Diary of an old cheeser

Hi there! Like other blogs, this is my chance to wax lyrical (some might say talk utter cr*p) about a) what's happening in my life b) all of my pet obsessions in particular music, tv, movies, books and other generally connected things, quite often of the retro, old and "cheesy" variety. Hence the title of my blog. Feel free to leave a comment if the mood takes you. There's nothing like a good chinwag about one's favourite topics and besides I love to meet new people! Cheers, Simon

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Blinkin' Testcard

Hello boys and girls. I'm a Weeping Angel. But you can call me Wendy. As you can see, they've ditched the old "Testcard" girl and replaced her with me. Well, let's face it, she was very dated with that red top, headband and long hippy dippy hair. I think I'm far more alluring. Albeit in a stony grey kind of way.

As you can see, I'm attempting to play a game of noughts and crosses with that scary looking clown on the right. Only problem is, not only is he missing a piece of chalk, he also doesn't seem to have any arms. Which makes things kind of difficult.

As for me, my chalk's all ready to go! But it's kind of pointing in the wrong direction and it actually looks like I'm trying to grope the clown's naughty bits. Oh dear. I assure you that is NOT my intention. Not that the clown has any bits anyway. He looks rather...smooth in that area, shall we say. But then again, so were Action Man and Barbie, weren't they?

Anyhow my darlings, I'm going off the point ever so slightly. My real purpose for being here is to announce that Simon, a.k.a. Old Cheeser, will be going on sabbatical for a few weeks, due to a "hectic schedule". Apparently he's rather busy with numerous things at present - finishing off a website for his course, having to do some extra work for an examination board in addition to his full time job - it's all mounting up, my lovelies!

Consequently, my cheesy colleague will be absconding from blogging duties for a short while and would like to apologise for any disappointment or inconvenience caused. Normal services should be resumed from Saturday 7th July onwards. The cheeser will return after this time with copious Dr Who reviews (the series will have finished by then and the finale looks set to be a corker!), some commentary on the latest series of Big Brother (they've got some homosexual men in the house now apparently, hoorah!) and a delicious assortment of other posts.

However like anyone else he does like to take a break from his workload and will still be visiting his fellow blogger's sites and leaving comments where he can. Rest assured you are NOT forgotten.

Right. Better get back to this game of n&n with the clown.
Yes Mr Clown, you're taking on a serious opponent here. Don't blink. Don't even blink. Blink and you're dead. Don't turn your back, don't look away, and DON'T blink. Oh, and good luck.

This is Wendy the Weeping Angel signing off! Bye, darlings!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Smith and Joan?

And here we are, cosmic dudes and interstellar divas...better late than never...but I have been a tad busy of late...

Episode: The Family of Blood

Writer: Paul Cornell

Plot: The Dr and Martha, on the run from a group of aliens known as the Family of Blood, are hiding out in 1900s England. The Dr has taken on the persona of a human schoolteacher, John Smith, with his Time Lord essence contained in a small pocket watch. However the Family succeed in tracking the Dr down, taking over the bodies of a number of humans. To complicate matters further, the Dr has fallen in love with a nurse, Joan Redfern, from the local school and has no memory of his life as a Time Lord. With the Family threatening all of humanity, it’s up to Martha and Joan to persuade “John” to change back to his Time Lord persona before it’s too late…

Story/themes: Well, I found this an excellent conclusion to the two parter, managing to tie up all loose ends and deal with outstanding issues. There wasn’t really a bad scene in the episode – just quality acting, performances and writing – that motored very satisfactorily towards its conclusion.

First off the battle with the Family – there were some good face-off scenes between the aliens and the Dr, teachers and schoolkids. I liked the setting up of a “front line” next tothe school and the exciting battle scenes that followed. The Family were all suitably determined and obviously intent on getting hold of the Dr. The only thing which I felt should have been explained slightly more was exactly why the aliens needed the blood of a Time Lord. We knew that they wanted to extend their limited life span, but why the Dr? Was it because of his longer shelf-life in comparison with humans – i.e. the fact that he has several incarnations left? Or perhaps I wasn’t watching / listening closely enough and missed somethng. And why were they called the Family of BLOOD – we never saw them consuming any….?

