Saturday 26 July 2014

Week 47 - The Grambler on tv presenters

Stewart was an amazing person -  A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle.  He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and will be missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good.  We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer.  If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via .


If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent.  It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will.


His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige.  Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see. Read on and enjoy…


Welcome to the Commonwealth Games special.  The Commonwealth is what we now call those countries which were ‘colonised’ by Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries and which still talk to us.  If you aren’t too well up on your history, Britain, well England really, used to send explorers (aka missionaries) to far-off unspoilt lands and ‘claim’ them for the ‘Empire’.  This claiming process included a bit of genocide, a bit of abducting people for slave labour, stealing most of the region’s resources and basically killing off any traces of the land’s culture by forcing the people that were left to embrace our religion.  I nearly forgot killing most of the region’s wildlife to the verge of extinction in the name of ‘sport’.  And they have the cheek to call the Commonwealth Games the friendly games.

This week I have actually been watching some TV.  I do sometimes.  Not very often, admittedly.  Mrs Grambler does watch the odd soap.  Me?  No, don’t watch much.  I watched something the other night about the greatest wonders of the Commonwealth.  Commonwealth Games link there; do you see?  Do I have a Grambler grumble?  You bet I do.  The programme was introduced by that horsey woman…what’s her name?...Baldy, or something.  Anyway, she’s not the problem, yet.  Each ‘wonder’ was presented by a different person.  Dan Snow was one, then some woman called Anita Rani.  Next up was somebody called Reggie Yates.  Snow’s reaction to everything he saw was ‘Wow’ or ‘Amazing’.  Anita Rani followed and continued the trend by using the ‘wow’ word a lot, often preceded by the words ‘it’s like’, but steered clear of ‘amazing’, preferring instead ‘Awesome’.  Reggie used ‘wow’ and ‘amazing’ as well.  He also seems to have a problem with the ‘th’ sound; or maybe I should say he has problems wiff the ‘th’ sound.  However, my main gripe about him is his preference to forego the use of consonants in the middle of words.  Thus, turtle becomes tu’ul; water is wa’uh.  Cre’in!

Next up was Denise Lewis.  She shouts ‘Oh my goodness’ a lot.  She too used ‘wow’ a lot, but she gave us the worst faux pas so far (do you see what I did there?), in my book at least, and that was her regular use of that horrid horrid statement ‘No way!’  Aargh.

Sadly, Dan Snow returned with another item.  More use of ‘wow’ although one came out more like ‘Wawoo’.  He also started pronouncing words in a strange way.  Why did your say twenny four instead of twenty four?  You are English are you not, Dan?

The final item of the programme came from Fingal’s Cave on Staffa and was presented by Clare Baldy herself.  She does use the ‘wow’ word, but less in wonderment, more as a replacement for ‘that’s quite interesting’.  So wow is said in quite a flat, subdued way.  But, do not fret dear reader, Baldy has her own, personal annoying word; not amazing, not awesome, but ‘incredible’.  Sometimes it is preceded by ‘just’, but she does use the word a lot.

It is all part of the ‘dumbing down’ of the British Broadcorping Casteration; you wouldn’t have got away with such sloppy presenting in the old days…

End now over to Richard Dimbleby et Westminster Ebbey for  the coronation of Queen Elizabeth the Second…

I am spea’ing to you from Westminster Abbey and it’s like…wow!...just incredible!  All the world’s leaders and royal’y are here…and it’s like…wow!...awesome.  The young queen, Elizabeff, only twenny seven is…like…si’ing on the frone.  Only twenny seven?  And queen?  No way.  The frone is…like… all covered in fancy stuff and it’s…like…amazing.  Now this old bloke, the Archbishop of Can’erbury is pu’ing the crown on her head…and it’s like…oh my goodness…awesome…etc. etc.

Did anyone watch the opening ceremony of the Games?  Didn’t it make you proud to be Scottish?  Answer: no it didn’t.  If you are like me, then it made you cringe with embarrassment.  Tongue in cheek, the presenters called it.  That roughly translates as naff.

Let’s get somebody famous to do the ceremony…no, let’s just get the woman off Chewin’ the Cud, or whatever it’s called, to do it.  Karen Dykebar, or something.  You know her.  You do.  The le…the one with the nostrils.  Her.  Oh and we need a famous bloke too.  John Barrowland. He’s cheap.  He’ll do.  How should they tackle the opening?  In the style of panto?  Why not? 

