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Archive for January, 2012

Daily Top 5 #5

Top 5 (6) BBC Sport Programme Music

Some of Britain’s most loved theme music comes from the BBC’s collection of sports programmes.  These longstanding iconic tunes have, on numerous occasions, bookended epic moments in sporting history and for that reason will always have a poignant resonance for thousands of people across the nation.  Here is tribute list to those infectious melodies that have soundtracked our lives:

6.  Golf:  This classic could have been a lot higher on the list for pure entertainment but alas it’s nostalgia value (for me obviously, I mean, who likes golf as a child?) has resulted in its low position.  If this song had not been selected for its golfing role I like to think it could have easily been the opening credits of some weird seventies sci-fi programme.  Try thinking about William Shatner when you press play…see?

5.  Match of the Day:  I know, ridiculously low down for such an important piece of cultural history.  Having been the focal point of thousands of households’ Saturday night for tens of years, this theme music is buried deep into the mind of every British person regardless of the interest in football.  It’s triumphant and morale boosting, even when you’ve just watched City wipe the floor with United 6-1!  Now that’s some powerful music!

4.  Snooker:  A break away from the classic BBC orchestra style of sport programme theme music, this guitar riff conjures images of Ronnie clearing up with ease, of the Nugget on top form, and Dennis Taylor with his Dierdre glasses on upside down.  I’ve always found a resemblance to ‘Top Gear’ with this tune but thankfully, this music isn’t often succeeded on screen by a knobhead unless, of course, Peter Ebdon is playing.

3.  Ski Sunday:  Possibly the happiest music ever!  If I ever go skiing this song will be on repeat on my mp3 player for as long as I can carry on going.  This one really takes me back, although I’m not exactly certain why.  I’ve never made an effort to watch ‘Ski Sunday’ and don’t really enjoy skiing in general but still this song comes fully charged with nostalgia.

2.  Wimbledon:  The sound of summer is here!  It had to be high up just for those memories of sunny days and epic matches, only marred by Tim Henman’s constant semis (finals that is, you dirty minded bastards) and of course Cliff Richard praying for rain so that he might get a bit of attention.  Bust out the strawberries and celebrate being British before everyone stops caring about tennis because we never win anything. 

1. Grandstand:  Of course it’s Grandstand, what else could it have been?  By far the best sports music ever, narrowly pipping the Champion’s League music to the title.  In its positive notes it encapsulated all that is happiness; a shit load of sport, the realisation that the weekend is here, and the acceptance that you don’t have to do anything for hours and hours except for maybe playing some sport, before returning home to continue watching even more sport!  What’s best about the theme tune is that middle breakdown section where it gets really powerful and heroic.  Thank you Keith Mansfield, for blessing the world with this superlative piece of history.

So there it is, you can see why it had to be a top six.  I hope through reading and listening to this you have been flooded with memories of youth and happiness.  Sadly now, you will have to return to your grown up, Grandstand-less lives and just try to make do with the Sky Sports News music.  I know, I know, it’s not the same but what choice do we have?

Enjoyed this list, or think you’d do things differently?  Leave a comment.


Daily Top 5 #4

Top 5 Terrible adverts’s sense berating adverts have recently been voted the most annoying of last year by the British public, but let’s a have a quick look at what other beauties managed to induce anger, depression, or shudders of horror in just 30 seconds, over the last few months.

5. Compensation Adverts:  Far too many to count separately, this plethora of free money campaigns almost takes up more daytime TV airspace than ‘Bargain Hunt’ in its various guises.  The flagship company, ‘National Accident Helpline’ has by far the highest budget of the lot seeing as it features that dodgy guy who used to be in ‘Eastenders’, serious looking black guy, and stern, but still mildly (not threateningly) attractive woman.  In their ad, they bombard viewers with possible accident locations while all the while determinedly walking at the camera.  Alright, Mr. Eastenders, I’ll trip or fall anywhere, just stop trying to climb out of my TV!

4.  BT:  Now really, from a company this size you’ve got to expect better than a condensed soap opera whose story is dragged out for what seems like eternity.  In the few minutes between watching programmes I’d rather not be encouraged to vote on grown up ‘My Family’ idiot and bad hair ladies’ next relationship twist, unless one of the options happens to be; they’re both horrifically injured and unable to have their awkward love life portrayed on TV anymore.  What’s worse is that with the new year comes a spin off.  We follow the son as he moves out into a flat with a girl (ooh possible awkward romance scenes!) and a stereotypical twatty loser who curses his superfast broadband for ruining his one chance to entice a lady on her own into his nerd lair.  Damn you BT homehub!

