Saturday, 3 November 2007

The Richard Madeley Appreciation Society Reviews The Guardian

‘Brace yourself, Richard.’

I looked up from hammering another nail into my showbiz career. I’d been penning my ninth letter to the people at X Factor complaining yet again about their constant attempts to misrepresent it as a ‘musical talent show’.

‘What’s wrong, Jude?’ I asked as I carefully crossed the ‘f’ and spelled Louis Walsh’s name the way I think it was always meant to be spelt. ‘You’ve not been eating eggs again? You know they don’t agree with you…’

My darling wife tapped her piece of toast on The Guardian. ‘Have you read this?’ she asked.

‘Not yet,’ I replied. ‘I was going to leave Stephen Fry’s latest article of technowangliness for my morning ablution. Though, to be perfectly honest, I don’t know why I’m bothering. I go out of my way to pen him a poem and he hasn’t got the politeness to drop by and read it. You do know that a real poet reviewed me? And she compared me favourably with Lord Byron.’

Judy gave me a lightly buttered scowl. ‘You sure she wasn't recommending another session with Tanya Byron?’ she asked, as quick as that. If she'd been as witty as quick on the show, we might never have got cancelled. ‘Tanya did a bang up job with you,' she continued. 'I never thought she’d help you get rid of that habit of randomly shouting out the names of Kaisers whenever you got stressed.’

‘You were saying about the paper,’ I prompted.

‘Oh, yes. It’s about your blog...’

I paused, pen in mid air, wondering what was coming. I had a nervous uncle to whom it was wise to avoid mentioning Libya. Just the mention Tripoli and he'd start singing like Vera Lynne. Judy has a similar response at the merest mention of my blog. Which made it odd that she'd brought it up and was not singing about the White Cliffs of Dover. ‘They’ve reviewed it quite favourably,’ she said.

I dropped my pen. ‘Prince Frederick William Albert Victor of Prussia!’ I screamed.

‘Oh dear,’ she said, giving me a withering look.

‘What did they say? They mentioned my poetry, right?’

‘Not exactly,’ she answered and went about reading out the little blurb they’d written about you-know-who.

I listened carefully, as one does when hearing about oneself, occasionally humbly nodding my head or punctuating the reading with a round of applause. But by the time Judy reached the final full stop, she discovered me still sitting in my chair with a quizzical look besmirching my fine manly features.

‘Well, what do you think about that?’ she asked.

‘Fine’ I replied, ‘but what was that bit about “this blog may not be all his own work”. Whose work might it be?’

She shrugged as she turned the page over to the DVD reviews. ‘Can there be another man in this nation with such a strange set of preoccupations? If there is, I’d like to meet him, shake him by the hand, and then have him experimented upon. I would have thought you were quite unique, Richard. A bit like Les Dennis but without the humour.’

I snatched The Guide away from her and thumbed back to the blog reviews to read it for myself.

‘I don’t know... I seem to be below a website disapproving of rabbits. I don’t mind that at all. I thoroughly disapprove of rabbits. And I also have strong opinions on both hares and conies.’

‘Conies? I thought they were testicles,’ said Judy.

‘Well I disapprove of those too. Especially when they dig up our lawn.’

I finished reading the review a second time and glanced my eyes over the rest of the page. ‘All in all, I'm quite pleased with that. I’m in some fine company. I should prepare for a flood of traffic, eager to see the man newly liberated from Channel 4. I can now say and do what I like. You know, Jude, I could quite get used to this independence. I might write a little treatise on Fern Britain. I’ve always wanted to say a few things about the way she ruined This Morning.’

‘Poor Fred,’ tutted Judy, as she always does when she thinks of Liverpool. ‘We must remember to send him another care package this Christmas. Or perhaps we should ask him to come and stay with us. What do you say, Richard? Richard?’

The pencil snapped in my fingers and Judy cowered as the name of Frederick William Nicholas Charles of Prussia echoed through the house.


debio said...

I'm intrigued; why would The Guardian write that it's not all your own work?

Are there subliminal messages here that I, in my innocence, am missing?

You simply must sue, of course...

Richard Madeley said...

