Sunday 8 December 2013

Babies, black holes, Bonnie Greer, Nelson Mandela (inevitably) and bloody Marcus Brigstocke

Slowing working through this morning's Broadcasting House and, with just two items down, there's already been a Bushtucker Trial's worth of bias from the programme, thanks to Hugh Sykes and Paddy O'Connell. So we've already had the kangaroo's willy and the witchetty grubs. What's up next?

Well, here's Paddy bringing in the turkey testicles...

...namely the tale of an Italian woman visiting Britain who was forced by a British council to give birth to her baby by caesarian section under the provisions of the Mental Health Act. (The father was Senegalese, I read elsewhere). The lady in question appears to be suffering from paranoid delusions (though that is disputed). 

Was I being paranoid when I suspected that the council in the dock, which Paddy mentioned as Essex Council, must be Conservative-run, or BH wouldn't be discussing the matter? 

Checking Google confirmed that Essex is indeed Conservative-run. (I'm Northern, so I'm never sure of such things - though I'd a pretty good idea!!)

Was this going to be a 'naughty Tory council' story? Or something much fairer and more interesting, discussing the ethics of the case in a balanced way?

I've still not listened to it yet, so let's find out............

Ah, Paddy's talking to a woman in a similar situation and she's giving her side of the case, highly critical of the way she was treated. Paddy is all ears and sympathy. Oh dear, it's going to be one-sided after all. 

Very interesting though, poor lady.

Still, I wonder what the other side of the argument is. How can it be justified to force a caesarian section on a woman with mental health issues? What was Essex Council's case?

I'd be very interested to hear that, as it seems like a gross intrusion by the state to me. I wish BH had allowed me to hear it.

Anyone for a baked spider?

Ah, here's Paddy again with news that the Kielder Forest over in't North East could become a 'Dark Sky Preserve' (Britain's first), if local residents agree to it.

Now, I love the idea of 'dark sky preserves' and the chance to spend some quality time with the Milky Way, but this is a live issue and residents need to give their consent for it. Is there 100% support for it in the area (support which this consultation exercise will conclusively confirm), or are there arguments against this move and people resisting it? 

I'm none the wiser about that because Paddy simply talked to another BBC presenter, Kaz Graham from Farming Today, about it. Both Kaz and Paddy said that dark skies matter, and Kaz presented only the case for it - all the benefits. 

Gary from the Kielder Observatory then took Kaz around the site and expounded the case for 'dark sky' status again.

How can anyone disagree with him? Does anyone disagree with him? Who knows, given that Broadcasting House wasn't saying! This was a party political broadcast on behalf of the the Dark Sky Preserve Party. Was that wrong?

The paper review, the blended cockroach drink served at the end of the programme, featured Bonnie Greer (formerly of Newsnight Review 'fame'), soon-to-be Newsnight presenter Laura Kuenssberg and an actor Robin Ellis from Poldark - all BBC-friendly people.

Nelson Mandela was up first. Paddy got Bonnie to read something from a piece in the Sun about viewers complaining about the BBC's  e   x  t   e  n   s   i  v   e coverage of Nelson Mandela's death. She called it "a tiny sort of story", and quoted the BBC's response, agreed with it, and ended by saying "it's one of the things that the BBC is for". Laura agreed, saying the extent of the BBC's coverage was "exactly the right decision".

Well, that's all right then. BBC-friendly people defending the BBC to the hilt shocker!

Actually there was one final mealworm-based snack - another 'Advent calender' entry, described afterwards by the BBC presenter as being "comedy".

I beg to differ.

Unlike last week's genuinely funny Mitchell & Webb sketch, this was a dreary Radio 4 comedian's rant - complete with extensive sneers at the the Daily Mail (and, yes, he really did call it the 'Hate Mail'). I didn't smile once. (I did think of suicide on several occasions though. It was that unfunny.).

I half-recognised the voice as I was listening. I should have instantly recognised it, given the dreary predictability of his 'humour' - and the dreary inevitability that Radio 4 would ask this particular 'comedian' to take part in its 'Advent calender' thing at some stage.

Yes, it was Marcus ****ing Brigstocke.

Marcus Brigstocke, laughing at his own jokes (the way we all laugh at his jokes)

That man really must have something truly scandalous on the bosses at Radio 4. An ability to blackmail senior BBC execs is the only logical explanation for why Marcus (universally known as 'Britain's unfunniest man') is almost impossible to avoid on Radio 4.

He makes me want to give up atheism so that I can thank God for the off switch.


  1. I think Ms Greer and Brigstocke are amongst the most obnoxious characters in the BBC menagerie. Ms Greer, do you know anyone who's seen one of her "plays" (no me neither), specialises in sneering, arrogant criticism of the post colonial failings of a society that has unaccountably elevated her to the status formerly occupied by aristocrats: trustee of the BM etc; and Brigestock is a sinister creep who delivers rants about global warming whilst jetting to Mexico for holidays, and moral homilies whilst betraying his own family.


  2. I try not to be sweary these days, so apologies for what follows...

    ...but I think this is a good place to re-post a very rude comment I put on 'Biased BBC' some four years ago. (I can remember writing it. I'd had a couple of glasses of wine!)

    It was prompted by another commenter who'd just posted a link to Marcus Brigstocke's 'Wikipedia' entry at the time.

    So brace yourselves for a self-regarding, sweary trip down Memory Lane:

    Brigstocke's Wikipedia article features a photo of the idiot smiling smugly and sticking two fingers up, "amusingly". That sums up the prick. I last stuck two fingers up at the world (or at passing motorists) when I was about 9 years old – and then only once. I've moved on. Not so Brigstocke.

    We learn that Marcus, who is now 36 years old, is a keen snowboarder. Brigstocke, you're 36 for Christ's sake, grow up!

    "Very few of the conventions and institutions of the bourgeoisie have escaped his ire", Wikipedia tells us. Brigstocke is a member of the bourgeoisie, despite his phoney accent. And anyhow, anyone who uses the word "bourgeoisie" is either a lifelong student or a prick, or both.

    We learn that "Brigstocke's favourite joke is to impersonate DJ Tim Westwood". Oooh, dangerous satire Marcus! And "The Now Show also provided an outlet for his fierce dislike of David Blaine". Oooh, dangerous satire Marcus!

    Next: "He hosts his satirical programme on BBC4, The Late Edition, which has been described as "Newsnight with jokes"." I've heard it. 'Newsnight' is way funnier.

    This is Marcus's most famous joke:

    “ If Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music. "


    Sorry for the pause in this post, but I've just had to go to hospital because my sides literally split open while reading that joke.

    Marcus himself loves it too. "Ah! Bloody Pacman….It is my joke. I wrote it, then I took the rest of the day off as I was so chuffed with it." Chuffed with himself. That's Brigstocke all over. What a self-regarding prick!

    Thanks to Wikipedia again for letting us know that "during his early adulthood, he was a goth." Of course he was. He's a self-regarding prick.


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