Archive for June, 2010

Staying indoors ‘may protect against stars of Glee’

June 24, 2010

Staying indoors for long periods of time may serve to protect against the increasing appearances of stars from the hit TV show Glee, research suggests.

Researchers from the University of Utah found that, on average, a person spending over 60% of their lives inside their houses were “significantly less likely” to encounter cast members of the hit TV musical than those who spent the majority of their time outdoors.

Lead researcher Dr. Peter Mackerel-Peters revealed: “What makes our results so unique is that we had a very large sample size, and since we carried out a meta-analysis using combined data across many studies, we had more statistical power to carry out a robust, 2-tailed hypothesis test at a 95% confidence interval … but Glee, though. What a load of shit, eh? That programme gets right on my tits, it really does. I mean, is this what it’s come to? Stage school kids doing bad cover versions of songs you don’t give two hoots about in the first place? Feelgood, my foot. Whenever I watch that fucking show it makes me feel nothing but nauseas throughout. Jeesh.

Dr. Mackerel-Peters elaborated on the methods used in the research, saying: “When carrying out statistical testing on large random samples, you need to establish a suitable null and alternative hypothesis and then find a suitable test type based on the statistical assumptions. You then state the relevant test statistic, T, before accepting or rejecting the null hypothesis based on your chosen method … tell you who I’D like to reject – those people out of Glee. They’re fucking everywhere. I mean, there’s like, a film premiere on or something, and they’re all there, aren’t they? What the fuck have they got to do with the film anyway? Nothing. There were about 9 of them on Jonathon Ross’s show the other night – what’s that all about? Get off my damn television, you jumped-up, processed stage school fodder. Grrr…”

Although there were some initial problems with regards to data collection and management, Dr. Mackerel-Peters was pleased with the overall results of the research: “On a research project of this scale you inevitably come up against logistical difficulties and teething troubles, but any faults were ironed out reasonably quickly and we’re confident that we eliminated any unnecessary bias in the sample data. My only bias is against that twat with the curly hair who’s shagging Kelly Brook, the slimy bastard. Honestly, my ‘region of acceptance’ for him is precisely zero. Zero, d’y’hear?”

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England ‘must win’ must-win match

June 23, 2010

England are looking to assert themselves this afternoon as they take on Slovenia, in a game they simply must win in order to stay in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

For England, this afternoon’s must-win game is a must-win game that England must win at all costs, because if they fail to win, they will almost certainly draw, or worse, lose this vital must-win fixture, which they must win in order to keep their World Cup dreams alive.

The consequences of not qualifying for the knockout stages of the World Cup are unthinkable, as England captain Steven Gerrard knows only too well: “We all know only too well that the consequences, should we fail to qualify, are absolutely unthinkable. It simply cannot happen, it’s as simple as that,” said the Liverpool hardman yesterday, “and the lads know that anything less than a win tomorrow just cannot happen.”

Should England lose this must-win fixture, they will become the first England team to exit a World Cup in the group stages for several years. Should they exit the tournament ignominiously at such an early stage, England’s footballers will become the first England side to draw their opening game of a World Cup campaign and NOT win the World Cup since 1966. Anything less than a win this afternoon will ensure England become only the 8th English side to exit a World Cup tournament without winning it, since Bobby Moore’s England side of 1966 lifted the Jules Rimmet trophy back in 1966. In fact, should England go out of the World Cup today, 1966 will become the only year England have won a major international tournament in living memory – at least since 1966, when England prevailed on a gloriously sunny afternoon against the old enemy, West Germany, back in 1966.

England’s players will be all too aware of the expectations and pressure from fans and the media alike – especially after winning the tournament just 44 years ago, back in 1966. Of course, back in 1966, many of the players and coaching staff were much better than their foreign counterparts, which culminated in them winning the World Cup on a glorious summer afternoon, back in 1966. This landmark victory created massive expectations on the nation’s footballers, which has since led to subsequent England line-ups being unable to recreate the glory shared by Bobby Moore’s 1966 side, back in 1966.

England must win this afternoon in order to stand any chance of recreating the spirit of their 1966 side, although a draw will at least ensure they end their campaign unbeaten – the first time they will have done so since 1966. And we all know what happened in 1966…

Alistair McGowan helps fill pre-Wimbledon party feature with new impressions

June 21, 2010

TV impressionist Alistair McGowan has helped an over-excited and content-free showbiz feature – by unveiling not one, but TWO new impressions!!!

