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Articles on miscellaneous subjects written by Bill
Young Guardian Input Column 1 - Print Email PDF 
Posted by wackywales 02/01/2008


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The Guardian, October 29, 1986

Young Guardian (Input): Reading between the lines


I was once asked to do a test commercial for the Guardian; me and Ade Edmonson (alias Sir Adrian Dangerous and Vivien of The Young Ones). The pair of us (almost unrecognisable without silly costumes) were each given a copy of the Guardian, plonked in front of a video camera and told to discuss firmly and frankly what we thought of the paper you are now reding. Just 'be yourselves' they said. Big mistake. During the next 25 minutes we two bastions (is that the word Rik uses?) of British Comedy came up with such sidesplitting barbs of wit as 'er .. it's a bit boring' and 'it's too big. ' The advert was never used. So it's very nice of the editor to allow me to have this little colum for a while. Only goes to show that Guardian folk really ARE liberal.

Now, I'm supposed to comment on the news. First comment: I don't like news. I'm not very good with newspapers either. The posh ones are too big - my little arms can't hold them open, and to fold them you need a black belt in origami - whilst the little ones have nothing in them except pictures of bare ladies (well nothing I've ever noticed).


Nevertheless, on Monday I bought them all (that's most of my fee gone) and searched for a story that really really interested me. I didn't have much choice. October 27 was Jeffrey Archer Day! What coverage! Over a page-worth in the Guardian - and a big page too. Three absolutely huge pages in the Telegraph, plus an exclusive supplement on 'Tory Sex Scandals' (well, they should know). The rest of them averaged out between one and a half posh or three or four small tacky pages, with special awards going to the Star (six pages) for finding an out-of-focus picture of Archer's wife in a bikini, and to the Mail for managing to wrangle the titles of every one of his novels into their headlines.

Oh, and by the way, in case you didn't know (and I wasn't entirely sure), that is who Jeffrey Archer is - a flashy novelist whom Margaret Thatcher took on to spruce up the Tory image - tee hee, that one backfired a bit, eh, Maggie? Real big news eh? Eastenders for intellectuals more like, I'd say .. but then I never read the papers do I? So I don't know what real news is. Maybe next week I'll find out ..

Oh, PS I see Rowan Atkinson got hammered by a New York critic for his 'fondness for toilet humour' - the ultimate compliment I'd say.

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