into, well, an ageing glamour-puss (quote: “I do like your dress.” reply: “I bought it for a ridiculous figure.”), and mayhem ensues.

The singing (especially Ian Parkin (the wicked Squire) and his "daughter" played by Amelia-Rose Morgan), the dancing (the boys Steven Hardcastle - also the show's choreographer - and Terique Jarrett were divertingly sexy), the boos, the hisses, the Cockney Fairy (veteran actress Julia Sutton), the costumes, the inevitable happy ending - even the children - were all thoroughly enjoyable, but among our highlights were the "set-piece" routines: the totally manic Twelve Days of Christmas, with cast members running up and down the stage to pick up the ever-increasing list of presents arriving from the wings; and, especially, the inspired "mirror routine" in which Mr Hudd and Mr Jones flawlessly "reflected" each other's every move through an invisible looking-glass.

With the assistance of Hils and Crog's "killer mulled wine", a jolly crowd, and in the magnificent surroundings of the world's oldest surviving music hall, we had a fabulous evening...

Mother Goose is at Wilton's until 31st December.

Saturday 17 December 2016

Full of sugar and bits of twig

A woman would really like to drink something that has not been heated up and had loads of spices and other shit put in it.

Emma Bradshaw just wants to enjoy a nice, cold glass of alcohol that is not full of sugar and bits of twig, but has been increasingly unable to find one in the run up to Christmas.

Bradshaw said: “I’m aware that mulled wine is to be expected at this time of year, and I can begrudgingly accept mulled cider too, but people are mulling shit left, right and centre nowadays.

“It’s not like we work outside all day in freezing snow and need warming beverages to stop us getting frostbite. The coldest I ever get is when one of the menopausal ladies in the office is allowed to control the air conditioning.”

She added: “Being wankered the whole time is the point of Christmas, so why ruin some perfectly decent alcohol by diluting it with juice and then heating it until all the lovely alcohol evaporates?

“In any other context it would be considered insane, like giving someone a mug of boiling lager with a sprig of lavender in. Oh wait, they actually sell that in my local hipster café.

The Daily Mash

Of course.

After a few glasses of Hils and Crog's frankly lethal recipe during the interval at last night's panto at Wilton's [more of that later, no doubt], I am inclined to agree.

Friday 16 December 2016

Well I can dance with you honey if you think it's funny

A giant disco ball made from a cement truck.

I survived the office party. There may well be some rather embarrassed silences today, I surmise, however - judging by some of the inappropriate wine-fuelled conversations being had around that table...

Of course, I was a paragon of virtue - though it is a bit of a struggle trying to get my head in gear to get out and to work this morning. Hey ho, it is the end of the week, and our gang is off to the Panto at Wilton's Music Hall tonight ["Oh yes we are" "Oh no you're not!" ad infinitum].

It also happens to be the 70th birthday today of "the furry one" in Abba - Mr Benny Andersson! So, by way of an all-round celebration, and to get the party started (again) - here is Abba and the infectious Does Your Mother Know. Thank Disco It's Friday!

Sparkle, sweetie, sparkle!

Thursday 15 December 2016

It's our office Xmas party tonight...

...whoo hoo.

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Tuesday 13 December 2016

I poop glitter

Over at Cafe Muscato, a sinister contest-of-sorts is looming - as our erstwhile host throws into the ring the first challenger for "Most Horrifying Xmas Toy" with the "Devil Giraffe"!

"Il Duce" at Suffering Fools Gladly has an equally appalling contender in the "Flesh-Eating Green-lipped Bear"!

Never one to refuse a challenge, I've found a few "choice" gifts myself out there on the interwebs. Do not, under any circumstances, purchase any of these for a loved one...

I wait with bated breath for more horrors to emerge over this festering season!

Monday 12 December 2016


Gloom descends. After a great weekend, with Sally's party the pièce de résistance, it's time to get back to the grindstone...

However, on this Tacky Music Monday thank heavens for yesterday's birthday celebrant Señor Pérez Prado!

To cheer us up, as only he (with his frilly sleeves and - as Anne Marie described - "his signature HUH!") can, let's shimmy along to Mambo No 5:


Sunday 11 December 2016

Bigger than life is not difficult for me

"Retirement is just not in my DNA."

"It is through art that we will prevail and we will endure. It lives on after us and defines us as people."

"I could do it all, but Hollywood still didn´t quite know what to do with me."

"I deliberately state my age because it keeps me honest. I think lying is a bad idea. Sooner or later, someone's going to catch you."

"Bigger than life is not difficult for me. I am bigger than life."

One of our Patron Saints here at Dolores Delargo Towers Señorita Rita Moreno celebrates her 85th birthday today!

To celebrate, how about a "leetle" medley from the magnificent lady herself?

Rita Dolores Moreno (born 11th December 1931)

I met her, you know...