Sacha Baron Cohen has a problem: his best tricks – assuming the persona of a wacky character to confuse unsuspecting interviewees, have self-limiting lifespans. If, as with Ali G, Borat and Bruno, they’re hits, they become useless, since there’s no longer anyone to fool.
The New Statesman asked me to write about crisps, so I went on YouTube instead:
2018 marks 70 years since Walkers, a butcher’s firm from Leicester, decided to beat post-war rationing by slicing potatoes instead of meat, and ended up creating the most popular brand of crisps in the UK. And while there have been dozen of variations of flavour and tweaks to the recipe, they’re still basically just the same old crisps.
The story of the origin of Eurovision, via Talented Mr Ripley fan-fiction for some reason:
Did you know: there’s a scene in the film The Talented Mr Ripley where, if you squint, you can see the Eurovision Song Contest being born? Admittedly you to have squint really very hard indeed, because it was made by Anthony Minghella, and not say, me.
What a gift Charlie Brooker’s dystopian series has been to journalists: any time a reporter covers a story about even vaguely dystopian technology, the main thing they have to do is determine which episode of Black Mirror it’s like, saving everyone the bother of finding out what’s really going on.
A 1973 episode of sitcom Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads concerns the lads in question spending a day trying to avoid learning the result of a football match in order to be able to enjoy watching the highlights that evening.
I crunched the IMDB numbers to see which actors can claim to have ‘bedded’ the greatest number of British monarchs, and whether Matt Smith is the only person to have achieved the ‘double Elizabeth’.
New Statesmen: Ed can you write something Europe’s most eligible princes to tie-in with the Prince Harry engagement story?
Ed: MARRY THE POPE.
So the other night, I was hanging round the internet, looking for beef, as you do, when I spotted a tweet that made my blood pressure rise. Matthew Goodwin, the politics professor who made his name predicting the rise of Ukip and then ate his own book live on television, had suggested that, so many months after Brexit and Trump, liberals were still struggling to get back in the game.
As far as Brexit is concerned, Labour can agree on what words to say, but is divided over what they mean. The party’s position is to retain “the exact same benefits” of membership of the European Union, with a Brexit that puts “jobs first”.