Friday 31 July 2009

Biting the hand that feeds me.

Today, I saw this for sale in the BBC shop at Television Centre, and since I had to suffer it, I'm spreading the misery to you too.

No. No, that just won't do. It's not that the time/thyme pun is up there in the gallery of over-used pun infamy with 'Eggstravaganza' and 'Purrfect'. Well, it is that, but that's not all it is. It's that they've managed to use that hackneyed old pun in a context where it doesn't even work... and it doesn't work not just once, but twice over.

They have a wooden spoon with a The Archers logo on it. They need - and I use the word 'need' in the loosest sense imaginable - a jaunty punning phrase connecting the worlds of The Archers and wooden spoons. They've gone with 'thyme', which as far as I know seldom or never comes into contact with a wooden spoon during the cooking of anything; and 'time' as in, sometimes it is the 'time' that The Archers is on.

So, in full, the 'joke' - see note for 'need'- reads like this: This wooden spoon is found in the kitchen, where you might also find the spice thyme, which is a homophone for the concept time, which is a dimension in which popular radio soap The Archers exists, (as does everything else on Earth). So, in a very real and humorous sense, this spoon means that it's "Thyme" (!) for The Archers!!!!!

You may ask if I have a better pun to put on a wooden spoon promoting The Archers. I couldn't be more proud to say that I do not. Why, do you?

P.S. Good, that's Radio Four ticked off. After all, what has it done for me today, apart from broadcasting the third episode of Cabin Pressure, and an episode of the Now Show I wrote for. But that's all!

Sunday 19 July 2009

You never think it will happen to you.

I was shocked and saddened to learn that this year's Running of the Bulls in Pamplona ended in tragedy, with the death of one of the young men taking part. How awful that a young life was so cruelly cut short. It's just one of those ghastly freak accidents that there's really nothing anyone could have done to prevent. Daniel Jimeno just happened to be in the wrong place - the narrow cobbled streets of Pamplona - at the wrong time - the time when the city elects to goad a herd of maddened, terrified bulls into stampeding through those streets.

How could he have known, when he decided to join in the annual event in which 15 people have died since it began in 1911, that he might die? After all, as Pamplona's mayor Yolanda Barcina wisely pointed out, no-one's been killed by a bull in Pamplona for quite some time - not since 1995. Ancient history! In fact, Mayor Barcina continued: "before Daniel Jimeno was gored, participants of the run had been complaining for years that the run was losing excitement and risk because of all the security measures which the municipality has put in place," Senor Jimeno's family can take comfort, then, that he did not die in vain. He's definitely shut those people up.

I suggest, then, that we set up a fund in his name, a charity dedicated to raising money to research what on earth it is that causes some otherwise healthy young men, whilst voluntarily trying to outrun maddened bulls, to get gored to death by maddened bulls. There must be some common factor, if only we could put our finger on it. It's really ignorance that's the killer here. Ignorance, and maddened bulls.

(Other fatalities of the Pamplona Bull Run this year included, as always, all the bulls. But that was as planned, so it's fine.)

Friday 17 July 2009

Did I mention Alison Steadman's in it?

Should you have missed the first of the new series of Cabin Pressure - and heaven knows, what with it going out at 11:30 in the morning on a weekday, who wouldn't - you can listen to it here for one week starting... now.

I'm not saying you have to, I'm just saying you can.

Thursday 16 July 2009

Round up the usual suspects.

Hello. Sorry about the hiatus, I was writing a sitcom. It's done now, by the way; and recorded;and the first one is broadcast tomorrow at 11:30 in the morning. Hope you like it. I think I do.

In the meantime, does anyone recognise this man?

I'm particularly interested to find out if he's a magistrate, Tory councillor, or headmaster (He sort of looks like he could be all three.) Because I have a picture on my phone which, with a little judicious cropping and reflection removal, could lay the poor man open to an unscrupulous blackmail attempt: