1. The Queen of Hearts in socks and coat and trainers with head down emerging from some vital rendezvous or other
2. People bleating on about the demise of the old blue passport, this year's red telephone box
3. Another article about the stagnant house market
4. Another article about how we're working too hard
5. Another article about how I used to work too hard but now I've "downshifted"
6. Everyone complaining about stress. Don't people pull themselves together any more?
8. That dog, Dempsey. Come on. Did it look harmless to you?
9. And that cat, Humphrey, the Downing Street wanderer which returned to give the Prime Minister a High Office Hasn't Removed My Delightful Sense Of Humour Opportunity. You'll never convince me it was the same cat, either
10. Musical collaborations with the dead by rather less talented descendants or elderly men who used to be in the Beatles
11. Rather less talented Essex boys and Mancunians pretending to be the Beatles
12. The phrase "Revenge is a dish best eaten cold"
13. People being nasty to poor Janet Street-Porter
14. People who think, mistakenly, that they can imitate convincingly Australian, American, German or Italian accents
15. People who think that otherwise banal remarks become funny when related in an unconvincing Australian, American, German or Italian accent
16. People in corduroys or pearls who talk non-stop and very, very loudly in public places to their small children, who almost always are called Thomas and pay absolutely no attention
17. Use in newspaper articles of the word "hey", as in "But, hey, who's counting?" Often used quite near
18. Sad, as in "sad person", and
19. Or what?, as in "sad or what?", most often by people who also use the American colloquial repetitive construction in conversation, eg
20. "Is that good or is that good?", because they can't think of anything else to say and always end a sentence with a question
21. Imran and Jemima Khan and their struggle to reconcile East and West
22. Another man writing a book about how his hobby is better than sex
23. Another man writing a perhaps true memoir about how he once shoplifted a tin of cling peaches
24. Another angry Celtic novelist with a f...ing grim vision
25. People who make verbs out of nouns without so much as a by your leave, eg "shoplifted" and "glamourise"
26. Those pictures of company bosses taken after their general meetings showing them doing something ever more elaborate with their product
27. All that talk designed to glamourise said company bosses, such as "major players", "movers and shakers", "head honchos" and the like
28. Constitutional experts, who, of course, can bang on endlessly with impunity because we don't actually have a constitution. Actually, while we're at it, let's have a ban, too, on all these
29. Dons writing all these articles in newspapers. Too many of you. Just get on with your day job
30. The expression "day job", as in "don't give up the day job"
31. O J Who?
32. Fleet Street's cheap fascination with Cherie Blair's wardrobe. Did you see what she was wearing in Australia, by the way?
33. Jane Austen
34. The cheapening of her message with expansive displays of Georgian uplift. And is it true that
35. Pamela Anderson is being lined up for an adaptation of Mansfield Park?
36. Another article beginning with "It is a truth universally acknowledged that..."
37. Journalists ringing up Terry Major-Ball
38. And Barbara Cartland
39. Columnists who write about their children
40. The new teeth of Martin Amis
41. The smile of Anthea Turner
42. The recipes of Delia Smith
43. Listen, I am a great admirer of Hugh Grant
44. Stories about whole towns running out of cranberries because of 42
45. Stories about groups of women working in the same place becoming pregnant
46. The expression "Get a life"
47. Interviews with actors. All gone too far. Much too far. Allow me to quote from Emma Thompson's latest: "We need to be rewarded for pain. We need to know that going through pain is a good thing." Blimey
48. Those little goatee beard things
49. W & J Graham's Port, my former sponsors, who failed to invite me up the Douro
50. Anyone who has a bad word to say about The Glenlivet, a 12-year-old single malt of tremendous distinction whose distillers, I see, have some bottles that might be made available for newspaper competition winners
51. People who knock Robson and Jerome
52. People on television arts programmes talking about "honesty", "integrity", "authenticity" and "quintessential"
53. Politicians calling John Humphrys "John", and Sue MacGregor "Sue", matily, on the BBC Radio Today programme
54. The Today Personality of the Year. John Major came second, you know. He did
55. People who whinge on endlessly when the BBC seeks to make Radio 3 and Radio 4 more relevant to today, particularly when they introduce Radio 1 and Radio 2 types
56. Radio 1 and Radio 2 types who are ruining Radio 3 and Radio 4
57. The phrase "more relevant to today"
59. Articles about the tight-knit community of the East End of London which include the phrase "but they never harmed their own"
60. Interviews with Mad Frankie Fraser in which he displays the pliers with which he used to conduct impromptu dental sessions
61. Tight-knit communities
62. Stories about sales. Where, how much, and people queueing up with flasks for days and for how many years now?
63. Soap operas
64. Yes, including the Royal Family. Couldn't Prince Edward elope and marry that PR girl in secret? Couldn't he, please?
65. American children in films and on television. Avoid, at all costs, a programme early in the morning featuring a large purple dinosaur called Barney and his winsome young friends
66. Pigs in films
67. The gender debate
68. The phrase "An accident waiting to happen"
69. And "that would be like turkeys voting for Christmas"
70. The pillorying of that sensible fellow, Nicholas Soames
71. The hounding of Virginia Bottomley, heritage secretary, into providing endless photo opportunities with blow-up puppets and bicycles
72. An end to this establishment conspiracy against Mohamed al-Fayed, shopkeeper and would-be newspaper proprietor, so that we wouldn't have to keep reading about it
73. Spin doctors. The public has a right to know
74. Those silly little knapsacks and satchels which appear to be high fashion
75. Those enormous knapsacks which holidaying German students keep rubbing into my face on the London underground
76. Holidaying German students
77. Repetition of the ridiculous canard that Germans don't have a sense of humour
78. The adjective "spooky"
79. The use of "you" as a first person substitute, particularly by television reviewers as in "as you watched, you wondered..."
80. Creme fraiche
81. Complaints about traffic jams. Don't use the car
82. Keys on a ring attached to a trouser loop
83. Sandals with socks
84. The lottery. I blame it for everything. Look at the weather, for example. And why do we never hear about any rich people winning?
85. All these interviews with squaddies and other ranks. Wouldn't have happened in the Duke's day
86. Talking at breakfast
87. Talking on public transport before 10 am
88. Post modern irony, including
89. Men in wigs playing easy listening. Bring back Bert Kampfaert, I say
90. All wine tasting the same
91. Ordeals. People are always reliving them, don't you find?
92. And there's still four years to go
93. Bone marrow on menus, often with croutons
94. Middle England
95. This Government. Mind you, New Labour doesn't seem much fun, does it? Sorry? Oh, very well: A Happy New Year to you all.Reuse content