19 plays

I got the job as the voice of Tivvy back in the early 60’s. He was the mascot of the now-defuct TV Times children’s club: Tivvy’s Gang.

Tivvy was some bizarre crow-like species with a voice like a cross between Arthur Mullard and Sidney Cooke. Unfortunately , my thesbian training couldn’t quite get the balance right.

The Jesus Diaries
In 1983 some bloke had the brilliant idea of making up a load of stuff about the war, sticking it into a diary and pretending it was written by Hitler. Bingo! Within 5 minutes newspaper editors, so-called academics and senile old historians are falling over themselves to say it’s genuine. The geezer sells it to The Times and walks away with a zillion squid.

I know from personal experience that it’s not that easy to sell stuff to the papers. None of the Sundays were even remotely interested in my Richard Stillgoe revelations and I couldn’t even get the Ilford Recorder to publish THAT photo of me and Doris Hare falling out of a taxi outside the Chadwell Heath Harvester.

The Hitler Diaries idea was a good one in theory but sloppy research and piss poor prose led to the work being quickly revealed as being a fake. I mean , come on , Hitler never delayed invading Poland because he was having a Keegan- perm , nor was he banned from The Pink Coconut  in Worksop for wearing lederhosen.
Anyway ,shortly after the scandal broke I had a bit of time on my hands after finishing a three-month tour of a variety show called ‘’ A Night Of A 1000 Stars ‘’ with Tik and Tok , Sonia and Bogshed. It was going to be a six month tour but we were closed down under the Trades Description Act.
I reckoned that the fake diary idea was a pretty decent one - if you had the knowledge and guts to pull it off. It was simply a case of thinking of an appropriate subject to write about; someone universally famous and dead. Like Lady Di, Elvis or, my old boozing pal Tosh from The Bill.

…and then I had a brainwave…I would try the same trick , except this time it wouldn’t be some sad old kraut but the most famous man in history himself  … Mr Jesus Christ.
I knew just the bloke to help me. The Reverend Sid Plaskett spent his days between the Wetherspoons on Romford High Street and William Hills. There was nothing he didn’t know about the bible – or so he said.
In fact The Reverend’s brain had been so addled by years of drinking Pissmeister that he hadn’t a clue what he was talking about. For a start he claimed that Jesus had been baptised by Joan Baptiste and I’m pretty certain that the Last Supper didn’t take place in the Forest Gate branch of Toby Carvery.
So instead I swiped a couple of leaflets from The Blessed St Cuthbert’s on one of their regular Bukkake coffee mornings and I did the best I could.
Yes, there might have been one or two historical inaccuracies but I have never claimed to be a religious scholar (well, I did once in the Top Hat Club in Ilford and it got Sister Wendy’s drawers off in a nano-second).
Maybe I was wrong to suggest that Jesus got his sandals from the Galilee branch of Shoe Express. And – yes – I stole the whole of the Sermon on the Mount stuff from Delia Smith’s rant at Norwich supporters ( ‘ Where are you ? Where are you? Let’s be ‘avin it! Come on you Peacemakers ‘). I just didn’t think anyone would notice.

Then, my list of the 10 Commandments attracted a bit of attention. I couldn’t remember all of them so I made a couple up. But I stand by ‘thy should not lend Tosh from The Bill any money as thou will not see it back’ as I have been stung more often by this than by coveting my neighbour’s goat. And, I still think that any self-respecting God would say something about the size of the portions in that Harvester at the Redbridge roundabout.

Despite these small errors it wasn’t long before the newspapers were queuing up to start publishing my masterwork. Top boffins from Oxford and Cambridge beat a path to my door offering wads of cash for ‘the most important historical discovery in history ‘(AJP Taylor).
I signed a multi-million pound deal with a leading publisher and waited for the cash to roll in.
But in typical Mince fashion, there was a problem.
As well as writing the fake Jesus stuff I had been keeping my own diary about what was happening in my own life. Somewhere along the line the two had got mixed up and some of my personal diary entries had cropped up in the Jesus diary.
Most people didn’t spot the error but after publication a small number of theologians and general God-bothers began picking at small discrepancies in the book.
For example, this entry from my own diary had accidentally made it into the book. This was meant to be the entry for Jesus’ resurrection.
‘’ Boring day. Warmed up a can of Big Soup whilst I cracked one off to Lulu doing her new single on Pebble Mill at One., whist waiting for the interview witth Ted Chippington ”
Or this for the Transfiguration:
‘’ Took Fat Val to see Confessions of a Window Cleaner ‘’ at The Gaumont in Romford She’d polished off half a stone of popcorn and a box of Liquorice Allsorts before the Pearl and Deans had even finished. Then, half way through the trailers the Cinema Manager bursts onto the stage and asked ‘’ is there a plumber in the house? ‘‘Val had only gone and blocked the ladies khazi and the cinema staff were evacuating a screening of the Great Muppet Caper because of the smell. ‘’  

And, bloody hell, this somehow managed to replace my carefully researched version of the Crucifixion:
‘’ Bloody Police turned up just as I was about to have a Barclays.  They asked if I knew anything about some obscene letters that had been written to Su Pollard from Hi Di Hi. I said that they weren’t ‘obscene’. I was merely asking after the well-being of her cat. ‘’
So in the end it went the same way as the Hitler Diaries: public humiliation, exposure as a fraud and a reputation in tatters. Back to the dole queue , empty pockets and Su Pollard didn’t even have the courtesy to reply.

