John Walsh: Farewell then, Larry, king of the gaffes

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The Independent Online

Last night was the swansong of braces-twanging, finger-wagging Larry King, after 25 years as America's most prominent TV interviewer, grilling the great and the ghastly about politics and fame. Along with praise for his straight talking and to-the-point questions, there have been memories of some shocking gaffes: the time he talked to Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr about John Lennon's death and asked Ringo: "Do you remember where you were when you heard he'd died, George?"; the time he asked Jerry Seinfeld if Seinfeld ended because it was cancelled ("Do you know who I am?" asked an incredulous Seinfeld). Less than a month ago, King tried to interview Russell Brand about his wedding, and failed. "So where did you get married, on an elephant?" he joshed. Brand responded with a flood of contempt about American ignorance of India. Gosh. I suspect Piers Morgan wouldn't have had much trouble getting Russell Brand to spill the beans.

* A Wigan baker has disclosed the fact that among the ingredients of his meat pies is a hefty dose of Viagra, the erectile-dysfunction compound. The information emerged when a batch of his pies was stolen on their way to the World Pie Eating Championships in Wigan. The baker, Vince Bowen, explained that his recipe wasn't designed to give the pies aphrodisiac qualities; he merely hoped the preservative would keep the potatoes nice and firm. Overly-soft pies are too easy to ingest in pie contests, apparently. Firmness is vital. In the meantime, Wigan police have been told to keep their eyes peeled (sorry) for hardened (sorry) criminals.

* Milkmaids at St Helen's Farm in Seaton Ross, Yorkshire – the nation's top supplier of goat's milk – recently began playing music on the radio to pass the time while milking goats, and discovered to their surprise that the animals loved it (you could tell by the increase in milk yield). They like pop tunes, they enjoy "Old MacDonald Had A Farm", they become sentimental about Christmas carols, and they really really don't like heavy metal. Their favourite by a mile is "All I Want For Christmas Is You" sung by the delectable Mariah Carey, which increased the milk flow by 20 per cent. The best, I'm sure is yet to come. Wait until they discover "The Lonely Goatherd". Or "The Kids Are Alright". Or the Beatles' classic "Goat To Get You Into My Life"...