3.  Glade Air Freshener:  Getting right to the issue of what every modern woman truly cares about, how her house smells when her friends visit.  Not content with, making a house smell like Christmas or summer, or any other season or public holiday, Glade can also boast incredibly elegant or discreet design which will be able to fool any middle class coffee morning gathering into thinking that you’re displaying a work of art.  My favourite of these is when badly dubbed voice woman A is showing off her stone collection to her gullible friends, who are astonished that this oddly shaped weird vase thing with Glade written on the front, isn’t a stone at all but an air freshener!  Who’d have thought it?  The gender stereotypes continue with the entrance of the husband in a different ad, who is baffled by this bamboozling contraption that emits its fug when he walks past to cover the horrible stench of men.  I hate you Glade, you old fashioned belief wielding bastards!

2.  There’s so much to hate about these adverts.  Firstly; the use of a doctored version of ‘YMCA’, a terribly annoying song even in its original form.  Secondly; the cheapness of the set of adverts.  Is it too much to ask for a set of fresh voiceovers for the Scottish cartoon woman and just the same recycled ambiguous phrases placed in a different order?  Thirdly; the horrendous use of background stereotypes.  We have the extra-large black diva who is barely able to fit in the car AND the attractive, well groomed, obviously gay man clad in his tight t-shirt and jeans.  I’m guessing one of the idea sessions went along the lines of, “We need to make it clear that we are a company for everybody, even ridiculous stereotypes!”  And last of all, why does the main woman have to constantly pull something different each advert from the vast canyon between her legs?  It started off small with a present, then a bouquet of flowers and ended up with a whole road with surrounding hills and scenery!  Honestly, look at it again and that’s not definitely a skirt pocket she’s getting these things from!

1.  Halifax:  Of course the top spot had to be held by that horrendously annoying blonde woman and her stupid Vanilla Ice-ing mate. I’ve honestly never seen anyone so excited by repeatedly getting her mate to turn the radio up to play The Lightning Seeds and it angers me so much I struggle to even change the channel through sheer, convulsive rage.  The newer adverts with that “choir” of “Halifax workers” singing “heartfelt” songs equally sap my will to live.  I mean, how can a bank possibly believe that they can be all pally with the viewers and win back all the misplaced faith and trust that has been lost over the last few years by singing Katrina and the fucking Waves!  It’s amazing that in 30 seconds, such an inconsequential amount of time in the great journey of life, so much anger and pain can be created by a bunch of morons in a room pretending to have a good time while working on a fictional radio show, and singing emotionless songs.

So there you have it, a pretty angry one from me today, but God damn it I hate adverts!

Got something to say about this list?  Leave me a comment.

Daily Top 5 #3

Top 5 Nic Cage Character Names

Ever noticed Nic Cage has a rather large collection of badass Hollywood character names?  No?  Well now you do.  Oh and just as a heads up, Rick Santoro, Cage’s character in ‘Snake Eyes’ could not be included in the list because it is one of the worst films I have ever seen.

5. Benjamin Franklin Gates:  If anyone questioned this ‘National Treasure’ character’s commitment to his homeland because of his maverick attitude and blatant disregard for the law, look no further than his middle name.  This film may be just a lesser version of ‘Indiana Jones’ but in the name stakes its streets ahead.  Wouldn’t you agree Junior?

4. Castor Troy:  I know, I’m amazed this didn’t get higher on the list too.  Entangled in as much mythological reference as humanly possible, this face changing bad guy role is surely one of Cage’s finest and the hammed up performance is worthy of a truly epic name.

3. Dr. Stanley Goodspeed: Hmmm, good guy perhaps?  When I was contemplating making this list I switched on the TV to be greeted by ‘The Rock’ featuring Nic Cage in yet another law unto himself do-gooder role.  Just in case Cage didn’t manage to get enough overblown scenes into the film, his flare pose, think heathens begging for forgiveness when the Rapture comes, more than makes up for it.  Truly breath taking. Oh and if you were wondering Goodspeed is a derivative of Godspeed, you know, because he’s adventurous and such.  They could have just cut their losses and gone for Dr. Findy Truthgood.  Please.

2. Cameron Poe:  Brilliant.  If you were having trouble separating Cage from the other inmates in ‘Con Air’ maybe his name can help you.  I mean, what kind of real criminal would be a namesake of a poet?  He’s done his time, grown his hair, and now he just wants to get home to his wife and kid.  Sadly he’s going to have going to have to save the day in between.   The name and the character annoyingly clash though.  Cameron Poe is clearly the name of a well-rounded English gent, not the moniker of a vest sporting, Southern drawling honest American citizen.  Still a well cool name though.

