Music to my ears

Whilst we still anxiously await the return of Trevor (or Tracey) to our little market town of Sprodlington, it was important that today I took my mind off things.

I have therefore kept myself busy and whilst browsing through the Sprodlington Post (our own local paper) I noticed some fantastic music results from Audrey Bishop’s School of Music.

Congratulations to the following for their great achievements.

Name Instrument Grade Score Award




Well done everyone and well done Audrey and her fabulous teachers

Cross dressing for beginners

The other day I received a telephone call from Colin.

“I’ve got Trevor round here” he said.”He’s acting rather strange and is a little upset.”

Colin, as you know is the local school history teacher, and Trevor Shoreditch is what I would describe as a woodwork teacher, although they have more fancy names nowadays.

“What’s up with Trevor then?” I asked.

There’s always been a little edge to Trevor ever since he was reprimanded for stamping on a boys foot when the lad had made a wooden ashtray.

“He’s decided that he wants to change direction in life.” Colin paused before adding. “He says we have to call him Tracey.”

Now I already know one too many Traceys, but I was desperate to meet this new one and after grabbing my camera I set off for Colin’s and there was TrevorTracey.

Trevor Tracey was crying; I thought perhaps with a sense of relief that this was all out in the open, although I did think he she had made a very bold step change in one go.

“Let’s take your picture then.” I said

“I’m really not so sure.” replied Trevor.”I’m rather confused and upset.”

“Rubbish!” I tried to firm his view “If you’re going to look like that you better get ready to be stared at and have you photo taken. All the kids will get you on their mobile phones.”

And so I took my picture anyway.

How much is that parrot in the window?

Someone parked their car outside my shop and brought in a poster about their lost parrot. I read it through and nearly, very nearly laughed out loud.

It said ;

Lost – African Grey Parrot called Dusty
Could possibly be in the local wood area.
Can be tempted down with a can of pop.
Sings the theme to “The Great Escape and “How much is that doggy in the window.”

I put the poster up – not to try to help, but to watch people laugh.

They have!

The Top TV Presenters . .


Oh, there was nearly blood on the carpet the other night Chez Templeton! There was I cleaning the filter for our Honey Gourami and Marbled Sailfin Pleco fish when Wendy made this horrible laughing cackling sound she makes.

“Oh he’s so funny that Graham Norton” snorted Wendy. “He’s the best presenter on television by far.”

“Bollocks Wendy!” I shouted from the utility room. I was a little short-tempered at the end of the day. “He’s not a real television presenter and you seem to have simply forgotten the masters of the past.”

“Like who?” Wendy challenged; clearly spoiling for a fight from her horizontal position on the sofa. “Like who?”

“Well Mike Morris for starters” I said. “There’s a man who had to wake the nation up and send them to work.” Mike joined TV-am as a sports reporter I remembered and quickly became the main ‘face’ of TV-am Sport and presented bulletins until the end of 1987. During this time he would also regularly co-present “Good Morning Britain”, filling in for the beautifully jumpered Nick Owen. From 1988 onwards Mike took over as “Good Morning Britain” and he then went on to become regular presenter of Yorkshire TV’s news magazine programme “Calendar”.

And then I tried to finish the argument with a left hook by summoning a female tv presenter to my case and said “Or Anne Diamond” and then regretted it instantly.

“Anne Bloody Diamond” said Wendy. “Grow up! At least try to make an argument.”

I checked out Anne “Bloody” Diamond’s biography just to see if it was worth coming back to Wendy at a later date but all it said was “Anne finally left TV-am in 1990 to pursue other career opportunities and look after her young family” which in my speak means she’s been offered bugger all since, given that her “young family would now be 17!”

Making your mind up!

“It’s always best to get out at the top” they say. But if you decide not to, as shown by The Original Bucks Fizz, then at least your loyal fans get further chances to see your amazing act. And you’ll still get to support some amazing groups on “the circuit” like Bjorn Again – the Abba tribute act.

Bucks Fizz The Original line up includes Jay Ashton, Cheryl Thingy and Mike The Blonde One but not The Older One who can still grace the stage pumping out the old old favourites like “Land of make believe” “Making your mind up” and the other ones.

Brilliant new routines with stunning choreography and really tricky new moves like the “pat a cake” are available for all to see as they tour. And the costumes are just as scanty as when Mike The Blonde One and Bobby G ripped off skirts from Jay and Cheryl in front of an appreciative crowd at the European Song Contest on March 11th 1981. It’s great to know that the outfits look as good then as they do today.

But Bucks Fizz took nothing for granted, and promoted their last tour hard in 2009 on popular tv shows like Loose Women and Live from Studio Five and they even promoted their tour dates with significant milestones like when they said “the band are working hard on the one off show at Newcastle City Hall on the 12th December 2009. It’s the 25th anniversary of the 1984 coach crash where Mike Nolan nearly lost his life. See the homepage for ticket details for this very special show.”

With vast media coverage and self-promotion like this its no wonder the band played in front of some packed, heaving audiences.

How to get gagged

Yesterday I was reading an bizarrely interesting blog about “The Private Language of Marriage” written by Delia Lloyd. The blog appears to be a collection of comments from relatively happy souls giving each other advice on how to have lovely marriages (Mrs Templeton take note). Certainly the couple the author depicts look as though they would never let go of each other.

such a lovely couple

But one poster named “Nardeeisms” claimed the following as good advice ;

“Whenever I cook something delicious, my husband says “”This tastes burnt”” It’s a compliment of the highest caliber.”

Well, excuse me but predictably it’s not! I tried it and got popped over the head with a pan by Mrs Templeton.

I was not happy, so I wrote a comment on the author Delia’s blog to explain what Mrs Templeton had done. I was keen to warn other readers that if they followed this suggestion that they too may get something of a surprise in return.

What thanks did I get? Delia scrubbed my comment. How nice is that when I am trying to help!

Others who I have tried to help have been far nicer and details can be found in my new section “Derek Helps Out”

The lovely Nicole Griffin Eakin has sought my help with her addiction for creating lists, and Kevin Shannon was very grateful when I shared with him my delight at the response my glossy adverts received in The Sandwich Shop’s front window

World Cup Baby Names

I jest ye not!

These are a list of babies registered at KwaZulu-Natal hospital during the World Cup. True to Zulu tradition, the newborns have been named for events at the time of their birth.

Offside Mchunu;
Argentina Sibiya;
Vuvuzela Mhlongo;
England Nkosi;
Soccer City Mthembu;
Cameroon Vilakazi;
Striker Hadebe;
Italy Buthelezi;
Midfielder Zwane;
Denmark Ntombela;
Red-card Mbatha;
Brazil Khuzwayo;
Coach Sibisi;
France Kheswa;
Goalkeeper Sithole;
Parreira Mthethwa;
2010 Dlamini;
Jersey Magubane;
Substitute Shandu;
Ball Skhakhane;
Stadium Gumbi;
Kick-off Shabalala;
Park n Ride Khumalo;
Half-time Hlatshwayo;
Tickets Ngubane;
and Kaka Zuma.

How fantastic is that

Regards to all
Dreary Day in Sprodlington Derek

Derek and The Dominos

Wade insists on losing his shirt

It should have been a quiet end to the night. The World Cup Final had played out in the public bar of The Cross Keys, Sprodlington and in the corner of the saloon bar, with a few World Top’s already consumed, Wade the crop sprayer sat with the rest of us. He had just lost every game of dominos.

I couldn’t work out why he continued with his bizarre tactic of trying of offload all his 3’s first; I’ll never understand.

“You’ll take the bloody shirt off my back” barked Wade, jumping up from his stool and scattering the dominos.

“Wade, we’re playing for a couple of quid a corner,” I said. “Now sit down.”

“You’re just a bunch of hustlers,” he continued “and you want the sodding shirt off my back.”

“Oh for God’s sake, here we go!” predicted Colin, having seen Wade do the same routine at least seven times in the last 12 months.

And so there we sat, and watched Wade stand on his stool; take off his shirt like a footballer who had scored the winning goal in the World Cup final, and swing it around his head before releasing it across the bar.

Now sit down” we all said.

Bill at his very best

Some have questioned my view that Bill Buckley is the continuity God of television. I wanted to highlight that he too is the model professional on radio.

Just listen to how his clear prior preparation enables him to smoothly open his show. Listen too to how he takes full responsibility for his problems and refuses to blame those around him for the troubles. Listen as well to how he considers those, who like me, enjoy the sound of Level 42 and are happy to listen to the same song twice in a row.

Those doubters should ask themselves why Bill would be given the 1am to 5am slot on LBC if he wasn’t such a model professional?

Bill Buckley – A legend in continuity

I recently wrote about Children’s television presenters questioning the ability of today’s youngsters with those of our yesteryear. In discussing Derek Griffiths, I mentioned that his voice over work was only perhaps rivalled by that of Bill Buckley. In her comment on my article, the usually well-informed Doris Brazil asked for more details on Bill Buckley. I guess this endorses his work, as he was always able to make sure that he didn’t detract attention from the programmes themselves.

Bill’s big break came in 1982 when he appeared on Ester Rantzen’s “That’s Life”. Until then Bill has appeared in the written press and in his own words he ” didn’t mind swapping the industrial tribunals and magistrates’ courts of Sandwell for the broken washing machines and phallic parsnips of Shepherds Bush a bit!”

From there, Bill was at the birth of Breakfast television with Frank Bough and Selina Scott and he dealt admirably with the pressures of ” Writing a witty, three-minute song overnight then singing it to a sleepy nation at 6.45 and 8.45am .” Well done there Bill ! He also appeared on Songs of Praise where he beautifully sang the David Essex hit “A winter’s tale” backed by a huge choir.

Following time on The Holiday Programme, the powers that be decided that Bill’s attributes were now more suited to radio and he moved to the BBC Radio Solent where he did a fabulous job. But you couldn’t keep Bill regionalised and he popped up Nationally when he “appeared on Ken Bruce’s show on BBC Radio 2 as a celebrity contestant in his Popmaster quiz, ” and “thrashed the charming lead singer of Del Maitri, Justin Curren, 30 points to 9. (I think Del Maitri or Del Amitri as I remember them disbanded shortly afterwards – it’s not easy getting over a drubbing by Buckley)

Following more television work where Les Dawson described him as “ballast” on Blankety Blank, Bill then moved to the legendary work he accomplished as Channel 5’s weekend continuity announcer. He says he was there for five years from Day two (I can only imagine Bill was busy with prior commitments on the launch day itself.)

And so to understand Bill’s work a little closer. Just have a listen to his dulcet tones as he provides the continuity itself and introduces the “pec-oiling”Mr Gay UK in a way only Bill could.

What a talent Bill Buckley is.