Captain Moonlight: 93 not wanted in '94

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The Independent Online
AND SO, lo, it is that time of the year again, the time for review and preview, for the taking of stock and the making of intentions, for memory, judgement, hope, fear, prediction, prayer and so on. You know the sort of thing. Captain Moonlight is a dab hand at it. This year, though, I thought I would try something a little different, a little more robust, to the point, brimming with that special type of bile, pith and rank prejudice for which the Captain is so justly renowned. With ado, then, Captain Moonlight's 93 People, Things And Phrases Not Wanted In '94.

But first, let's get out of the way the blindingly obvious on which we can all agree, and which I do not propose to count: Blobby (you will have noticed my tasteful illustration); Beadle; Madonna; Lilley; and that yucky little Labrador in the lavatory paper advertisements. Frank Bruno. Sally Gunnell. Michael Palin. Take That. Keanu Reeves. Basil Hume. Gazza. Richard and Judy. The Queen Mother. Some of those are a joke, but you get the idea.

Now, the list proper:

1 David Baddiel

2 Rob Newman

3 Rob Newman

4 David Baddiel

5 Rachel Whiteread's House

6 Vong Phaophanit's rice

7 Andre Agassi's chest

8 The Princess of Wales's legs

9 Sean Bean's bottom

10 All unclothed bits of all Redgraves

11 Nick Ross. For no reason, beyond an intensely irritating bland competence, fearful earnestness in the public service and for pioneering . . .

12 True crime shows, with their ghoulish reconstructions by bad actors of the awful moment when the plucky sub- postmaster was blown away or the masked men broke in, shouting. This brings us to . . .

13 Michael Winner

14 Michael Winner's next film

15 Michael Winner's next female companion

16 Sir Ranulph Twisleton- Wykeham-Fiennes. Go on, stay in, put your feet up

17 Jack the Ripper. That's enough, dead

18 The All Blacks

19 Marilyn Monroe, especially anything 'last', as in last interview, last phone call, last photos, or 'hitherto unpublished'; and

20 The Kennedys, particularly dead ones

21 Any combination of Monroe and the Kennedys, particularly those involving conspiracies

22 Gorecki's Third Symphony, and the other one

23 'Clever' people being disdainfully snotty about Classic FM

24 The comment 'You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment', delivered with a knowing smile not quite in the league of Ian Richardson

25 San Marino

26 Pesto (as in pesto sausages, lamb chops in a pesto crust, mushy peas pesto)

27 Any interview with Paul Merton, French and Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Bob Hoskins, Stephen Fry, Michael Caine, Rory Bremner, Danny Baker, and particularly the ones that talk about 'iconoclasm'

28 'I Will Always Love You' by Whitney Houston. You may remember that an unemployed beauty consultant was jailed for playing this song non-stop for six weeks. They should have arrested Whitney as well. 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot' at Twickenham, too, and 'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life' anywhere, but particularly by large groups of men who think they are being proper cards

29 Fiona Fullerton's cleavage; see the Minogues, K and D

30 Richard Branson's smile, beard and jumper

31 Use of the construction

'challenged' in now overdone joke against political correctness, as in follically challenged, vertically challenged, ho, ho; see also 'pretentious, moi?' and the whatever 'from Hell'

32 Roast peppers (see balsamic vinegar, cardoons, starfruit and waiters reciting 'specials')

33 La Toya Jackson (although a London bookmaker has taken an interesting pounds 10,000 bet that she and Michael will be proved to be one and the same person by 16 September)

34 Keith Floyd, and all those other chefs, mostly foreign, who should remain in their kitchens unless invited out, particularly the ones who lend their names to the dreadful . . .

35 American Express adverts, which brings us to . . .

36 Quaglino's

37 Sequels, prequels. Rebecca, Ratty, Scarlett, Elizabeth Bennet. (But no, more Trollope coming)

39 Philip Larkin's phrase 'Sexual intercourse began in Nineteen Sixty-Three . . .'; 1963, 1964, the Sixties

40 Larkin's 'They fuck you up, your mum and dad'

41 While we're at it, any quote from George Orwell, Oscar Wilde, or a taxi-driver

42 Weather girls, particularly blonde ones whose names end in 'a' - Tania, Ulrika, etc - and that one called Sally who is married to an MP but has been seeing . . .