1. Memphis Raines:  I wish this was my name.  So much.  This is Cage’s character in probably the worst film on the list, ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’, yet contains one of the best screen names in the history of cinema.  I suppose really, if this wasn’t Cage’s name, this film would offer, well, nothing.  Personally I find it hard to sit for an hour and a half on the premise of “Wahey cars!”  Again, like always it seems, Cage is a lawbreaker but for good reasons and again the directors have ensured that this character is truly American.  Memphis.  He loves cars, women, saves his brother’s ass, and is loved by everyone, what else could he be called but Memphis Raines.

So that’s it.  Nic Cage, hogging the best names that Hollywood have to offer. It could have something to do with a lack of talent, or plot, but I don’t know, you’ll have to take it up with Memphis.

So that’s my list, don’t agree? Leave me a comment.

Daily Top 5 #2

Top 5 Biggest Knobheads to have Played in the Premier League

5.  Craig Bellamy– Constantly bitching to the ref and mouthing off to opponents and teammates alike, marking this guy for 90 minutes would feel like being stuck in the middle of a Jeremy Kyle ‘I’m an arsehole and everyone hates me’ special.

4.  John Terry– Everyone knows what there is to know about this clown.  The serial love rat, ruining marriages left right and centre, also occasionally goes in for a bit of televised racism.  What’s worse is that whenever he sleeps his way into the tabloid papers, we have to look at his horrible, cockney, transvestite-without-make-up-on face.  Also, not content with his huge wage budget, he felt the need to earn an extra ten grand for a guided tour of the Chelsea training ground!  Maybe this chump should have been higher up the list.

3.  Joey Barton– Well, well, well.  Mr. Twitter himself.  What is there not to love about this guy?  He openly criticises managers and players.  He whinges and moans about his own failures on the pitch and blames anyone within range when things don’t go his way.  Also there’s the small matter of constantly beating people up on and off the training ground.  What’s worst though is his self-appointed role of social commentator and speaker of truth about football when really he’s just a petty, whining, spoilt child of a player.

2.  Ashley Cole– Probably the best left back in the world but sadly one of the biggest knobheads in the game as well.  Always moaning, over and over again in the ref’s face.  Actually shouting and swearing right in his face.  I honestly can’t wait for the day when Howard Webb just lamps his one to the cheers of football fans all over the country.  Of course there are his infidelities but we all know about that.  Oh yes and the small matter of him shooting a lad on work experience at the training ground.  What a prick.

1.  El Hadji Diouf– Spitting is disgusting.  There are few things quite as horrible.  This man has it down to a tee.  On several occasions Diouf has been found guilty of spitting, most despicable of all being when he was charged for gobbing all over an 11 year old boy.  He also spat directly in the face of a Portsmouth player when at Bolton.  If there ever was a punchable offence is that.  Not satisfied with spraying children with saliva, Diouf was accused of taunting Jamie Mackie, doesn’t sound too bad you might think, except that Mackie was lying on the floor with a broken leg at the time.  He’s also been convicted of numerous driving offences in France and England, and I’m sure he’ll soon be able to add Scotland to that list as well.  An all-round nice guy you must admit.

So there it is; the top 5 biggest knobheads in the game.  Don’t agree?  Leave me a comment or just constantly whinge in my ear and swear at me.  After all, that’s what we’ve learnt from these upstanding citizens, isn’t it?

Daily Top 5 #1

This is an art form, sculpted and polished over many years by those in the workplace.  This is the Top 5 ways to look busy in work.

Do those little jobs always come up at work that you really don’t want to do?  Has THAT customer just walked in and you need an excuse to not have to speak to them?  Fear not comrades, for help is at hand:

5:  The ‘tie over the shoulder’ technique.  You’re obviously so busy that you don’t even have time to put your tie back down!  Whatever you’re doing has got to be seriously important so who’s going to interrupt that?  No one, that’s who.

4:  The ‘sleeves rolled up’ technique.  A look that really suggests that you’re about to tackle something big.  A look that says ‘I haven’t got time for your paltry needs punk!’

3:  The ‘looking at paperwork, occasionally pointing at bits of it and looking deep in concentration’ technique.  This, especially in the catering trade, can definitely buy you at least 10 minutes of doing nothing time but it does require a basic level of acting skill.  You’ve really got to believe in the role you are playing almost to the point of actually caring what’s on the paper.

