Wednesday, 12 November 2008

On The Other Side

A strange thing happened on the other side of everything that’s gone before.

I was walking in Manchester when a stranger approached me and asked me why I wasn’t still writing my Appreciation Society.

‘It’s simple,’ I replied. ‘A close personal friend of mine suffered a difficult few months and I gave him room on my blog to detail his personal suffering. In light of that, I thought it poor taste to continue to be so frivolous or go on about how unendingly successful I am. There’s a time for being humble, you know. All great men recognise that at some point in their lives.’

‘Bah!’ said the stranger so forcibly that he melted the waxed tip of his moustache. ‘Nonsense, Dick! Your blog is a gift to the world. It gives great joy to the lesser millions. I’m sure that even a man who has suffered some personal tragedy in his life would see that eventually an enterprise as great as the Richard Madeley Appreciation Society should continue. Dare I say that it should flourish? Heavens!’

I gave the stranger another look as he towered over me by a good twelve inches. Being, myself, a rather sexually sublime six feet two, I estimated that the man’s height topped out around the seventh imperial foot and all of that height seemed faintly familiar to me.

‘I’ll give it some thought,’ I said as I tried to disengage myself from the man’s grip and move off in the direction of the junction between Chinatown and the Gay Village where oriental men wear florid shirts. I had an appointment to keep with a producer who had contacted me about doing the voiceover for his line in budgerigar breeding DVDs. I knew from personal experience that it’s not good to keep a budgerigar handlers waiting. Geoff Capes once turned me upside and rectally fed me millet for being just ten minutes late to an interview with the World’s Strongest Fat Man.

‘Look here,’ said the stranger, not allowing me to go. ‘You must take up the reigns of your much missed blog. You owe it to your public, you owe it to Judy and you owe it to your friends.’

‘My friends!’ I scoffed. ‘Since when do they miss my blog?’

It was a good question. Bill Oddie received the news of my blog’s closing with a faint smile and a comment about it being ‘good for the owls’. Clarkson had scoffed somewhat before making a rather distasteful crack about taxi drivers and sped off in his jet car. As for Judy, she had be relieved that I had abandoned my passion for detailing her private life in such a public way. She had celebrated the end of the blog by burning my private papers in the back garden.

‘Not all your friends are so cruel,’ announced the stranger after I’d explained this to him.

‘Oh, you fool!’ I snapped. ‘You don’t know the celebrity mind.’

At once, I regretted being so rude and risk losing my disguise of the comedy pimple and large orange wig fashioned in a fetching combover.

‘Oh but Richard, I do understand them,’ said the stranger. He looked up the street one way and then up the street the other before he raised his black eye patch and peeled back one half of his Hercules Poirot moustache.

‘Fry!’ I cried, stumped to the tips of my shanks by the man’s presence. Suddenly the seven feet all made sense.

‘Ah, indeed, ’tis I, Fry,’ said Stephen Fry. ‘Here in Manchester dressed like a piratical Belgian problem solver. I have travelled all this way by black London taxi cab to say that you’re missing. Set aside all this talk of tragedy. Return to what you do best.’

‘You mean presenting the TV version of the perennial family favourite board game, Cluedo?’

‘I mean writing your blog,’ said Stephen as he readopted his disguise.

I left him standing beside the art gallery, adjusting the poppy on his purple cape, and I was soon in the heart of Chinatown, sharing noodles with the budgerigar man. But Stephen’s words lingered long after the taste of soya sauce and fried eel had faded. On reflection, I did allow my friend’s sadness to get the better of me. Much as I appreciate what he went through, how can I live without my blog? I have missed writing it and cannot leave it on such a sad note. It’s too dramatic to say that I’m back since I never really went away. But I will say that I’m stepping out from my disguise, casting aside the comedy pimple, and doing what Stephen Fry would want me to do: telling the world about the life of a ‘A’ list celebrity, revealing the contents of Judy’s dresser, and being the web’s foremost expert on just about anything and everything.

