Steve Coogan is driving on thin ice

This Time with Alan PartridgeI’ve always wondered just how much of Alan Partridge’s pompous behaviour is a reflection of his creator, Steve Coogan. Sometimes the comedian seems to encourage it. 

Coogan has persuaded a magistrate not to hand out an automatic six-month driving ban (despite already notching up nine points on his licence) after being found guilty of speeding in Sussex.

Coogan claimed that filming for his forthcoming BBC series involved driving around Britain and that “it’s an artistic thing that he [Partridge] drives and that defines his character”.

He also argued that 15 or 20 professionals had been lined up to work, presumably suggesting an inability to drive would leave them jobless, if only for a while.

But what really startled me was that the judge appeared to agree and reduced the ban to just two months.

I think it’s worth recalling Coogan’s driving record. In 2012 he was found not guilty of speeding after it had initially “slipped his mind” that a friend had been driving; in 2016 he was fined and banned for 28 days for speeding in Brighton.

The chairwoman of the magistrates this time around said she had taken into account the “exceptional hardship” a lengthy ban would cause. What kind of “hardship”?

How wonderful for celebrities who can put forward defences of this type. Would the same argument work for ordinary drivers who don’t appear on television? Like delivery people, ambulance drivers, care workers and busy mums trying to combine a zero hours job with dropping their kids off at school.

I think we know the answer.

Source: Janet Street-Porter: Steve Coogan is driving on thin ice

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Shakespeare gets a sitcom in ‘Upstart Crow’

Upstart Crow

The popular film “Shakespeare in Love” seemed to unleash a wave of fictional imaginings of the English writer: the plays “Equivocation” and “The Beard of Avon,” the films “Anonymous” and “All Is True,” the short-lived TV series “Will.” But 1999’s frothy Best Picture winner was hardly the first rendering of Shakespeare as a fictional character.

The Bard of Avon made periodic appearances in novels throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, from a trilogy by Robert Folkestone Williams in the 1840s to Anthony Burgess’s 1964 book Nothing Like the Sun. And his first recorded stage appearance as a character is from 1679, some 60 years after the playwright’s death, when “the Ghost of Shakespeare” emerged to give a prologue to Thomas Dryden’s version of “Troilus and Cressida.”

There is nothing ghostly about the Shakespeare we meet in “Upstart Crow,” a delightfully cheeky BBC sitcom comprising three short seasons, available in the United States through the on-demand service Britbox as well as via Amazon. As played by the acerbic David Mitchell, one half of the comedy duo Mitchell and Webb, this Will Shakespeare is a mildly schlubby and insecure if well-intentioned striver, dividing his time between a bustling family hearth in Stratford and a rooming house in London from which he is building his playwriting career. The show’s title comes from an epithet hurled at Shakespeare in 1592 by a jealous poet, Robert Greene, in a pamphlet.

A fictional Greene is on hand as the show’s mustache-twirling villain to pound home the familiar theme of Shakespeare’s low birth and insufficiently fancy education. In a typical pithy putdown, he dismisses Shakespeare as “a country bum-snot, an oik of Avon, a town-school spotty-grotty.” The show’s Greene also functions as a literal nemesis, positioned (ahistorically) as the Master of the Revels, the impresario and censor through whom all staged entertainment must pass muster [ . . . ]

Continue at AMERICA: Shakespeare gets a sitcom in ‘Upstart Crow’ | America Magazine

Sir Michael Palin ‘will probably be only knighted Python’ 

Michael Palin has predicted he will be the only Monty Python member to become a sir after being dubbed a knight by Prince William at Buckingham Palace.

“I’ll probably be the only one,” he said, adding that fellow Python John Cleese had turned down the chance.It is not known if Cleese rejected a knighthood, but he did refuse a CBE in 1996 and a peerage in 1999.Sir Michael also said he had managed to suppress a joke while speaking to the Duke of Cambridge on Wednesday.

“He talked about where I was going next, any parts of the world I really wanted to go that I hadn’t already,” revealed the broadcaster.

The 76-year-old said he normally answered “Middlesbrough” when asked the question but on this occasion opted for Kazakhstan.

Sir Michael did in fact visit Middlesbrough, for the first time, in 2015.Speaking after the investiture ceremony, the Pole to Pole presenter also spoke about the BBC’s decision to scrap free TV licences for all over-75s.

He said the BBC had done “a pretty bad deal” in agreeing to take on the cost of free licences in 2015.”I hoped somehow that would somehow go away and it hasn’t gone away,” he continued.”I just wish it wasn’t at the expense of the people who now have to fork out for their licence.

“Sir Michael was knighted in the New Year Honours for services to travel, culture and geography.Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Terry Jones are the other surviving members of the Monty Python comedy troupe. Graham Chapman, the sixth member, died in 1989.

Source: Sir Michael Palin ‘will probably be only knighted Python’ – BBC News

6 reasons why women aren’t funny

Women can’t possibly be funnier than men and here’s why.

1. Being funny is the main way men attract women; we can’t take that away from them.

There’s nothing better then a man who makes you laugh – it’s a quality women value highly and one used to describe every successful date and suggested set up. If women were funny it would be unfair, I mean we already have the gloriousness that is breasts, what more do we want! It’s why male peacocks have colourful feathers, why lions have manes. Women have to tone it down because, without the upper hand in the humour stakes, what do the unfairer sex have?

2. There’s nothing funnier than a man’s appendage

There’s a reason we don’t spend our adolescence covering notebooks with sketches of vaginas and why we were all accidental members of the Pen 15 club  (if you don’t know you weren’t bullied enough in school). Women are lacking the one body part that is guaranteed to crack a smile out of any male in the vicinity.

3. Gross is funny

The most knee slapping, head rolling, chuckle making moments involve disgusting, unappealing, dirty anecdotes and women just aren’t gross. Women are pretty and delicate. Their number twos smell of Chanel No. 5, their sweat makes them glow, and they only ever break wind odourlessly in hidden corners of empty rooms.

4. If you’re funny, you’re funny for a girl

Being funny is like being good at sport or good at acting: it’s split by the genders, so no matter how hilarious you are, you’re still only FFG (funny for a girl). This way there’s no need to directly compare and no egos need to be hurt. Be glad – it’s really impressive to be funny for a girl (just not as impressive as being actually funny obviously).

5. Name five funny women

No not her, she doesn’t count, or her, she’s a lesbian so obviously not representative. No that one died, that’s unfair. I personally don’t find that other one funny. Yes that film may be the highest rated comedy on Rotten Tomatoes, but I bet there were a ton of men involved. And I cant judge that new one because I don’t plan on watching it. Anyway, the point is there’s way more funny men, so they’re the funny sex.

6. This article

This article was clearly written by a woman, and while it was trying to be a funny satire, it bombed miserably. By looking at the failure of one woman to make you laugh, you can accurately deduce the capabilities of the rest of the gender. Don’t argue with me, it’s science. There you have it, definitive proof that you’re not a raging sexist if you think all women aren’t funny, you’re right.

Source: 6 reasons why women aren’t funny | Spectator Life