Skip to main content

Melvyn Bragg on Love Island, Gemma Collins' book and the bath puff fascinator

So reader - the question to chew over as you peruse this reporter's latest scrawl is, in 2018, is Britain still a country of cumbersome, yet endearing, oddballs, or have we simply declined into thoughtless stupidity? Let's see...

Melvyn Bragg appears to think the latter. The broadcaster and Labour peer, in an interview for the Radio Times, said Britain is becoming a stupid country (you see) except for 'certain highlights'. He blamed much of this decline on the country's university system, which he said, despite being the best in the world, was being slowly and carelessly destroyed.

Mr Bragg also referenced Britain's television output, saying he saw some hope in the work of actors Hugh Grant and Benedict Cumberbatch in 'A Very English Scandal' and 'Patrick Melrose' respectively, but he feared 'Love Island' was a dismal sign of the times - but curiously, did not rule out watching it.

He said: "The popularity of series like Love Island show that we're becoming increasingly eccentric and increasingly incompetent - in equal measure. I haven't watched yet, but I will. I always like to watch things that are very popular. Maybe I'll get addicted."

This leads us nicely to the talk of the internet today - the 'interview' with TOWIE star Gemma Collins in the latest edition of Now Magazine. Ms Collins had been scheduled into the Now interviewing diary to talk about her book "The GC: How To Be a Diva" but things swiftly took a nosedive when it emerged the interviewer had not read it.

Usually at this point you would either expect the interview to be binned off as a missed opportunity or for the journalist to scratch around and try and save the situation with a hefty amount of editing later on. Not Now magazine who decided to print the exchange between interviewer and Ms Collins verbatim, as Ms Collins became increasingly incensed about the fact the magazine was not even in possession of her book, never mind having read it.

The book, as Ms Collins did manage to inform us at some point midway through the excruciatingly embarrassing yet mirthful exchange, was inspired by Kim Kardashian's book of quotes "Kim's Pocket Wisdom".

But there's more. Ms Collins has since appeared on Loose Women where she let slip that Gemma Collins may not have read Gemma Collin's book (or indeed written it). She said, with no evident sense of shame, that she had not actually sat there and written her book but instead "someone followed her round with a dictaphone and she talked into one". By which this reporter is very sure she believes she literally talked her book into creation, in manner of God creating the world in Genesis.

Finally, we move from Now magazine to Take A Break and the story, which has equally been doing the rounds on Twitter, of Lillian Smith who attended a wedding with a bath puff in her hair instead of a fascinator.

Featuring in the magazine's regular "Top Tips" section, Ms Smith from Preston, recounts how she experienced a fruitless search for the perfect fascinator in the desired shade of blue to match her outfit and, bowled over by a flash of inspiration, she got back up again and attached a bath puff to her head with a hair clip and declared it was perfect.

Fascinators are teeny tiny hats usually attached to the head by some kind of alice band and were mighty popular in the 1990s, with even top milliners Philip Treacy and Isabella Blow churning them out for high flying occasions. But according to Ms Smith we can say ta ta to that, as she suggests we all opt for a bath puff in an appropriate colour instead. You can buy one here.

Well, what conclusions can we draw from all that then? Are we still basking in a period of harmless eccentricity or have we let our brains be filled up with so much tripe, that in actual fact we've all lost the plot? This reporter will let you decide? She has absolutely...

nothing...

to...

say...

on the matter...

except...

TRIPE, TRIPE, TRIPE (apart the bath puff - that may be genius).