The Dr-Joan-Martha triangle was played to perfection, with an impending sense of doom for the Doc and Joaney – we knew their pairing wasn’t going to last, sadly (or not so sadly for the future of “Dr Who” the sci-fi show –“Smith and Joan” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, after all. Although it makes a good title for a post). And the Dr and Joan’s relationship was intrinsically linked to the alien threat – the Dr had to relinquish his involvement with Joan and his life as a human being, in order to defeat the Family. Not an easy decision to make, which lead to some dramatic and powerful scenes as “John Smith” agonises over his future. As Joan says to the “returned” Dr near the end, talking about “John”: “He was braver than you in the end, that ordinary man. You chose to change, he chose to die”.

I loved the “flash forward” to the alternative future “John” might have had, when he touches Joan’s hand – the snapshot scenes of him married with Joan and then with…gulp… children! The Dr as a Daddy, for gawd’s sakes!! Who would have thought it?

And we even got a scene with the John on his deathbed (with convincing aging make-up for once!). It was so interesting to see this vision of the ephemeral life the Dr might have had (neatly slotted into the narrative too – as I was speculating last week I was kind of wondering how they were going to explain the Dr getting married and having kids considering there was an alien menace that needed dealing with rather urgently…a sly bit of editing on the part of the Beeb there).

There was also a fair amount of anti-war comment which in my opinion can only be a good thing. Baines asked the Headmaster: “What do you know of 1914?” As an alien race who can time travel, the Family knew about the future and the imminent war, as well as the boys who would die: “Will they thank the men who taught them it was glorious?” Perhaps these aliens had ultimately malevolent intentions, but this was a fair point to raise, nonetheless…And the juxtaposition of “To Be A Pilgrim”– with the shots of the scarecrows getting gunned down whilst “John” looked uneasy made for powerful stuff. (By the way, I failed to mention this hymn being used in Part One as well and the irony of the lines “Let him in constancy, Follow the Master!” Is this a little “pointer” to the character John Simm will be playing in the season finale? Or mere coincidence? We can but speculate…) Oh yeah, and the Family using their spacecraft to bring down meteorites to destroy the local village kind of smacked of WW1 bombers…

On the slightly down side, I did think that the defeat of the Family happened a bit too quickly and easily (reminiscent of “Terror of Zygons” where the Dr sets their spaceship on self-destruct?) – and what happened to the Family’s weapons? But on the plus side this left room for some thoughtful, strong scenes at the end – the Dr’s method of punishment for each “Family” member, his final conversation with Joan, the farewell to Tim and the final (contemporary) scene with an elderly Tim at a war memorial service with the Dr and Martha watching close by.

I particularly liked the bits in which saw how the Dr dealt with the Family e.g. the Sister (the girl with the red balloon) trapped inside a mirror (this reminded me of an old Sapphire and Steel story which used a very similar idea); Baines suspended in time as a scarecrow, looking over the fields of England! Poetic justice indeed.

Period:Just as well done as in Part One! The war time accoutrements were all pretty good too.

Guest cast/supporting characters:All excellent as in Part One.

Jessica Hynes – excelled as Joan, emotional yet dignified, obviously going through a degree of inner torment yet also calm and controlled. The knowledge that John Smith as a person must cease to exist, in order for humanity to be saved, obviously didn’t sit well with Joan. At the same time, when she realizes that everyone might die, her presiding sense of duty and morals win through and she joins Martha in convincing John to “change back”. Ms Hynes did a marvellous job of portraying someone forced to reign in their personal desires in favour of the greater good, in a moving and believable way. Her refusal to join the Dr as a time traveller was understandable – after all the man she’d be journeying with just wouldn’t be the same man she’d known…

Harry Lloyd – still menacing as Baines, with his wide eyes, flaring nostrils and oh sooo posh diction. His performance was just on the right side of camp, even kinky and suggestive at time e.g. his comment to the Headmaster: “Headmaster sir, good evening, sir, come to give me a caning, sir, would you like that sir?” If only. I think Baines was a cracking good villain and despite his “imprisonment” at the end there’s definite potential for a return – it would have to be a good story though, with a decent script that served the character well – look how lame some of the later Master stories became. And hooray for Harry Lloyd! Only in his early twenties, but clearly a very accomplished actor.

