Sunday, 24 April 2016

Grannies Make You Laugh

I decided to spend the day relaxing. I shan't want to do too much relaxing from henceforth, but it felt like a decent way to spend a Sunday. I watched a lot of telly. At one point I found myself on Channel 5, which is probably the first time in my life that I've watched that network. The show I saw was called Grannies Make You Laugh Out Loud. It was a You've Been Framed-style show with clips of loads of old people falling over. To be honest, I quite like a bit of slap stick, although apparently enjoying slap stick is an early sign of dementia! The show wasn't very good, however, and there was a deeply traumatic and vertigo-inducing video of an old lady almost falling out of a parachute harness, so I decided to switch to something else. I looked at the planner and was astonished to discover that the programme following Grannies Make You Laugh Out Loud on Channel 5 was called Budgies Make You Laugh Out Loud. That'll be a show, one assumes, with lots of clips of budgies making fools of themselves! Surely that's a new all-time low for British television?

The BBC meanwhile were broadcasting five hours of the London Marathon. Yawn! I mean, I get that it's an institution and all that. As I child, we were taken down to London to stand on the Embankment watching Peter Duncan (in his trademark green and white diamond suit designed by Blue Peter viewers) and Jimmy Savile running in a cloud of Lycra and smelly trainers, but I've never really understood why anyone would want to watch that crap on the telly. It's just people running in horrid shorts and fancy dress occasionally grabbing cups of water whilst a jazz band dressed in 1920s clobber plays on the cobbles at Cutty Sark. The most horrific television happens when that Hazel woman (and whichever other two-bit presenter who's drawn a short straw) have to run along next to the "fun runners" holding a microphone to the mouth of a giant bear costume, whilst screaming "which charity are you running for?" I always wanted one to reply, "oh, I'm not running for charity. I'm just a dick." It's horrifying telly which is best avoided like the plague. Or am I a terrible stick in the mud? Or maybe a bit anti-sport?

I'm currently watching a Second World War drama called Home Fires, which is confusing me, because the song "Keep The Home Fires Burning" (which I assume gave the show its name) was written by Ivor Novello in the First World War.

That said, as I get older, I find myself increasingly drawn to the Second World War as an interesting period in time. I have a rather strong feeling that there's some sort of blitz musical crystallising in the back of my mind. I obviously won't call it Blitz: Lionel Bart got in there first!

At some point this afternoon, I got locked in a cycle of watching great moments from previous Olympic Games on YouTube. Obviously, being a gay man, I went straight to the gymnastics and watched Nadia Comaneci getting a perfect 10 at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and then, of course, I couldn't resist watching Torvill and Dean doing Bolero in Sarajevo in 1984.

Seeing that clip made me decide to read up on the Winter Olympics because it suddenly struck me that, where once they were always held in the same year as the Summer Olympics, these days they happen in alternate even years. So where the last two summer Olympics were 2012 and 2008, the last two Winter Olympics were 2014 and 2010. So were there two winter Olympics in a row or was there a six year gap whilst they altered the system? It turns out that it was the former. There were Winter Olympics in both 1992 (Albertville) and 1994 (Lillehammer.)

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