Tuesday, 31 July 2007

The English Summer

In my ongoing poll, two of you have asked for a Madeley rant. Well now is the time. Since I'm not in the mood to write my usual technically impressive piece of journalism, full of obscure but fascinating facts, I've scribbled the following over a drunken lunch. Judy doesn't like it and has asked me to remove a few of the coarser words, but I've had it with people today.

If some of you hate what I've done so far on this blog, you'll learn to hate me even more with this.

Is there anything so mundane as the British love affair with the garden? When I see adults kneeling on their padded mats at the edge of shrubberies, I feel like giving them the final coup de grâce before burying their heads beneath well mulched biannuals. It’s homicide that’s as justifiable as it’s fertile, and at least we put them out of the misery we call ‘doing the garden’.

Because nothing is as futile as gardening. Does nobody feel for those poor grey fellows, stick thin, who work all winter long, preparing their idylls for the warmth of summer, only to find the imbecilic neighbours appear with the first bumble bee of summer? Out these neighbours come, arguing about how to work the lawn mower. And when that’s done, these cretinous goblins have machines to cut and to grind, mulchify and liquefy. They have sprays and potions, poisons and fertilizers. They have every tool made by Black & Decker except the one that will help them prune their family tree which has pollinated itself so often that uncles and brothers are now one and the same.

And once the lawn is cut, the decking is down, the gravel spread over last year’s dirt, the neighbours change into their summer casuals, filling out vests from gut to man breasts; fathers in tight nylon shorts with one hand on their bollocks as the other turns red raw sausages on the barbecue. And if they sometimes confuse the two, it only adds the to flavour, barbie-style.

Gardens provide a summer home to the offspring of idiot brothers who have bred with idiot sisters. They let their dogs shit on the lawn, their scab faced babies shower toxic toys everywhere, they leave their inflatable swimming pool to turn green as plastic meet parasite. Then some acne ravaged teenager appears, extruding more oil than an Kuwaiti pipeline, and spends her holiday rubbing ointment into festering pores while listening to music dreamed up by some cocaine addled DJ with an obsession with John Barry.

There is no more public a place to do all your private business than the garden; where large breasted mothers with nipples like blackened onion rings sit breast feeding ‘little Daniel’, while cradling the latest Jackie Collins on their stomach's mound of pallid putrescence as they allow the juice of some summer fruit to drip from their lips before casting the flea stuck remainder into the flower beds they spent the previous weeks tidying. They have their decking, their fake Tuscan earthenware, their hammock from Homebase. They have their meals on the garden furniture; shoving barely cooked lumps of cheap meat bought from the market around with plastic forks. The meat’s more donkey than beef, less healthy than lard, and with more dangerous germs in it than in a cache of Iraqi chemical weapons. It makes them fart freely, which doesn’t matter because they’re out in the open. Enjoying the summer.

Is there any hell greater the English garden at the height of summer?

If there is, please take me there. I could do with a laugh.


My morning began with a generous link from a fellow blogger but it has descended into minor relatives hurling insults. I never realised how people seem to dislike me and how little they understand what I'm trying to do here.

I had something to post this morning but I'm now considering my place in the blogging fraternity. Should I continue? Might I be ruining the reputation I've so carefully built up over the years? I don't know.

I do know that I'm going to have a bite of lunch while I consider my future.

Monday, 30 July 2007

Bring Back Cravats

The late Derek Nimmo introduced me to cravats and I’ve been a fan ever since. We often had him on the old Richard & Judy sofa, up there in Liverpool, and we’d would always take him to lunch afterwards, where he proved himself to be one of the most interesting and intelligent men around.

An expert on fashions that have now fallen sadly out of style, Derek changed the way I thought about bow ties, gaiters, and the simple straw boater. Even now, I try my best to live up to Derek’s ideals and I often wear cravats when I’m out and about. Yet I never wear them on the show and the reasons for this are straightforward: Judy won’t let me and you have to have the right audience to carry off a cravat.