The comedian, 43, decided to go topical by performing impersonations of both Steven Gerrard AND tennis ace Andy Murray, during the party, which was held at Kensington Roof Gardens in London.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. McGowan said yesterday: “Well, you know, Wimbledon’s always been a special place and, you know, and I’m sure the players would agree, especially Andy Murray … ah … ahhh … Ah’m Andy Mooreh and ah’m feelin’ confident aheed o’ the Wembledon Charmpionships, you know, mah form’s been consestant and ah’m enjowin mah tennis at tha morment. En farct, ah’d be desappointed wi’ only getting’ tae tha quarta fainals, so ah weed…

The funnyman, 42, had the assembled crowd in stitches as he unleashed his hilarious impression of England football captain Steven Gerrard: “I wonder what Steven Gerrard would make of Wimbledon – I mean, he’ll be back in time to see it at this rate … erm … airrrm, ar’eh mate, I’m Shtevie Geddard and I’m a shkowsha! Airrr, ah donnow the fairsht thing abow’ tennish, mate, you know? Ah’d prob’ly end op shteelin’ all the equipmint to shell to me maitsh, you know. Or I might conform to shum otheh lazshy shtereotype and turn op in a shellshuit an’ gow ‘Eh? Eh? Caam down, caam down’ whilsht altairnately raishing and lowerin’ me armsh in front of me body an’ tha’…

McGowan, who was dressed in a suit, went on to explain that the most difficult sporting impersonation he had ever attempted to perform was that of former UK number 2 seed Greg Rusedski: “I’ve not had much joy with Rusedski, to be honest. Every time I do my take on him people just think I’m doing a generic American accent, which is all well and good, apart from the fact he’s Canadian. I think I’ve got it licked now, though, as I now preface the main part of the impression with his name. So, for example, I’d say … Yo, ah’m Greg Rudenski, and ah lurve England, espeshilly Lundin and tha Royals. Ah think that arll English people speak like this: Oh gaw blimey, let’s all have a cup of tea. Jolly good show, what-what! In tha’s why ah lurve it over here, yer know. Y’all so quaint and stuff, with all yer quirky tradishins…”

The party was held in aid of Wimbledon tennis.

Top male celebrity – who happens to have children – to be revealed today

June 17, 2010

Parenting website Bounty is set to announce the results of its vote on the public’s favourite male celebrity who also happens to be a parent.

The award aims to honour celebrity dads who have succeeded in displaying their parenting ability through various media outlets over the past twelve months.

A spokesperson for Bounty said yesterday: “Whilst we can’t vouch for the 95% of the time these people are behind closed doors, the media provides the public with a useful ‘shop window’ for how they conduct themselves away from the spotlight. We can only judge on what we see in public, and for the vast majority in the shortlist this year, their conduct has been reasonably good.

“Take, for example, Ronan Keating. He may have betrayed the mother of his children by conducting extra-marital relations with one of his backing dancers, but you wouldn’t have a word said against him as a father. Plus he cuts a smart, stylish appearance – he’s your typical, clean-cut boy-next-door. Vernon Kaye’s also in the running this year, as he seems like a really nice guy, plus he’s got great teeth. He may well have dabbled on the side, but it was only text messages, which don’t really count. And there’s also Mark Owen – yes, he’s had several affairs over the past 10 years, but he’s got a really nice smile and he clearly loves being a dad.”

Of course, an occasional indiscretion in the form of textual flirtation or a full-blown affair should not serve as a barrier when determining a celebrity’s parenting ability, as Bounty’s spokesperson explains: “Take the footballers in our list – John Terry is a superb father despite his recent well-documented affair. He’s a fantastic role model and a strong, authoritative leader who knows how to play the media game well.

“Steven Gerrard’s on the shortlist, too – he’s a reliable, faithful partner and loving father who would absolutely not, for example, openly assault a member of the public in a bar and escape charge by paying for the very best lawyers to fight his case. That sort of conduct is entirely at odds with Steven’s nature and definitely something that a good father would steer well clear of. He’s a strong candidate, particularly during the World Cup, which England have as good a chance of winning as anyone.”