Jenny – a good accomplice for Baines and spiteful and unpleasant with it! The part when she laughs in Martha’s face about taking Jenny’s body was particularly nasty! RIP poor, cuddly Jenny! Again an excellent performance from Rebekah Staton– a versatile actress (look how different she was as the “real” Jenny and the possessed alien version) and a talent to watch out for.

Thomas Sangster as Tim – as good as in Part One. He didn’t turn out to be psychic as I was thinking, just fortunate enough to pick up a watch infused with the power of a Time Lord, so allowing him to see into the future, amongst other things – very handy eh. I wish I could get one of those before they announce the lottery numbers. And most significant of all for Tim, thanks to the Mystic-Meg properties of the watch, he’s able to see a moment in the future when he and schoolmate Hutchinson are fighting on the front line and a bomb is about to drop on them. This was cleverly done as well as we see that he and Hutchinson get out of the way of the bomb just in time, whereas in the Part One version of the clip it looked as though the bomb actually killed them. But being able to predict the exact moment, Tim is able to escape death. Lucky, eh?

Pip Torrens as Headmaster – given a bigger role in this episode than “Human Nature” in which he only spoke a few lines, which was good to see! “In the name of the King we will stand against them!” Just the kind of upper class, stiff-upper-lip Headmaster you’d expect to get in a public school in that period.

The Little girl with balloon – Lauren Wilson. Ooooh what a horrid little girlie! Especially when she shot one of the school teachers. She looked kind of mournful when imprisoned in the mirror but I reckon she deserved it. Super Nanny wouldn’t have been able to do a thing with her.

Regular cast/characters:

The Dr / John Smith – it struck me how good David Tennant is when playing a different character! Oh dear. Not that he hasn’t grown on me as the Dr, but as John Smith it really has been a refreshing change seeing a different aspect to his persona and Tennant’s mature, more controlled performance worked wonders. It was almost a disappointment when he reverted to his usual tics and flippant behaviour toward the end – even if it was a relief to see the Dr “come back” to save the day. He also worked very well with Jessica Hynes, a great pairing.

Martha – proved herself to gutsy and took the initiative right at the start of the episode by grabbing the aliens’ gun from “Jenny” and threatening to shoot “Baines”. I also liked the scene when she stood up for herself against Joan, proving that women, not to mention black women, can be doctors by listing all the bones in the hand. Good on yer girl! As I’ve mentioned several times before, the pining-after-the-Dr thing has been kind of relentless and annoying and once again Martha couldn’t help but declare her undying love for the Doc. But she was generally on form in this episode.

Dialogue:Some choice lines in this episode!

For example:

Martha to the Dr: “God you’re rubbish as a human”. (But knock out as a Time Lord?)

Baines' aforementioned lines.

Joan to Martha: “That’s certainly is nonsense, women might train to be Drs but hardly a skivy and hardly one of your colour”. (Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat??!)

Joan: Could you change back?

Dr: Yes.

Joan: Will you?

Dr: No. (Concise and to the point, eh?)

Joan: If the Dr had never visited us, if he’d never chosen this place on a whim, would anyone have died? (This I thought a very interesting point and mirrors what Elton said about the Dr in Love and Monsters, as well as the recent anti-Dr propaganda that Mr Saxon's associates have been spreading...that wherever the Dr goes, there's always death and destruction. It can't be denied. As Joan surmised, if the Dr hadn't chosen England 1913 as a hiding place, the Family never would have followed him and lives wouldn't have been lost. One to consider).

