• 15 Aug

    The aliens are coming, bring a packed lunch!

    The Ministry of Defence has finally released its archive of files into reported UFO sightings. For years we can see the work of a clandestine Government department many believe, according to the papers, act as “a defender of the British Isles against the alien menace”.

    Which alien menace would this be then? Blurry photos of small, cloud-shaped objects drifting aimlessly over the M1, much like a cloud would do? Because if we’re honest (and I do try to be wherever appropriate) that’s all these sightings ever are.

    Think about it. Would extraterrestrial beings of higher intelligence who have mastered intergalactic travel really fly light years across the universe just to fleetingly hover over a beech tree in Norfolk?

    And if so, would they really impart news of their impending attack on planet Earth to some ex-hippy with a mind so riddled with acid flashbacks and loneliness their testimony is as trustworthy as a hoodie loitering outside a burning Foot Locker.

    And while we’re on the subject, I’d like to state, for the record, I’d welcome an alien invasion right now. There are some parts of the UK that already look as though they’ve been destroyed by invading martian marauders so their actual presence can only improve things.

    Moreover, if an alien beastie did approach me demanding “take me to your leader”, I’d try and persuade it to meet someone with a smidgen more credibility, like H from Steps .

    So if anything is unearthed from these files (which it won’t be) I say let’s make the alien menace feel welcome. Who knows, maybe if we’re lucky they’ll take some of us back with them.

  • 05 Aug

    Just how small IS Jamie Cullum?

    I’ve been wondering this a lot lately. He’s been around for some time now but the media keep referring to him as the ‘pint-sized piano player’. Is this accurate? Is he really the size of a pint? That’s about six inches high. I know, I just measured it with a pint glass and a ruler in the kitchen.

    If this is true, then that’s truly incredible. He’s a miracle of evolution and biology. We should have top scientists perform experiments on him day and night. There are so many questions we need answering.

    Where does he get his clothes? Hamleys? How does he reach the piano? Does he have a special one made? When he appears on telly, do they just stick him very close to the camera?

    Most importantly, should he be worried? Because we are. One moment he’s making his way to Abbey Road studios to lay down a happening freeform piano track, the next moment and he’s snatched by a kestrel. It doesn’t bear thinking about.


    The Edinburgh Fringe Festival kicked off this week. It may appear on the surface to be a glorious, light-hearted tribute to the timeless art of comedy, but scratch the surface and you’ll uncover a seething bear pit of paranoia, fear and unconscionable behaviour.

    Thirty days of night descend on the Scottish capital as thousands of comedians dance like anxious monkeys in an over-heated portacabin every night for a whole month, vying for your attention and approbation, risking mental and physical breakdown just to entertain you.

    Many of them haven’t even finished writing their show by the time they arrive, convincing themselves that they thrive on the panic. They get their head down, hold their breath and hope their ill-prepared toil and trouble will take their career to the next level. Then the reviews come in.

    Each flippant remark holding the terrible power to generate unbridled happiness or induce self doubt, self loathing and despair. And at the end of the Fringe, when booze-laden veil is lifted from the Royal Mile, many comedians emerge blinking in the September sun thousands of pounds in debt. Because you see, there’s no business like showbusiness.


    Before I go, here’s a tip. Whatever you’re up to this week, never, ever go into pubs with flat roofs. They are always terrifying. You know the ones. Often located near rundown train stations or at the base of crumbling tower blocks, these pubs glare angrily at the rest of the world, vast St George cross flags waving aggressively in the breeze. And that’s just outside.

    Inside you’ll find a seething gaggle of tough, sinewy men armed to the teeth with tattoos. And not the “I got this done when I went travelling” tattoos middle class people get to be interesting. No, these are the blue, smudged, ‘I got this done when I went to prison for doing over that post office” tattoos.In a way I should respect them more; at least they’re being true to themselves. But I don’t.

    Anyway, if you are a normal person, it is inadvisable to go inside. If you do the music will stop. The stares will start. Guns would be produced and you would be chased out of this hive of scum and villainy just because you had the temerity to enter with your opposable thumbs. No, there’s probably a much nicer pub down the road. One with a proper roof. Have a nice weekend.