Saturday, 18 July 2009


This week has been a delightful series of happenstance; remarkably fortuitous events that, had they not occurred by accident, I would have been forced to arrange myself. I’ve already detailed my transformation from squirrel protector to squirrel hunter and then to eventual patron saint of squirrels. However, I’ve not yet detailed the strange series of emails which have led me to discover one the most forward thinking minds of our age. That’s right: I’m talking about Tony.

It was late last week and I was communicating with a philosopher friend who happens to be writing a book detailing Immanuel Kant’s previously unrecorded visits of Wales. As you know, one of my solo projects is to be a TV version of ‘Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason’ and I was interested in his ideas for the programmes. However, I was working well past the midnight hour. Judy’s trombone had been silent for at least an hour and I was still at my desk. I’m a bit of a bungler when it comes to my relationship with the keyboard but this is especially true once it gets into the early AM. Call it carelessness or the mysterious workings of fate but I missed out a letter in the email address. Instead of going to my good friend Simon in Wales, the message arrived in the inbox of a complete stranger.

Now, most strangers when receiving one of my misdirect emails go straight to the newspapers with a demand for a small fortune. Lawyers usually become involved, money found, and then Judy has to downsize our holiday plans for the year. However, on this occasion, a reply came back pretending to be my friend Simon.

It had me fooled until the last line:

Dear Richard

Was only talking to La Price this afternoon, and your name came up. Alas, she only too well recalls her appearance on the show in 2002 when she was debating whether to have her boobs further enlarged and your comments & mime still make her shudder. And not in that way, either.

Glad you're on board: I'll get my people to run up a prelim treatment, and should have a foot in the door next week.

Will speak Tuesday although am seeing my oncologist first thing so might be a bit woozy.

Realising I had made a terrible mistake, I hastily constructed a reply to ‘Tony’:

From: Richard Madeley
To: a*****
Sent: Monday, 13 July, 2009 19:04:15
Subject: Re: Kant: The TV Series

Dear Simon/‘A********s’/Anthony/Tony, or, for all I know, Geraldine, Doreen, or Sandra.

You clearly have the advantage over me as I seem to have mad
e a bloated arse of myself!

Many apologies for sending you a message intended for another person. I didn’t realize that there were so many people in Wales that such confusion could even occur. Do you know Simon? He has ginger hair and a funny accent that makes him sound like Anthony Hopkins but without the Oscar success. Of course you must know him. Wales is such a small place. I bet you’ve already shared a joke about my stupidity over a pint of that Guinness you’re so famous for.

I have so many questions to ask, what with you are the only g
enuine Welshman I’ve spoken with on email. (Simon is actually English, which, as you’ve probably guessed, accounts for the ginger hair.) Does this mean you’re one of the few people in Wales with access to the internet? I can only congratulate you on being so forward thinking. Have you seen the opening of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’? I don’t suggest you throw your mouse up in the air but I think the similarities are there for all to see...


Dick Madeley (Tall, fawn, English)

Naturally, the email was a touch tongue-in-cheek, hoping to provoke a response, but I didn’t expect a long reply witty reply which ended with a suggestion for a road safety scheme that my new friend hoped I might be able support.

‘Tony’ writes:

Despite 30 years of prosecutions & advertising a hard core are never going to stop [drink driving]. So isn't it time we took a different strategy & allowed it one evening of the week? Suppose drink-driving were legalised between 9 & 12 on a Tuesday night? People could drive to a nice country pub (legally) at 7, spend an agreeable evening imbibing heavily, and then drive home. As long as the day were advertised satisfactorily (and I don't believe anyone would fail to hear about it) then anyone hurt by a drunk would only have themselves to blame. Any children hurt after 9 should have been in bed and be grateful they're not in care. Yes, there will be a lot of damage to property, but in a recession this would prove a valuable economic stimulus. One heavy drink-driving session a week would be enough for anyone, and would provide a valuable promotion to our hard-pressed rural pubs.

One thing you know about your Uncle Dick is that he likes to encourage talent in youth. I immediately replied. Despite the lateness of the hour and my need to be up early the next day to attend a genealogy seminar in Kidderminster, I knew that a mind as rare as this needs cultivating with loving care.

From: Richard Madeley
To: a*********

Sent: Wednesday, 15 July, 2009 0:32:24
Subject: Re: Kant: The TV Series

My darling Tony,

I am disappointed to learn that you’re English, though your estuar
y twang is clear to me now. South of Watford but no so far south as to drink scrumpy or have buxom daughters able to bring me mead in the morning. Do I detect the faint accent of Notting Hill, Sodsbury Park, or Hammersmith? Being a Romford lad, myself, I sense that we share similar values. It’s why I’m not hesitating in lending my support to your scheme to introduce legalised periods for drink-driving. It is brushed with brilliance, tickled by genius, and cupped by the warm fingers of inspiration. And not only is it informed by popular lifestyle choices but I believe it has value as early evening entertainment which we might be able to get onto one of the minor satellite channels or even BBC2.

