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Showing posts from April, 2018

Rudd's resignation, Trump's visit and Kat Von D's indestructible eyeliner

You better watch out. You better not cry. Better not pout. I'm telling you why. Donald Trump is coming to town.

More about that later. First, some serious news. (This reporter puts on her most sensible of news reading glasses). The Guardian reports today (Monday) that Amber Rudd has "dramatically" resigned as home secretary after "repeatedly struggling to account for her role in the unjust treatment of Windrush generation migrants."

The documenter of our times continues: "The home secretary was forced to step down after a series of revelations in the Guardian over Windrush culminated in a leak on Friday that appeared to show she was aware of targets for removing illegal migrants from Britain.

"The pressure increased late on Sunday afternoon as the Guardian revealed that in a leaked 2017 letter to Theresa May, Rudd had told the Prime Minister of her intention to increase deportations by 10 per cent - seemingly at odds with her recent denials that she w…

CBeebies' daydreams, dog dining and the & Other Stories lounge shirt

This reporter invites you to grab your favourite teddy bear, guzzle up your warm cup of milk, snuggle down under the blankets and get ready for a bedtime story. If you are lying comfortably, she will begin...

Once upon a time in a land far away, accessed only by a button on the TV remote, there was a children's television channel called CBeebies. Home to a hodge podge of colourful characters with funny names like Yakka Dee, Boj and the Twirlywoos. This children's TV channel was a godsend to many a time-poor, life-frazzled parent but the equivalent of a shot glass of e-number laced fizzy pop to the goggle-eyed, bullish monsters it had been sent to earth to entertain.

Station masters behind CBeebies realised this sort of stimulus could not go on. Parents had reported having to go to drastic measures, such as shovelling chocolate buttons down their children's throats, to deal with the inevitable pick-me-ups and crashing lows of the channel's televisual output and so they …

The Kanye West interview, Millicent Fawcett's statue and PVC trousers

"Fame I'm gonna live forever..."

Good evening and welcome to Fame, the celebrity spotlight televisual programme presented by none other than yours truly, This Reporter.

Tonight's guest is a US rapper, business mogul, husband to the world's most prolific Instagram user and father to North West, South West and Due West.

He is here tonight to talk about his book, which he intends to write entirely through the medium of Twitter, his love for American President Donald Trump and his own ambitions to become president one day. Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for Kanye West...

Cue intro music - "Now, I ain't sayin' she's a gold digger..."

This Reporter: Kanye, welcome. Thanks for joining us.

Kanye West: What's up?

This Reporter: So I hear you are planning to write a book. Can you tell us more?

Kanye West: Yeah, I'm writing it in real time, on Twitter. No publisher or publicist will tell me what to put where or how many pa…

The Waitrose healthy food police and Amber Rudd's L K Bennett heels

"The next time you're at the checkout and you hear the beep (bip-bip) think of the fun you could be having on Supermarket Sweep."

Good old Dale Winton and there could be no better time to quote the Supermarket Sweep legend, now sadly departed, than today, as we arrive here at the supermarket. Grab a trolley - no not that one, it's got a shonky wheel - and let's get browsing the aisles.

The reason this reporter has brought you here is because she wants to chat with you about Waitrose's plan to install 'health food police' on its shop floor.

The well-to-do supermarket chain is training up some of its sales assistants as we speak, to linger in the aisles and encourage customers to ditch the junk food and make healthier food choices instead. The drive will be rolled out across dozens of stores this year and comes after a Waitrose survey found half of shoppers did not feel they had time to focus on their health.

Waitrose has reassured that its healthy food…

The royal baby meets The Handmaid's Tale and J W Anderson's seagull

"I left my soul there, down by the sea..." Thanks Morcheeba but forget the soul - half a cod and chips more like, after being hounded off the beach by scavenging seagulls.

But despite their - more than justified - bad press, seagulls have become an unlikely style emblem thanks to the latest collaboration between top drawer designer J W Anderson and Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo.