2:  The ‘interrupt and run off’ technique:  This requires more acting than the last and is easily the most ballsy of the Top 5.  When a colleague or customer starts to ask you for something all you need to do is splutter out something along the lines of “Sorry I just…2 minutes…sorry” whilst gesturing a direction with your hand and backing off to the nearest exit.  Now they’re going to feel bad for delaying your “pressing” issue and probably won’t ask you again for another half hour or so.  People are far too nice.

1:  The ‘pen holding’ technique.  This had to be top because of the sheer simplicity and versatility of it.  All it requires is to hold a pen upright with your thumb at the top and maybe a couple of well timed clicks thrown in with it too.  People will think about asking you something and then see the pen, an obvious signifier of  work and busyness, and leave you to get on with it.  What’s even better about the ‘pen holding’ technique is that when combined with any of the other tricks it creates this infallible personification of hard work and graft so strong that customers and colleagues alike will fear to approach in case they get caught in the whirlwind of your hectic work life.

So go out and enjoy all your new found free time at work, and for God’s sake make sure you’ve got a pen in your pocket.

A Daytime in the Life…

…I try to avoid watching too much TV; I normally try and limit myself to the essential programmes which is basically anything between the morning edition, and about halfway through the afternoon episode of CBBC (if you don’t watch ‘Deadly 60’, you’re a fool).  It’s a world where the auctioneer and realtor are king, where a presenter must stake his claim by wearing a quirky hat or tie, and where the least TV friendly presenters mingle with the boomed and busted, ageing celebrities.  From ten o’clock I’m subjected to a chipmunk looking chap taking me around knackered houses and speaking to the unlucky fool who’s bought the property to escape the drudgery of his office life.  This of course, is ‘Homes under the Hammer’.  Alvin returns later to see how they have transformed their calamitous buy only to find failed planning permission and an inside cloaked in Ikea white.

This tale of broken dreams and wasted money used to be followed by To Build or Not To Build, a show so cheap and malnourished that the idea does not even match the title.  Here we join people across the UK have already decided and started building their own house, so yes, poor man’s John Bishop, to build is probably going to be the final outcome of this show.  This show, amazingly, is no longer being shown and has been replaced by cheeky chappy and everyone’s best mate daan the pab, Dominic Littlewood, and his show ‘Saints and Scroungers’.  This investigates the crimes of benefit cheats and features constant assertion of how terrible this is with Littlewood and his indefatigable reminders of, “she bought this with my hard earned money” or “he went here with the money I pay the government”.  We get it Dom, you’re one of us, you’re just the local guy on the building site drinking English tea and having a bit of ‘Top Gear’ banter, except with the added bonus of, well,  not having to do that.  Normally by about ten minutes in I’m done with the whole “united by hatred” thing and have a well-earned Call of Duty break.

On returning from the warzone I often find I’ve lost a few hours to anger and bloodlust.  This usually means it’s time to visit a car boot sale/old person’s house/“famous” old person’s house to rummage through shit and pick out little things a bit less shit to sell to a room of fools thinking they’ve found the next ‘Only Fools and Horses’ watch.  On ‘Bargain Hunt’ the two teams are accompanied by a couple of aforementioned fools, picked out for wearing the stupidest accessory it seems.  After watching a number of episodes (I try to stay away because Dickinson 2 just doesn’t cut it) I’ve come to the conclusion that the fancy dress toting experts actually know fuck all about anything, except for the code to the BBC’s period drama wardrobe.  Worst of all, the teams who have trudged around a soggy field all day listening to the wittering of an upper class caricature, watch their choices being sold for pennies and then, as congratulations for winning, receive the loose change from the cameraman’s pocket from his trip to Costa.  In fact, the chances of winning a half decent amount of money is emphasized by the amount of times the ridiculous presenter signs off with “Oh well, at least you had fun”.

Dickinson meanwhile laughs in the face of his understudy from the other side (ITV) and his new show where people bring their crap to the studio (It’s so easy, you don’t even have to send an antiques clown round their house!) to barter with a more convincing antique buff.  Sometimes the haggling gets so exciting, compared to writing to a new CV for a job that would get me out of the house and away from these shows, that the omniscient Dickinson himself has to step in to lend a hand.  The showdowns almost invariably end with the crap bringer refusing the boffins ‘for the sake of the show’ offers and taking it to auction themselves which begs the question, “WHY THE FUCK DIDN’T YOU DO THAT IN THE FIRST PLACE?”  Maybe a quick bit of Call of Duty to escape from the agony of daytime living.

A bit later on and it’s normally time for me to go to work and smoulder over a constant world of boredom and monotony.  Still, I suppose it could have been worse, I could have watched Doctors.