NO, I haven’t seen the new Bond film yet. I’m a huge 007 fan and am very much looking forward to it, but these days there just isn’t the time because there are so many other things to watch on TV.
Every single time I go to the pub, someone tells me about a great new box-set so I come home and four hours later, at two in the morning, I’m sitting there going: “Just one more.”
Right now, I’m in the middle of something called StartUp, which has a plot wonkier than a Bangladesh car ferry and several sex scenes, all of which seem to have been directed by Enid Blyton.
But I’m sticking with it because Martin Freeman is just mesmerising as the FBI agent.
He was good in The Office and better in Fargo, but in this? Holy cow. He’s up there with Anthony Hopkins, Alec Guinness and Peter O’Toole.
Strangely though, it’s not the best performance I’ve seen from a British actor this year.
That award goes to Kate Winslet in Mare Of Easttown.
Which I watched between a brilliant Ken Burns documentary on the Vietnam War and a hilariously violent anti- superhero series on Amazon called The Boys.
I’ve also watched an obscure Swedish show about a restaurant, a Danish film about four schoolteachers who decide to be drunk all the time, that Korean squid thing, a lavish Kevin Costner advert for Montana and a curiously entertaining six-parter about Crystal Palace.
And I’ve loved all of them. Which is why Bond hasn’t got a look in.
Because why go out in the cold and the rain and find somewhere to park and then sit in a darkened room full of disease and people who wriggle and talk too much when I can see something just as good — or even better — at home?
What’s more, if I tune into something I don’t like on the TV, I can turn it off and find something else.
You can’t really do that at the movies.
You’re forced to sit there till the bitter end. Even in the appalling Batman v Superman — the worst film I’ve ever seen — I didn’t walk out.
The number of people going to a cinema in Britain fell off a cliff during the stop/start Covid lockdown and unless Hollywood can bring Iron Man back from the dead, and restart the Starship Enterprise, I can’t see the situation improving any time soon.
Television used to be cinema’s poor relation. But now, it just isn’t any more.
I WAS absolutely baffled this week when, at the last minute, Unai Emery turned down the manager’s job he’d been offered at Newcastle United.
Why would you do that?
He’d been offered all those millions of pounds and all that potential, but he said he’d rather remain in Spain.
So now he’s in Villareal, between Barcelona and Valencia, a stone’s throw from the Med, instead of being on the Tyne, in November, working for some Saudi Arabians.
JEFF IS STELL AT TOP
I ALWAYS used to think when listening to Murray Walker commentate on a Formula One race that he’d obviously seen something I’d missed.
Because even when there was no action at all, he sounded like he was commentating on the D-Day landings.
However, Murray was a woodlouse compared to sporting television’s greatest peacock, Jeff Stelling, who announced this week that he’s retiring from Sky Sports.
This man could make a nil-nil draw between Yeovil Town and Preston North End sound like the 1966 World Cup Final.
Every match to him was the most exciting thing that has ever happened in all of human history.
And his knowledge was breathtaking. “DONCASTER ROVERS HAVE SCORED!” he’d yell. “AND IT’S THE FIRST TIME THEY’VE BEEN UP AGAINST IPSWICH SINCE THAT UNFORGETTABLE GAME IN 1958 WHEN NOBBY HIGGINBOTTOM GOT THE WINNER IN EXTRA TIME.”
At home, we are all breathless with the ferocity and fizz of it all.
And we can’t even see the game. It’s just him, in a studio.
We often say someone is irreplaceable, but when it comes to Jeff, he really is.
I’VE just found an owl.
I was thinking about what to write next when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw it – in the corner of my office, under a chair.
I have no idea how it got there but more importantly, I’ve no idea what I should do with it.
I’ve just been online for inspiration and when I clicked on one site, I was given a message claiming that someone from owlrescue.co.uk was trying to steal my data.
This seems highly unlikely. Most owl rescue people are not thieves, in my experience.
But anyway, I’ll wait until it goes dark and put it in one of the owl boxes I built last year.
Wish me luck. And it.
ACCORDING to various reports this week, the lady boss of a Vietnamese airline – who’s just donated £155million to an Oxford college – uses stewardesses dressed in red stockings and not much else.
Hmmm. I’ve flown a great deal in Vietnam over the years and have never seen that.
But they do have a great queuing system at Saigon’s terminal for internal flights.
There are five super-busy lanes for checking in, and one for people who don’t like queuing.
I kid you not.
FORCE IS FOR GOOD
ORDINARILY, when you get the builders in, you know that within a week you will have a nervous breakdown because your lavatory will be in the bath, your ceiling will be on the floor and all the people who did this will be in Majorca.
However, I employed an outfit called Fowler & Gilbert to build a new barn for my cows, and in two days they’d done the groundwork and carted away several hundred tons of subsoil.
A day after that the frame was up, and just a few hours later it had a roof and walls.
They work every day from before I’m up till long after I’ve gone to bed, they’re cheery and they’re not that expensive.
This is not a free plug. I’m not a Tory sleaze-monger taking cash in exchange for publicity.
It’s just that I think that sometimes we criticise often and don’t offer up enough praise when it’s due.
Which brings me on to Kent Police.
These days, we keep being told that all of the nation’s policemen and policemen-women are too busy exposing themselves to one another to do any actual police work.
And that they daren’t arrest anyone in case they look bad in the woke world of social media.
However, Kent Police nailed that necrophiliac this week by being both diligent and relentless.
They were so thorough, they even found an old photograph of the suspect wearing shoes with a sole pattern that matched up with one found at the crime scene.
So, people of Kent. If you see an off-duty plod in your local one night, buy him a pint.
He and his colleagues deserve it.
PIT’S AT AN END
BACK in the early Sixties, my grandfather wrote a book about the Yorkshire mining industry, which finished with this line: “I cannot conceive of the day when my grandchildren throw the last lump of coal on the fire.”
But after COP26, it looks like he might turn out to be wrong.
Source: Read Full Article