And so it was; the opening few minutes of the ceremony gave us an embarassing song performed by these two surrounded by a load of people who couldn’t dance.  The song itself was basically five minutes of giving an outline of Scotland’s greatness and wonderful hospitality in the most cringe-inducing way possible.  They could have done it equally well by chanting the mantra ‘Aren’t we clever and we’re friendly too’.  If the organisers wanted to produce such a dreadful opening ceremony, why didn’t they just have the Krankies?

Now, I am going to have a little moan about the Beeb Ceeb Beeb and its attitude to Scotland.  Yes, I know I did that a few short weeks ago, but the opening ceremony just emphasised my thoughts.  It is a sporting event, so the presentation from the Beeb was fronted by a sports presenter.  Now, most sports are covered at these games.  One that isn’t, is the one closest to The Grambler’s heart.  I am talking football, or maybe I’m just talking balls in general.  No, rugby is here, albeit rugby sevens rather than 13 players.  Or is it 15?  I know one is union and one is league, but I don’t know which is which.  Not interested, I am sorry to say.  But football?  Interested.  It just isn’t one of the sports played at the games.  No football, so who does the Beeb get to front the coverage of the games?  Gary Lineker; an ex-footballer!  And, quite frankly, he isn’t the best presenter in the world.  Thankfully, Hazel Irvine, a much more capable presenter, and Scottish to boot, is also on hand to give the eary one some help.  And, boy, does he need it!

During the opening ceremony itself, Hazel was doing a fine job with the presentation, but she wasn’t capable of carrying it alone according to the Beeb.  Oh no.  Someone needed to be there to…what?  It didn’t need two presenters, one was adequate.  However, another was there…Who do you think?  It was a sports tournament, so a background in sport essential, you would think.  Who did we get?  Huw bloody Edwards!  A newsreader, for goodness sake!  You might as well have had a weatherman or that grinning physicist, Brian Cox.  Huw added nothing to the presentation other than to dampen Hazel’s enthusiasm with some sombre politics about each country that was represented at the games.  He is like a school teacher.  It’s a sporting event, Huw, not a modern studies lesson.  Honestly, the guy is so dull. Why didn’t they give the gig to Richard Gordon, a brilliant presenter of the Geoff Stelling, thinking on your feet, variety?  Huw Edwards indeed.

I do have another moan and it is also in the ‘our Scotland correspondent’ category.  Leading up to the games, the Beeb Beeb Ceeb news has been doing a bit of coverage.  The games are being staged in Glasgow and BBC Scotland have plenty of capable reporters who could cover the games.  Maybe somebody with a sporting link?  What does the Beeb do?  Sends up an English person to cover it.  Somebody sporting?  No.  Sophie bloody Raworth!  Another fn newsreader.  Not even a reporter as such, just an autocue reader.  Why?  Why does the Beeb think that Scottish presenters are not capable?  They are perfectly capable; a heck of a sight more so than Sophie Raworth. 

Before I leave the topic of the opening ceremony, what did you think of the costumes of the Scotland squad?  Admittedly, there were other dreadful costumes on show, but who on earth thought that dressing the whole squad in the Barr’s Irn Bru colours was a good idea?  Definitely, the worst example of ‘style’ on the night.

Let’s leave the Commonwealth Games for the moment and find out if there are any birthdays of note this week.  Wow…that’s amazing…Rock royal’y no less…Awesome.  Ahem.  Sorry, turning into Reggie Lewis-Rani there.  However, the rock royalty mention is reasonably accurate, because today, the 26th of July, it is the 71st birthday of Sir Michael of Jagger (him off of the Rolling Stones).  Mick, or Wiggy as I like to call him (see Week 33 – Grambling old gracefully), is famous for his singing, songwriting, womanising, drug-taking and of course his love of Mars Bars.  With songwriting partner Keef Richards, he gave us some of the most memorable and grammatically inane songs of the mid to late 20th century.  I can’t get no satisfaction?  Dearie me.  I say mid to late 20th century but, let’s face it, they haven’t given us anything memorable for well over 40 years.  Mick and Keef were known as the Glimmer Twins and also Nanker and Phelge; great name - very Dickensian.  Anyway, there must be a good few songs in their repetoire worth gramblerising.  Little Red Grambler?  Have You Seen Your Mother Baby, Grambling in the Shadow?  No, I think we’ll have this one…

Well, baby used to gramble all night long
She made me cry, she grambled me wrong
She grambled my eyes open, that's no lie
Grambles turn and now her turn to cry

Because I used to love her, but it's all gramble now
Because I used to love her, but it's all gramble now

Nah…Not one of the best songs to gramblerise.  It’s quite difficult with some of the Stones’ lyrics; they don’t lend themselves to gramblerisation.  Especially the erm…parental guidance advisory ones.  Star Star, for example.  Real title, in our case, Star G***bler.  And who can forget the two-fingered song they presented to Decca as a parting shot?  C**k G***bler Blues?