Debio, I'm also confused by that line. I wrote everything on my blog. I've not lifted it from elsewhere, so why do they say I didn't write it? There aren't any subliminal messages on my behalf. I can't speak for them. I suppose it's just typical of the cynical media, unable to believe that one man could alone write such an impressive blog.

All Shook Up said...

Well the intriguing part is, of course.... which of your loyal band of commenters is actually the real-life Guardian Blog Correspondent?

I know where my finger is pointing....

Swearing Mother said...

Well, Richard, if you don't mind me saying, that is f*cking typical. You come along, all boyish charm, fake tan and glinting white teeth, blog for a bit and then what? The sodding Guardian does a review on it! Now tell me your fame as a TV presenter hasn't made you any different to the rest of us poor bloggers. Go on, tell me.

Don't bother. It's bollocks.

Whilst I am, as your very first commenter, very pleased for you - here am I, blogging my arse off and does anyone do a review on me? No. Well sod them. Frankly, it's enough to make one bloody well swear, if I was into that sort of thing.

Sour grapes? Too bloody right matey.


Angry non-Guardian reader (and never bloody-well going to be, either).

Richard Madeley said...

Well, hang on, Swearing Mother. While I have sympathy for what you’re saying, I’d like to think this wasn’t just because of who I am. If you read what they’ve written, they don’t actually think it’s me. So how I could I be just using my celebrity? I’d hope that the quality of what I write has a little to do with this. Otherwise, I might as well give up now!

Okay, you’ve got about 30 blog posts over your blog and I’ve only got 81 here. We’re both apparently new to blogging. But would you feel better, hypothetically speaking, if I’d been blogging for years and had written around a thousand blog posts before I’d achieved this kind of recognition? What I’m saying is that perhaps what looks like injustice isn’t. Hypothetically speaking.

And if it’s any consolation, the hits haven’t hardly come streaming in. In fact, yesterday was a much bigger day.

Glamourpuss said...

Well, well, Dicky, looks like the fame and recognition you covet will soon be yours...


Richard Madeley said...

All Shook Up, are you saying it's you? I had begun to think it might be Swearing Mother.

Glamourpuss, covet might be too strong a word. And I'm not sure about the fame and fortune. I might be living on the streets given the end of the Channel 4 contract.

homelesschicken said...

typical of the Guardian,the namby pamby paper,have you noticed how many jobs going in the Homeless Industry on wednesdays, and just look at the wages some directors get just to talk about whats good for us,without even asking what we think is good for us..
We are well aware,might be homeless, but not braindead,fight the good fight richard,and may your God go with you...

Richard Madeley said...

Homelesschicken, but I'm all for The Guardian, for goodness sake. They did a nice write up of this blog. Of course,you're very right about the high wages of company directors.

elberry said...

Excellent news, Madeley, all good serial killers and mass murderers get a mention in The Guardian somewhere early on in their careers, i.e. "a noted recluse, said to enjoy taxidermy" or "his facial hair alarms the locals" are two such - years later, the meaning is apparent.

Swearing Mother said...

Richard, darling. Don't get me wrong. As your first and most dedicated fan, I am genuinely pleased for you and don't think for a minute that you are using your celebrity rather than your undoubted talent and I'm sorry if my rant conveyed that. Truly I am. But you can't deny that, however good your writing, being famous gets you noticed. That and your stunningly good looks, obviously.

And no, it isn't me that works for the Guardian. For one thing, I can f*cking spell.

Love you loads.

Am I forgiven?

Swearing Mother said...

My grammar's a bit iffy though... think that should probably have read "it isn't I who works for the Guardian" (as if anyone would think I did). And now, I've probably pissed off the REAL Guardian mole with a wisecrack about spelling. Oh bugger.

Going back to bed. And staying there.

Richard Madeley said...

Elberry, the only thing that will be apparent in future years is that I've not aged. That I still look 25.

Swearing Mother, I'm so glad you don't begrudge me my luck with the Guardian. The fact that I really am Richard Madeley has nothing to do with it.

Mopsa said...

Now Dicky, you must be careful. The press are going to hound you senseless. You will be papped within an inch of your life. This is not good. Don't go driving in any Parisian subways.