Diary: Odds-on as the nation's most toxic family unit
Monday 01 November 2010
A frantic week on the celebrity kith and kin front prompts this reality TV proposal to Endemol. Nuclear Families (© M Norman) is the primetime contest to find Britain's most toxically radioactive clan ... and given the four contenders in Series One, the mirth should have a very long half-life indeed.
The 2-1 favourites are the Johnsons. While Boris has socially cleansed himself from the marital home, and moved into a flat down the road, sister Rachel underscores his own commitment to the poor by editing The Lady in the manner, according to her proprietor, of a penis-fixated publicity hound.
On 5-2, are the adorable Blair-Booths. Father Tony announces that he adores Cherie, who is flogging Mr Tony's signature, but doesn't love Lauren, who is expected to remain a devout Muslim until February. Has anyone seen Deliverance lately? Lauren has opted against living under Cheria Law, and won't be selling signed burkas on eBay.
Next the Ramsays, with Gordon's father-in-law Chris Hutcheson insisting, after being mysteriously sacked from the restaurant empire, that he knows where the bodies are buried, and may publish the map. The 11-4 against the Ramsays will shorten, one suspects, in the coming days.
As for the 6-1 outsiders, the Milibandroids are apparently on worse terms, with David still paralysed over the lost leadership. Prospects of a rapprochement are rated between zero and 0.03 per cent. As Harold Steptoe almost puts it, when Albert warns him that the cousin he's chatting up might well be that dirty old man's daughter, what a bunch of bleedin' families.
* In the wake of Saturday's big rally in Washington, we need our own version in Trafalgar Square. Finding equivalent comic talents for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert won't be easy. However, I gather that Melanie Phillips, who blazed the Colbert trail long ago by affecting to be a deranged, Islamophobic neocon paranoiac purely to satirise the lunacy, is in talks with Jim Davidson. Restoring Sanity with Mad Mel and Nick-Nick... I'd take felt-tip to a placard and march down the Strand for that one. Wouldn't you?
* Tremendous, incidentally, to see that Cat Stevens sang "Peace Train" at the event. That would be the Yousuf Islam who backed the Rushdie fatwa? Abu Hamza must have been tied up.
* Still with sanity restoration, well done Polly Toynbee on recanting that reference to the housing benefit changes as a "final solution". Should Pol ever again be tempted to liken the Government to Hitler – a rhetorical flourish favoured by the Tea Party and richly pastiched at the rally – she should read her Guardian colleague Martin Kettle's fascinating explanation as to why George Osborne is a traditional one nation Tory. Let's hope the pair keep it civil. The last thing anyone wants is potty Pol calling the Kettle black.
* Interviewed in Esquire, Nick Clegg not only claims that disaffected voters have been pushing dog mess through his door, but expresses bemusement at being called a charlatan. "I find it odd when people make personal remarks about people they haven't met," says Nick, and he's so, so right. This business of judging complete strangers on nothing more than their actions needs stamping on. Tolerate it now, and soon historians will be forming opinions about the late Emperor Caligula, and praising Nelson Mandela without ever having dined with him. Make it cease!
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