The Jesus Diaries

In 1983 some bloke had the brilliant idea of making up a load of stuff about the war, sticking it into a diary and pretending it was written by Hitler. Bingo! Within 5 minutes newspaper editors, so-called academics and senile old historians are falling over themselves to say it’s genuine. The geezer sells it to The Times and walks away with a zillion squid.

I know from personal experience that it’s not that easy to sell stuff to the papers. None of the Sundays were even remotely interested in my Richard Stillgoe revelations and I couldn’t even get the Ilford Recorder to publish THAT photo of me and Doris Hare falling out of a taxi outside the Chadwell Heath Harvester.


The Hitler Diaries idea was a good one in theory but sloppy research and piss poor prose led to the work being quickly revealed as being a fake. I mean , come on , Hitler never delayed invading Poland because he was having a Keegan- perm , nor was he banned from The Pink Coconut  in Worksop for wearing lederhosen.

Anyway ,shortly after the scandal broke I had a bit of time on my hands after finishing a three-month tour of a variety show called ‘’ A Night Of A 1000 Stars ‘’ with Tik and Tok , Sonia and Bogshed. It was going to be a six month tour but we were closed down under the Trades Description Act.

I reckoned that the fake diary idea was a pretty decent one - if you had the knowledge and guts to pull it off. It was simply a case of thinking of an appropriate subject to write about; someone universally famous and dead. Like Lady Di, Elvis or, my old boozing pal Tosh from The Bill.


…and then I had a brainwave…I would try the same trick , except this time it wouldn’t be some sad old kraut but the most famous man in history himself  … Mr Jesus Christ.

I knew just the bloke to help me. The Reverend Sid Plaskett spent his days between the Wetherspoons on Romford High Street and William Hills. There was nothing he didn’t know about the bible – or so he said.

In fact The Reverend’s brain had been so addled by years of drinking Pissmeister that he hadn’t a clue what he was talking about. For a start he claimed that Jesus had been baptised by Joan Baptiste and I’m pretty certain that the Last Supper didn’t take place in the Forest Gate branch of Toby Carvery.

So instead I swiped a couple of leaflets from The Blessed St Cuthbert’s on one of their regular Bukkake coffee mornings and I did the best I could.

Yes, there might have been one or two historical inaccuracies but I have never claimed to be a religious scholar (well, I did once in the Top Hat Club in Ilford and it got Sister Wendy’s drawers off in a nano-second).

Maybe I was wrong to suggest that Jesus got his sandals from the Galilee branch of Shoe Express. And – yes – I stole the whole of the Sermon on the Mount stuff from Delia Smith’s rant at Norwich supporters ( ‘ Where are you ? Where are you? Let’s be ‘avin it! Come on you Peacemakers ‘). I just didn’t think anyone would notice.

Let's be 'avin it !

Then, my list of the 10 Commandments attracted a bit of attention. I couldn’t remember all of them so I made a couple up. But I stand by ‘thy should not lend Tosh from The Bill any money as thou will not see it back’ as I have been stung more often by this than by coveting my neighbour’s goat. And, I still think that any self-respecting God would say something about the size of the portions in that Harvester at the Redbridge roundabout.

Despite these small errors it wasn’t long before the newspapers were queuing up to start publishing my masterwork. Top boffins from Oxford and Cambridge beat a path to my door offering wads of cash for ‘the most important historical discovery in history ‘(AJP Taylor).

I signed a multi-million pound deal with a leading publisher and waited for the cash to roll in.

But in typical Mince fashion, there was a problem.

As well as writing the fake Jesus stuff I had been keeping my own diary about what was happening in my own life. Somewhere along the line the two had got mixed up and some of my personal diary entries had cropped up in the Jesus diary.

Most people didn’t spot the error but after publication a small number of theologians and general God-bothers began picking at small discrepancies in the book.

For example, this entry from my own diary had accidentally made it into the book. This was meant to be the entry for Jesus’ resurrection.

‘’ Boring day. Warmed up a can of Big Soup whilst I cracked one off to Lulu doing her new single on Pebble Mill at One., whist waiting for the interview witth Ted Chippington ”

Or this for the Transfiguration:

‘’ Took Fat Val to see Confessions of a Window Cleaner ‘’ at The Gaumont in Romford She’d polished off half a stone of popcorn and a box of Liquorice Allsorts before the Pearl and Deans had even finished. Then, half way through the trailers the Cinema Manager bursts onto the stage and asked ‘’ is there a plumber in the house? ‘‘Val had only gone and blocked the ladies khazi and the cinema staff were evacuating a screening of the Great Muppet Caper because of the smell. ‘’  

And, bloody hell, this somehow managed to replace my carefully researched version of the Crucifixion:

‘’ Bloody Police turned up just as I was about to have a Barclays.  They asked if I knew anything about some obscene letters that had been written to Su Pollard from Hi Di Hi. I said that they weren’t ‘obscene’. I was merely asking after the well-being of her cat. ‘’

So in the end it went the same way as the Hitler Diaries: public humiliation, exposure as a fraud and a reputation in tatters. Back to the dole queue , empty pockets and Su Pollard didn’t even have the courtesy to reply.

