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The Independent Online
Hello! And welcome to Talk Column UK! This is an entirely new column starting today in which we, Talk Column UK, provide non-stop, 24- hour, round-the-clock, non-stop chat for you, the reader, to pick up on! And if there's something you want to disagree with, or comment on, or just speak your mind about, then you can write in, or fax in, drop a note round, any time you want!

Right, well don't let's hang about, let's go straight to our first reader writing in to us today, on the very first day of Talk Column UK, and I believe it's Jed in Wimbledon who's trying to write a letter to us, yes, Jed?

Oops! No contact there ...

I don't think we seem to have got through to our very first correspondent on Talk Column UK ...

Maybe the fax machine isn't working or something ...

Dear Talk Column UK,

Ah! That's it! We're through! Go ahead, Jed of Wimbledon with our very first letter on the fax!

Dear Talk Column UK, Actually, my name is Jez, not Jed, but never mind, I just wanted to say that I think your new column is great. It's lovely to have a column you can get in touch with and interreact with, not like some other columns I could mention. Yours, Jez.

Hold on there, Jez, not so fast, just tell us what these other columns are that you can't mention? You can mention them in Talk Column UK, you know! That's because we don't care what we write here! We're fast and loose here! Libel lawyers? Stuff 'em! That's what we say. You probably thought you'd never see someone in a newspaper column write "stuff 'em", but that's how we are on Talk Column UK. So, Jez, what are these other columns you can't interreact with?

Dear Talk Column UK, Are you sure I can mention these other columns by name on your column? - Jez

Sure thing, Jez. Just let rip and leave the rest up to us!

Dear Talk Column UK, Well, I was really thinking of someone like Richard Littlejohn, who has this column in the `Sun' which is basically like standing next to someone in a pub and listening to this bloke going on for hours and hours and hours. Well, I don't see the point of that because after all you could go to a pub and get the same effect, couldn't you?

Can I just say something here, Jez? Three things, actually. The first is that Richard Littlejohn is no longer with the Sun but has moved to the Mail. Gone from the saloon bar to the lounge bar, you might say. Two, it would be much more expensive to go down to the pub every day just to get an earful of conversation than buying a paper. And three, has it ever occurred to you that Richard Littlejohn is the only media person named after two characters from the Robin Hood saga?

Dear Talk Column UK, How do you reckon that, then?

Because Little John was a character and so was Richard the Lionheart. If you can think of someone else with two names from the Robin Hood saga, I'll give you a prize, but I doubt you can, Jez, because I think you're stupid.

Dear Talk Column UK, How do you reckon I am stupid then? I don't understand that. We were having a quite nice exchange of views until a moment ago and suddenly you've turned all nasty.

That's because that's what Talk Column UK is all about. We lure readers into a friendly exchange and then we turn on them in a show of bared teeth and vitriol and tell them to get lost.

Dear Talk Column UK, Why do you do that?

Because it entertains the rest of the readers, you berk. Another thing, Jez, I think Jez is a really stupid name. I wouldn't be surprised if you also had a pig-tail and a baseball cap turned backwards and a stubbly chin.

Dear Talk Column UK, Well, you're wrong there, because I am actually the professor of applied linguistics at a top London university. Also I can think of another name which incorporates two names from the Robin Hood saga.

Go on. I bet you can't.

Dear Talk Column UK, Do you remember that bloke who used to be the media doctor all over the place called Alan Maryon-Davis, who's in that group Instant Sunshine? Well, there's Alan as in Allan-a-Dale, and Maryon as in Maid Marian! And I bet there's a Davis in Robin Hood if you look hard enough. There's always a Welshman about somewhere ...

Yes, dear reader, that's what Talk Column UK is like. Mindless wittering and gratuitous insults.

If you would like more of the same, all you have to do is vote Yes.

I'll let you know how to vote as soon as we've worked out a way of doing it which even readers of Talk Column UK can understand.