jo brand's week

I was at the Comedy Store in London last Friday night and the subject of the McCall/ Lewis fight came up. As all the other acts were performing there the following night when it was on (the dressing room has a telly with Sky), they decided they would all watch it. Then the words "pay per view" floated into the air and everyone's face dropped as this is felt by most people to be a big BSkyB con. A couple of days later, I was speaking to another friend who had really wanted to watch the fight, but wasn't prepared to fork out the extra tenner. This situation will become more and more common until only sports are left that are so dull no one is prepared to pay extra to watch them. Bowls? Carriage driving a la Prince Philip? Lacrosse? These are what will be left to the poor old BSkyB viewers. How to change this, though? Unfortunately, the only thing that will force BSkyB to back down is if enough people boycott "pay per view". Well, pigs might fly, I suppose.

The first all-women expedition is about to set off for the North Pole after several months of gruelling training. I can think of many, many things I would rather do than months of gruelling training, let alone the actual expedition. Unfortunately, British expeditions through big snow don't have a great history, Captain Scott having been pipped at the post by the Norwegians at the South Pole and poor old Sir Ranulph Fiennes suffering first off from too much snow and then frost-bite. The expedition is sponsored by Penguin, the chocolate bar people, and I suppose chocolate is more appropriate than, say, hairspray or lingerie. The women are taking 7,000 Penguins with them ... a mere coffee break for some of us. I think these women will stick together. I can't see any of this "I may be gone some time" business happening. It's refreshing to see women getting their teeth into traditionally male pursuits and, if this continues, the accumulation of female achievements will impress men shortly before hell freezes over.

The French town of Vitrolles near Marseilles now has a National Front mayor, Catherine Megret, who looks set to try and leave her mark by continuing the self-righteous discrimination of her party. Most of the prejudice is directed towards those of North African descent, many of whom were actually born in France. This legitimised racism, to me, has nothing to do with the concept of what the NF seems to think are white civil liberties, because, by its very nature, it impinges upon the civil liberties of others. The film footage of a load of smug, middle-aged French people cheering the result of the vote made me angry, but not as angry as I feel about the corruption of the previous socialist mayor whose shenanigans created this situation to a great extent. How you can vote for the socialists and then change your vote next time round to the National Front, I do not know; but it seems many voters can and do manage it. Let's just hope the new mayor of Vitrolles is even more corrupt than the socialists.

I was very sad to hear of the death of Brian Connolly of The Sweet, who was an integral part of my teenage years; I remember many a sweaty night jumping up and down to the strains of Blockbuster. They did actually appear at our local nightclub in Hastings, a most unpleasant beery dive known as The Aquarius. I didn't actually make it but I do remember a girl from our school boasting that she had got into the dressing room and indulged in some very unladylike behaviour with him. Everyone seemed very impressed by this and since that day, whenever I saw or thought about Brian, I couldn't avoid picturing him in a compromising position with Sally Taylor (name changed).

So this week we finally got to see what the land mine controversy was all about with a documentary/ video diary of Diana's trip to Angola. She seemed to divide her time between giggling and shooing intrusive photographers away. I'm afraid I couldn't take the programme seriously. This woman is a Sloane through and through, and any amount of serious dressing-down for the occasion cannot disguise the fact that she is more at home shopping than trying to be Queen of our Hearts. Perhaps the public will fall for this and love her, while Fergie blunders her way round America cashing in and Camilla stares despairingly into the mirror. In the end though, they are all just posh rich women supporting a system of inherited wealth that is unfair and exploitative. They are therefore interchangeable and we should spend no more time attempting to assess which one is better than the other.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

    £28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

    £16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

    Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

    £16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

    Day In a Page

    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
    'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

    'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

    British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
    Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

    Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

    Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
    14 best kids' hoodies

    14 best kids' hoodies

    Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

    The acceptable face of the Emirates

    Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk