Tag Archives: top gear

Will famous people please step away from the keyboard. Thank You.

I used to be a local radio DJPhil: Some people have suggested that being famous doesn’t make it easier to get a book published. Presumably those same people are so stupid that they can’t work out how to eat or have just been discharged from a jury.

Of course it’s easier to be published if you are famous. Publishing is a business and if you want to sell units to a celebrity obsessed public, then you comb the pages of Now/Hello/OK and pick your writers from the “bikini bodies” section. Lets’ face it, Martine McCutcheon wrote a book and she’s not even clever enough to remember that everyone has to pay taxes, or at least find a good accountant who can provide a good reason that you don’t.

Anyway, my ire is raised by spotting a couple of things in the media recently.

1 – Frank Lampard has signed a 5 book deal to write a series for children called “Frankie’s Magic Football”.

Now, I’ll admit to knowing nothing about football. I never got picked for a team at school, being the leftover who just joined the team that hadn’t picked last. From there it was a position in defence, or hanging around nowhere near the ball, as it was probably better termed. Still, I did my research and looked up Mr Lampard’s Wikipedia entry (Yes it IS research, you think the BBC/ITN/Sky reporters do any more than this?). Sadly, the page goes on forever and I couldn’t be bothered to read it.

At the end, it appears he has an A* in Latin. Assuming this is accurate (it’s Wikipedia remember) then he might be better placed to be the new Pope since it’s the only job that requires a working knowledge of the language. The Catholic church might even benefit from a bit of star status. What we can be pretty sure of is that the books will not appear in Latin. I don’t care how desperate the publishers are, lines are drawn and it doesn’t matter what words are on the page, as long as they are in English.

Anyway, Frank has bagged a deal to write children’s books about a footballer called “Frankie”. I know you are supposed to write what you know but this is ridiculous. The cynic in me suspects that the illustrator  is under strict instructions that “Frankie” must look a lot like Frank.

2 – Richard Hammond is a judge for a short story competition.

OK, lets start with I watch Top Gear and think “The hamster” is a fine presenter. Not as good as James May, but pretty good. He’s also smart enough to milk his popularity for all it’s worth, hence the BBC being full of shows that start with his name. It’s also good that the BBC is running a short story competition for kids. On Radio 2 amusingly, so for middle-class kids who don’t like an endless diet of R’n’B from Radio 1.

But, there are real writers on the panel: Dame Jacqueline Wilson and Charlie Higson for a start. Hammond is there for no other reason than the competition needs Celebrity. Presumably someone in the Beeb thought, “No one will enter if we don’t have a famous face involved.” and hit the Hammond speed dial. He worked out it wasn’t going to take much time (teachers and librarians are being asked to do the first sift to create a shortlist – for free) and would add a bit of gravitas to the CV. And that a shed-load of money would be heading his way for a quick voiceover.

Look – I understand the marketing advantages of a famous face, but I’m still bitter OK?

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TV shows we will be appearing on. One day.

Phil: They say that you shouldn’t dress for the job you, have, you should dress for the job you want to have. As some with the fashion sense of a scarecrow, I pay attention to this sort of advice.

Extending the concept a bit, since you are reading this in a freshly minted 2013, I though it might be a good idea to suggest where the nolanparker team will be in the future. We are working at the project from both ends so to speak. Having done a load of the writing stuff that should happen at the start of a career, now it’s time to look at the bit when we are (more) famous. Working backward from this point, eventually we’ll meet in the middle and know the whole story. That probably sounds mad. It probably is mad, but I prefer to think of it as “out of the box” thinking.

Anyway, we have had a few discussions in the pub to divvy up the TV appearances. Since there are two of us, we feel there is the opportunity to bring the exciting nolanparker brand of humour and insight to all corners of broadcasting without risking over-exposure. So, pay attention TV producers, here’s the list:

Top Gear

We will both take part in the “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” segment of the show. Clarkson can make merry with some shtick about finding two people on stage when he announces the name “Nolan Parker”. The audience will fall in lurve with a gurl who drives an Alpha Romeo and I’ll record a time to gain a place at the bottom of the board. Sadly, this will all be useless in terms of sales unless we write a Haynes manual but it looks like fun.

Never mind the nolanparkersNever Mind the Buzzcocks

Another one of both of us. Plan A was that I would be on Phill Jupitus’s team along with Phil Collins, giving an amusing line-up of Phil’s. Madame decided that she will only take part if, during the Intro’s round, she can be singing the intro rather than trying to guess it. This came as a surprise to me having witnessed her devastating ability to recognise pop intros, especially those from the 1980’s – anything you would have listened to while wearing fluorescent clothes, blowing a whistle and shouting “Tuuuuuuuunnnnnneeeeee!!!!” to.

Never mind, that means we can both end up on Noel’s team, probably a better home for our humour anyway. And we both get to wear mad clothes, or in my case, bad clothes that I will claim are being worn ironically.

Strictly Come Dancing

It’s the show with fancy dresses and sequins. Even if I was stupid enough to open the invitation, failure to hand it over would probably result in several broken fingers.

Have I got News For You

This one’s all mine. Not sure whose team I’ll be on but I promise to read all the newspapers the week before and try to have funny things to say.  That probably puts me on the Merton side but it will be nice to win something for once.

The News Quiz and all the radio stuff

Mine again. I have a face for radio so it seems like a good fit. Sadly, the role of “person unable to carry a tune in a bucket” on I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue is already taken by Jeremy Hardy so I’m not going to be able to take part in this one. Shame really, as I play a mean game of Mornington Crescent.

I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here

Don’t be silly. Neither of us is going to spend time in a jungle eating kangaroo parts. Besides, we’re already too famous for the show.

Celebrity Big Brother

See above. I mean, really, how desperate do you think we are? This is Channel 5 for heaven’s sake. More to the point, how many people who watch these shows can read anything more erudite than The Sun?

Celebrity Great British Bake Off

It’s a show about cake. Lots and lots of cake. Of course we’ll do it. Yum!

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