The comic's aggressive style does not match his true self, finds Gerard Gilbert
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Saturday 07 August 2010
"Ehaahhhhhhh." An open-mouthed, barely audible inhalation of breath signifies my arrival knee-deep in the chill waters of the River Dart. I stand there gazing down into water the colour of best bitter, with the tops of my legs turning schoolgirl mottled pink.
Wednesday 21 July 2010
Saturday 03 July 2010
Everyone likes a bargain; it's appealing to pick up a slab of beer for a few pounds. That's why the grocers slash the price of packs of Stella and Carlsberg and why people like me (occasionally, in my case) buy them. What's not in the price of these deals, though, is their true cost.
Sunday 27 June 2010
Friday 25 June 2010
Thursday 17 June 2010
My daughter Eleanor turns 17 the day after tomorrow, which means that she will soon be learning to drive. She can't wait for the L-plates, but most of all she can't wait to shed them. Several of her mates have already passed their driving tests and, during the long afternoons set aside for A/S-level revision, have taken to calling round in their mums' Clios or Fiestas, whisking Elly off to talk about Peter the Great or, more likely, Peter, the great-looking young farmer, over a milkshake at the American-style diner on the A44.
Friday 11 June 2010
Gin Lane lives. Documentary film-maker Jez Lewis returns to his hometown of Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, where many friends of his childhood are either sunk in addiction or dead: the place has witnessed an alarming spate of youth suicides.
Friday 11 June 2010
"Drawing parallels between the ancient and modern world is a perilous endeavour," warns Beer, but it is hard not to feel strong resonances in this study of classical pickiness. We learn that the young Nero, keen to forge a career on the stage, "tried to keep excessive flab at bay by repeated use of enemas".
Thursday 10 June 2010
It's 1938 and the Bright Young Things of the Twenties are neither as young nor as bright as of yore. One of them plans to throw a gas-mask party, until she realises that, although too amusing for words, such head-gear categorically prevents you from downing a drink, and that would defeat the object of the exercise.
Saturday 05 June 2010
I don't want to be negative about the "Garden of England" but the area around the Chapter One restaurant suffers from a slight reputation problem. Since the 1950s, this suburban district on the edges of Farnborough, Croydon and Bromley has been considered Desperado Central: a lawless terrain of mock-Tudor homes and gated communities where retired armed robbers, Cockney racketeers and their kohl-drenched partners in crime used to retire to spend their ill-gotten gains. Of course, this is a foolish cliché, like the idea that Kent is full of gin-soaked lechers motoring to roadhouses in Maidstone with young popsies called Joy or Samantha in the MG's passenger seat. But there's a real feeling of stepping into the past about stepping into Chapter One.
Friday 04 June 2010
Brian Souter may be best known as one of the founders of the bus company Stagecoach, but he has no shortage of other interests – the odd bit of political dabbling, for example, not to mention the ownership of a New Zealand ferry operator. Now, however, he is moving into a slightly more upmarket form of travel. Souter Investments, his private investment vehicle, has just pumped £9.5m into Sunseeker, the luxury yacht manufacturer. Some people love buses, of course, but there's no denying this venture has a little more glamour to it.
Sunday 23 May 2010
John Shepherd-Barron, the man credited with inventing the hole-in-the-wall cash dispenser, died last week. In 1967, he sold the idea to a Barclays executive over a pink gin. The first cashpoint machine was then installed in Enfield, and its first user was Reg Varney from On The Buses, a fact presented with no further explanation in most obituaries of Mr Shepherd-Barron. Was Reg Varney by any chance a keen early adopter who happened to have about him the world's first cashpoint card when he suddenly saw the world's first cashpoint machine? No. It was all a publicity stunt, and those early machines required the insertion of not a card but a cheque impregnated with a mildly radioactive substance. Mr Shepherd-Barron, who went on to become a snail farmer, calculated that he would have had to eat 135,000 of these cheques before they did him any harm.
Friday 14 May 2010
Wednesday 12 May 2010
Anthony Rose: 'Does David Cameron's 'DIY' manifesto for the Big Society require you to mix your own drinks?'
Saturday 01 May 2010
Election night looms, so it's time to vote for a party – any party, frankly, as long as it involves drinks of celebration and consolation. I couldn't possibly condone getting tanked up for the polling station, however much you might need it, but a Passion Fruit Margarita might help improve on the poor turnout of the last two general elections.
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