43 Major James Hewitt, riding instructor, friend of the Princess of the Wales, one of a number of cads (see 72, 76) prevalent in '93. None of them, though, wears . . .

44 Country clothes in town, as practised with thorn-proof jackets and brogues by estate agents and foreigners

45 People who say to you, 'You know there's an ancient Chinese curse: 'May you live in interesting times' '

46 People who say to you on a summer's day 'Warm enough for you?'

47 Nicole and her

48 Papa, of the French car ad

49 Ads with Angus Deayton, John Cleese, Stephen Fry in 'amusing extensions' of their comedy personas

50 Nigel Short

51 The expression 'Take care]'

52 Emma Thompson and her husband

53 Impressions of television's Victor Meldrew saying 'I don't believe it' and television's Del Trotter saying 'lovely jubbly]' (Nobody does Monty Python sketches any more, do they?)

54 Southerners attempting to imitate Northerners, and Northerners attempting to imitate Southerners

55 Britons imitating Australians, particularly Richie Benaud

56 Sean Connery imitating Sean Connery

57 Actors with Irish accents imitating Gerry Adams

58 Robin Williams doing anything

59 Post-modernism

60 Nigel Mansell

61 Comparison of an event with Sherlock Holmes' dog that didn't bark in the night

62 Television series involving celebrities taking railway journeys (fat chance: another one starts this week)

63 Celebrities in Sarajevo

64 Synergy

65 Wash and Go

66 Comic Relief. Can we just give the money this year?

67 The expression 'And how are you, young man?'

68 Book reviews which begin 'Who now reads Patrick Hamilton/Ronald Firbank/ Archie Snooks etc'

69 Kenneth Branagh and his wife

70 Envious people knocking Kenneth Branagh, who is a fine actor, has absolutely no side, works bloody hard and is a bloody good mate. And his wife

71 Norman Lamont, his credit card, his wine merchant, his lodger, his bath, and his red box

72 Bryce Taylor, the New Zealander with a misprint for a Christian name who so shamelessly exploited our publicity-shy Princess of Wales

73 The expression 'hidden agenda'; see also 'up to speed,' 'in the loop', 'the bottom line', 'moving the goalposts', 'level playing field', 'I'm glad you asked me that', 'With respect'

74 Olympic bids

75 David Gower

76 The Marquess of Blandford. Please

77 Pictures of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall at airports

78 The thoughts of Lord St John of Fawsley. A fine example came after the announcement that the Queen was opening up selected areas of Buckingham Palace to her people: 'I welcome this brilliantly imaginative and socially concerned initiative by the Queen.'

79 Trevor McDonald saying 'Brian/Bruce has that story' and 'What's the feeling in Westminster/Lesotho/Scarborough tonight Brian/Bruce?'

80 Supermodels. Please. Please

81 Round the world yachtsmen

82 Middle-aged Tory ministers who can't keep their trousers up

83 Their wives understanding them

84 Chucky the Doll

85 The expression 'Get outta here' and other superfluous fashionable American borrowings such as 'take' for 'attitude' and 'like I'm saying' (as in a narrative monologue: like he's saying get your pants off, like I'm saying whoa, boy, hang on a minute)

86 Martyn Lewis. Go on, Mart, give us some really good news]

87 The sentiment that 'at least you knew where you where with Margaret Thatcher'

88 Margaret Thatcher. Political memoirs

89 The expression 'back to basics'. See also core values, old maids on bicycles, classless society, humble Brixton background

90 The Arts Council; 'Funding', loud complaints about, involving the word 'outrage'

91 Country house hotels, particularly the ones run by proprietors called Roger who insist on talking to you

92 Electricians, builders, plumbers and sundry service personnel who say:

'Blimey, mate, who put this in?'

93 Smart-alec, clever-dick lists like this one

(Photographs omitted)