Typical – bemused by the success of Sherlock, you try to come up with a winning alternative idea for BBC1’s Sunday evening line up. Having duly thought of one, you then do a quick Google search only to realise that it’s been done before.
Now I must go and mournfully throw away my hastily-written one page treatment for ‘Starfish Hitler’…
Factual Healing is my new eBook – a collection of some of the most incredible facts about a wide range of subjects, from hospitals to prisons to babies to booze. You can read an excerpt from it here.
Please note that factuality of facts contained within the book cannot be verified. Do not attempt to use any of them in a life or death situation.
But the good news is that you can have it nestling in your phone or e-reading device in just a few seconds time for only 99p (or for £1.02 in the Kindle Store – not sure why it costs more there to be honest)
To buy it in .mobi format (for Kindle), click this button.
To buy it in .epub format (iBooks and other e-readers), click this button.
To buy it in a slightly crappy-looking PDF format, click this button
Or at least according to Ebony magazine in 1985. Brace yourselves, because it’s eerily accurate…
Earlier on, I was alerted to the FULL list of So Solid Crew members on Wikipedia. It was a thing of wonder. Shortly afterwards, it was removed from the site, probably by laugh-allergic boffins. So I got a screengrab. Here it all is….
(By the way, I didn’t write any of this, although I wish I had)
We’re all familiar with England and the Republic of Ireland, but ahead of this evening’s tournament draw, what do we REALLY know about the rest of the nations that will competing in Euro 2012 next summer? Here’s your chance to bone up on them with some little-known facts about the ‘other teams’…
CROATIA: The Croatian national anthem includes the line “Burn down the disco, hang the blessed DJ”, which was stolen by The Smiths for their 1986 hit single, Panic.
RUSSIA: Russian midfielder Igor Semshov has the world’s largest collection of grey pubic hairs, which have been posted to him by ageing Dynamo Moscow supporters following a plea in the club’s matchday programme.
FRANCE: The French squad are planning to eschew the traditional recording of a pre-tournament pop single. Instead, Nicolas Sarkozy has commissioned them to engrave the names of their mothers on to a solid gold banana, which the French President plans to keep for himself.
POLAND: Due to a loophole in UEFA law, Poland believe that, as they are hosts, they can field as many ‘players’ as they can fit on to the pitch. Secret plans are afoot for them to flood the pitch with hundreds of men, women and children during every match in a desperate bid to win the tournament.
ITALY: Due to a complicated administrative error, Italian midfielder Thiago Motta recently celebrated his 108th birthday.
PORTUGAL: The Portugal squad are planning to bond ahead of Euro 2012 by touring the country with their self-produced musical adaptation of ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou’.
GREECE: Owing to the ongoing economic meltdown in their country, the Greek squad have been told that if they progress beyond the group stages of Euro 2012, they can have ‘all the minerals’.
SWEDEN: Veteran Swedish midfielder Anders Svensson says that his longevity at football’s top level is down to the four hours a day he spends leaning against his washing machine. ‘Full spin,’ he says, ‘full fucking spin’.
UKRAINE: The tournament co-hosts are keen to take part with no discernible home advantage over the other teams. Before every match, sports hypnotists will convince their players that they are in fact competing in an impromptu kickabout in a San Francisco park in 1968.
NETHERLANDS: Dutch commentator Gregor Van Der Straaten says that whenever he isn’t commentating on the action during a match, he’ll be repeatedly mumbling “Euro Euro Euro Euro Euro” into his microphone, in the same style as a Kabaddi player.
GERMANY: Coach Joachim Löw eats 500 jelly crocodiles every day.
CZECH REPUBLIC: The Czech government have promised that if the team make it to the final, every child in the country will be given a free ping pong ball filled with heroin.
SPAIN: Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets is awaiting a decision from UEFA confirming that he will be allowed to play while wearing any of his seven removable noses during the tournament.
You’re probably stumped about which one to buy from of the plethora of enchanting celebrity autobiographies that are available ahead of Christmas. Fret no more dear reader, because I have read them ALL for you*. Here’s my handy guide…
LEE EVANS –THE LIFE OF LEE (£20.00)
The rubber-boned joker concentrates on the gruelling life he endured before finally making the big time, revealing for the first time some of the grotty jobs that sustained him before he became a household name. Anyone who isn’t moved to tears by Lee’s description of his three months spent as a novelty penis salesman in Jakarta doesn’t deserve to have any eyes.
OPENING LINE: “No one sees the man behind the clown mask; no one sees him sitting in a bush in the car park of his local Asda at 4am because he still can’t get over that garbled punchline he delivered in Hull in 1992.”
JAMES CORDEN – MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE? (£18.99)
Heavy stuff from the roly-poly funnyman, belying his public image as a loud, detestable buffon. Four of this 654-page book’s five chapters focus on the occult, as Corden reveals his belief that he is only a few years away from being able to transform his own urine into liquid gold.
OPENING LINE: “It was my 15th birthday, when I tranquilised my pet dog Wilfie just so that I could eat the tin of Pedigree Chum that was rightfully his, that I knew something needed to change on Planet Corden.”
ALAN SUGAR – THE WAY I SEE IT: RANTS, REVELATIONS AND RULES FOR LIFE (£20.00)
He started out with a few quid and a van at the age of 16 and he’s now one of Britain’s best-loved millionaires. But he’s retained his hard edge, as displayed in this book. For example, one of Lord Sugar’s ‘rules’ focuses on male employees who don’t tuck in their shirts – he says of them: “My sole reason for entering the House Of Lords is to pass legislation that will make this despicable practice punishable by death. Death caused by the forced feeding of said shirt, its breast pocket filled with the hottest chillies known to mankind.”
OPENING LINE: “People look at me and think I live the life of Riley but there’s nothing I enjoy more than shaving my mother-in-law’s back on a Sunday afternoon”
SUE JOHNSTON – THINGS I COULDN’T TELL MY MOTHER (£18.99)
The much-loved actress has a lifetime of tales to tell from her showbiz and personal life, and this book is a weapons-grade page-turner. You’ll be as astonished as I was to learn that Waking The Dead ended after Trevor Eve took legal action against Sue, claiming that he had won one of her kidneys in a drunken card game at a post-filming wrap party.
OPENING LINE: “Fate is a funny thing. If I’d replied to a certain advert that I saw in the Liverpool Echo in 1967, I’d almost certainly by now be one of the most celebrated Formula One drivers of all time.”
BRENDAN SHEERIN – MY LIFE: A COACH TRIP ADVENTURE (14.99)
Finally caving in to immense public demand, the tour guide from TV’s Coach Trip has put pen to paper and laid himself bare. He glosses over his early life as the President of the UK Golliwog Preservation Society, choosing to share anecdotes about the show that has made him famous. Worth reading if only to learn which contestant was ejected from the coach while it was still moving after exposing himself to a group of blind nuns through the rear window.
OPENING LINE: “Some people find it hard to believe that I was allergic to buses until the age of 32 – until I show them the photo I always carry with me, with my face so swollen that my eyes look like raisins and my cheeks like raw steaks.”
*I didn’t read any of them. Do I look like some kind of twat?