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.


Lizzie said...

Heavens! Should I be worried Richard? We have hedgeloads of sparrows nesting in the eaves (as well as the hedges & god knows where else for all I know.) It's bad enough to know there are bats above our heads (sometimes dropping in to say 'hello' unexpectedly) but I don't think I can afford a fiver each for all our lot.

I suppose there must be professional catchers, then? How much would they cost, d'you think?

Yours, Lizzie, (Worried, Marches)

Swearing Mother said...

Richard, I was gutted to hear of the plight of our most loved species of birds.

I am offering my services: You catch them and I'll innoculate them.

We'll split the fiver 50-50.

Richard Madeley said...

Lizzie, the whole thing shouldn't take more than one and half billion out of the coffers. I think the government should take the lead but if they're not going to take this threat seriously, I think it's down to us. I hope I'll soon be able to announce that The Richard&Judy Sparrow Innoculation Club will be starting in the Autumn.

Swearing Mother, that's the general plan for the club. If we can all do our part, we'll save this country. Glad you're with me. Now, who's next?

@themill said...

I trust the mummy sparrows will have to sign a disclaimer before the innoculation of their little feathered babies?

Richard Madeley said...


I'm beginning to think you're all pulling my leg. Sparrows can't hold pens so they can't sign disclaimers. Besides, the way I see it, this will have to be a compulsory program of inoculation for our fine feathered friends otherwise we shouldn't let them into the country.

Miss Understood said...

Hello Richard! Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging.


In the 1950s, the UK house sparrow population was estimated at 9.5 million. They increased to 12 million by the early 1970s, then declined. The population crashed during the 1990s. Over 25 years the population has declined by 62%. Because of this decline in numbers, the house sparrow is now red listed as a species of high conservation concern..

...which means that perhaps we don't have to be so worried after all? Give it a few years and they'll be as dead as dodos.

(But to be on the safe side, where do I send my fiver?)

Flowerpot said...

A bewildering amount of information - do we risk our hard earned fivers and donate them to you, Richard, or take a chance? Or perhaps we could set up courses in Sparrow Catching at university. More lucrative than Media Studies? (Miaow)