Time Machine ,  Gentleman Please !


I have met some thick people in my time but no-one compares to Dr Stephen Hawking.

We  met when we did a product launch together at the Fenn Street branch of  WH Smiths - he had some boring DVD out called The Big Bang ( £12.99  wasted !  I assumed it was a Ben Dover job ) , and I was promoting my book of  poetry ” It Wasn’t A Laugh Being Sylvia Plath .”

During  a quiet moment  we both nipped out for a fag .  Hawking asked me if I  fancied making a few quid in a sure-fire earner he had planned.  



He told me that he’d invented a machine that could travel through time and he had an idea about how it could make him rich. He had found a copy of the Daily Mirror from 1976 in his rabbit hutch   and had torn out the page containing the racing results. All we had to do was pop up on  the day of the actual races and , knowing the winners in advance , clean  up at the bookies.

' Count me in  , ' I said . Money was a bit tight at that point in my life. No-one gets rich out of poetry , and besides , my divorce from Linda Lusardi hadn’t come cheap. 
     
Anyway , on the day of our trip we stocked the time machine with as much booze as  possible and Hawking set the controls for 1976. As we cracked open the first of  the brown ale the machine sparked into life and before we knew it we had arrived in the past.

I  flung open the door and stepped outside. But instead of some slightly  grubby high street all we could see was miles and miles of rocky desert.  Then some geezer wearing nothing but a loin cloth , and brandishing a club ,  sauntered past . 

' Ere Mate , where's the nearest Ladbrokes ? ' I asked .  

The bloke looked terrified and pointed at something in the distance with his club…a bloody great Tyrannasaurus Rex !

 Hawking was off like a shot .Those motorised wheelchairs can go pretty fast if you have a hungry 500 ton dinosaur chasing you .  Me and Barney bleedin’ Rubble legged it to the nearest boulder.


Anyway , I soon realised  Hawking’s mistake. He’d programmed the machine for 1976 BC  instead of  1976 AD. Stupid berk. 

” Don’t worry ,” he said ” I have had another  idea ! ‘’

I shouldn’t have listened but I didn’t have much choice. I was going to have a long wait for a bus.

”  We open up the world’s first Wetherspoons and sell our booze to cavemen  at inflated prices.Then we go back to the present day and sue Wetherspoons for copyright infringement. Bingo ! We’ll be rolling in it  ! ”

Well ,it seemed like a reasonable idea at the time. 

We found a suitable cave , made a makeshift bar , and tarted the place up a bit with some old wooly mammoth skins . I’m still proud of the fact that we had the cleanest toilets of any pre- historical pub chain.

 Anyway ,  soon enough the place was full of Cro-Magnon punters enjoying a pint or three.

To  be honest it wasn’t all a roaring success. Curry Night didn’t really  take off. Chickens hadn’t been invented yet and  the Pterodactyl Madras was ,  frankly , a bit on the chewy side. And the Quiz Night was well attended but they couldn’t even spell their own names  let alone know who won the  Eurovision Song Contest in 1972.*

After  a week or two the booze ran out and we decided to return to the present  day to stock . What we hadn’t expected  was that caveman currency -  basically bits of flint with the cavewoman Queen’s head on it -  was  worthless . 

Unbelievably after all that we were out of bloody pocket.

Hawking was still full of bright ideas.  He said ” Renaissance Italy is the place to go. It’s a hotbed of art , ideas and culture. Let’s see if we can take The Grumbleweeds there for a summer season.”    


Yeah right Brains ! 

* The winner of Eurovision in 1972 was Vicky Leandros. Well done to Ugg who got it right before sadly being eaten by a Triceratops on the way home.


 
Time Machine ,  Gentleman Please !

I have met some thick people in my time but no-one compares to Dr Stephen Hawking.

We met when we did a product launch together at the Fenn Street branch of WH Smiths - he had some boring DVD out called The Big Bang ( £12.99 wasted !  I assumed it was a Ben Dover job ) , and I was promoting my book of  poetry ” It Wasn’t A Laugh Being Sylvia Plath .”

During a quiet moment  we both nipped out for a fag .  Hawking asked me if I fancied making a few quid in a sure-fire earner he had planned. 


He told me that he’d invented a machine that could travel through time and he had an idea about how it could make him rich. He had found a copy of the Daily Mirror from 1976 in his rabbit hutch  and had torn out the page containing the racing results. All we had to do was pop up on the day of the actual races and , knowing the winners in advance , clean up at the bookies.

' Count me in  , ' I said . Money was a bit tight at that point in my life. No-one gets rich out of poetry , and besides , my divorce from Linda Lusardi hadn’t come cheap.
    
Anyway , on the day of our trip we stocked the time machine with as much booze as possible and Hawking set the controls for 1976. As we cracked open the first of the brown ale the machine sparked into life and before we knew it we had arrived in the past.

I flung open the door and stepped outside. But instead of some slightly grubby high street all we could see was miles and miles of rocky desert. Then some geezer wearing nothing but a loin cloth , and brandishing a club ,  sauntered past .

' Ere Mate , where's the nearest Ladbrokes ? ' I asked . 

The bloke looked terrified and pointed at something in the distance with his club…a bloody great Tyrannasaurus Rex !

