Dysfunctional inflatables are off limits, kid

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'LAST day, kid.'

'That's right, sir.'

'Kept your pecker up, kid.'

'I hope so, sir.'

'Kington back on Monday.'

'I hope so, sir.'

'Your final assignment's a tough one, I'm afraid.'

'Right, sir.'

'Predictions for the coming year.'

'Thought so, sir.'

'Without mentioning a large, inflatable television personality who shall remain nameless.'

'Right, sir.'

'And no more about dysfunctional families.'

'I'll try sir.'

'Good luck, kid.'

'Thank you, sir.'

1. The Prince and Princess of Wales discover sexual politics. Lady Di meets Camille Paglia on her way back from Washington, and goes out clubbing with her in New York. In March, they show up together at the Oscars. Meanwhile, Charles discovers Robert Bly. He narrowly misses running into his estranged wife at a spring solstice eco-warrior/drumming workshop on the West Coast.

'I said no dysfunctional families, kid.'

'Yes, sir.'

'Don't let it happen again, kid.'

'It's very difficult, sir.'

'Stop making excuses, kid.'

'Yes, sir.'

2. Euro Disney enjoys massive business turnaround thanks to installation of new pink and yellow theme ride, which shall remain nameless.

'Well done, kid.'

'Thank you, sir.'

The character stars in a movie with Macauley Culkin . . .

'That's enough, kid.'

'Yes, sir.'

3. Melvyn Bragg is forcibly put on sabbatical from Radio 4's Start the Week after savaging a producer. His stand-in is David Jenkins, who is forcibly put on sabbatical from the Church of England after asking Dr George Carey: 'What is a bishop, anyway?'. Melvyn comes back after a course of hormone replacement therapy, but has a relapse in the summer.

4. Clinton: the Camelot Years take a dramatic new turn when Madonna announces that she is pregnant . . .

'I said no dysfunctional families.'

'I wanted to bring in Oliver Stone and the mysterious death of River Phoenix, sir.'

'No go, kid.'

'Very good, sir.'

5. Terry Major-Ball, who only a year ago had never travelled on InterCity never mind flown Upper Class to New York, is invited to present Channel 4's new series of Manhattan Cable.

He becomes the cult hero of the year, appearing regularly on The Word and winning the Tesco chicken endorsement account from Dudley Moore. Marks & Spencer holds out for Virginia Bottomley.

6. The new-look Radio 5 news channel launches successfully in April; the controllers quickly run into an events famine. Low points include a three-hour special on why the May Day bank holiday has not been moved to October and an abortive attempt to introduce 'personality' gale forecasts. Things pick up again during the World Cup with a radio phone-in about why everything in the world is the fault of Graham Taylor; however, Liz Forgan pulls the plug half way through the second week. By November, the station has merged with Virgin 1215.

7. The Newman & Baddiel counter-backlash begins. Critics everywhere claim they 'liked them all along, actually'. The thundering reviews were an hommage to the lads' 'angry postmodern humour'. However, N & B blow it all by re-forming for a one-off supergig at Wembley.

8. Further Tory party sex scandals are averted when party chairman Norman Fowler brings over a crack damage limitation team from Washington, DC. By the end of the year, a mistress and illegitimate child are essential accessories for the upwardly-mobile politician.

9. Cyrus Vance, David Owen and Oliver Reed are jointly awarded Nobel peace prize for 'trying hard', following in the footsteps of F W de Klerk and Nelson Mandela.

'Watch it, kid.'

'You never said anything about offending liberals, sir.'

10. Another Andrew Lloyd Webber smash hit musical hits London, entitled The Wonderful World of Mr B . . .

'You were doing so well, kid.'

'What about Elaine Paige's dramatic weight-gain bid to win the title role?'

'I'm sorry, kid.'

'Prince Edward landing the romantic lead?'

'You can go now, kid.'

'I also wanted to say something about the Pope.'

'I'm afraid it's too late.'

'Very good, sir.'

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