LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
1 November 2015
WTF

F*** Them

While we are collectively holding our collective breaths – oh dear, maybe not,
for the return of
Sherlock, New Year’s Day (it can’t come too soon can it?),
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken. OK, not as Sherlock, but as Hamlet on
stage at the Barbican Theatre.

Every night BC has been reading the poem ‘Home’ by Somali poet Warsan
Shire and asking for donations to help the appalling on-going Syrian crisis.

He read the same poem in the introduction to Help Is Coming, Save the
Children's charity single, released last summer. As an active supporter of
appeals to help Syrian refugees, BC took part in a short film for the campaign.
Audience contributions have raised more than £150,000 for Save the Children to
date.

The poem includes the words: “No one puts children in a boat unless the water is
safer than the land.” BC then added a personal story in regards to a friend
returning from Lesbos and suddenly shouted: “Fuck the politicians!”

BC was applauded before he apologised for his language. Yes. It’s time for
collective clapping.


Well F*** Me!

Boy George announced he slept with Prince. OK. No shock horror there, but
take a minute and imagine who the two involved
could be. Oh come on now, you
know. Pretend Popbitch gave you the hints. See how easy that was?

BG apparently told the BBC Voice audience during the show’s live audition: “I
have duetted with some of the greatest soul singers in history including Luther
Vandross and Smokey Robinson.”

Not to be outmanoeuvred, Paloma retorted: “Well OK, if we’re throwing big soul
names out there I’ve performed with Prince.”

BG replied: “Forget that, darling, I’ve slept with Prince.” So ha! No retort, but  
Will.i.am kept on high-fiving him.

Sources who witnessed the repartee said: “It sent the crowd absolutely wild and
forced producers to stop filming.”

Then BG said he hadn’t slept with Prince; he simply had his poster on his wall.
Right. Fear of US obsession with litigation then? Oh surely not.

If you actually watch The Voice, it starts January 2016. Can’t wait. Kidding.


Oh F*** You Lot

It isn’t just ITV’s Jekyll and Hyde which has been showing its teeth; so have
complaining viewers.

The writer of the drama has been pressured into an apology. Writer and The
Fast Show actor Charlie Higson had to admit it is not suitable for younger
children, although he was surprised that people took offence. “I was expecting
more people to complain that it wasn’t scary enough, rather than people saying,
‘This is a scary show and I found it scary’ …that’s slightly the point…it wasn’t
my intention to upset people … it was my intention for it to be scary – it’s a
scary show.”

3.2million viewers watched, 380 complained directly to ITV and 459 to Ofcom.

Higson said ITV put out a warning about the violent scenes. “We worked very
closely with a compliance team at ITV … they knew the guidelines so much
better than me.” Horreur de choc! It’s a horror story!

Higson previously branding concerned parents ‘scaredy cats’. He also joked that
parents and children might be upset by it but ‘f*** them’.

If the regulator finds
Jekyll and Hyde to be in breach of this, ITV could face
heavy fines.
Dr Who anyone? Really. Not scary at all is it? Really.


What the F*** Banner

“Cameron is lovely, and so is George Osborne,” says George earnestly.
“George Osborne especially because he is very solid, honourable. I think he
looks like a matinee idol, he’s glamorous.”

Gilbert adds: “Yes, George Osborne is our favourite because he looks like a
grown-up schoolboy.”

George breaks into a knowing smile. “I bet you won’t find a Cameron portrait in
any of the other artists’ studios.”

Oh Gilbert, oh George. Goodness gracious me. Or actually: what the f***!
Consistent ‘bad-boy’ artists Gilbert & George aren’t having a laugh here I fear.
Their latest exhibition, Banners, opens at the White Cube gallery 25 November.

The show features a series of red and black spray-painted slogans on massive
white paper banners: “Gilbert and George say Fuck the Planet”; “Gilbert and
George say Decriminalise Sex”; “Gilbert and George say Burn That Book”;
“Gilbert and George say Ban Religion”. There are 30 in total. Thus no viewer
interpretation of their famously provocative images. It’s all spelled out.

Gilbert & George say ‘Burn that Book’ symbolises being liberated from the
regimen of organised religion and schools, while ‘Fuck the Planet’ is inspired by
the writings of Prof James Lovelock, which they first read more than 20 years
ago.

“Nature breeds intolerance and excessive love of nature always leads to
totalitarianism. Love of soil is the worst.” Not a problem as giving enormous land
tracks over to cattle raising and the total destruction of the Amazon must then be
a good thing.

George reminded us: “Good taste is the death of modern life, it wrecks
everything”. Not a problem as it is clearly non-existent.

Living their exceptionally cloistered life, they never use the internet, haven’t sat
in a cinema since 1979, don’t listen to music: “It’s against our religion. It’s too
soothing. It enters the brain and takes over, doesn’t it, steals your head.”
Perhaps this is what happens without music….
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