Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Mr Timothy West-Ward 

I wish to consider the disc jockey Timothy West-Ward, a 59-year-old clergyman's son from Norfolk (was his father an East Anglican vicar? Excuse me, I can barely stop laughing). Mr West-Ward has recently described himself as "The Big Dog Pitbull" of the nation's airwaves, which I find rather confusing. A pitbull is not a particularly large beast: I seem to recall that they are one of those barrel-like dogs which has a virtually transparent coat and strains at the leash, growling in a menacing fashion. What is Mr West-Ward actually getting at?

A glance at my ancient copy of the "Observer's Book Of Dogs" doesn't help, as the pitbull terrier is not listed by the Kennel Club, a notoriously elitist organization. However, I have noted a number of considerably larger and better dogs appear within the pages. The Swiss Mountain Dog, the Newfoundland, the Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound or St. Bernard are all statuesque and magnificent examples of doghood lacking recognition by king of the ghetto Mr West-Ward.

No, I think what he is implying is not that he is big, cumbersome and will eat you out of house and home, but that he has a fearsome reputation and will tear you limb from limb, should the moment arise. Particularly if you are a baby.

Should we take Mr West-Ward's claims seriously? I think I prefer to see him as one of those ageing mongrels one sees with creaky back legs, white whiskers and erratic bowel movements.
No-one has the heart to put him down, which is fair enough.

Mr West-Ward has a Radio One show where he shouts at excessive volume into the microphone and refers to guests as "baby boy" a lot, and a satellite television programme wherein he interviews lots of rappers who complain about how nobody likes them, everybody hates them and they think they will go and eat worms, and cetera.

It's a dog's life.

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