It won’t be long now before the festive-TV-special season is upon us.
We’ve already had our appetites whetted by the 50th anniversary Dr Who film, Matt Smith’s penultimate outing as everyone’s favourite, increasingly quirky, timey-wimey alien cosmic wanderer, before the role is taken over in the traditional Christmas one-off episode by the brilliant Peter Capaldi, best known for his incandescently vitriolic turn as the monstrous Malcolm Tucker in Armando Iannucci’s scathing political satire, The Thick Of It.
Peter Capaldi -“F**k the Daleks, F**k the Cybermen and F**kity Bollocks to the Ood”
But that’s not the only classic series due to grace our screens once more over the Christmas holidays.
One of the original founders of the new wave of British alternative comedy in the ’70s and ’80s, Rowan Atkinson, has revealed that he will revive what is arguably his greatest role, the various incarnations of Edmund Blackadder in a one-off special which will include the first in-depth interview with Atkinson about his years playing the devious scoundrel through history.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Godfathers of surreal British humour, the surviving members of the Monty Python team, have announced (at a press conference in the theatre currently showing Python-inspired musical, Spamalot) that they are writing a new live show for next year at London’s O2 arena.
Eager though I am to see new material from these giants of comedy, (I feel confident that there will be a DVD tie-in) I doubt they will manage anything as memorable as this national treasure of a sketch, still as unfathomably hilarious now as it was when I first remember seeing it as a kid.
And while we’re on the subject, something else which seems to have become more prevalent the nearer we get to the holidays is the other, less welcome sort of spam.
I am of course talking about the electronic variety, as opposed to the type celebrated at the almost certainly bonkers Spam Museum in America.
I have a filter that is supposed to deal with the badly translated, incomprehensible robot-generated comments that are so obviously trying to entice me into checking out a “very big fun website”, buying one of the “ultra discrete male enhancement devices” from an extensive online catalogue, or investing my money in get-rich-quick opportunities involving everything from timeshare apartments in Bulgaria and Nigerian lottery scams, to distinctly sinister pyramid selling schemes that appear to originate in Thailand.
But my spambot seems to have become rather lenient of late and more gibberish is slipping through the Net.
Even as I write this post, another poorly worded pseudo-compliment arrived through the ether;
“It’s going to be ending of mine day, but before finish I am reading this great article to increase my know-how”
Now, given that said article is a story about youthful alcohol and weed-fuelled parties, resulting in Zippy falling over a wall and breaking his arm, I can only assume that my latest spammer wants to increase their knowledge of how to become a drunken idiot and get tips on creative ways of injuring themselves.
I fail to see how any of these virtual mailshots of mangled grammar could possibly persuade anyone that they were
written by people who could read English written by someone who had read the article human beings, let alone convince them to part with hard earned cash.
Does anyone fall for this nonsense?
Well I pride myself on not getting conned by these Internet Shysters, but as I recently discovered, even that has a downside.
I received a comment on a post a few days ago from someone purporting to be a “new blogger” who had yet to post anything and who wanted me to contact her via Skype.
This unusual request, coupled with her (I thought) suspiciously over-French name, Monique Le Roux, which reminded me of something from ‘Allo ‘Allo, along with the absence of any evidence of a blog, convinced me I was being spammed.
So I was very cagey about doing anything except suggesting she get in touch via Facebook or joining BlogCatalog.com,
It wasn’t until the next day when I got an email from Miss Le Roux, proudly containing a link to her lovely new blog, that I realised what a fool I’d been.
So Monique, if you’re reading this, please accept my apology for mistaking you for a stereotypical comedy French maid intent on selling me something and allow me to welcome you to the blogosphere.
(“Internet Spam” cartoon by Ho)