The results are expected later today.

Shared disappointment among cobbled-together celebrities

June 16, 2010

The England football team’s lacklustre performance in their opening game of the World Cup has left several famous faces disappointed, according to several famous faces yesterday.

England unexpectedly drew 1-1 with their US counterparts at the weekend after a rudimentary goalkeeping error from Rob Green allowed Clint Dempsey to level the scores just before half-time – all against the unerring backdrop of the now-famous “vuvuzela” [plastic trumpets] carried by South African supporters.

Famous spawn Jack Osbourne, who watched the game, said yesterday: “Man, I was like, so disappointed and all that. I really thought the England guys were gonna win this one. Luckily, I’ve got an American accent, so it didn’t bother me too much that we, sorry, THEY equalised. And those trumpets, man, what’s the deal with those? I mean, Jeez, you know? Shut up already…”

ITV2 mainstay Holly Willoughby was also disappointed with England’s opening game: “We were really looking forward to seeing England do the business for their country – I went down the local pub to watch the game with a group of friends, and the atmosphere was amazing, absolutely amazing. Everyone had England hats, England capes, England facepaints and there were England flags and bunting everywhere. We were gutted when Rob Green let that goal in, absolutely gutted. Fearne Cotton was there and she was gutted too. The whole pub just went, like, completely silent and everything, it was really weird. I still think the lads can do it, though, and you’ve got to feel for the goalie – mistakes happen, at the end of the day. I think we could all do without those vuvu-whatsits, though – what a racket!”

Ex-Eastenders actor Dean Gaffney, who hosted a barbecue for Saturday’s game, said: “Gutted, mate. Can’t believe it. What can you do, eh? What can you do? Everything seemed to happen in slow motion when they equalised. It was like NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Rob Green, what are you doing? We couldn’t believe it – it was unbelievable! Paul Danan was asleep in a bush and even he couldn’t believe it. I tell you what, though – those trumpets are like a swarm of bees. They really need to sort that out.”

Former Radio 1 hosts JK and Joel were shocked by the result: “Everyone was expecting England to win this one. There was never any doubt, isn’t that right JK?”, “Certainly is, Joel. We were like, YEEEAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!! COME ONNNNNNN!!!! when Gerrard scored, but then they equalised and we were like, NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!, weren’t we Joel?”, “Yeah, it was unbelievable, Jakes, unbelievable. How we mustered the will to go into Radio Stoke the next day I’ll never know…”, “Nah, me neither…”, “Gutted”, “Absolutely, fella”, “And what about those horns? Talk about noise pollution!”, “Yeah, mate, tell me about it. Hang on, which one am I again?”, “Here’s Sally with the traffic and travel…”

Transport cuts ‘could’ cause ‘death’, warn experts

June 15, 2010

A cut in transport budgets could lead to an increase in passenger deaths on public transport, a panel of experts have revealed today.

It is thought that planned rises in train fares could lead to many passengers risking their lives using other modes of transport, such as cars or motorcycles, whilst fewer buses would almost certainly cause a rise in the spread of the deadly superbug E-Coli, as thousands cram on board increasingly overcrowded carriages. Such a situation acts as an ideal incubus for the lethal E-Coli bug, as well as other bacteria such as MRSA and Gonorrhea.

Peter Ian, a member of the Campaign for Better Transport, said yesterday: “Did you know that, when sat on a bus, you’re more than 85% likely to come into direct contact with 11 different specimens of semen? Did you? And also, you know the red button thing that you push just before you want to get off? It might surprise you to know that, health-wise, you’d actually be better off sticking your finger up another passenger’s arse. It’s true.

“Did you also know that, in an underground train, because it gets so hot in the summer, there are more different types of bacteria than there are particles in the sun? Did you? It might also surprise you to learn that, due to increased passenger volumes, public transport overall could eventually become more dangerous than sleeping in a hospital bin. It’s true. You can’t deny the research, at the end of the day.