 Hawking was off like a shot .Those motorised wheelchairs can go pretty fast if you have a hungry 500 ton dinosaur chasing you .  Me and Barney bleedin’ Rubble legged it to the nearest boulder.

Anyway , I soon realised  Hawking’s mistake. He’d programmed the machine for 1976 BC  instead of  1976 AD. Stupid berk. 

” Don’t worry ,” he said ” I have had another  idea ! ‘

I shouldn’t have listened but I didn’t have much choice. I was going to have a long wait for a bus.

” We open up the world’s first Wetherspoons and sell our booze to cavemen at inflated prices.Then we go back to the present day and sue Wetherspoons for copyright infringement. Bingo ! We’ll be rolling in it  ! ”

Well ,it seemed like a reasonable idea at the time.

We found a suitable cave , made a makeshift bar , and tarted the place up a bit with some old wooly mammoth skins . I’m still proud of the fact that we had the cleanest toilets of any pre- historical pub chain.

Anyway ,  soon enough the place was full of Cro-Magnon punters enjoying a pint or three.

To be honest it wasn’t all a roaring success. Curry Night didn’t really take off. Chickens hadn’t been invented yet and  the Pterodactyl Madras was , frankly , a bit on the chewy side. And the Quiz Night was well attended but they couldn’t even spell their own names  let alone know who won the  Eurovision Song Contest in 1972.*

After a week or two the booze ran out and we decided to return to the present day to stock . What we hadn’t expected  was that caveman currency - basically bits of flint with the cavewoman Queen’s head on it -  was  worthless .

Unbelievably after all that we were out of bloody pocket.

Hawking was still full of bright ideasHe said ” Renaissance Italy is the place to go. It’s a hotbed of art , ideas and culture. Let’s see if we can take The Grumbleweeds there for a summer season.”   

Yeah right Brains !

* The winner of Eurovision in 1972 was Vicky Leandros. Well done to Ugg who got it right before sadly being eaten by a Triceratops on the way home.



 

Knocking On Evelyn’s Door - when folk turned electric.
Folk clubs in the 60’s were pretty dire  places. They were full of  wailing ,  bearded soap-dodgers wearing moth  -eaten jumpers , smelling of turnips and  pissed-up on mead…and that  was just the woman !  It was all hey-nonny-no and  songs about chasing fair maidens round the maypole with a crumhorn. God , it was  boring .
It was time to give the scene a kick up  the backside …and I was the man to do it. Soon I was playing gigs  alongside such  innovative figures as Glaswegian finger-picker  Bert Flange , singing chiropodist Nasti Bunion and the  alcoholic guitar maestro Big Bill Boozy  .
The pivotal moment came in  1965 with the release of my album about the joys of lesbianism - ” Blonde  on Brunette ” . Tracks such as ” Lady Lay Lady ” and ” Knocking On  Evelyn’s Door ” were big hits with audiences everywhere. And , let’s be  honest , it’s clear that a certain Mr Zimmerman in the US of A heard them  too.

 But I wanted to take it even further.  One night in the Old Cobblers folk club in Soho I decided to do  something completely revolutionary. I threw out my trusty old acoustic  guitar and as I went onto the stage I plugged in a brand new electric  Fender Stratocaster.
Well ,to say it went down badly would be  an understatement. Within the first few bars  I could sense the crowd  getting angry and upset at my radical new sound. One man , in particular  , started to gesticulate angrily towards the stage. Then I heard him  shout that terrible word…. ” Judas . ”
It was obvious that I had misjudged the situation and fled the stage in tears. I vowed I would never play a folk gig again.
It was only years afterwards that I found  out what really happened in the audience that night. Apparently there  was a big fat bird at the front by the stage and the people behind her  couldn’t see . One of them shouted out ” huge arse ” in order to get her  to move. Unfortunately I couldn’t hear properly over the din and  misheard it.
Still , I had no regrets. Within a couple of years I had invented punk rock after a  racous night in a Wetherspoons in Neasden with Sid Vicious and the Lieutenant Pigeon lads. But that’s another story.

Knocking On Evelyn’s Door - when folk turned electric.

Folk clubs in the 60’s were pretty dire places. They were full of  wailing ,  bearded soap-dodgers wearing moth -eaten jumpers , smelling of turnips and  pissed-up on mead…and that was just the woman !  It was all hey-nonny-no and songs about chasing fair maidens round the maypole with a crumhorn. God , it was boring .

It was time to give the scene a kick up the backside …and I was the man to do it. Soon I was playing gigs alongside such  innovative figures as Glaswegian finger-picker  Bert Flange , singing chiropodist Nasti Bunion and the alcoholic guitar maestro Big Bill Boozy  .

The pivotal moment came in 1965 with the release of my album about the joys of lesbianism - ” Blonde on Brunette ” . Tracks such as ” Lady Lay Lady ” and ” Knocking On Evelyn’s Door ” were big hits with audiences everywhere. And , let’s be honest , it’s clear that a certain Mr Zimmerman in the US of A heard them too.

 But I wanted to take it even further. One night in the Old Cobblers folk club in Soho I decided to do something completely revolutionary. I threw out my trusty old acoustic guitar and as I went onto the stage I plugged in a brand new electric  Fender Stratocaster.

Well ,to say it went down badly would be an understatement. Within the first few bars  I could sense the crowd getting angry and upset at my radical new sound. One man , in particular , started to gesticulate angrily towards the stage. Then I heard him shout that terrible word…. ” Judas . ”

It was obvious that I had misjudged the situation and fled the stage in tears. I vowed I would never play a folk gig again.

It was only years afterwards that I found out what really happened in the audience that night. Apparently there was a big fat bird at the front by the stage and the people behind her couldn’t see . One of them shouted out ” huge arse ” in order to get her to move. Unfortunately I couldn’t hear properly over the din and misheard it.

Still , I had no regrets. Within a couple of years I had invented punk rock after a  racous night in a Wetherspoons in Neasden with Sid Vicious and the Lieutenant Pigeon lads. But that’s another story.

5 notes

Doris Does Salad - my life in porn

Bloody hell - I’d almost forgotten that I was ever in Au Pair Girls.

To be honest , it was a bit of a box office flop. The plot was pretty basic too : a load of foreign crumpet gets flown in and causes a commotion in the trouser department of various repressed civil servant types. Hardly Citizen Kane but it paid for a bubble perm.

It also got me noticed by a dodgy Soho-based  film director called Monty Hoffman, who was making a killing from ( what we used to call ) stag films. And I’m not talking Bambi !

Hoffman wanted to make a film starring the two hottest ’ adult ’ stars of the day : John Holmes and Mary Millington. And he wanted me to be in it too.

John Holmes was the son of property magnate Barrett and was reputed to have an enormous ” endowment ” . In fact he was hung like a field mouse and had fooled everyone by making a false member for himself entirely out of marzipan. 

Mary Millington was a sweet girl but was plagued by emotional and mental problems. She suffered from Nymphomania , Kleptomania and Rollermania. It meant that she would shag anything in tartan and then steal their wallets afterwards.

Hoffman’s film was set in the seedy world of London’s randy bus conductors and was called ” Room  On Top ”. At that time the adult film industry in England was in it’s infancy and films like the Confessions series tried to combine  full frontal nudity and slapstick comedy in one package. You could be pulling your pudding one minute and  laughing at Pat Coombs the next.

So when I turned up for filming expecting to be up to my nuts all day in top notch skirt , I discovered , instead , that my role would be a trousers-on one and that  I was doing a scene set in the Neasden branch of Weightwatchers with Doris Hare and Arthur Mullard . Not so much Debbie Does Dallas as Doris Does Salad !

Bloody John Holmes had bagged all the real action . Day after day he turned up on set with his mysterious packets of almond paste ( ” I just like baking cakes in my dressing room ” ) and as soon as his bus conductor outfit was on it was off again , as he chased clippies round like there was no tomorrow - his ’ member ’ hanging out his Y - fronts like a jaundiced elephant’s trunk

But when the day came for his big scene with Mary Millington I decided to have a bit of fun of my own. Whilst he wasn’t looking I slipped into his dressing room and scoffed all his marzipan.

Holmes refused to go on set saying that he had been on the shandy at the Elstree branch of Wetherspooons the night before and couldn’t get it up. Monty Hoffman was furious.

” If Holmes can’t do it then I need a volunteer to act as his body double ,” said the director .” Who’s man enough to do it ? ”

I could see Mary Millington leaning seductively on the bonnet of an old Routemaster RCL2233. What a body , what a goer , what a ride it would be … those buses were something else !

”Any takers ? ” she said in her sexiest voice.

I opened my mouth to volunteer - but all that came out of it was about half a kilo of undigested marzipan .

Seconds later , a loud  cry of ” yus my dear ” could be heard from the back of the set as , bold as bloody brass, up to the bus stepped Arthur bloomin’ Mullard.

The big man wasted no time in getting stuck in whilst the rest of us were swiftly ushered off set. 

They say that you could hear Ms Milington’s orgasmic moans a hundred miles away. Not that I would have known …I was busy on the great white telephone for an hour or two.

” Ee man you unwell ? ” said Monty Hoffman as he popped in to wash his hands at the end of shooting.

It wasn’t until later that I realised that was a job offer not a statement of fact.

But thats another story.

4 notes

What a bloody Pantomine !
I first did panto a few years ago when I  joined a radical theatre group  who , instead of the usual stuff like  Puss In Boots or Cinderella ,  decided to put on a pantomime version of  the Marquis De Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom  .
It was an all- star cast with myself ,  Christopher Biggins and Spit the Dog  . With Biggins in the cast I really  took notice when the kids shouted out ” he’s behind you ”.
Anyway ,  it  got rather  mixed  reviews   and only lasted a couple of performances before the council pulled the  plug.  Luckily some of the cast were able to get other jobs straight  away. Biggins called me into his dressing room and  told me that he ”  had Aladdin ” .
I thought I’d have to spend a miserable  Christmas with no money but out of the blue I got a call from Cliff  Richard. He needed a support act  for his latest tour. He had dropped  the The Shadows and shacked up with anarchist co-operative Crass to  perform his greatest hits in the punk style. It wasn’t really my cup of  tea but I was glad of the work. He sang new versions of old classics like We  Don’t ***k Anymore  , C*****g Holiday and F****g H***  T**  P****e A**  F*****g C***s.
I had met Cliff before and he had been a   boozer on a massive scale. He was always causing havoc in a fancy  Wetherspoons somewhere with his mates Moony ( Keith Moon ) , Olly (  Oliver Reed ) , Besty ( George Best ) and Pinky ( Pinky and Perky ).  There wasn’t a day go by when Sir Cliff wasn’t downing his own  bodyweight in egg nog and chasing skirt like it was going out of  fashion.

