Eighteen feet in the grave
THE BROADER PICTURE
Sunday 14 December 1997
It isn't the glamorous end of the doppelganger market. The lucky ones get to be Marilyn, or Elvis, or Diana - but many more of us resemble Victor. All we need is a gaberdine, a hunted look and a flat cap.
In the mouth of a teenager, of course, the sentence, "You're just like Victor Meldrew!" is an unqualified insult. It means you're old, skeletal, terminally cantankerous, censorious and silly; instead of enjoying life, you dedicate yourself to spoiling the fun of others.
Most of us, though, carry a Meldrew within. Mark Twain famously said that, when he was a young man, he thought his father knew or understood nothing, but that - over the years - it was amazing how much his father seemed to have learnt. So, by the time one hits 40, Victor tends to become another person entirely.
I mean to say, what are the true characteristics of Victor? He is brave (sometimes to the point of recklessness), loyal, witty and not ungenerous. He is merely - and who is not? - exasperated by rudeness and crisp packets. Like us, he cannot believe it. !
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre