Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sitting Next Door to Alice

Someone just texted me...


What a bizarre sandwich to be the filling for...

Indeed. I must admit, when they told me I would be doing a paper review on Andrew Marr with Alice Cooper I did wonder how it would go. I was reassured that Helena Kennedy would be there too. She and I have done this before and I've always got on very well with her, partly because she's so transparently nice but we share a similar outlook on civil liberties issues.

I arrived at TV Centre at 7.45 and slipped in behind Alice Cooper and his entourage of four. The BBC runner thought I was his bodyguard, I think. I chose my three stories - firefighters, ginger rodents and Ann Widdecombe while Alice was getting his makeup done. I don't think I am talking out of school to say that it took him considerably longer than it took me. The make-up woman said what all make up artists say to me: "Ooh, you've got a lovely colour, have you been on holiday?" Inwardly, I sigh. "No, it's my natural colour," I reply, wondering at the same time if that sounds awfully pretentious. I think I have some southern French blood in me somewhere. My mother's maiden name was French.

Anyway we had about 20 minutes to go before the programme started so we talked a bit about Alice Cooper's show at the Roundhouse tonight - and no, he didn't offer Helena and I free tickets, before anyone asks. He also told us about the time he thought he might be in the Big Brother house with Ann Widdecombe. "You must tell that on air," Helena and I chorused together. And so he did.

Just before 9 we were taken into the studio and sat on the famous sofa. I felt a little odd sitting in the middle, but before I had time to be nervous, off we went. I won't recount the conversation but I think of the four or five times I have done the Frost or Marr programme, this was the most enjoyable. Sometimes, when there are three paper reviewers, one gets a bit left out - and that happened to me the first time I appeared with David Frost back in 2003 when I was on with Polly Toynbee and the man who plays Trigger from Only Fools & Horses. And I have to admit, when I am on with two people who are far better known than me, I have a tendency to defer to them. But today, I felt we all got a fair crack of the whip and had a genuinely interesting conversation. At least, that's how it felt sitting on the sofa.

Unless, of course, you know different!
UPDATE: If you want to watch the paper review part of the programme, click HERE and scroll in 6 minutes. It lasts 14 minutes.

21 comments:

Dick the Prick said...

Hmm..yeah, it was alright but not completely convinced you're on the QT regarding the TEA party movement. As Alice rightly pointed out, Yanky media is drivel and the TEA party just stands for Taxed Enough Already. Why should people buy into the rationale that only the state can provide things? Why? Who agreed?

On the week when Cameron blatantly folded to the EU, it's rather disingenious to describe the people paying for this nonsense as freaks or colourful characters.

I am taxed enough already and for what? For what exactly am I paying lay about public servants, BBC staff getting paid millions (which undoubtedly Marr is) and coppers that spend 8% of their time doing their primary role?

Hardly extremists - just skint, thanks very much.

Yorkshire blue said...

Noticed snooty twittering about Alice Cooper's inclusion in Marr show but actually thought he had a fresh US slant on news, v neatly sandwiched by you & Helena

Peter said...

... he didn't offer Helena and ??? ...

Alcuin said...

As noted above, it took Alice to point out the liberal bias in the US media, though Marr did not have the grace to blush.

Actually, Iain, I did not think you made that much impact on the programme, and I don't think you are nearly angry enough at what the Left in both countries have done to them. The Tea Party are hopping mad, and they represent the silent majority. Why aren't you? (hopping mad, that is)

DizzyRingo said...

The Tea Party is middle America stating that it has had enough. And, interestingly, the Tea Party knows and understands the Constitution a great deal better than some of those porkers in DC.

By all means denigrate the Tea Parties - but, hopefully, (if the SEIU and the Democrats haven't succeeded in their fraudulent voting tactics), there will be a whole new day on wednesday.

There's a lesson for Middle Britain here - Janet Daly in the Telegraph has the message but the Biassed BBC has yet to catch up.

happyuk said...

She came out with the usual leftist generalization about Tea Partiers being right-wing nutjobs, rather than ordinary people like you and I.

Typically lazy, shallow leftist know-nothingt. Verily it is THEY who are out-of-touch.

Doubting Richard said...

Iain

It is ironic that you, as a blogger, repeated the MSM memes with regard to the Teas Parties, them being dangerous and the candidates oddballs. If you read US blogs you would realise how broad, positive and healthy the movement is. it might not fit with your idea of big-government conservatism, but it is a great movement I wish had a chance of spreading to Europe.

Iain Dale said...

Sorry, but any candidate who proposes to outlaw masturbation cannot expect to be taken seriously.

Doubting Richard said...

No-one proposed to outlaw masturbation, Iain, that is exactly the kind of old-media misrepresentation that I was talking about and of which you ought to be ashamed.

Someone having at one time had a personal disapproval of masturbation does not mean wanting to ban it. That candidate then saying they have no wish to ban any such thing should, amongst honest commentators, be far more important. Suggests the journalists from whom you find your "facts" are not honest.

Doubting Richard said...

In any case, even if you take that interpretation as representative of a single candidate's views, why does that condemn a whole movement, which gives support to many candidates? A lot of these are capable people, who have run their own businesses and have well-constructed, constitutionalist, libertarian, small-government views.

You didn't even stop that stupid leftist woman when she mentioned Bush and the economic collapse. Of course the Tea Party oppose many Bush large-government policies, and Barney Frank (threatened by a Tea Party candidate) had far more to do with the banking crisis than Bush.

Dick the Prick said...

@Iain - yeah, but John Bolton is a helluva lot more scary than someone who calls me a wanker.

Not wanting to sound like, yer know, a Yorkshireman but loads of American politics seems nutty.

I genuinely think that if we didn't have the Libs then perhaps British politics could go that way. What would be the point if the only protest vote one had was to not vote at all? At least in Blighty the 3rd (and obviously the rest of them) do make electoral maths a bit more restrained. Plus, chuck that through the prism of British scepticism and it can appear that Yanks are being failed not by their politicians but by the fact that the dog whistles only attract 2 pedigree dogs - no mongrels have the hearing aids.

All foreign politics is dodgy - I can't work out Scotland but i'm in no position to denegrate them until I know the locality.

Oh - Daley Dozen -

http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/guest-commentary/return-to-babylon-1.1064858

Brilliant. The writer has serious form, too.

happyuk said...

Iain for the fault of one individual, judge not the whole...

It would appear you are less capable of independent thought than I realized, especially if you unquestioningly soak up every nauseating cliche about the Tea Party movement the MSM feeds you...

Any road, he may have a point. Why do you think wankers are so called?

Jonathan explains it all said...

Rather homophobic of you to discount what Stephen Fry says just because he is gay. Or should that be prejudiced?

Iain Dale said...

Yeah, I'm a real homophobe,me.

Doubting Richard said...

Interesting that you don't allow my comment pointing out the specific MSM myth you are perpetuating. No-one ever proposed banning masturbation, that was simply dishonest reporting.

kinglear said...

I don't think anyone - here or in the States, has quite figured out how angry the TEA party people are. They have been denigrated by everyone, and - quite rightly - they feel their "rulers" have finally overstepped the mark.
You wratle a grizzly at your peril

tony said...

I think Yorkshire blue and Alcuin have it Iain, you had a big chance to mar Marr there and were, I think, too polite to do it.
I enjoy your Londoncentric blog though, even from this far away. (200 miles)

Iain Dale said...

Doubting Richard, I haven't disallowed any comment by you.

macuser_e7 said...

DizzyRingo said...

"the Tea Party knows and understands the Constitution a great deal better than some of those porkers in DC"

LOL! McDonnell didn't even know that separation of church and state was in the First Amendment!

See here: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/10/29-0

Doubting Richard said...

Iain

At the time I wrote you had not cleared mine but had cleared a later comment. Thank you for clearing them now.

HampsteadOwl said...

@ Dick the Prick

Lucky for you this isn't America. If it were I'd be suing your sweet ass for deception for leading me to the "brilliant" piece in The Herald which turns out to be just the standard left-wing rant against the cuts. Quite appropriate really for someone drawing his salary from the Institute of Archaeology.

Ascherson doesn't appear to allow comments on his own article - though we are offered the North Korean option of applauding it via Facebook - and so I'll say my little piece here. Which is that if Scotland wants to be "the last bastion of faith in a public-service state", let it be. And if the Calman proposals don't go far enough in enabling it to raise its own taxes to pay for Ascherson's nirvana, a dose of independence ought to do the trick.

Hadrian's Wall the new 38th parallel. Can't come soon enough.