What about a bit of footie?  That’s Motherwell out of Europe.  Beaten by Stjarnan…Who?  Thought that was a Bowie song.  Again, as in previous years, the ‘Well got no further than the first hurdle, getting bumped out in the preliminary round.  Two nil up they were at Fir Park last week.  Unfortunately, they just can’t seem to hang on to a lead these days and let it slip away; a draw being the outcome.  In the away leg, the score was also 2 apiece after 90 minutes, so extra time was played and with only eight minutes remaining, Motherwell conceded the goal that put them out.  Boo!  Did I tell you I was a Motherwell supporter?

Let’s move on to The Grambler’s predictions, shall we?  How did last week’s bet get on?  Oh dear.  For the first time since we started doing the gee gee bet there was absolutely no return.  Only one of the five won its race.  Another was fourth and one was actually 7th out of ten.  How rubbish a prediction was that?  To be fair to The Grambler, results went very much against the normal outcomes.  When I began the horse betting, I had done a little bit of research into racing results.  I concluded that betting on favourites was the best option because invariably the favourite won.  In my research, the worst I encountered was a third of them winning on a given day.  More often around 50% were winners and some days as many as 75% of the favourites were winners.  Saturday, however, bucked…I said bucked…the trend totally; in the 54 races that The Grambler had available for his/her/its selection only 13 favourites won.  Less than a quarter.  Is it any wonder that only one of The Grambler’s predictions came up?  Never mind.  Onwards and upwards.  What will this week’s predictions give us?


But before that, it’s our weekly feature…I never knew that. 

Anteaters have incredibly long tongues which they use to remove termites from mounds.  The bushmen of Nyasaland (now Malawi) when they first saw the length of this tongue realised its potential as a measuring device, so they would mark the tongue at regular intervals and by placing it across an article to be measured could gauge its size in relation to some other object.  After its tongue had been used in this way, the anteater would simply recoil it into its mouth.  Dr David Livingstone was so intrigued by this animal/human co-operation, it was the first thing he told the American journalist, Stanley, when they met.  Stanley, of course, returned to the USA and invented the retractable measuring device which to this day bears his name - the Stanley tape measure. [Surely, that’s not true.  It can’t be.  Can it? – Ed.]

How about a real fact?  David Livingstone named the country Nyasaland.  Why did he choose this name?  Well, the dominant feature of the area was a huge lake and it was here that Dr Livingstone asked a local man the name of this place.  The man looked around him and said Nyasa.  Hence Nyasaland.  Livingstone thought the lake also deserved a name and called it Lake Nyasa.  Top naming there, David.

It later transpired that the locals’ name for a lake is nyasa, which is what the local man had thought Livingstone was asking about.  Thus, Livingstone had actually named the body of water Lake Lake.  Not so top naming, after all.

While you have been busy reading this history lesson, The Grambler has been busy coming up with his/her/its predictions for this Saturday, the 26th of July’s horse races.  Once again we have gee gee only bets this week.  Boo!  But the footy season will start soon.  Yay!  So what has The Grambler selected?


Meeting – Time – Horse – Odds


York                    16.05         Mercury                                 7/4

Ascot                   17.00         Trip to Paris                          9/4

Newcastle           17.25         Pim Street                             7/4

Lingfield Park   18.00         Elizona                                   1/6

Salisbury             20.50         Alzanti                                   13/8


Well, what can I say?  One of them looks like it might have a chance of winning; can you guess which?  We will just have to wait and see.  Any road up, if all bets – 10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator – go as predicted by The Grambler the Bobby Moore Fund for bowel cancer research will receive a staggering…


Can’t see it happening somehow but, if it does… Let’s just say I will seek out my tastiest hat.


What about last week’s teaser, do I hear you ask?  Of course I don’t hear you.  It’s just a way of leading us into this weekly item.  Last week I asked you which British club has played in European competitions for the most years consecutively.  The answer is of course…Glasgow Rangers.  From the 1981-82 season onwards, Rangers played in European competitions for 31 years on the trot.

How about this week’s question?  This one could well be a pub quiz type question –

Name three England captains who have played for Scunthorpe United.  Answer next week.

I leave you with a helpful guide to visitors coming to Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games (courtesy Huffington Post).



Happy grambling.