What better way to get to know our contributors (whether you want to or not) than find out what they’d get up to in the big black chair. We’ve started so we’ll finish.
The Marx Brothers. Groucho, especially, was known for his wit and incredible turn of phrase but my favourite anecdote is when he was at a party full of intellectuals and creatives and someone’s child was there being a precocious little nuisance. Groucho loudly went, “Fuck off, kid,” and everyone clapped. I really enjoy this anecdote.
Morecambe and Wise. Or Bartholomew and Wiseman (their real surnames). Originally, Eric was the straight man and Ernie was the comic.
The X Files. I choose this because ‘The life and international whereabouts of David Duchovny’ isn’t a valid category, according to my parole officer.
Dog The Bounty Hunter. I love him and his family. They do great work with addicts and their families, work with strong boundaries and aren’t afraid to show their flaws.
Vicky Lindsay Warburton
William Blake’s Poems Songs of Innocence and Experience. I had to teach this for a few years to groups of A-level kids with huge brains. Fun fact: The poem London is clearly used as inspiration for The Verve’s Track History (B-side on Lucky Man). Blake v Dick Ashcroft:
I wander thro’ charter’d street,
Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.
And Mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.
I wander lonely streets
Behind where the old Thames does flow
And in every face I meet
Reminds me of what I have run from
NO ONE GAVE A TOSS. They wanted hardcore analysis. Zzzzzzzzz.
The Rocky films I-IV (not V as it’s shit) and then Rocky Balboa and Creed. Rocky IV is my total favourite and I have run up the Rocky steps (got a stitch) and visited the statue and the flat he was in in the first Rocky. Much to my poor travelling partner’s (un)amusement.
“The X Files. I choose this because ‘The life and international whereabouts of David Duchovny’ isn’t a valid category, according to my parole officer.”
The films of Sam Peckinpah. FUN FACT: Ernest Borgnine broke his foot just before filming started on The Wild Bunch and walked around on a hidden cast throughout. What a frigging trooper.
European property prices. Been obsessed with them for decades. You can buy a two-bedroomed detached house in Sweden for £16,000 as long as you don’t mind living in minus 20 degrees up to your neck in snow for several months of each year.
The novels of Jilly Cooper. You can read me a line of dialogue and I can tell you who says it, to whom and quite often I can tell you what at least one of them is wearing and what they’ve just eaten (it’s usually huge prawns dripping with garlic butter…).
The women who fought over Philip Larkin. Maeve died first and nabbed the best epitaph (‘What will survive of us is love’). Monica had to make do with name and dates. His loaf-haired secretary outlived all of them to read his poems at his graveside.
The children’s stories of Roald Dahl. Little Red Riding Hood pulled a pistol from her knickers and aimed it at the wolf. This guy taught me about feminism. He also called farts whizzpoppers. Fucking awesome.
Birds I Have Seen And Liked 2009-2015. If the producers want something more broad I shall withdraw my labour. Fun fact: while in most bird species the males are more gaudy than females (so they can show off to prospective new girlfriends when their latest wife no longer ‘understands them’), many species (swans, penguins) look identical because they mate for life so have no need to ‘peacock’.
Dance Moms – every episode. Oh and the life and murder of Victorian actor, William Terriss.
“Disney song lyrics. There basically isn’t a single one I don’t know, even the deleted ones and the new ones they wrote for the stage musicals. I’m not proud of it but… no wait, I am proud of it.”
The film Grease. I know and love each and every song, lyric, line of dialogue and inch of John Travolta. As much as I love Olivia as Sandy, I’d relish the chance to play Rizzo in a remake. There are worse things I could do… (and have done).
Lili la Scala
Harry Potter. Having done the sorting test, I was sorted into Slytherin. My favourite character is Narcissa Malfoy. The way she betrays Voldemort to save her family. Some of her politics are dodgy but you can’t fault her loyalty.
Disney song lyrics. There basically isn’t a single one I don’t know, even the deleted ones and the new ones they wrote for the stage musicals. I’m not proud of it but… no wait, I am proud of it. FUN FACT: the voice of Lumière in Beauty and the Beast is also Baby’s dad in Dirty Dancing. Now that’s a career.
Service Stations of the UK. Go on, ask me anything. I can faultlessly deliver you to a clean toilet and a warm pasty (and never the other way round).
I actually did it, years ago in the Magnus Magnusson era. The Life and Films of Clint Eastwood in the first round, the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in the semi-final.
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