Friday 10 July 2015

Pecs appeal

Yanis, with Mark Mardell (in a blond wig) riding behind

I had a bad night's sleep last night. 

Far too much time spent monitoring the BBC for bias made me dream about Radio 4's Front Row. I imagined them reporting a new Mills and Boons line of novels for gay men.

And this is what I imagined (and, yes, please brace yourselves for some gay erotica)....
A few hours after his surprise resignation, I chanced upon Yanis sitting in a cafe surrounded by friends. 
Naturally I wanted a word. 
During this brief and trivial conversation, I was entranced not only by his warm smile and engaging gaze, but by the vibrant deep blue of his shirt and its subtly rounded black squares. 
I wondered where he had bought it. Not that it would fit me. 
Yanis, unlike me, is a fitness fanatic and a hunk. He's a rock star. He wears a leather jacket, but never a suit and tie. He rides a motorbike. He oozes charm and charisma. 
Half the world has a crush on Yanis. The looks have something to do with it. 
His words seemed fresh - his directness, his ability to engage with the question - and, impressively in a foreign language, to use language both precisely and playfully. 
I am thinking Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Chris Christie - but none of them have Yanis's pecs. And it goes deeper than that. 
On my last evening in Athens, I went for a quiet, very large kebab in a side street in a working-class area. The owner, who has had a cafe for 10 years and opened this little joint three years ago, was eager to talk about Yanis. 
He said Yanis was  a rarity - he said what he meant and stuck to it. 
One close observer of Greece, the scarcely-less-hunky Paul Mason of Channel 4 News, makes exactly this point in his engaging blog, adding that Yanis is both well hot and worth watching. 
Yanis had exited stage left. Greece may follow. 
As may my heart. 
As often in a drama, the shocking killing off of a central character throws into stark relief the uncertain denouement of an unfolding story. 
I feel like Echo bereft by Narcissus.

With barely a couple of dozen added words from me, that's my (slightly) cropped version of Mark Mardell's latest blogpost (all genuine MM...except for those couple of dozen or so words)...

All together now....Aaaahh!!!

[And, yes, the phrase 'Pecs appeal' came from MM's BBC online article].

Mark's post will soon be published as Mark Mardell's Diary. Renée Zellweger is said to be practising lowering her voice, re-learning the English accent and adding a few pounds again in anticipation of the resultant film.


  1. Yanis is a great guy. :)

    No one should ever subscribe to easy moralising about debt. For every bad debtor there is a bad creditor. Simples!

    But I thought Yanis would be good as a modern substitute for those Chrisopher Lee Hammer Horror movies.

  2. As you know, Craig, I found Varoufakis to be very entertaining, but @#$% me. It's difficult to tell which gets Mardell more aroused: the politics or the pecs. (If only Martin were here to do this justice.) You know how that Ariel feature piece on Mardell said you can tell there's some passion just beneath the surface? A bit, yeah, you can.

    The best part about the Varoufakis show (and it was a show) was the way he could be both 100% right and 100% wrong simultaneously. At times it seemed he could do it even using the same words. It was awesome to see him both completely enthrall and completely baffle the Beeboids. I felt like I could easily talk to him about these issues and we could come to a mutual understanding and respect, but it's impossible to feel the same way about any of the BBC's economics or politics geniuses. Mardell, a veteran politics junkie, is right about one thing: the refreshing honesty. Scary as hell (not to Mardell, obviously), but refreshing nonetheless. Unless I'm mistaken, he spoke with Red Andy, but never with the other Andrew, which tells you something, and not just about Varoufakis, if you know what I mean.

    But Mardell.....good Lord. While reading it I could almost hear his editor say, "Steady on!"....Several times. I wonder if this was edited at all, really. I mean, Mardell does ramble sometimes when he's all excited or angry or in a rush to file content, but this was worse than most.

  3. David,

    Whatever happened to Martin ? I miss him !


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