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Stranded in Brexit Britain - A Taco Sauce Survival Tale

WITH three weeks to go and about as much readiness as you can fit into a Borrower's knapsack, the pressing question remains, who is going to stop Brexit? The obvious candidate, not to go all Rees-Mogg on you, is the Queen. Who in theory, if not in practise, has the power and from previous allusions, thinks Brexit a load of piffle.
Failing the Queen, who let's face it has her hands full as a member of the sandwich generation - wrangling the car keys out of Prince Philip's mitts on the one hand and helping Meghan practise for her hypno-birth, on the other. If the Queen is not available there are "dupes" for her.
Victoria Beckham is to deliver a Queen's Speech on "Christmas Day" in March to launch her YouTube channel, on basis these speeches are "quite popular" and as we are constantly reminded by those around her, Mrs Beckham is witty and self-deprecating. Highlights will include her rallying cry to get people to subscribe to her channel: &q…

Corbyn's Phoney People's Vote, Pot Shots and Gigantic Bows

FROM Corbyn's phoney call for a People's Vote and the cliffhanger pot shot video tape, to the Roksanda blouse with the enormous bows, welcome to This Reporter's weekly news and style round-up.

Cadbury can only be a sugar rush away from filing a trademark infringement against the British government (to wit - the "Crunchie") as the political world of farcical doom entered yet another of its relentless crunch weeks. Providing, of course, the Crunchie bar was packed from first bite instead of with honeycomb, space dust, and instead of with space dust, TNT and instead of with TNT, nuclear active garbage just 29 days away from detonate, because that's about where we are with Brexit.
Prime Minister Theresa May is under the mistaken impression that the best way to avoid cataclysmic disaster is to dodge it. Colloquially known as "the swerve". As that is exactly what she has done over the meaningful vote - part numero deux - on her deal, which was due to take…

Bercow Bans Brexit Vote 3, Tram Shooting and the Tortoise Illusion Cake

FROM John Bercow banning a third Brexit vote and another suspected terrorist attack - this time on a tram in Utrecht - to the ultimate in tortoise illusion cakes (spoiler alert: it wasn't a cake) welcome to This Reporter's daily news round-up.

Some have called it a massive spanner in the works, others a "constitutional crisis", whilst those more scholarly types have plumped for "Erskine Mayhem". Either way we are all talking about Common's Speaker John Bercow making the "shock" announcement yesterday (Monday) he was banning Prime Minister Theresa May from putting her Brexit deal before Parliament for meaningful vote a third time, unless it underwent substantial changes.
What Mr Bercow appears to have done is got the PM on an historical technicality. Quoting from the guide to parliamentary procedure, Erskine May (no relation to our leader) he said the Commons could not be "repeatedly asked to pronounce" on the same question.
Inevitabl…

Brexit Crisis, Boris "Spaffed" Johnson and Prince Charles' Beach Bod

FROM MPs' dawning revelation that yes, Brexit is in crisis and Boris Johnson's leadership bid "spaffed up a wall", to Prince Charles' "impressive" beach bod, welcome to This Reporter's daily news round-up.

"It's like the last days of Rome". A direct quote there, which shows at long last MPs have cottoned on to what the rest of the country/Europe/the world could have told them months and months (and months) ago -  Brexit is at crisis point.
Prime Minister Theresa May herself admitted that things were not going quite according to plan yesterday (Tuesday) and, to be frank, exiting the European Union on 29th March (next week) probably wasn't going to happen.
But instead of taking some form of useful action to try and sort this crisis out, she has decided to make a move which will only takes things from shockingly bad to unfathomably worse. This Reporter refers to Mrs May writing to EU Chief Michael Barnier to request only a short exten…

Brexit: Where's Barbara Cartland's magic acorn when you need it?

THERE are no words - quite the technical hitch when it comes to writing - to do justice to the single greatest political calamity of our generation. This Reporter considered instead using expressionist art or shadow puppetry. She would make a concerted effort at it for five minutes before setting fire to the whole damn lot - as symbolism.
As alternative, let's start with the bare-boned facts of the matter. Prime Minister Theresa May lost her second meaningful vote on her Brexit deal in Parliament on Tuesday night by a stonking 391 votes to 242. Not the complete annihilation of meaningless vote part numero one, but still an almost unprecedented disaster.
David Cameron, tracked down at his lair, said: "I don't understand why MPs who have always wanted Brexit keep voting against it". Well David, sometimes people do the most unfathomable of things don't they. But back to the facts.
Mrs May's promise of votes on No Deal and Article 50 extension are coming up next.…