I’m back but now I’m sexier than ever...



26 comments:

Andrew said...

Well that's a bloody relief Dick, don't do that to people again!

And best regards to your friend.

Nige said...

Ah Richard tis a joy to have you back...

Dick Madeley said...

Andrew, thanks for that. And have an honoured place in my blogroll. Even Bill Oddie can't get a listing.

Nige, again, thank you for everything. You'll always be Spiro Agnew to me.

fatboyfat said...

Richard

I'm seriously chuffed to see you back.

And as an aside, your friend clearly has a very good friend in you.

Dick Madeley said...

Fatboyfat, you don't know how lucky my friend is. I'm giving places on my blogroll away today so take one too, though I don't really know if I want to make 'make lard history'. It has so many interesting uses.

Andrew said...

I've always regarded you as gentleman, Dick, cheers for that.

Dr. Donald Juggs said...

Welcome back Dick. You are an inspiration to all of us. And I've sent you an email with a proposition I think might interest you.

Dick Madeley said...

Andrew, my pleasure...

Dr. Juggs(!!), thank you too. I've replied to your email. I don't think we've ever considered having a paranormal expert on the show and I can't say that it will ever happen.

Selena Dreamy said...

‘My friends!’ I scoffed. ‘Since when do they miss my blog?’

And not only that, Richard, but we all take pleasure in your very public private life....

ladythinker said...

What a relief it was 'just' your private papers Judy burned.
Welcome back.

Dick Madeley said...

Selena, I'm glad to be back to rectify that. My personal business will soon fill this blog with new revelations of a highly personal nature.

Ladythinker, my private papers ran to about two and a half thousand pages. It made for a quite spectacular bonfire, what with her stuffed Jonathan Ross mannequin sitting on the top. Well, I assume it was a mannequin...

Lola said...

Hooray! And I'm sure The Depp would second that exclamation of delight. And probably Raj Persaud too. Although Raj would just be copying.

Joey Joe Joe Jr. said...

Thank Goodness for Fry! First he lets lets me see the americans as the bunch of jolly good chaps they really are, then he rescues the Appreciation Society. Such a busy fellow.

Dick Madeley said...

Lola, yes he would be copying but on this occasion he'd be most welcome. I'm so glad to see you still popped by.

Joey, I always say that there's no end to Fry's wisdom. Unfortunately, I've missed his series on America. Did it include the interview he did with Chuck Norris?

(PS. You all have permission to disbelieve me the next time I say I'm closing the blog. I've done it on a few occasions now but this time I really did do it. And then still changed my mind...)

Welsh Girl said...

Welcom back! I've missed my dose of celebrity life through the eyes of the icon of the afternoon sofa! Thank God for stephen and his melted moustache....

percy stilton said...

What a lovely surprise to see you return to us, Dick.
Welcome back.
Hooray!...as The Depp & Lola might say.

elberry said...

Welcome back!

Don said...

Well this is a lovely surprise! I hadn't removed the link from my browser so you've saved me several clicks. Welcome back! I do hope you have staff to deal with polishing all those buttons though.

bertas said...

:) And with your first post you managed to extract a good few giggles... carry on my chum, just carry on :)

mutleythedog said...

Your description of the strange stranger sounded like my old friend Dick Dastardly who is currently missing... you dont think Fry was also Dastardly do you?

The Twitch said...

Dick, its good to see that you are back to your blogging best. It also appears,from the way you are dressed, that you found some useful employment of your great talents.. appearing as Buttons in Pantomime.
O yes he is!...O no he is,nt!

katyboo1 said...

frabjubous day!
I never took your link off my blog roll in blind optimism that you might change your mind.

The day just got a bit brighter.

Three cheers for Fry, and for you of course!
:)

Barbara said...

Hey, good to see you (and Fry) back! Just when I had stopped checking too.

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