But somewhere on this tour  he discovered  Jesus and all that changed . He claimed to have been visited by God in  his hotel room late one night. God talked to him about the path of  spiritual enlightenment and that if he didn’t get back with The Shadows  he’d be sent to Hell for eternal damnation. 
Cliff immediately ditched Crass but joined a  passing religious cult who had  decreed that the world was going to end  on December 13th 1977 at 6.19pm . Right in the middle of chuffing  Crossroads !!!   Cliff told me to get myself down to their underground  bunker to escape the apocalypse - but it was the episode when , amongst other things , two-timing  dentist Reg Molar fell foul of Jill Harvey’s female intuition and Doris  Luke informed the kitchen staff about her botched hysterectomy  .
When I looked out of the window  ,as the closing credits rolled , the world appeared to have survived .

Next day Cliff  looked a bit embarrassed.  He said he’d been taken in by the wild claims of a cult leader called   Darren  Blenkinsop. Blenkisop had at various times claimed that we was the real  son of God , that he had healing powers , and that he was the first man  in Stoke to have a Findus Crispy Pancake . 
We completed the tour and went our  separate ways. I didn’t think anymore about Cliff until he popped up in 1988  with the Christmas Number 1 : ” Mistletoe and Wine”
After just one listen I realised it bore  an uncanny similarity to one of my own songs which  I had performed on  that fateful tour …” Camel- Toe and Wine ”.
The tune was the same but clever Sir Cliff had craftily changed a few of the lyrics to give it a seasonal theme.
My original version had this chorus :
 ” Closing time  , camel- toe and wine,  legless slapper  pissed to the nines.  There’s a tart by the fire , asleep on the floor   I can see strange shape in the front of her drawers”
I can’t say too much more about it as it’s in the hands of my solicitors but you can make your own minds up.

What a bloody Pantomine !

I first did panto a few years ago when I joined a radical theatre group  who , instead of the usual stuff like Puss In Boots or Cinderella ,  decided to put on a pantomime version of the Marquis De Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom  .

It was an all- star cast with myself , Christopher Biggins and Spit the Dog  . With Biggins in the cast I really took notice when the kids shouted out ” he’s behind you ”.

Anyway ,  it  got rather  mixed  reviews  and only lasted a couple of performances before the council pulled the plug.  Luckily some of the cast were able to get other jobs straight away. Biggins called me into his dressing room and  told me that he ” had Aladdin ” .

I thought I’d have to spend a miserable Christmas with no money but out of the blue I got a call from Cliff Richard. He needed a support act  for his latest tour. He had dropped the The Shadows and shacked up with anarchist co-operative Crass to perform his greatest hits in the punk style. It wasn’t really my cup of tea but I was glad of the work. He sang new versions of old classics like We Don’t ***k Anymore  , C*****g Holiday and F****g H***  T**  P****e A** F*****g C***s.

I had met Cliff before and he had been a  boozer on a massive scale. He was always causing havoc in a fancy Wetherspoons somewhere with his mates Moony ( Keith Moon ) , Olly ( Oliver Reed ) , Besty ( George Best ) and Pinky ( Pinky and Perky ). There wasn’t a day go by when Sir Cliff wasn’t downing his own bodyweight in egg nog and chasing skirt like it was going out of fashion.

But somewhere on this tour  he discovered Jesus and all that changed . He claimed to have been visited by God in his hotel room late one night. God talked to him about the path of spiritual enlightenment and that if he didn’t get back with The Shadows he’d be sent to Hell for eternal damnation. 

Cliff immediately ditched Crass but joined a passing religious cult who had  decreed that the world was going to end on December 13th 1977 at 6.19pm . Right in the middle of chuffing Crossroads !!!   Cliff told me to get myself down to their underground bunker to escape the apocalypse - but it was the episode when , amongst other things , two-timing dentist Reg Molar fell foul of Jill Harvey’s female intuition and Doris Luke informed the kitchen staff about her botched hysterectomy  .

When I looked out of the window ,as the closing credits rolled , the world appeared to have survived .

Next day Cliff  looked a bit embarrassed. He said he’d been taken in by the wild claims of a cult leader called  Darren  Blenkinsop. Blenkisop had at various times claimed that we was the real son of God , that he had healing powers , and that he was the first man in Stoke to have a Findus Crispy Pancake . 

We completed the tour and went our separate ways. I didn’t think anymore about Cliff until he popped up in 1988 with the Christmas Number 1 : ” Mistletoe and Wine”

After just one listen I realised it bore an uncanny similarity to one of my own songs which  I had performed on that fateful tour …” Camel- Toe and Wine ”.

The tune was the same but clever Sir Cliff had craftily changed a few of the lyrics to give it a seasonal theme.

My original version had this chorus :

 ” Closing time  , camel- toe and wine,
legless slapper  pissed to the nines.
There’s a tart by the fire , asleep on the floor
I can see strange shape in the front of her drawers”

I can’t say too much more about it as it’s in the hands of my solicitors but you can make your own minds up.

Holy Magick
Aleister Crowley became known as the Great Beast - but he was a good mate  of mine. We did a summer season together at Blackpool with The Grumbleweeds and always kept in touch.
The general public  connected him with  witchcraft , satanism and all sorts of  murky going - ons . He was feared  and loathed in equal measure . Yet , he was just as happy in a  Wetherspoons with a creme de menthe as he was in his secret cellar buggering a goat.
His main interest was magic and it was only when the likes of Ali Bongo and  David Nixon ripped off his stage act that he  began to experiment with the  black magic stuff. He once told me that Paul Daniels not only copied most of his tricks but also nicked his catchphrase ” you’ll like this , not a lot , but you’ll like it ,” which Aleister used to say just before performing the Rites of Eleusis at meetings of the Hermetic Order.
Crowley liked a drink or three and  problems started when he turned up to do children’s parties worse for  wear . He’d get his tricks mixed up and instead of making balloon  animals he’d be summoning up the devil or sawing the Goat of Mendes in  half. Some of the kids enjoyed it but there was always a couple who got  upset when one of their little friends got sacrificed.  

His big break came in the Royal Variety  Show of 1973 . The organisers wanted a magician to start the second half  with a bang. I was ’ friendly ’ with one of the other turns that night - Dorothy Squires - and she put in a good word for him.
I remember he was very excited in the pub  beforehand , as he downed drink after drink. ” I’m going to show them  once and for all who the best magician is ,” he said , before falling  over . 
When we got to the Palladium he was  pretty sloshed . The Royals  had already been ’ royally ’ entertained by a line -  up that included Shirley Bassey, Norman Collier , and Lieutenant Pigeon   .
He wanted to make a big impression so instead of performing his planned tricks he decided on the spur of the moment to give the audience an excerpt from the  Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage - a rather complicated piece of Black Magic that normally took 30 days to complete rather than a 5 minute slot before Alvin Stardust came on.
He was just completing the proclamation of the Aeon of Horus when the Queen’s head started spinning around and her crown flew across the room like a Frisbee. Green ectoplasm started gushing out of her mouth and  she started levitating over the woman selling Kia-Ora. Needless to say he got yanked off stage pretty sharpish and Alvin hadn’t even had time to get his glove on before having to launch into  ’ My Coo Ca Choo.’

Anyway , it wasn’t all lost. Prince Phillip thought it was hilarious and Aleister went on to write highly influential books such as The Gnostic Mass , The Book Of Thoth , and a couple of Mills and Boons.

Holy Magick

Aleister Crowley became known as the Great Beast - but he was a good mate  of mine. We did a summer season together at Blackpool with The Grumbleweeds and always kept in touch.

The general public  connected him with witchcraft , satanism and all sorts of  murky going - ons . He was feared and loathed in equal measure . Yet , he was just as happy in a Wetherspoons with a creme de menthe as he was in his secret cellar buggering a goat.

His main interest was magic and it was only when the likes of Ali Bongo and David Nixon ripped off his stage act that he  began to experiment with the black magic stuff. He once told me that Paul Daniels not only copied most of his tricks but also nicked his catchphrase ” you’ll like this , not a lot , but you’ll like it ,” which Aleister used to say just before performing the Rites of Eleusis at meetings of the Hermetic Order.

Crowley liked a drink or three and problems started when he turned up to do children’s parties worse for wear . He’d get his tricks mixed up and instead of making balloon animals he’d be summoning up the devil or sawing the Goat of Mendes in half. Some of the kids enjoyed it but there was always a couple who got upset when one of their little friends got sacrificed.  

His big break came in the Royal Variety Show of 1973 . The organisers wanted a magician to start the second half with a bang. I was ’ friendly ’ with one of the other turns that night - Dorothy Squires - and she put in a good word for him.

I remember he was very excited in the pub beforehand , as he downed drink after drink. ” I’m going to show them once and for all who the best magician is ,” he said , before falling over . 

When we got to the Palladium he was pretty sloshed . The Royals  had already been ’ royally ’ entertained by a line - up that included Shirley Bassey, Norman Collier , and Lieutenant Pigeon   .

He wanted to make a big impression so instead of performing his planned tricks he decided on the spur of the moment to give the audience an excerpt from the  Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage - a rather complicated piece of Black Magic that normally took 30 days to complete rather than a 5 minute slot before Alvin Stardust came on.

He was just completing the proclamation of the Aeon of Horus when the Queen’s head started spinning around and her crown flew across the room like a Frisbee. Green ectoplasm started gushing out of her mouth and  she started levitating over the woman selling Kia-Ora. Needless to say he got yanked off stage pretty sharpish and Alvin hadn’t even had time to get his glove on before having to launch into  ’ My Coo Ca Choo.’

Anyway , it wasn’t all lost. Prince Phillip thought it was hilarious and Aleister went on to write highly influential books such as The Gnostic Mass , The Book Of Thoth , and a couple of Mills and Boons.

Manchester 1980 and the music world is rocked by the death of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis.

But , as the saying goes , every cloud has a silver lining and as a young singer about town I fancied my chances of filling the tragic frontman’s boots.

The remaining Joy Division lads - Hooky , Barney Rubble and the other one - held a series of auditions around the north of England , and after impressing them with my version of ’ Oops Outside Your Head ’ I was pretty confident about getting the gig.Even a recent chronic bout of hemerroids couldn’t stop me from feeling pretty good about my chances.

