Why doesn't ET visit Ambridge?

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Ten ways in which people nowadays finish off a sentence that starts: "Surely you don't still ... ?"

"... have a cooked breakfast every morning?"

"... allow people to smoke in your house?"

"... take sugar in your tea?"

"... smoke that stuff?"

"... have your old Status Quo records?"

"... listen to The Archers?"

"... get a Sunday paper?"

"... find The Goon Show funny?"

"... believe in God?"

"... believe in atheism?"

Ten things which characters in The Archers are always having.

A coffee


Nasty accidents

A quick pint

A conversation about another character whose voice has never been heard in the programme

Second thoughts

More coffee

Plans for parties

Worries about sheep dips, milk quotas, and other contentious things that justify having an agricultural consultant listed in the credits

To deal with unpleasant characters whom you know will get their come- uppance even if you have to wait 18 months for that pleasant moment of revenge.

Ten things which characters in The Archers never have.

A cup of tea

Nice accidents

Plans to go out and buy new clothes

A slow pint

An appearance for one episode only

Political opinions

Encounters with extraterrestrial beings

Crop circles


Any inclination to listen to The Archers.

Ten made-up place-names which never sounded remotely as if they could really exist.



Gotham City

Barchester Towers



Rawlinson's End

Crinkly Bottom



Ten place names which always sounded made up, even though they are real places.

Welwyn Garden City



Leonard Stanley

Bix Bottom

Ashby de la Zouch


Cricket St Thomas

Llanfairpwllgwyn etc etc

Dodge City

Ten expressions which have not been decimalised or metricated.

Penny for your thoughts

Give them an inch and they'll take a mile

A guinea pig

The penny's dropped

Not short of a few bob

Spend a penny

Penny for the guy

I wouldn't give tuppence

Came down like a ton of bricks

Inching slowly away

Ten expressions which not only demean women but demean specific women by name.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary

Not on your nelly

Plain Jane

Sue and be damned

A cheap sally

Darby and Joan

Off the peg

Sweet Fanny Adams

Poison ivy

Shrinking violet

Ten words which we and the Americans insist on pronouncing differently.










zee (for zed)

Ten questions which have never been answered satisfactorily.

Stands Scotland where it did?

Why is the English word for a driver "chauffeur", if the French word means "someone who heats something up"?

Why do we wear a wristwatch on the left wrist?

If Kochel put Mozart's life and work in order, who did the same for Kochel?

If Smith is the commonest name in England, why isn't the French equivalent, Lefevre, the commonest name in France?

What's it all about, then?

Why do people call the left-hand lane of a motorway the "inside lane", when it is actually the outside lane?

Why is it called a double bass, when there is no single bass?

Why is a boy soprano called a treble, when there is no such thing as a double?

Why is a play for two people called a two-hander, when they've got four hands between them?