“The only way anyone can combat these diseases is to do what I do and drink plenty of alcohol before boarding any form of public transport. Alcohol is a good natural antiseptic and can be used preventatively against all kinds of harmful bacteria, including Chlamydia. If you’re on a longer journey, I’d advise taking some extra cans or bottles along in order to stay ‘topped up’, because once the protective effect of the alcohol wears off, the body can often become less immune, with many experiencing headaches and sickness as a result. Obviously, if you’re the driver, I’d advise just holding back a little bit and maybe take the odd swig at every other stop.”

Wheel get round to it, say BPA

June 14, 2010

The British Parking Association’s forthcoming action against unscrupulous clamping organisations could be delayed for quite some time, according to reports today.

According to the BPA, there have been “numerous difficulties” contacting parking companies caused by “unnecessary red tape and obfuscating paperwork” in several unsuccessful instances.

Peter Ian, who works for the BPA, reveals more: “Pretty much all these companies are crooks, to be honest with you. We’re trying to tighten up regulation and bring a bit of consistency to how the rules governing parking are exercised, but it’s difficult when the people you’re trying to bring into line are hardly ever there and seldom return your phone calls.

“For instance, we ended up visiting the premises of a company called Target Car Direct, who have been doing a huge amount of unlawful clamping in Bradford recently. When we got to the address, all we could find was a tiny portakabin around the back of an industrial estate, which, of course, had no-one in it. Once we got back to our car we found it had been clamped and there was a scribbled ticket left under one of the wipers instructing us to send £150 to some PO box address in Edinburgh by the end of the day, or the vehicle would be destroyed. It was unbelievable – we’d only been gone a matter of seconds. I was livid and I wanted to smash up their office, but it was already decrepit and there was paper all over the place. I could have set fire to the bastards.”

Target Car Direct aren’t the first company of this kind to incite public hatred. Since 2000, so-called “clamping cowboys” have increased in number by over 1000%, as many businesses look to take advantage of the “yellow pound” [so called, due to the most commonly used colour of wheel-braces in the UK]. “It’s a terrific way to make money,” says Tony Mick of Rapecar Ltd., based in several offices across the UK, “and there’s never any shortage of prospective ‘clients’ willing to flout parking regulations quite clearly displayed in the ‘office’ on the other side of the estate. All they’d have to do is ask for a key, but pretty much all of them are too lazy to do that, so they inevitably come back to their vehicle to find the old ‘yellow gold’ strapped around their rear wheel. They can argue all they like, but at the end of the day, they’re the ones in the wrong. Of course, the customers don’t always agree, so we try to ensure that the people who arrive to tow their car away could squash their heads like a grapefruit if they felt like it.”

Other parking companies were “unavailable” for comment.

Brownfield law change raises price of local councillors

June 9, 2010

New measures announced today to stop homeowners from selling land outside their houses to developers could render local councillors less affordable than ever, experts have warned.

It is thought that the amendment to reclassify gardens as Greenfield sites could add as much as 30% to the price of most local council officers, making redevelopment far more costly for savvy-minded homeowners than ever before. Experts fear that the cost of local councillors could be pushed above £100 for the first time in history once measures to curb so-called “garden grabbing” are implemented.

Peter Ian, a property developer from Somerset, is less-than-pleased with the recent law change: “As far as I’m concerned, this is the final nail in the coffin for anyone looking to make an honest buck out of buying and selling houses. I used to think that local councillors were an unnecessary expense, but I willingly bought them picnic hampers, bottles of whiskey, vintage sherry or whatever, as it easily saw off even the most vocal objectors back in the day.

“Recently, however, they’ve started to get far greedier. On my last project I had to pay several cash installments to this local officer. Nasty piece of work, he was – a real weasel. Just when I thought I’d seen the last of him he’d turn up on site, pissed out of his head, saying things like ‘I want the rest of my money … you know exactly what I’m talking about. Maybe I’ll call your wife, eh? See how you like that…’ and ‘I can finish you *clicks fingers* … just like that. Think about it – I’ll give you ‘til tomorrow, yeah?’. By the time I’d completed, he’d had nearly £80 out of me. To be honest, by that point I was just glad to see the back of him.”