Visuals and special effects:

Lots of beautifully shot scenes – the battle scenes in front of the school, the “poetic” scenes showing the Dr’s alternative future as John Smith, the bits where the Family were punished e.g. Jenny falling out of the TARDIS doors into the collapsed star…And the final scene next to the war memorial with an elderly Tim and the Dr and Martha watching close by, was lovingly done.

And we also got a massive army of scarecrows in this episode! But I couldn’t help wondering – how can men made out of straw die from bullets?

To conclude, this was a birrova masterpiece of a story for me. And paired with “Human Nature”, I’d say that “Family of Blood” was definitely the best of the season so far, if not one of the BEST since Dr Who returned to our screens in 2005. And I think many other fans will probably agree.

Mmm. Now, have you noticed how my attempts to shorten my reviews seem already to have, erm, failed? Didn't take long, did it...?! Oh well…I am a Gay Whovian and proud of it. I am what I am, and what I am needs no excuses...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Ejected Ems

Well since my last Big Brother comment I’ve had a bit of a rethink, particularly in the light of watching it on Thursday night. As the entire nation probably now knows, contestant Emily Parr was ejected from the BB house for using racist language. The specific incident took place around 8.30pm, when Emily was with Charley and Nicky in the garden of the BB House, and said: “Are you pushing it out you nigger?” to Charley.

Mmmm! This is a very thorny issue.

On the one hand, racist language is very hard to condone in many situations. I actually found a pretty good definition of “nigger” in an online dictionary:

“Usage note: The term nigger is now probably the most offensive word in English. Its degree of offensiveness has increased markedly in recent years, although it has been used in a derogatory manner since at least the Revolutionary War. Definitions 1a, 1b, and 2 represent meanings that are deeply disparaging and are used when the speaker deliberately wishes to cause great offense. Definition 1a, however, is sometimes used among African-Americans in a neutral or familiar way. Definition 3 is not normally considered disparaging—as in “The Irish are the niggers of Europe” from Roddy Doyle's The Commitments—but the other uses are considered contemptuous and hostile.


1. Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive.

a. a black person

b. a member of any dark-skinned people.

2. Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a person of any race or origin

Regarded as contemptible, inferior, ignorant, etc.”

Victim or prejudice similar to that suffered by blacks; a person who is economically, politically, or socially disenfranchised.”

Interesting eh? As the above clearly demonstrates, the term “Nigger” certainly has highly offensive and negative connotations and there’s no getting away from that. Going off on a slight - but nevertheless related - tangent, I find the whole issue of language and meaning / association a fascinating one. As a gay man, I’m all too aware of the barrage of negative and derogatory terms which have so often been leveled at those of my sexual orientation: poofter, woofter, arse-bandit, fairy, shi*t stabber, sh*t dick, fudge-packer, fudge-packer, batty man… and countless other labels that the bigoted, narrow-minded and ignorant have blessed us with over the centuries. But you know what? I have actually, ahem, willingly used some of these terms when talking about myself and my fellow gay brethren – in an ironic, taking-the-p*ss out of myself/gay people kind of way. And some expressions once deemed homophobic or negative have actually been reclaimed by the very people at whom they were aimed – the expression “queer” for example, has been a great favourite of many Gay and Lesbian political groups in their stirling efforts to achieve equal rights. And in that type of context, the power of words to create a negative image or ideology is completely turned on its head. The negative impact of anti-gay language is seriously dimished when gay people themselves start using the very same words! Of course some dissenters might argue that taking on oppressive terms just reinforces existing prejudices, as well as society’s negative estimation of us…debatable I suppose. But the point I’m trying to get to is this: it all depends on WHO is using those so-called offensive words and the CONTEXT in which they are utilised. Not to mention the WAY in which such words are used.

Getting back to BB then, it certainly didn’t seem that Emily intended any actual offense or harm by what she said - a careless slip of the tongue. It's just unfortunate that such a word is so loaded with bad associations. As with my point about gay people using potentially offensive “gay” labels to refer to themselves, I have the feeling that, in Emily’s mind, she was attempting to use the “N” word in the same “cool”, ironic way that black people sometimes do when referring to their own kind – she was trying to prove that she had some kind of street cred - as with some black rap artistes/groups e.g. “Niggers With Attitude”!