Cravats challenge people on an intellectual level. Neither a scarf nor a tie, a cravat sits in an ambiguous area of neckwear. Are they casual or formal? Do they suggest affability or haughtiness? Derek carried them off because people never had him figured out and I think Derek liked that that way. Cravats are like hats, which offer similar challenges to the wearer. Hats attract the wrong sort of attention. People think you’re arrogant, egoistic, or eccentric, which of course I am, but there’s something more than that. A hat denotes difference. By wearing a hat or a cravat, or the two together, a man snubs the prevalent belief that we shouldn’t stand out from the crowd. Cravats are about non-conformity and they're about as politically incorrect as you can get these day. For that reason, I’m proud to admit that I bought myself a new cravat today. And if I can persuade Judy to let me, I’ll be wearing it on tomorrow’s show.

In anticipation of that, I have three cravat facts for you. Did you know that the traditional cravat is tied with the knot that shepherds used to tie the umbilical cords on newborn sheep? Cravats are usually made from silk but the earliest examples are made from wool, were four feet long, and worn with a loop around testicles. The cravat is still popular in Poland where it forms part of the ceremonial dress worn by the police at state funerals. The most famous cravat wearer was, of course, Terry Thomas but he only wore them to hide a terrible scar he had on his throat where he was mauled by one of Will Hay’s greyhounds.


On today’s show we’ve got Griff Rhys Jones coming into the studio to talk about walking. Or at least he thinks he’s there to talk about walking. We’ll actually be giving him an extreme makeover with the help of our resident beautician, Brenda Green. I don’t know how Griff's going to take it but we’ve got a team of trained medical staff standing by, primed with hypodermics full of tranquillizer. Even if we have to strap him down, we'll get the job done. Should make for some good teatime television.

Griff’s a good guy and I’m the first to admit that he’s done a lot of good for the nation’s ruins, but this is my chance to get him back for the time he nominated Judy as a listed building and tried to get BBC viewers to pay for renovation work on her southern wing. That’s his only real fault. He’s a bit of a pain in the arse when it comes to criticising other people and he never accepts that he needs plenty of work doing on his own crumbling facade. By the end of the show, I’m hoping to see a new Griff with his jaw pegged back to his ears and those bags under his eyes tucked somewhere where they won’t be seen. Plus, I’m hoping we’ll be able to do something a bit special with his nostrils but you'll have to tune in to see what I've got planned.

If it’s not too much for a Monday, here are some Griff Rhys Jones facts to keep you going before five o’clock. Griff is a fully trained vet and spends his nights neutering dogs he finds wandering the London streets. He also has a passion for hedgehogs and owns the largest hedgehog sanctuary in the country. Despite being tone deaf, Griff has written three top ten hits for Westlife and is currently composing a musical version of ‘Alas Smith and Jones’ which he hopes to take to the West End next year starring Gareth Gates and Paul Potts (who is also on tonight’s show).

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Genital Boomerangs

Angus McFidden might not be a name known to many of you but, in the world of brass kneecaps, the man is a real legend. We've had him on the show a few times, talking about the odd world of the prosthetic collectables and his new book, 'That's My Hip You're Holding' , should make the hobby even more popular.

Judy finds the whole thing as disturbing as I find it fascinating. The last time Angus came on the show he handed her the ceramic genitalia of a fourteenth century Chinese emperor called Jing. Judy went quite white and we had to quickly cut to a commercial break as we all had a good laugh about it in the studio. All, that is, except Judy who angrily threw Jing’s genitals at the camera. The damn thing flew like a boomerang and when we came back from the break, Judy had to read the link while still partially concussed. I don’t think viewers noticed.

Judy has now forgiven Angus and we will be having him on the show again either this week or next. We've already filmed the segment where Angus shows of his latest find, a Victorian brass shinbone (right). More information can be found from Angus' website and anybody interested in collecting prosthetics should check out our show in the coming weeks.

Right, it's a sunny Sunday, so I can't think of a better time to give you a few facts about prosthetics.

