Well done, mate.
It is not that Smashie and Nicey aren't funny. Far from it. With their fake tans, glossy blousons, Bachman-Turner Overdrive records and discreet work for charity, we couldn't help laughing at them first time we saw them on your television sketch show. The finest comic creations of the decade so far, they would have been a nice little earner for you for years to come. Instead, they have joined that increasingly rich line of Bunyan-esque characters of yours - Stavros, Norbert Smith, Loadsamoney - whom we will see no more, except on those repeats-only satellite channels.
It is quite a gift you have, to be able to manufacture comic characters whose catchphrases so neatly encapsulate their personalities: Loads with his beastly financial boasting, the thick Sloane Tim Nice-But-Dim, the know-all Mr You-Don't-Wanna-Do-That. When Smashie and Nicey opened their mouths, their language was, typically of you, right on the button: rib-tickle-tabulous. Remember last year's Brit Awards, when they summed up the whole not-exactly-rigorous electoral practices of the event in one word? 'It's vote-rig-mungous to be here,' Nicey said. My, how the back-slapping record company folk in the audience laughed at that one.
Indeed, so accurate were you and your mate Paul Whitehouse at portraying wizened old DJs that top BBC executives became terrified every time you appeared. It was all a bit close to home, what with Batesie, Whisperin' Bob and the Hairy Cornflake taking up most of the broadcasting time on the nation's foremost young people's radio station. When Radio 1's Controller, Matthew Bannister, consigned characters like these to a lifetime of independent local radio and whingeing in the tabloids, the whisper was that they blamed you for making them a laughing stock. Not a bad compliment for a satirist, that.
I expect it will not be long before another eye-dampeningly funny creation pops off your production line. But in the meantime, and lest you think you can do no comedy wrong, can I have a quiet word about Mr Cholmondley-Warner? You'll have to be careful with him. The Mercury advertising campaign based around your properly spoken Fifties man is beginning to wear a little thin: there you are on posters, on telephone cards, on the side of buses. You've said you feel a bit like Enver Hoxha, seeing your own picture everywhere you go. So just remember how sick the Albanians got of him.
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