The problem is, when a WHITE person brandishes such a term it becomes a different matter, especially when you consider the immense history of white oppression of blacks. In this respect it WAS naïve of Emily to think that she could get away with uttering the word - she clearly wasn’t thinking about its wider impact and meaning from a white-black perspective. And it was even more thoughtless of her to come out with it in the light of the whole Shilpa Shetty debacle that happened so recently. On entering the house, the latest batch of contestants were told in no uncertain terms by BB that any incidences of inappropriate behaviour would not be tolerated, so it was careless of Emily to forget this so quickly. Channel 4 have obviously clamped down massively since the last series and are being particularly vigilant with regard to any (however small) recurrences of racism. Fair enough.

But in spite of all of this, I do (now!) think that C4 has overreacted in its treatment of Emily, not to say panicked. They could have banned Emily from the bathroom for a week. Or made her do some demeaning household chores. Or took away all her privileges. I'm sure some kind of demoralising punishment could have been devised with a bit of thought. But booting Emily out of the house so abruptly was just too extreme. I take it all back.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Many Happy Ones, Gustavo!!

You know, I’m kind of feeling anxious that my blog might mutate into “Big Brother” blog. Surely there are other far more important things to report on?

Welllll, things are ticking over kind of normally for me at the moment really, although as I said before I’m approaching a busy period. I’m about to start doing the extra work for the exam board plus there’s just a few weeks before the deadline on my web design course is reached. And boy, Flash and Photoshop are difficult to master sometimes; so many complex aspects and bits to remember and sometimes I wanna scream. I have to keep asking my tutor to show me how to do very basic things like changing objects into another colour – I am the original pesky, forever-asking-questions student. But how else am I going to find out? It’s frustrating sometimes as you know in your head what you want something to look like, it’s having the technical know-how to actually get there! But hopefully I will! The course cost over £600 so I can’t exactly afford to fail…I’ve had a few meetings with my friend (for whom I’m doing the website) and we’ve bounced lots of great ideas off one another. Now I just have to bring them to fruition. I can do it. I WILL do it. YESSSS!!

As for my day job, I’ve settled into a routine with that quite quickly really. Whilst it’s nice to have a regular income again, I’m not sure if I want to stay beyond the five month duration. We’ll see.

And as you may have gathered from the title of this post, today is Gustavo’s birthday! Hooray!! And he’s officially hit the big 30. But in a bid to fool everyone he’s going to keep telling them that he’s 29. I’m sure it will work. Anyway he’s at work today but tonight we’re going for a nice meal in a Chinese restaurant near Piccadilly, which should be pleasant. Then he’s got the next three days off work so he can kick back and relax – he’s been working a lot of late – sometimes I worry about him – so the rest will do him good. On Friday night we’re going to Escape bar with his mates (our favourite Soho hang-out) and possibly G.A.Y. club at the Astoria later on. The Astoria is much better on Fridays than Saturdays. On Saturdays the DJ tends to speed up all the tracks into one continuous high energy beat, making some tunes sound like the Smurfs – very naff. Fridays are more “old skool”. So that should be fun…

And as for my hubbie’s birthday gifts, I’ve got him lots of pressies which he’ll be getting later on – all clothes! Two new summer jackets, a few pairs of shorts and a pair of jeans! He’s actually a very small fella – 28 inch waste and clothing wise, even “small” size is usually be too big for him – which makes shopping kind of tricky. GAP Kids and children’s departments can sometimes yield the best results! Anyway after extensive shopping around and with the help of Gustavo’s cousin whilst she was staying with us, I’ve managed to pick up some nice items – well I hope he likes them anyway. The receipts have been retained should he decide otherwise…

And what of Big Brother? Yep, you just KNEW I’d end up talking about it…

Classic Quote Numero Two occurred last night when Lesley, in the BB room, said:
“I’ve never been in an environment where it was possible to talk about hair straighteners for so long.”
How very apt.