Did you know, for instance, that artificial hips are made in the same factory as produces the rod ends for Mini Coopers and that they share many of the same dimensions? Or did you know that the modern artificial hip is made from ceramics and tungsten? The surgical replacement of elbows, knees, and shins have become quite routine in the last decade, but the next ten years promise advances in the prosthetic knuckles, chins, and armpits.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Bottle My Thighs

Judy asked me this morning if I believed recent reports that suggest fat friends make a person fat. I told her that I’ve never given it much thought, though I’ve read much of the research into obesity that has come out in the last ten years. I’m a bit of an obesity skeptic. While many distinguished scientists have argued that obesity is caused by an overactive thyroid, and others say it’s caused by an idle metabolism, I think it’s more likely the result of an overactive mouth idling around cake shops. I know some of you will think it harsh of me to say this, given that I’m blessed with one of the most lust after bodies, but I believe in telling people the truth about their problems.

Since Channel4 have started to show the show in widescreen, I’ve often argued that we should have a Richard&Judy fat club, only for the producers to tell me that it would only make viewers turn off. I’ve suggested a more TV-friendly alternative would be liposuction, which happens to celebrate its 50th birthday this year. Again, they hated the idea, even though things have moved on in the world of fat suction since the first machines (above) made their way into American surgeries and the operators had to stand in a different room in case of a blowback.

Today’s facts are to do with liposuction. Did you know, for instance, that the fat removed from bodies during liposuction has to be dumped into the open sea within 24 hours? Body fat left longer than that begins to separate into its constituent elements including nitrogen and glycerin and can, in the right circumstances, explode. In World War I, experiments were made using the rotting carcasses of animals to produce explosives. A mouldy badger was discovered to produce enough chemicals to fill an artillery shell which led to the French government starting a top secret project to breed overweight badgers for this very purpose. It was called off when a farmer attacked one of the badgers with a spade and the poor animal detonated, killing the farmer and leaving a forty foot badger shaped hole in the ground.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Forget About The Sparrows

A brief note just before I go on air. I've been forced into a rethink about the sparrows. Not that I consider them any less of a danger than I did 24 hours ago, but I’ve come to the conclusion that there are more obvious and immediate threats to this country of ours.

Yes, people. I’m talking about plastercast garden gnomes.

The garden gnome is a sneaky creature. It lurks in your shrubbery, waiting for that moment when you’re so drunk you think it a good idea to play football with the shrubs while you're wearing only your house slippers. Only then does it leap out and attack your large toe and you end up hopping across the lawn where you trip on a sprinker faucet. Only half an hour later, when you’re rescued by your wife, do you realise the danger of the gnome and do you pledge to do something about it.

So, I’ve decided to cancel the sparrow campaign and I’m instead devoting my time to seeing the end of garden gnomes. It’s a bigger issue than either viewing figures or Paul O’Grady.

Richard’s gnomish fact of the day: garden gnomes were introduction into the nation’s gardens during the reign of Queen Victoria who was a great believer in the existence of pixies, elves, and hobgoblins. The first gnome was modelled off Victoria’s great friend, Mr. Brown, and first stood guard in Britain’s rockeries in 1894. Since 1961, all garden gnomes have been modelled of John Hewer, who was better known to TV viewers as Captain Birdseye.


I’m afraid I got absolutely bladdered last night having sampled a couple of bottles of wine the producers had sent over ahead of our wine club feature next week. I had intended to sit down for half an hour and read the next book for the book club but Judy didn’t finish rewiring the lights in the study before the plonk had began to have its devilish way with me. About the only thing I remember about the evening is waking up around midnight, sitting in the shrubbery and trying to breastfeed a garden gnome. Judy carrying me to bed was the last thing I remember.

The moral of the story is to beware drink but there’s a lesser moral about avoiding gnomes. Those sharp beards can seriously damage a man’s nipple.

This morning’s interesting fact is about wine.

Did you know that wine is the only alcoholic drink that it’s legal to sell to Eskimos without a license? The reason for this is that there are very few vineyards inside the arctic circle, so the Inuit elders have never got around to create a law covering the fermentation of the grape. So, if you ever want to entertain an Eskimo, or who knows, need to get one drunk, wine is the beverage of choice.