Tony Mick, a developer from Dagenham, agrees: “With the rate things are going, it won’t be long before many of us will have to resort to desperate measures to see off these shysters, such as borrowing from a friend or, even worse, visiting a cashpoint. One of the councillors round here is famous for it – everyone knows he’s on the take. It makes me sick to the anus every time I see him swanning round the town centre in his Vauxhall Corsa – and that 2-bedroom bungalow must have set him back a fair bit, too.  I mean, I cleared £250,000 profit last year – if it wasn’t for buying off 3 local council officers, that figure would have been closer to £250,090.”

Big Brother sees massive increase in entrants for final series

June 8, 2010

As the curtain falls on the groundbreaking Big Brother franchise, producers of the final series have witnessed a surge of applications from prospective contestants desperate to book their place in television history this summer.

It is thought there have been as many as 79 applicants in total – up 23 on last year’s series – as many fame-hungry young people, including a real-life circus dwarf, eagerly signed up for the show’s auditions which took place up and down the country earlier this year.

Despite this year’s surge of applications, Big Brother producers are confident they can feature all 79 contestants throughout the show’s 22-week run, which is set to start sometime this month. “It took 2 of us to read through the applications this time around,” reveals Peter Ian, a staff member at Endemol, “and some of the contestants this year are fairly interesting, it has to be said.

“For instance, there’s one who used to date someone who hung out with Linford Christie’s neice, which is pretty exciting. Plus we’ve got a postal worker who had to quit their round due to a bad back. The contestants are what makes this show the success it’s been for the last 10 years, and we’ve been blessed on this series with the sheer depth of choice. In the end we decided to give them all a go, as we’re planning not only ONE ‘secret house’, but a secret-house-within-the-secret-house, which in turn has a secret cellar. We should be able to get at least 20 in the main house, 15 in the secret house, 10 in the secret-house-within-the-first-secret-house and another 8 in the cellar. Oh, and half a dozen in the cupboard of the secret cellar.”

Other contestants are said to include a woman who looks a bit like Beyoncé’s best friend, a 19-year-old office worker who laughs if someone says something funny, a builder who builds things and some other people with various individual character traits.

Big Brother 11 is set to hit TV screens during the next couple of weeks and will be presented by Davina McCall.

Bon Jovi defend high tour prices

June 7, 2010

Rockers Bon Jovi have come under criticism for their “extortionate” ticket-pricing system ahead of the band’s series of sell-out shows set to take place at the O2 Arena from today.

The Livin’ On A Prayer hitmakers, 46, came under fire from fans of the 80s pop-rockers who felt the pricing was “somewhat inappropriate, given the current economic circumstances”. Ticket prices range from a staggering £1025 to a stratospheric £1335 when including parking costs. A hot snack is likely to set a typical forty-something bleached denim wearer back a colossal £195, and programs start from an incredible £235.

Bon Jovi guitarist Peter Ian defended the pricing structure, saying yesterday: “Yeah, man, you’ve got to remember that a show of this magnitude requires extensive planning and preparation. It’s not just a case of turning up, plugging in the guitars and doing a show, you know. There’s a lot of logistical work that goes into facilitating what you see at the front end as a punter. For instance, did you know that, on average, a Bon Jovi concert often demands 3 or maybe even 4 practice runs before the actual performance itself? Those rehearsals cost money – especially when you consider the fact that Bon refuses to play the same guitar twice.

“The other thing you have to remember is that the machine which produces the ‘w-w-w-whirr-whirr’ sound at the start of Livin’ On A Prayer is powered by radioactivity, man. Seriously, that sort of shit can be lethal if not handled correctly, so you’ve got to treat it with respect. Safety is paramount in these circumstances – especially when it comes to the fans.

“Rest assured, we’re not gipping anyone out of anything. OK, so in some cases we’ve been a bit cheeky here and there, but we don’t think it’s unaffordable for the majority of fans and we always carry out a full pricing analysis during band meetings to ensure we’re being reasonably fair. Jon Bon always says we should never charge more than we’re willing to pay ourselves – and we’re more than willing to pay ourselves around £2000-£3000 per evening each. I say that’s not bad for an hour and a half of guitar strumming, and it definitely represents good value, so props to JB on that one. Besides, even if we do charge the odd high price here and there, we’re nowhere near as bad as Phil Collins. Apparently, he orders the venue to turn up the heating as high as possible before he gets there, then sells ice creams for £30 a go. What a gypsy! Anyway, see you at the concert, man – it’s gonna be awesome.”