Channel 4

Did you see that Derren Brown geezer do that Russian Roulette thing on Channel 4 the other night? Flipping brilliant it was. The only slight disappointment was that the smug git didn’t blow his brains out but you can’t have everything.

You’ve got to hand it to Channel 4 though. They may be purveyors of porn and servers of smut but they’ve got their faults as well. How’s this for a bit of TV scheduling? Death of a Scientist (about Dr David Kelly killing himself) followed by Derren Brown Plays Russian Roulette Live. Brilliant. I’m sure Mrs Kelly would have been tickled at their sense of irony.

You know what’s coming next though. In the fine tradition of Channel 4 programming we can soon expect Celebrity Russian Roulette. If it worked for Big Brother, Fame Academy and Survivor then why not personalities shooting themselves?

It will be a riot. Six celebrities, one gun, five bullets. Last man standing gets the Christmas Number One and a new chat show. The other five get their old programmes repeated and a celebrity funeral.

And let’s face it there’s no shortage of giant egos who are just dying to get their faces on the telly — even if their faces will be covered in blood.

What about Barrymore? The old singing shirtlifter can’t get a gig anywhere else on television so I can’t see him turning down the chance of a comeback. He keeps telling us he’s had a bum rap (oh no, that was the bloke in his swimming pool wasn’t it) so let’s get him on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me the Empty Chamber and see if he can dodge another bullet.

And how about that poncey designer bloke, that Laurence Llewellyn Bummer. Oh how good would it be to see that lanky streak of pink put a gun to his girlie hair and pull the trigger? Better than a clearance sale at B&Q. Even if he did spray the walls with his blood and brains it would be better than the colours he normally chooses.

They normally have a sportsman on these celebrity things but if we can’t manage that then get Tim Henman on. This time we could happily shout “Come on, Tim” and really mean it. Of course you know what would happen, the sap would get through to the last four then cack himself like he normally does.

We need a woman as well, if only to make the tea and keep things tidy. I’d suggest Mrs Plumb but she’s not a celebrity and anyway you’d never hear the gun go off over the sound of her nagging. I reckon that fat cow Clarissa Dickson Wright would fit the bill. Did you read that she is going to be in Absolutely Fabulous and said she’d be a sexy blonde in a white basque. Nearly lost me flipping lunch. Give her a gun.

My next choice would be that Welsh newsreader bloke with the stupid ties. You know, that Huw Edwards. Can’t understand a bleeding word he says. Yakki da, bang, now here’s the weather. Anyway, he always said he wanted to be the next Jill Dando.

But they should really pull out all the stops and get Tony Blair to complete the line-up. They should put no bullets in the gun and have him swear blind that there are loads of them. But funny as that would be it would be much funnier if they put a bullet in every chamber and see if the slimy git can worm his way out of that one. I swear if they put that on the telly I might even pay my licence fee.

You see, it’s all about giving people what they want. Any apprentice still wet behind his arse will tell you that if the bloke in number eight wants a new angle stop then you give him a new angle stop even if it’s his diverter which has gone pear-shaped. And if it’s true in plumbing then it’s true in life.

Come on Channel 4, pull the plug on Countdown and give Richard Whitely the bullet. The public will love you for it.

Plumb on.

Review of 2002

YEARS ARE like pipes – you can look back at them, up them, down them or  along them but you can’t change the crap that was in them. And as I always say, if it’s true in plumbing then it’s true in life.

In January, Johnny Foreigner and his continental cousins threw away their money and started spending this new Euro thingy instead. Quite right too, I say. If we have to go to their hot and smelly countries on holiday then there’s less chance of us being confused by all the different funny money they used to have. Just don’t try the same with the pound, Johnny!

Then in February, the nation was gripped by curlers for the first time since Hilda Ogden went to that great corner shop in the sky. If only Rhona Martin hadn’t looked like Lily Savage’s harder sister then she’d have made a fortune.

All in all, 2002 was a good year to be a friend of Dorothy. Paul Burrell didn’t get knicked for thieving Diana’s gear, Will Young had his first number one and Michael Barrymore learned to swim. Sadly, it was the year of the queens but not the Queen’s year.