Another interesting fact. I once got an Eskimo drunk. True story. I was due to film a segment about the seal cull for Granada Reports back in the 70s when our cameraman was struck down by a spastic colon and had to be airlifted back to Iqaluit. That was an ordeal in itself. Never hope to be standing in the down draft of a helicopter when the cameraman being winched to a helicopter get struck by an attack of the diddly-squits… But that’s a long story and better left for another day. I can no longer hear the noise of chopping. I guess Judy has finished cutting the day’s logs for the fire.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

It's the Sparrows

Richard here with a post-show update.

We’ve just had our usual production meeting, which took all of ten minutes. I’ll be honest: it didn’t go too well. The producers turned down my request to launch a new series of Richard&Judy campaigns in favour of continuing our features on education. Judy backed them up, which really wasn’t fair, but to her credit, she did suggest that I use my blog to promote issues I feel particularly strongly about.

That's what I'm going to do now and I’m so glad to have the chance to talk about something that has been worrying for years. I’m talking about house sparrows and cretistic mange. For years, successive governments have ignored the dangers hiding beneath our ridge tiles and in our gutters. House sparrows have never been given their proper inoculations yet they carry many diseases harmful to us humans, including endrinatic mumps, prehectorintic flu, green fungulitus, and the truely terrible cretistic mange that we haven’t seen in this country since the late 1950s. It gets worse. In the winter months, these same sparrows fly to African countries where they are at the mercy of terrorist groups that could easily train the sparrows to carry diseases back into this country.

So, if you care about the country’s health, you’ll display my campaign banner in your workplace, your blog, or distribute it around your neighbourhood and to friends. Remember, it only costs a five pounds to inoculate a single sparrow for life. You might not think it worth your money but I ask you not to look on a sparrow as a weak and harmless bird but as a biological bomb shaped like a small dove.

I’ll leave you with a little know fact about sparrows.

Sparrows are the only visitor to British gardens that can be trained to talk like a parrot. Closely related the psittaciformes family that includes parrots and macaws, sparrows were often taken on long sea voyages in the 18th and then released to fly back home where they would sing the news around the nation’s gardens and shires. Sparrows can also tolerate high levels of pain and have been known to gang together to kill squirrels.

Judy's Sofa

On today’s show, we’ll be tackling the sticky subject of MRSA. It shouldn't be a bad segment but I keep telling Judy we need to do something more exciting with superbugs and these flesh eating viruses. I suggested that we send on of our reporters into a hospital to see if they could catch one. The plan fell through due to health and safety. I then suggested that we get one of our viewers onto the show if they’ve got one of these bugs but Judy said she doesn’t want anybody spluttering snot all over her sofa or leaving bits of flesh around the studio.

Between you and me, I suspect she’s thinking of whipping the sofa back to our London pad when the series ends. That’s why she’s being so protective about who gets to sit on it. A few weeks ago she wouldn’t let Sharon Osbourne near it and it all turned nasty when she suggested that Osbourne’s had liposuction which has left her bottom as leaky as Tewkesbury.

Before the car comes to pick us up, I have a quick fact for you all about sofas. Did you know that the word ‘sofa’ comes from the Yiddish ‘sofamak’? It’s actually found in the Torah when Jehova appears in the form of a burning cushion and tells King David to put his feet up and have a biscuit, which in those days was made from unleavened bread and wasn’t of the modern hobnob or rich tea varieties.

Turning Off The Tranny

I got chatting to Danny La Rue after the show tonight and I asked him about all the dresses he’s collected in his career as the nation’s favourite transvestite. Turns out that he doesn’t like being called a transvestite and got pretty agitated when I suggested he was deluding himself. In the end, Judy had to drag him off me.

