Calling celebrity spotters: here's your starter for 10
Monday 16 January 1995
The Pope is on a book promotion tour in the Far East, signing and selling copies of his new book. Over a million people are expected at each book session, with the Pope raising his arms and asking the multitude in Latin at regular intervals to form an orderly queue and have their money ready. When they approach the Pontiff personally, he will say unto them "Cui nomen scribo?" (Shall I inscribe your copy to anyone in particular?)
William Waldegrave, Minister with responsibility for hot potatoes that nobody else wants to handle, is out and about on his farm today, discussing with his farm manager the possibility of converting his fields to something less controversial than cows, such as cannabis or the coca leaf or an anti-farm cruelty theme park.
Scrabble players will be celebrating the publication of the 1995 Guide to Sneaky Little Words Which It Is Now all Right for Know-alls in Anoraks To Use In Scrabble, and the inclusion for the first time of the words Newt and Gingrich.
The leader of the Cuban Communist Party, Senor Fidel Castro, will be preparing for the end of his rule by contacting American publishers and agents with a view to selling his memoirs and working out a lecture tour of American cities. The big question forAmerican TV interviewers: once you get Castro on TV and ask him a question, how do you stop him talking?
Mr John Birt, director-general of the BBC, will continue in 1995 to do nothing, say nothing and be seen nowhere. After his high profile troubles with tax arrangements, Birtian revolutions, blistering attacks by Mark Tully, Michael Grade and so on, Birt was advised that his daily appearances in the media would soon fade to nothing if he did and said nothing and went nowhere. After six months this has been so successful that he is never mentioned any more, and it is not known if he is alive, so much so that the flak is now all directed in desperation at Mr Alan Yentob.
Andy Cole will be moving slowly along the road somewhere between Newcastle and Manchester. His arrival in the Manchester United team is intended to change the fortunes of a football side which is, in the eyes of its supporters, the greatest eleven that ever lived and which is curiously incapable of beating any non-English side. Recently thrashed by Turkish sides, Swedish sides and Spanish sides, Manchester United now faces Brian Flynn's Wrexham in the FA Cup in an effort to see if it can actually beat aWelsh side.
The latest winner of the National Fiction Lottery Prize, Mr Martin Amis, will be out and about spending his £500,000 windfall. He has said: "This money will not change my lifestyle at all. I shall go on with my modest job of writing the most significant and brilliant books being written in English today."
Mr Alan Clark will soon be out and about, trying to find things to do and say which he can enter into his brand new but so far unhappily empty Big Best-Seller's Diary for 1995.
The Russian leader, Boris Yeltsin, will be recovering from a monumental binge over the Christmas and New Year period, and trying to remember what he actually did during a fortnight of almost non-stop inebriation. He will be saying to his friends, "I invaded where?" and "I used up all the tax revenue for the next 12 months in trying to bomb who into submission?" and "Oh, my God, why didn't you stop me? I must have been out of my head!"
Mr John Major is persuading Mr Michael Howard not to resign. He will point out to Mr Howard that sooner or later he will need someone untrusted and unpopular to fire, and he would like Mr Howard to hang on for a while to be sacrificed, and, until that moment of ignominious dismissal comes, to occupy what is known in the trade as Norman Lamont's chair.
Mr Tony Blair is writing a note to Mr Rupert Murdoch, saying how nice it was to meet him the other day, and thanking him for the very generous lunch. Mr Rupert Murdoch will write back and say that Mr Blair has got it wrong and he will be paying for lunch, though not for a while yet.
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