The new clothing range is inspired by all things Brighton and features togs heavily referencing the seaside - stripy tops, bucket hats, brightly coloured waterproof jackets, alongside jumpers, t-shirts and tote bags all emblazoned with one of the nation's most pesky birds.

If the seagull has gone from shriek to chic, whatever will it be next - tank tops decorated with vultures? Talking of which, the 'vultures' were well and truly gathering outside St Mary's Hospital in London yesterday (Monday) in anticipation of the birth of Prince William and Kate Middleton's third baby.

It was…

The Queen's birthday bash, Eco Stardust glitter and Mary Berry's misspent youth

"Monday. Took her for a drink on Tuesday. We were making..."

Morning all! It was the Queen's birthday bash at the weekend to mark turning ninety-two-years young this year. This reporter hopes you all had a slice of cake and a mojito to celebrate. Meanwhile her Majesty was enjoying a right old knees up at the Royal Albert Hall where a concert was put on in her honour.

She was regaled with the dulcet tones of Craig David, Kylie Minogue, and Shaggy - of "Boombastic" fame. Followed by what the press has dubbed an "unusual" collaborative performance between Frank Skinner, Ed Balls and Harry Hill of George Formby's "When I'm Cleaning Windows". The official explanation for this moment of insanity is the Queen, as we know, is a huge George Formby fan.

This reporter would like to pose a small questionette at this point, which runs along the lines of, do we really think the Queen enjoyed it? Being serenaded by a former Labour MP on a ukulele? …

The British Milk Council, Morrissey and the rainbow jumper from Hush

Much fun has come this week from the British Milk Council's Twitter account. Set up to appear nothing more than an innocuous Twitter forum to spread the health benefits of drinking milk, Twitter users have been led to suspect there is a little more afoot.

An hilarious spat broke out online between two of the British Milk Council's employees following the announcement that their official Twitter account was being shut down due to the "misuse of data higher up".

Employee Jason, who claims to have built up the brand from the ground including an "inspired" #ManMilk promotion, appears to have taken the Twitter account hostage, declaring he was not going to be pushed out of his job, had changed the Twitter password and intended never to give the account back.

Donna, who Twitter devotees speculated may or may not be a cow - of the bovine variety - tweeted back: "Jason log out of this account now or I'll contact Twitter support". Thus commenced an exc…

Backless mules, sleepwalking to Brexit and Meghan Markle does a bolt

Let's all sing together (to the tune of the Batman theme song) - Brexit, Brexit, Brexit, Brexit, Brexit, Brexit, Brexit, Brexit, BREXIT.

What could we possibly be talking about today? Yes that's right, spring footwear (or are we?!) Vogue magazine declares it's time to think about decking our feet out for the transition - the seasonal one rather than the Brexit one (there has been no official fashion advise on what to wear for that yet). And it's all about shoes with their backs cut off them - or as regular folk call them, backless mules.

The shoes we are supposed to slip our feet into with ease and feel the warm breeze around our heels, in the manner of summer, but keep our toes tucked away all toasty, a la winter. There's a problem with this slip on style of shoe though isn't there?

The inherent risk that you may be quite happily sauntering down the road, only for your whole foot to suddenly kiss the pavement and you realise that one shoe has mysteriously vaca…

Tracey Emin's light sculpture, Windrush and Chanel's invisible hat

Buzzz, buzzz, buzzz. This reporter dashes in looking wild haired and distinctly frazzled. "Meet me at St Pancras Station at midday under the great big clock," she gasps before swiftly exiting, pursued by a swarm of wasps.

"I want my time with you", declares artist Tracey Emin's neon pink light sculpture, which has sprawled itself across a wall of London's St Pancras station, just in front of Paul Day's bronze statue of two lovers embracing and the large Dent clock.