There was just one problem. Another singer called Stu Francis was also on their shortlist - and he’d done his homework.

Hooky had already told me that the band wanted to change direction musically and produce more danceable stuff. What I didn’t know was that Stu Francis had already written a song designed to impress the JD lads … and it was personal .

Francis had been told about my little problem and couldn’t resist alluding to it in his song .

In the end neither of us got the job. They thought it would be cheaper to carry on as they were . But I had the last laugh….

Stu Francis’s two female dancers and me ended up at The Flying Horse in Weatherfield and it wasn’t me grapes that ended up getting squeezed…..it was me nuts !

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Message for Duncan Norvelle

  Thanks for stealing my act and also thanks for stealing the ’ Just doors and conservatories ’ gig from under my nose. My lawyers will be in touch. And , yes I will be chasing you.With a cunting machete.

Waiting For Glazo
In 1981 I was acting in avant-garde theatre doing a production of Samuel Beckett’s play about the existential  angst of constipation: Krapp’s Last Crap.
Beckett was a difficult  character, who wrote these dense, miserable plays about nothing -much,  yet craved to have his work shown on mainstream television. He used to write  scripts for programmes such as Emmerdale Farm and Crossroads and send  them off to the producers in a vain hope that they might get made.
I remember him showing me a  script he’d done for Emmerdale. Mr Wilkes and Amos Brearley spent the  entire episode in a ginnell by the Woolpack discussing the relentless cylical nature of misery, whilst, next door, Dolly Skilbeck knitted the vicar a bobble hat.
Unsurprisingly it didn’t  impress anyone and within a few weeks the rejection letters started  piling up. His Crossroads script involving Amy Turtle’s silent 17 hour chess game with Miss Diane didn’t find any favour at ATV . 
Beckett was a bit disheartened after this so I suggested that he try his hand at comedy .  Within a couple of days he’d banged out a script for popular Friday children’s TV show Crackerjack.


Well , needless to say the Crackerjack guys loved it. Don McLean - fresh from singing his hit single American Pie on Top Of The Pops - couldn’t wait to get stuck in to Beckett’s joke- fest. With the help of funnymen Peter Glaze and  Ed ” Pisspot ” Stewart  Beckett’s hilarious sketches and routines brought smiles to the faces of pre-pubescents everywhere.
Who could forget the classic window cleaning sketch where Peter Glaze got stuck up a ladder whilst having an internal dialogue about the of inevitability of eternal misery before ’ accidentally ’ dropping his chamois onto Stewpot’s bonce ? Or when special guest star Bernie Clifton on his comedy ostrich knocked over a bucket of soapy water - symbolising the stagnation of the human soul - onto Don McLean’s dungarees….
….and to cap it off , in grand Crackerjack tradition ,the cast shoe-horned popular chart hits into a rousing musical finale . Unfortunately some daft berk had mistaken the Punk Charts for the real Top 40 and it meant that the songs at the end included Crass’s ’ What The Fuck ’ , The 4 Skins’ ’ Clockwork Skinhead ’ and ’ How I Wrote Elastic Man ’ by The Fall.

Waiting For Glazo

In 1981 I was acting in avant-garde theatre doing a production of Samuel Beckett’s play about the existential angst of constipation: Krapp’s Last Crap.

Beckett was a difficult character, who wrote these dense, miserable plays about nothing -much, yet craved to have his work shown on mainstream television. He used to write scripts for programmes such as Emmerdale Farm and Crossroads and send them off to the producers in a vain hope that they might get made.

I remember him showing me a script he’d done for Emmerdale. Mr Wilkes and Amos Brearley spent the entire episode in a ginnell by the Woolpack discussing the relentless cylical nature of misery, whilst, next door, Dolly Skilbeck knitted the vicar a bobble hat.

Unsurprisingly it didn’t impress anyone and within a few weeks the rejection letters started piling up. His Crossroads script involving Amy Turtle’s silent 17 hour chess game with Miss Diane didn’t find any favour at ATV . 

Beckett was a bit disheartened after this so I suggested that he try his hand at comedy .  Within a couple of days he’d banged out a script for popular Friday children’s TV show Crackerjack.

Well , needless to say the Crackerjack guys loved it. Don McLean - fresh from singing his hit single American Pie on Top Of The Pops - couldn’t wait to get stuck in to Beckett’s joke- fest. With the help of funnymen Peter Glaze and  Ed ” Pisspot ” Stewart  Beckett’s hilarious sketches and routines brought smiles to the faces of pre-pubescents everywhere.

Who could forget the classic window cleaning sketch where Peter Glaze got stuck up a ladder whilst having an internal dialogue about the of inevitability of eternal misery before ’ accidentally ’ dropping his chamois onto Stewpot’s bonce ? Or when special guest star Bernie Clifton on his comedy ostrich knocked over a bucket of soapy water - symbolising the stagnation of the human soul - onto Don McLean’s dungarees….

….and to cap it off , in grand Crackerjack tradition ,the cast shoe-horned popular chart hits into a rousing musical finale . Unfortunately some daft berk had mistaken the Punk Charts for the real Top 40 and it meant that the songs at the end included Crass’s ’ What The Fuck ’ , The 4 Skins’ ’ Clockwork Skinhead ’ and ’ How I Wrote Elastic Man ’ by The Fall.

1 note