Friday, August 29, 2008


Sir Bill with Croft and Perry (left - bow tie by Moschino, monkey suit model's own)

In my absence there doesn't seem to have been much fuss made on the internet about the death of one of the behemoths of light entertainment - Sir Bill Cotton.  So here is a rather late obituary.

Sir Bill used to be known as Billy Cotton Junior well into his fifties, which must have been a source of frustration, especially as he was the son of Billy Cotton who basically WAS the bits of the BBC that weren't Richard Dimbleby.  

Billy Jr. MADE HIS OWN WAY THROUGH SHEER HARD GRAFT AND TALENT despite his famous dad (of "Wakey Wakey!" fame), rather like Peaches Geldorrrrrf, who has landed a job at a New York magazine because she has MADE HER OWN WAY THROUGH SHEER HARD GRAFT AND TALENT despite her famous dad Sir Lord King Emperor Pete Briquette (the short one) out of the Boomtown Rats.   I hope the two met before he died: they would have had so much in common and Sir Bill could have imparted some valuable words of wisdom to Peaches before she left to conquer America.

Bill, born in 1928, was a BBC light entertainment producer in the 1950's and worked his way up to become Head Of Light Entertainment during what has turned out to be a golden era at the BBC.  He presided over such shows as Bruce Forsyth Presents: The Boy Bruce And The Mighty Atom, Do Not Adjust Your Set, The Tim Brooke Taylor Experiment, That Sketch With John Cleese, Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker, Do You Want Me To Repeat That Again?, Bruce Forsyth Presents: War Of The Worlds and I Think Marty Feldman Is A Bit Overrated, Actually, Although That Thing Where He's Playing Golf On Top Of A Train Is Fairly Funny I Suppose.

Due to SHEER HARD GRAFT AND TALENT he eventually got The Big Job - as BBC Fat Controller.

He wasn't a man to mince his words, and had many a run in with top BBC celebrities.  Of Terry Wogan he once said "don't be taken in by the easy Irish charm.  That cunt insists that his wigs get ferried about in limos at the licence payer's expense. I mean, fuck me!  The man's a freak of nature!" He claimed that Clive Dunn "went through the girls who danced with the Young Generation like a dose of salts, the cheeky bugger.  He was always up the clap clinic."

The last comment seems a little hypocritical in light of the fact that Sir Bill once had an on/off fling with that voluptuous ginger piece from variety dance troupe the Television Toppers.  She eventually left him after *finding happiness* with the creepy George Mitchell, uberlord of the Black And White Minstrels.

Sir Bill leaves a longstanding wife - Kate - and is actually vaguely related to dynamic and charismatic TV presenter Fearne Cotton, so I can't make a feeble joke about her having made her way in the cut throat entertainment industry through SHEER HARD GRAFT AND TALENT and not because her granddad is Sir Bill Cotton.

Tributes were paid by Bruce Forsyth, who claimed that Sir Bill was "the consumate professional, a great golfer, and a warm, passionate man.  They broke the mould the day they made him, believe me."  Ronnie Corbett described him as "a great golfer who was great fun on the golf course" and Danny La Rue said "I'm distraught ... a light has gone out in all our lives.  Not since Arthur Askey died have I felt so bereft.  Look up to the sky tonight and you'll be able to see Bill's star twinkling back at you.  Not 'arf, mate!!  Wotcha!!!" 

Rest in pieces, big man.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008


American swimmer Michael Phelps has won eleven gold medals - the greatest number amassed in the Olympic Games, apparently.

Does this make him the greatest swimmer of all time?  Does it sillybollocks.

Michael Phelps doesn't hold a candle to Mark Spitz, who won nine gold medals.

The reason for this is simple: it's down to aerodynamics.

Mark Spitz swam with a moustache.

This was the 1970's, and men were men were men, especially in San Francisco bath houses.