Emin's latest alternative art offering is meant to be a love letter to Europe as we head towards Brexit. This reporter argues the emblazonment of such a message couldn't have come at a more poignant time, as we witness the devastating treatment of the Windrush generation at the hands of Prime Minister Theresa May and her government.

To give some background, a significant number of UK residents descending from Commonwealth countries face the threat of deportation, have lost their jobs …

Second hand jeans, mind-reading headsets and the Thomas Sabo ankle bracelet

Was it Sheryl Crow who sang "A change would do you good"? Well Sheryl, let's see.

Da daaa.  This reporter emerges with gusto from behind the changing room curtain and declares; "what do you think?"

Now obviously here, we have a slight technicality over the medium in which we are communicating. Asking your opinion on something this reporter is wearing via the written word is akin to when DJs crack a visual joke over the radio. This reporter will have to try and paint a picture with words. Stand by...

She is wearing what can only be described as a pair of jeans which look like they have been saved from the discard and destroy pile of the wardrobe clearout, because indeed that is exactly what they are.

They have frayed hems which have been dragged down a thousand filth strewn streets, worn out knees one false move away from knee cap liberation and a stain down one trouser leg hailing, more than likely, from a milkshake bar of the 1970's.

But us fashionistas ar…

Notting Hill mansions, Skripal's cat and the Fendi micro bag

"Knock, knock." "Password please." "Viva la revolution." "That's correct, you may come in."
Oh, it's only you. You should have said. The reason for such stealth practises is this reporter is currently lying low in this £25million mansion in Notting Hill.

This palatial pad was featured in The Sun, no doubt to make the reader's blood run green, as it emerges that the average home now boasts a living room a third the size of one in the 1970's in what has been dubbed "rabbit hutch living". Whilst we are struggling on with just three bedrooms compared to an average of 3.6 bedrooms in the 1980's. (This reporter asks which unfortunate child ended up saddled with the 0.6).

Back to this reporter's current abode and it really is bucking the trend. Havona House sports 8,700 square foot of luxury living space, multiple bathrooms, an ornate spiral staircase, a 70 foot swimming pool and an automated James Bond-style parking s…

Gender equal pay, drawing pins and the Acne Studios Admyral bag

Hello and welcome to this reporter's old stomping ground, the local newspaper newsroom. The incessant dr-ing, dr-ing of the news desk telephone, the clitter, clatter of fingertips over keyboards, the sotto voce swearing as a computer mysteriously gobbles up copy moments before deadline. Ignore the reporter who has just fallen off his chair in the corner. He's had a "good lunch".

This reporter has brought you here today because she thought it a fitting setting to talk about gender equal pay. This subject has been rumbling on in the news for some time but has reached peak story with our Prime Minister Theresa May's insistence all companies, boasting more than 250 employees, submit their wage figures to the government.

The findings revealed - and you may want to sit down for this bit, have this empty swivel chair - that men are paid more than women in 7,795 out of 10,016 companies in the UK, based on median hourly pay.

Of course, as with most things, there is not on…

Rice bunnies, mood-reading vending machines and the Prada ostrich feather trousers

This reporter would love to have been a fly-on-the-wall at the meeting of the Prada design team when they dreamt up the ostrich feather-trimmed wool-blend trousers. She wonders just how the dialogue progressed.

So, they ponder, we have here these perfectly functional, woollen trousers, but there's always been something missing. What could it be, they further ruminate, until one bright Prada spark jumps up and declares: "By jove, I think I've only gone and got it, ostrich feathers around the hem".

Cue a rapturous round of applause, much air-kissing and the lighting of the celebratory Jo Malone candle and the ostrich feather-trimmed trousers officially become a fashion thing. Just throw in the matching jacket.

Now, this reporter suggests we both put on a pair because she has an invitation. Seeing as we are getting along so well, she would like to take you out for dinner, to the local Chinese restaurant no less, where she has heard they have a new dish on the menu - the…