Ziggy and Emily put their collective foot in it by openly discussing nominations. Are they stupid or what? Emily was convinced that Ziggy had nominated her and mis-interpreted Ziggy’s response “I’m sorry” taking this to mean, he had done just that. This then degenerated further into a row over Chanelle – Emily was convinced that she had a gameplan and went on and on about this.

STOP PRESS! Talking of Emily, have you seen this:

Well, a good thing I say. Apparently Emily denies trying to cause offence but I still reckon the right decision was made, particularly in the light of the whole Shilpa debacle last year. It’s a relief to see that Channel Four are back on the ball.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Hair today, gone tomorrow?

After a fairly unremarkable start, Big Brother is starting to hot up a bit. Thank goodness. Last night’s installment saw a healthy number of rows and stroppy comments coming to the fore. Admittedly most of the drama stemmed from some fairly trivial topics…

The centre piece was a disagreement between Chanelle and Emily over…wait for it…a pair of hair straighteners. It all stemmed from Shabnam flouting the BB rules about discussing nominations for eviction, the upshot being that BB banned all housemates from using the bathroom until further notice. OMG! And for a predominantly female household this was obviously spelt disaster. Anyway, the two girlies got into a fight over who should be using the aforementioned straighteners, with Chanelle telling Emily: “The point is you just acted like a complete spoiled kid when all I wanted to do was use the straighteners”. Handbags! Then later on in the BB room, Chanelle broke down in tears and came out with what I think is the best BB line yet, wailing: “I can’t help it if my hair has a natural curl!” (Shades of ex-housemate Nicky I think).

Meanwhile the much hyped girlie twins have been conspicuously quiet. And even loud-mouth madam Charley seemed curiously subdued, not having much to say atall. Has she peaked too early? Has da ghetto girl run out of da chat?

Lesley seems to have changed her mind about leaving the house and it’s good to see her sticking it out. Whilst not exactly the life and soul, she has at least become a bit more vocal, but does seem to have fallen into the slightly predictable mother/auntie role, dishing out advice Miriam Stoppard/Marge Proops style to the younger inmates. When the hair straighteners incident occurred, drawing on her mother’s “wisdom”, she claimed that such problems were always down to jealousy. Mmm. I’m still hoping that Lesley has an inner wild child that will come bursting out at some point, probably under the influence of drink. Or she’ll reveal she had a sordid past and is really a transsexual or something fabulous like that.

There was also an interesting contest in which the BB housemates had to decide who was most attractive, considerate etc, in order of rating from 1 upwards. This sparked off further disagreements and remarks. Girls can be sooo bitchy, can’t they?

As I said, all of this is relatively inconsequential stuff but at least we’re getting some sense of conflict and drama, the stuff of which all decent TV is made. Hopefully when (if?) more men arrive in the house it will shift the dynamics further. Talking of which, I read in the paper that an 18 year old gay man is tipped to be the next new arrival in the BB house. And apparently he’s a totally bitchy queen as well. If that’s the case he should be in very good company.

As for the current male occupant, Ziggy, he too provided a bit of entertainment last night – taking a dip in the pool with the ladies. A gaggle of girlies then proceeded to chase Ziggy round the house and try and pull off his swimming trunks!! Again slightly obvious female behaviour but it added to the fun. Ziggy came over all shy, not before we got a fleeting glimpse of buttock though. More of the same soon, please.

Monday, June 04, 2007


So “Big Brother” has returned. And I, like the proverbial moth to the flame, have already surrendered to its scorching embrace.

Actually there was pretty little on in the way of decent TV last night and Gustavo and I ended up watching it in lieu of anything better. It was bound to happen sooner or later. If nothing else, BB makes for fairly entertaining pass-the-time TV and usually throws up many an entertaining and/or dramatic situation. Of course it has absolutely nothing on Dr Who. Saturday’s episode was thoroughly excellent stuff and a fine conclusion to the two part story. More of which later.