Phwoar!  Despite the undoubted handicap of having to race with what is the equivalent of eight pounds attached to his upper lip, Mark Spitz still managed to win nine gold medals.  None of that all over body shaving for Mark!
He had a good head of thick, bouncy, lively hair of the sort you'd love to run your hands through ... er, sorry, where was I?  He even had hairy armpits (seen), and particularly hairy arse cheeks (unseen). Gentleman readers take note: no holiday wardrobe is complete without a pair of stars and stripes Speedoes that fit like a driving  glove.  

No wonder he retired from swimming after the 1972 Olympics.  Having to wear all those gold medals around his neck - even in the swimming pool - must have led to a lot of upper spinal problems and endless visits to the osteopath.

He was no doubt a source of inspiration for Scotland's own David Wilkie, who went on to win a paltry single gold medal at the 1976 Olympics ...

Well, that looks like a very spontaneous, unposed photograph doesn't it?

Both men were, in their own way, representatives of the ideal 1970's man - at least according to girls of around my age at the time.  If you asked any teenager who she'd like as a boyfriend, more likely than not she'd suggest that he should be "tall and dark, with a mussstosh".

Of course, the reality would be that she was actually seeing someone called Nige or Kev who smelt of week old socks, who had bum fluff and boils on his face the size of ten pence pieces.  Still, nice to be aspirational, isn't it? 

Shit.  How did that picture of dreamy Opportunity Knocks winner Bernie Flint get in here?

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Monday, August 04, 2008


Portia Von Trapp (pictured above in an American Vogue fashion spread) is THE woman of the moment.  She has been described in her modelling portfolio as "the most beautiful woman of her generation - accessible but edgy, with an appeal which will extend beyond fashion and will rock the entire world to its very foundations."

The twenty year old - who is definitely NOT a socialite or a rich, stupid cunt on a trust fund with the right connections - has been raved about by all the fashion mags, gossip columns and broadsheets.

She has appeared on the catwalks, in numerous fashion shoots, and has become a muse to Karl Lagerfeld, who froths "she is ... the epitome of modern woman, a new beauty who has the discipline of not eating.  She has the narrowest hips I have ever seen on a woman.  She is very nearly the most beautiful woman who has ever lived."

However, the heiress to the Von Trapp Bavarian cheese empire claims that she would rather be known for her real talent - as a sculptress.

"My sculptures have been on show in a couple of galleries in London, and I'm sure that, like, if I wasn't known for being a model I would've got more recognition for them.  That's what drives me though.  

I adore working.  Only last week I put in three hours overseeing the design of some printed pillowcases for Liberty.  I was really, like, out of the zone.  It was absolutely gruelling, and I almost felt as if I was losing my mind a couple of times, but I felt this kind of sense of achievement afterwards.

My mind's always on the go!  I've also got this capsule range of hair slides available at Harrods.  They start at £85 because I'm mindful of the fact that ordinary people wouldn't be able to buy one of my sculptures, but it's still a way for them to sort of have a part of me.

I love ordinary people.  Only this morning I saw this sort of Bulgariany peasant woman begging in the street, and I really empathised with her.  Like, she's hungry, and I know how that feels because I have to go without food during fashion campaigns."

Portia is currently dating hot new rock star Charlie Fitzgibbon of The Auditors.

"It's a fun thing with Charlie and we shag a lot and take coke together and that sort of thing, but I'm getting a bit older now and there's a very narrow shelf life for a model.  Lately I've had this real desire to sort of get married soon and have about six children.  That's real fulfilment for a woman - being a mother, I've come to realise.  I really want to live the dream and have a big pile in the country and just settle down with the kids and just do valuable work as a mother for a few years - with four or five nannies on hand of course.

Thing is, I can't really afford to do that yet so I'm hoping to marry a top pop star or actor.  Somebody like one of Coldplay, perhaps, or Orlando Bloom.  I've sent these people my portfolio, so we'll have to see what happens.  Fingers crossed!

When I get to my thirties and my tits have dropped and my husband has traded me in for one of the teenaged nannies I might do what mummy did and open a boutique and design a capsule clothes range.  That would be sooo challenging, but I'd get a real sense of achievement from it.

I've always liked tea dresses."

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