That’s the thing I’ve discovered working in TV for all these years. People don’t understand who you really are. They don’t get chance to know you. I think that’s why people often tell me I’m a bit of a loud mouth with nothing between my ears. The same people show their ignorance by asking if Judy’s a transvestite but I just say she’s just big boned. I’ve never fancied dressing up in women’s clothing, myself, though I did once attend a fancy dress party wearing a milk maid’s costume. It was stupid. I’m lactose intolerant. A leakage of buttermilk gave me a rash under my right churn.

But enough about me and buttermilk. Here’s today’s fact.

Did you know that transvestites are three times more likely to suffer an allergic reaction to a bee sting than men who don’t dress up as women? The reason? Well, not only do they dress up in bright colours which will attract bees (and, I might add, sailors) but the chemicals inside perfume are not suitable for a male’s dermis. It leaves the male transvestite much more likely to have a toxic reaction to a sting. Additional transvestive facts: they are 50% more likely to be stopped by the police for drunk driving but three times less likely to commit an armed robbery. I suppose, like most things in life, it's a matter of swings and roundabouts.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007


Judy’s been on my back all morning about fixing the sink. Eventually, I finally relented and agreed to let her get on with it. Meanwhile, I nipped down to the local where I got into a conversation with the landlord. The poor man knows next to nothing about drink and I had to give him a few pointers as to how to properly store wine. You probably don't know this but I could have been a professional oenologist. I have been blessed by enormous taste buds, twice the size of those of the average man.

I have three facts for you today:

1. Alcohol can be good for the body but only if drunk through the nose and at high enough levels to pickle your organs.

2. The ancient Egyptians first discovered alcohol and used it in many of their religious rites.

3. A mummy's arms are tied down to its body to stop the recently dead from trying to drown their sorrows and get lost before they reach the afterlife.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Polar Bears

On tonight’s show we’re hoping to meet the quite remarkable man who survived a bolf of lightening and managed to walk away with only 70% burns to his body and the loss of both arms. Dr. Tony will be helping us test out the latest in haemorrhoid creams and the world’s newest polar bear will be coming to see us in the studio. I’m hoping to test some of the cream on the bear or, if not the bear, on Judy.

Which gives me the perfect opportunity to give you your random fact of the day:

Due to the extreme cold of the arctic regions, all polar bears are born with haemorrhoids. It’s what makes them so easy to annoy and liable to attack on sight.

Monday, 23 July 2007

A Wet Pellow

Another week working for Channel 4. They sent the driver early to pick us up this morning but Judy hadn’t finished doing last night’s washing up. I was standing at the door looking at my watch for nearly fifteen minutes before she’d finished.

Got to the office and found out that Marti Pellow had stood us down. I’d been looking forward to asking him a few questions about Wet Wet Wet and reminding him of the nose-dive his career has taken since he left them.

I’ll get another chance, I’m sure.

Today’s fact for you: water is not wet. It’s not even wet wet wet. Wetness is only the sensation of a weak electrical bond between atoms, which you can cancel out by forming an induction loop in your body. If you put your little finger in your ear as you run the cold water tap under your other hand, the water will actually feel like dry sand.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

My DNA Research

Just a quick update while Judy’s out cleaning the windows. I was speaking to my old friend Professor Heinz Woolf the other day about new ways to genetically alter DNA. I was telling that I was sure there would be a way to cross a traffic warden with a bumble bee. He was quite skeptical at first until I showed him my figures and then he just got very excited. I could barely settle the little fellow down.

Anyway, today’s fact: did you know that human beings are 92% water and 2% chip fat? It's a recorded fact. Amazing what I know.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Hi There!

Welcome to my new blog. Hope you enjoy your visit and I know you will come back for regular updates.

In the coming weeks, I’ll give you a few useful hints and tips about being as successful as me. And I’ll be sharing with you my vast knowledge on every subject you could possibly imagine. Of course, that won't be anywhere near as large and impressive as I could imagine. I'm a world authority on imagining things. But if you’ve ever wanted to become an expert in high energy nuclear reactions, stick around. I might have a few tips for you.

Today’s fact: did you know that the Armenian lemming has a twelve inch tongue which it uses to lasso smaller animals?