A television Weatherboy would warm up my isobars

Share
Related Topics
THE BRITISH obsession with the weather reaches its annual climax this week. Will it snow on Christmas Day? No, silly, of course it won't. A much more interesting question is: what does the future hold for the Carlton TV weather girl Sally Faber, a Princess Di lookalike who is being sued by her Tory MP husband for adultery?

Caring about the weather itself - boring stuff like global warming and will the corn ripen - has seemed curiously old-fashioned since the mid-Eighties, thanks to TV-am. Out went old, grey meteorology, in came lots of bright new accessories: smiling yellow suns and smiling blonde secretaries. Remember Wincey Willis and Carole Dooley? No? Well, how about Georgina Spanswick who announced, when she was appointed in 1988: 'I think I am pretty good at guessing the weather'?

Queen of the TV-am weather girls was Ulrika Jonsson. No, she didn't know what an isobar was but her shorthand was 130wpm and she'd been on a double date with Prince Edward. Within a few weeks she was a national obsession: did her accidental double entendres have anything to do with the fact that the Swedish for 'lucky career break' is 'slip on a banana skin'? Why were her parents' names Bo and Gun?

Then, at the height of her fame, she left to present Gladiators. 'I've left the weather behind me,' she declared, 'but it's not something I'm ashamed of.' (I only wish I could say the same about our weather.)

The nation grieved, consoling itself with a host of wannabes. We reeled when Trish Williamson 'nearly married' a man called Paul Taylor who wasn't after all - Nigel Dempster revealed at the eleventh hour - an Oxford-educated millionaire. We grieved when Tania Bryer called off her engagement to an Italian count.

And we thrilled when Sian Lloyd won the Prix des Presentateurs at the International TV Weather Forecasters Festival in France, having shot to fame by accidentally spitting her chewing gum on to Wales during a live broadcast. Now her handprint has been left for posterity on the 'Weather Boulevard' in Paris. 'They take account of the way you look, clarity of voice, hand movements, confidence factor,' Sian revealed, 'and your ability to deliver information about the weather.'

What I want to know is - where are the Weatherboys? The BBC, ever aware of ITV's superior ratings, has gradually been trying to sex up its weather forecasting. Anticyclones have become 'highs', precipitation has made way for 'snow' or 'rain' - or, rather, a 70 per cent risk of rain. Pollution levels and pollen warnings are now routine, along with swarms of moving arrows and black rain clouds rolling in from the West. But it's high time we had some Weatherboys.

1) First of all, get back the original Weatherboy and Heathcliffe- lookalike, Francis 'Fluffy Bits' Wilson, however much he costs. Tell him to stop saying things like, 'the telly is terribly artificial' and get back to brooding on the Beeb. Sure, you'll have to pay him more than the Met Office's civil service rates. Believe me, it's worth it for the sex appeal factor.

2) Junk the present theme tune for 'It's Raining Men' by the wild American girl group, the Weathergirls.

3) Build on your talent base. Come on up, Michael (Mike? Mikey?) Fish. Yes, he's been part of the furniture since 1974. Sure, he lost his nerve after the 'there will be no hurricane' debacle of October 1987. Yes, he was once voted Worst Dressed Man of the Year. But remember: he's a wow on the after-dinner circuit. And he's still got his figure. Ulrika has got Grattans catalogue sewn up; I hear there's an opening at Damart.

4) Ian McCaskill: the Spitting Image puppet is good, but who on earth leaked the news that he forecasts in his socks? Try and arrange a sponsorship deal with Nike.

5) Vague royal connections are essential: can Bill Giles be spotted in San Lorenzo with Major James Hewitt?

6) A record titled 'John Kettley (is a Weatherman)' by the Tribe of Toffs, which reached number 21 in the charts in 1988, does not a rock god make. His only hope is losing the beard and arranging a Daily Mail exclusive on the new look. I know it's undignified, but then Ulrika Jonsson had to pretend to have dandruff for the Head and Shoulders advertisement.

7) Buy in a Gladiator. They took Ulrika; it's only fair that we should get Wolf, the official housewives' choice. And there is only so much beating with a giant plastic hammer that a man can take.

Will it snow this Christmas? Who cares?

Miles Kington is on holiday.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Polish minister Rafal Trazaskowski (second from right)  

Poland is open to dialogue but EU benefits restrictions are illegal and unfair

Rafal Trzaskowski
The report will embarrass the Home Secretary, Theresa May  

Surprise, surprise: tens of thousands of illegal immigrants have 'dropped off' the Home Office’s radar

Nigel Farage
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas