Thursday, 6 December 2007

Lost in the Shade of Russell Brand's Periwinkles

The generosity of spirit you know as Madeley, that handsome bundle of bone and nerve you like to call Dick, believes that he always knows if he’s going to take to a person. I remember the very moment I first met Stephen Fry. I ran across him outside a TV executive’s office, gazing into a pool of koi carp. Tapping him on the shoulder had not roused him from his meditation so I gently blew in his ear. The first words out of his mouth were: ‘a rather frigid member of the family Cyprinidae and not too distant a cousin of the minnow.’ I knew then and there that I had found a kindred spirit of great craft and imagination wandering this void of emptiness we know as fame. I’m pleased to say that, since that day, rarely has a week passed without my taking time to blow into the great man’s ear.

The encounter of this afternoon was not, however, as edifying. If the above anecdote is a perfect illustration of what can go right in a first encounter, this afternoon is a remedy for that optimism one feels towards humanity in general, but in particular, towards those men and women of the light entertainment industry.

With Judy still making preparations for Christmas, I’d gone into London to have lunch with the geniuses at Cactus TV. I thought it about time that I sat down with the ‘cacti’ and went over the ideas I’ve been having for the shows I wanted to make after the Channel 4 contract came to an end in the summer.

‘Mingers’ is one of the city’s newest eating holes among those people who think that hair gel and fringes set at funny angles amount to a personality. I’d got there early and I’d sat down to have something to eat while I waited for the team to arrive. There’s an unwritten agreement in every TV contract that means that those behind the cameras can look how they want and act how they want. You can’t find a more creative or professional team in the UK but you wouldn’t want them as relatives. Talk about being a clash with the curtains, these young people could go to war with a basket of mixed laundry…

My first course had been delivered to my table and I’d started to stir my bowl of leak soup when I heard some terrible slurping noises coming from the adjacent booth. At first, I tried to ignore it. But when it persisted, I waved the waitress over.

‘What can I do for you, Mr. Madeley?’ she asked, full of that good favour you get when the service is young, impressionable, and prone to the charms of a television smile.

‘I don’t mean to cause any trouble,’ I began, though actually I didn’t give a damn what trouble I caused so long as the slurping was dealt a mortal blow, ‘there seems to be a terrible noise coming from the next booth.’

The waitress’ face flushed.

‘Would you like to move to another part of the restaurant?’ she asked.

I thought it an odd thing to say. I’m what’s known in the TV trade as ‘A’ list material. I don’t get moved. The world gets moved before I even have to shift a toe or bestir a fingernail.

‘I’d rather you would just go and stop that slurping,’ I replied.

She looked towards the back of the restaurant and made a funny gesture with her hand. I knew it for the universal distress call of waitresses in difficult positions. I just couldn’t see what was so difficult.

A moment later, the manager arrived and I proceeded to explain why my leak soup was being disturbed by the sound of slurping. I honestly thought I’d get some movement on the issue with this penguin being in his full body armour and with a thin moustache like a slipped eyebrow.

‘I’m afraid we can’t move the gentleman at the next table,’ said the manager. He lowered his voice and leaned towards me to speak in that confidential tone they sometimes adopt when they’re being particularly spineless. ‘He’s famous.’

I did a double take. ‘And what am I? A Krankie?’

‘Oh, of course, you’re famous too, Mr. Madeley, only…’ He shrugged and gestured towards the next booth. ‘He’s a rising star.’

‘I’ll give you rising star!’ I said, throwing down my napkin and standing up.

I pushed the manager out of the way and headed in the direction of the slurping.

The sight that greeted me at the end of my search was not of this world. I can only describe it as teeth, hair, elbows, more hair, a touch of hair, more teeth, and the whole mixture of teeth, hair, and elbows wrapped in beads and ribbons. A more notable example of trying too hard to look eccentric there has never been. No doubt you know this monstrous spectacle by the name Russell Brand. I’d only heard the name mentioned a few times and for most of that time I’d just thought it a type of toaster.

‘Oh, ’ello,’ he squealed. ‘You’re Madeley ain’t you?’

‘I am,’ I said, ‘and you’re slurping.’

‘Oy! That’s Mr. Slurping to you,’ he replied and giggled like a one stoke engine fed on helium. He then looked puzzled and turned his eyes to his plate. ‘Oh, yea! Slurping. I’m actually eating my periwinkles. Lovely items of crustacean, the periwinkle. ’Ere, you want one?’

‘A periwinkle? I don’t think so.’

‘Oh, they’re very good for keeping you going, if you know what I mean. Smashing delicacies if you’re needing a bit of extra focus during those long and mysterious adventures that lead our souls to soar into the heavens and consummate our spirits with another beautiful example of God’s creative genius.’ He brushed his hair from his eyes as he looked up to the ceiling and considered his next words. ‘You know, they help you have a good shag. Shellfish in general, I think, are God’s way of telling us to keep going with the procreation and that we’re doing a bang up job. Keep it up, he said, if indeed he would say anything. He’d probably just take pictures.’

‘Isn’t that a little blasphemous?’ I asked.

‘Don’t worry yourself about that, Richard. I’ll make my peace with God when the time is right. To be quite frank, I don’t think it’s your place to judge. When the call comes, I’ll take the big fellow into a corner and have a good shufty about my misdeeds as numerous and varied as they are.’

‘I should imagine there are quite a few,’ I said, feeling a bit isolated in this conversation with a madman.

‘Oh I’ve got a lot of ’em, haven’t I?’ he said in a voice I was beginning to recognise as being like that of Kenneth Williams from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. ‘Course, I’ve given most of my bad habits up on account of my sexual disfunction.’

‘Sexual disfunction?’ It’s not, I admit, a phrase that one likes to hear oneself using in a public restaurant.

‘I can’t get enough of it,’ he giggled.

‘Which is why you’re slurping shellfish?’

He looked at his bowl as though it were suddenly alive with contradictions. ‘As a hugely asexual man, I’ve got to ensure that, should I be called on – and it’s only natural that I should – I’ll be able to fulfil my duties as God intended, vis-à-vis, my loins should be ready for the clarion call.’

‘Right,’ I said, ‘but you see, far be it for me to get in the way of God’s plans, but I was wondering if you could stop slurping. I’m trying to eat my soup.’

‘Course, and I don’t intend to be rude, Richard, but you look like a man who should ingest more of the periwinkle. It is, to me, the heroin of the sea floor. I used to indulge myself a little too heavily in the brown sugar but, now that I’m clean, I’m hooked on my little friends, the shellfish. Which is a good fing when you fink of it.’

‘A very good fing,’ I replied and turned away as though returning to my cold soup.

‘No, don’t go!’ cried Russell, growing agitated. ‘I had summink to say to you. I wanted to ask you you’re opinion. You know, as one man who has made it in the field of light and popular entertainment. Though, of course, you’ve done it without any discernable talents…’

I was so shocked I couldn’t speak.

‘Which is impressive in itself when you fink about it. I mean, if it weren’t for this foppish demeanour of an average Restoration cad, married to the quick and ready with of a modern Moliere, and accompanied by a brain the size of a watermelon, then I don’t fink I’d stand a chance in TV. You’d done it with next to nofink. That’s even more genius that what I am, that is.’

‘Is it?’

‘Oh, not ’alf. Proper good it is!’

I gave a small wave of my hand. ‘I really need to get back to my soup,’ I said and quickly walked back to my booth where I started to spoon leak to my grateful lips.

‘The fing is,’ said Russell, slipping into the seat across the booth from me, his bowl of winkles in his hand, ‘I want some advice about my next career move.’

‘I’m no comedian,’ I said.

‘Cor, I know that,’ he said. ‘I’ve seen your shows and I’ve read your blog. You’re about as funny as an addiction to hard drugs. Though I could tell you some funny tales. Made my career by telling funny tales of the world everybody wonders about but cares not to investigate too closely. I fink I’m sort of a David Attenborough of that dark underbelly of drug culture only I don’t go near any hairy baboons.’

I dropped my spoon and pushed my plate away.

‘You should have ordered winkles,’ said Brand.

‘I’m not hungry,’ I answered, ‘and I really have to leave.’

He shuffled around the booth and put his hand on my knee. ‘Can’t I persuade you to stay?’

I lifted his hand and dropped it on the table. ‘It’s been a pleasure meeting you,’ I said and managed to get to my feet before he could reply.

‘Oi,’ he shouts as I’m halfway across the restaurant, ‘I didn’t tell you about my renowned sexual prowess. Perhaps next time?’

I waved my had as I reached the door. Across the road, the team from Cactus were weaving their uneasy way through the London traffic. ‘Change of plans,’ I shouted. ‘We’re eating at McDonald's. The food’s crap but they don’t serve periwinkles.’

They thought I was mad but I think you can see, I’m the only sane one in this crazy industry of ours.


Michael said...

Coy carp? Well, I imagine I'd be a little shy if I was being meditated at by a national treasure.

Richard Madeley said...

Oh Michael, Michael, Michael… I try my best. I’m working so hard making programmes, thinking up new sources of revenue for when the Channel 4 contract disappears, and also trying to keep a detailed account of my daily happenings. I wrote this at a blistering pace at half past three this morning. I’d even checked the dictionary for the correct spelling. Somehow, something happened between my eyes and my fingers 'koi' became 'coy'.

I’m clearly getting a little forgetful in my old age. Perhaps I should just gracefully retire and leave this business to quicker and younger minds.

lee said...

Yes, not to mention disfunction instead of dysfunction. But how could anyone be expected to function at all at that time of the morning. I can scarce think or write at any time of the day and can only come up with puerile comments at the best of times.

Elberry said...

Wonderful stuff, and i don't even know who this Brand cove is.

Jerry Caesar said...

Richard, you must continue to stand up to this rising tide of filth in the entertainment industry. You are one of the last bastions of quality in an market adrift on mediocrity.

Anonymous said...

情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊美女, 視訊交友, ut聊天室, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, a片下載, av片, A漫, av dvd, av成人網, 聊天室, 成人論壇, 本土自拍, 自拍, A片, 愛情公寓, 情色, 舊情人, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 情色交友, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 色情a片, 一夜情, 辣妹視訊, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊, 視訊美女, 美女視訊, 視訊交友, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, 情人視訊網, 影音視訊聊天室, 視訊交友90739, 成人影片, 成人交友,

免費A片, 本土自拍, AV女優, 美女視訊, 情色交友, 免費AV, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 色情影片, 成人影片, 成人網站, A片,H漫, 18成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網, 日本A片, 免費A片下載, 性愛, 成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人電影, 成人, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊,

Anonymous said...

做愛的漫畫圖片, 情色電影分享區, 做愛ㄉ影片, 丁字褲美女寫真, 色美眉, 自拍俱樂部首頁, 日本偷自拍圖片, 色情做愛影片, 情色貼圖區, 八國聯軍情色網, 免費線上a片, 淫蕩女孩自拍, 美國a片, 都都成人站, 色情自拍, 本土自拍照片, 熊貓貼圖區, 色情影片, 5278影片網, 脫星寫真圖片, 粉喵聊天室, 金瓶梅18, sex888影片分享區, 1007視訊, 雙贏論壇, 爆爆爽a片免費看, 天堂私服論壇, 情色電影下載, 成人短片, 麗的線上情色小遊戲, 情色動畫免費下載, 日本女優, 小說論壇, 777成人區, showlive影音聊天網, 聊天室尋夢園, 義大利女星寫真集, 韓國a片, 熟女人妻援交, 0204成人, 性感內衣模特兒, 影片, 情色卡通, 85cc免費影城85cc, 本土自拍照片, 成人漫畫區, 18禁, 情人節阿性,

aaaa片, 免費聊天, 咆哮小老鼠影片分享區, 金瓶梅影片, av女優王國, 78論壇, 女同聊天室, 熟女貼圖, 1069壞朋友論壇gay, 淫蕩少女總部, 日本情色派, 平水相逢, 黑澀會美眉無名, 網路小說免費看, 999東洋成人, 免費視訊聊天, 情色電影分享區, 9k躺伯虎聊天室, 傑克論壇, 日本女星杉本彩寫真, 自拍電影免費下載, a片論壇, 情色短片試看, 素人自拍寫真, 免費成人影音, 彩虹自拍, 小魔女貼影片, 自拍裸體寫真, 禿頭俱樂部, 環球av影音城, 學生色情聊天室, 視訊美女, 辣妹情色圖, 性感卡通美女圖片, 影音, 情色照片 做愛, hilive tv , 忘年之交聊天室, 制服美女, 性感辣妹, ut 女同聊天室, 淫蕩自拍, 處女貼圖貼片區, 聊天ukiss tw, 亞亞成人館, 777成人, 秋瓷炫裸體寫真, 淫蕩天使貼圖, 十八禁成人影音, 禁地論壇, 洪爺淫蕩自拍, 秘書自拍圖片,