As executive producer on the show/scheme (I would demand no less), I would promote barbed wire impact zones with minor celebrity endorsement (e.g. get impaled through the hip by a carburettor, Peter Kay runs on
to sing about armadillos). That would be the main selling point, though your dancing monkey idea also appeals. I’ve mentioned the idea to Judy and she’s is keen to make it a baboon. However, I’m sure we can iron out that kind of detail during the production meetings.

As you are no doubt aware, I’m a man with his middle finger warmed to the temperature of British public and what this show clearly needs is an educative angle. Perhaps begin with our driver fully sober and then we slowly introduce alcohol to their bloodstream. I have patented an anally mounted injection syste
m which could easily be adapted to pump alcohol into the system, perhaps controlled by a respectable celebrity such as Carol Vorderman. I can see it now: a young lout, possibly from a council estate in the North, drives the wrong way up the A448 or even the A449 towards Kidderminster. We cut to the studio to see Carol activate the pump before he barrel rolls down the road wiping out a coach carrying the Rhondda Male Voice choir. And if that’s not a winning formula for popular TV combined with a public service broadcast, I don’t know what is.

The more I think of this, the more I like you ideas. Do you have any more? We’re particularly interested in any scheme that might combat the rise in illegal nipple smuggling from the Far East as it would fit with a show we alre
ady have in production.

How fortunate it was that my email missed its target but found its way to a greater mind.

Kindest regards,


Since my reply, we’ve debated the subject at some length. I’ll soon have a proposal put together that I’ll be forwarding to the relevant TV production companies. ‘Richard Madeley’s Road Rage’ is the title I like best, though Judy suggests ‘Pandering To The Mob Mentality With An Inhumane Bloodthirsty Spectacle with Richard Madeley’. I guess she thinks the show would work best on Sky One.

In the meantime, if there’s anybody out there who need to contact my new ‘ideas man’, then you can do so though me and I’ll forward your details. I’ll be only taking a 10% commission from any of his ideas which are subsequently made into government schemes, TV/film projects, and third world revolutions.


2202 said...

Tony here.
From Watford actually and those ginger follicles have all but disappeared in colour apart from one's nether regions.
Keep it up Uncle Dick, Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

At last - some common sense and clear thinking to help clear the curse of drink-driving.
Perhaps other dangerous activities could be allowed at clearly-defined times?

Rattling On said...

I would advise caution regarding putting your trust in someone you came across, in erroneous circumstances, on the internet.
Not everyone is who they purport to be...

Uncle Dick Madeley said...

Tony, so now it's Watford? I'm increasingly confused by your location. I assumed Wales. Then London. Now Watford. Where next? The East Midlands? The North West? However, I repeat, it's a delight to find somebody with a brain for innovation. I hope you put my bank details safe, though I still can't see why you need them.

Anonymous, love the idea of bringing danger into the mainstream. I think we should introduce Saturday morning bull runs through out crowded town centres.

Rattling On, I feel fairly safe with this guy. I mean, he's called Tony and is from Watford. What could possibly go wrong with giving him my bank details?

The REAL Tony said...

My dearest Dick
And now even I have been hijacked - I'm not from Watford (although I did once work there).
And I am not ginger, nor am I a "ginger beer" for that matter.
However, I'm still glad "Uncle" Dick came across me, as it were.
I doubt we're ready for my programme ideas for squaddies to win a helicopter so I attach a link to my songs instead...
Tony's Songs

Anonymous said...

If squaddies were to win a helicopter over the skies of Anglesey (location of arrow) then they would be shot down by the jets which circle the skies above our fair isle. Probably not a great idea in the tourist season - can it wait for September?

2202 said...

Uncle Dick.
Your bank details are safe and sound with my bank, RBS, trust that is Ok with you. I am sure they will be interested in looking after your transfer fee income from the sale of Judy to Man City.
BTW we built the Welsh Assembly and we are from Watford, so to Real Tony, just remember Wales is a name given to them by the Germans (walha meaning "stranger" or "foreigner")and it took a Watford company to build your Senedd.


Uncle Dick Madeley said...

The Real Tony, this is all too confusing for me. I'm a simple man who doesn't follow the strange world of men called Tony. I'm yet to be convinced that you're the same person.

Earwicga, everything is on hold until September. Tony's ideas have not met with the enthusiasm in TV circles that I'd hoped.

2202, I take it that you're a different Tony? I get very confused. I mean, what are the chances of two men called Tony reading my blog? It must be one in a billion.

2202 said...

My dear Uncle Dick
The cult that is known as Tony's World is dedicated to confusion. And you my good man have fallen for one of our many games.
We all know by now one of the biggest pranks undertaken by Tony is still having ramifications today, well this week, you have been the recipient of a small one.
So lets finish it here, before it distracts you further...will the real Tony stand up!


info said...

If, as we read, you are unhappy with the BBC salary offer (paid by the tax & licence fee payer, of course), then please go off and do something else. Avarice is the least unattractive aspect of the lives of rich people.

Uncle Dick Madeley said...

Info, a fair wage for a day's labour is all I ask.