Anyway BB attempted to set a precedent this year by starting off with an entirely female set of housemates. Almost. After a few days a lone male has been introduced into the house called Ziggy. Not bad looking although I reckon a little too suave and sure of himself. On his entrance into the house at least half of the women went absolutely ballistic and were all over him. This kind of reminds me of when I was a secondary school teacher years back - my first full time teaching job was at an all-girls’ school (great fun if you’re a male teacher) and the distinct lack of a male contingent meant that it could be an extremely hormonal, frustrated and often bitchy environment. I’ll never forget one lesson I took in an IT room – outside the window a rather chavvy looking fellow suddenly appeared on the doorstep of a house opposite – not exactly what you’d call an attractive male specimen - and nearly all the class abandoned what they were doing to rush over to the window! Give me strength! Talk about desperation, those poor girls hadn’t lived… Anyhow the behaviour of the BB house women on Ziggy’s arrival was very much along the same lines - akin to a pack of slathering dogs. You’d think they’d never set eyes on a guy before – it was only a few days since they entered the house, for God’s sakes!

The gender dynamic is a crucial one though and usually creates some interesting relationships, so in the long term it’s a good idea for them to have a few more men in the house to redress the balance. However I think it would have been more fun to make the women sweat it out just a little longer, and then when they did send in a bloke, make sure he was gay just to really make things challenging! The more male-fixated ladies would have been tearing their hair out.

Talking of male fixation, none of the women seem quite as man-mad as Charley. She’s the cousin of Manchester United and England footballer Kieran Richardson but is already shaping up to be a nightmare. She’s loud, brash, aggressive, dominating and opinionated. Already she’s had a minor bust-up with one girl over a mealtime issue. She also talks like she’s on speed and seems to revel in being the centre of attention. And as an ex lap dancer it’s hardly surprising that Charley seems to be so focused on the er, physical side of things. She’s kind of like a black version of Jade, although by comparison even Jade had some humility (bar the Shilpa incident of course). By contrast Charley appears to have NONE – it’s all about HER. Ohhhh maybe I’m being a tad harsh as it’s early days! We shall see how she shapes up! Although she has the potential to cause trouble and is a clear pain in the a*se, I’m half-hoping Charley will stay rather than get evicted, as her presence in the house is bound to cause more than a few fireworks.

At the total opposite end of the scale there’s Lesley. She’s quiet, introverted and withdrawn and seems to be doing her utmost to avoid the whole group dynamic thing. Actually she’s a very intellectual type who ran her own recruitment agency for years and claims to be friendly with royalty (well get you, madam). However this sets Lesley poles apart from some of the other more, shall we say, intellectually challenged, women in the house and she’s clearly feeling the gulf, having confessed this to BB. She’s also already stated to BB that she wants to leave the house! While I don’t deny that it must be hard co-habiting with a group of people with whom you share little in common, I still feel that Lesley could be making far more of an effort. If nothing else BB can be a learning exercise in terms of finding out about other people and their lives and is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which Lesley seems to be denying herself. I think she just needs to chill out more and try and enjoy the experience. I’d love to see her getting totally sh*tfaced and grope Ziggy. Or perhaps Charley could give her some lap dancing lessons? She doesn’t know what she’s missing.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Video of the Fortnight - Amii Stewart - Knock on Wood

I was out with Gustavo, his cousin and some mates last night and saw this playing in a bar. It was just BEGGING for inclusion as Video of the Fortnight. To call it camp is a major understatement.

For those of you not in the know, Amii Stewart was a soul/disco artiste who had a few hits during the early 1980s - a hi-energy cover of the Doors' "Light My Fire", a sweet ballad called "Friends" and this track, "Knock on Wood". After that she seemed to disappear, although according to this she did a lot of other stuff too.

I am so loving this video (apologies for the slightly dodgy quality btw - it was the only copy I could find). Amii's outfit is interesting to say the least. I'm a bit worried that a sudden gust of wind or an over enthusiastic hand movement from one of her dancers might tear off the "hanging part" and reveal a bit too much (I hope Amii has knickers on underneath for the sake of decency). And what ARE those male dancers wearing? Lucky her though, having so many fellas on tap like that. It's a wonder she can still stand up straight, let alone dance.