After 50 years on the throne (a plumber’s nightmare if ever I heard one) her Maj and the rest of the nation were in mourning in March for the dear old, darling Queen Mum, cruelly taken from us in her prime. Never again will those lovely yellow teeth light up our lives. Never again will the smell of
stale biscuits waft down the Mall in the morning. It was the annus horribilus to end all annuses. Oh and Princess Margaret died too.

In April Little Lord Beckham broke a bone in his foot and suddenly the metatarsal was the country’s most famous bone since Linford Christie retired. There is clearly some link between bones, dogs and South Korea that runs alongside metatarsal, Victoria Beckham and the World Cup but it’s beyond me.

In May, Roy Keane left the Irish World Cup camp in the huff. It left Mick McCarthy without a pyschotic, leg-breaking midfielder but he failed in a last gasp bid to call up Martin McGuinness as a replacement. By June the World Cup and the Jubilee were in full swing and flags of St George were
selling like pillow cases at a Ku Klux Klan convention.

In July a man waved a fake gun at Hear’Say at a motorway service station. Fake pop band, fake gun, seems fair enough. Next thing you know someone will be waving an arse at Robbie Williams.

Guns were in the news again in August and September when America was terrorised by the Washington sniper, or George W Bush as he is known. George has disproved the myth that any American boy can grow up to be President. Now you don’t even have to grow up.

One of the most tragic moments of the year was in October when 128 people died after the siege of a Moscow theatre. The biggest tragedy was that Will and Gareth hadn’t been on a tour of eastern Europe at the time.

In November our brave, heroic firefighters bravely and heroically laid down their poker hands to stand bravely and heroically on the picket line to demand a 40 per cent pay rise, a new cue for the pool table and an ACAS agreement on whether one-eyed jacks should count as floaters.

In December Cherie Blair got into bother over her involvement with a lying conman. She was also in trouble for her relationship with Australian fraudster Peter Foster. Lady Macbeth was also shocked by reports that Osama bin Laden wore a Cherie Blair mask for Halloween.

When we look back on 2002 and remember floods and fires, lost jobs and lost Royals, we shouldn’t be too gloomy. Don’t think of 2002 as the year of economic and environmental disasters, instead remember it as the year Jeffrey Archer spent in jail. Wasn’t so bad after all, was it?

Plumb on

Strike It Lucky

I’ve been called out to fix a few swimming pools in my time. Rich nobs with more money than sense leave something floating in their pools that gum up the works. Lilos, towels, hair, rubber items of various uses, you name it I’ve had to retrieve it from the filtration system.

But I have to admit in all my days I’ve never found a dead body bunging up the drain. How unlucky is that. That poor Michael Barrymore. He didn’t exactly strike it lucky, did he?

You invite a few friends around for a swim and a cup of tea and next thing you know the police are ruining your lawn. How was Barrymore to know that young man couldn’t swim while unconscious?

I’m sure Michael called out “All right?” a few times and would have responded immediately if told help was required. He couldn’t have jumped in to save him though because, as Mr Barrymore says,
he can’t swim. We just have to accept that he is telling the truth about that. Michael, president of his local swimming club, has no reason to lie.

Other than the fear of going to jail for a very long time. It strikes me that people are giving Barrymore a hard time just because he is manosexual. They really should get off his back.

Although I must admit to being confused when Barrymore talks about “My kind of people”. Does he mean woofters or drug addicts? My only gripe with Mr Barrymore is not that he is a friend of Dorothy but that he is a shite entertainer. He always reminded me of that early review of Fred Astaire. “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Balding. Can dance a little.” The only difference is that Mr Barrymore can’t dance. My other grumble is that no-one is thinking of the poor plumber in all this. Sure they are sorry for the boy and his family and there’s a few tears for Michael but who has worried about the tradesman? He’s the one who has to backwash the filter. I wish people would learn that there is no only so much strain that a strainer basket can take. They are just not designed to handle corpses.

What was needed here was a bit of forward planning. The good homeowner calls in his plumber before there’s a problem. The bad homeowner calls the plumber in after it’s all gone to buggery. And as I always say, if it’s true in plumbing then it’s true in life.

Next time Michael, call in the plumber before the body clogs up your pool. The strainer basket will be eternally grateful.

Plumb on.