Sunday 23 September 2018

Week 8 - It's the late late Grambler, once more

Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see.

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 is 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.

Similarly, if you haven’t heard it, please listen to Geraldine’s moving radio interview which was on Radio Scotland recently.

Stewart began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery. He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter. His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige. Read on and enjoy


So.... (nod a bit)... it's farewell... (touch glasses)... to.... (more nodding)...Denis Norden... (touch glasses)... The slowest... (nod nod)... television presenter... (touch glasses again while nodding).................. ever.

Those of you of a certain age may remember old Denis... and, believe me, he was old... as the presenter of a programme called It'll be Alright on the Night; a selection of out-takes and mistakes that obviously couldn't be used.... except on a programme like this. It was hilarious. (It says here). It began over 40 years ago when Den was already in his mid fifties and seemed to run for eons (him as well as the programme).

I shouldn't mock it, because it's popularity was such that it seemed every comedy programme from then on copied the idea and had a few out takes tagged on at the end. Oh how we laughed.

Eventually, the genre (That's a good word. Must look it up.) became a parody of itself with even animators making short films of ‘bloopers’ to tag on the end of the main feature. Toy Story, for example, got the treatment.

Any road up, back to Mr Norden. Many are perhaps unaware that It'll be Alright on the Night was a late career move for him; he had started his show business career as a comedy script writer with Frank Muir. After some years as simply writers, tv and radio producers realised that their wit could actually be used in performing roles... Well, if appearing on panel games counts as performing. Thus, the two of them began a second career and became a sort of double act on programmes such as My Word and its spin off My Music.
However, I'm moving too quickly here, it was the first career which should interest us more. From the late nineteen forties through to the early nineteen sixties, Muir and Norden wrote for many radio and television comedies.

Their first huge success was a programme called Take It From Here which starred Jimmy Edwards, Dick Bentley and June Whitfield. I've actually used a clip from the programme as part of in the past. They stuck with Jimmy Edwards when he moved to tv and wrote his series Whack-O which was about a crooked headmaster at a public school for boys. They followed that with another series for him entitled Faces of Jim.

Here's a factoid for you. Do you remember the film Carry On Cleo? The part where Kenneth Williams as Julius Caesar gets his comeuppance, he utters the most memorable Carry On line ever... 'Infamy. Infamy. They've all got it on for me.' Okay, it doesn't look so amusing when it's written down like that, but it was. Believe me. Anyway, it was a gag written by Muir and Norden. So now you know.

They carried on writing together but this would eventually take a back seat as their tv and radio appearance work took over. The partnership lasted over fifty years.



Were any famous or notorious people born on the 22nd of September? Of course, here are some I’ve even heard of. Anne of Cleves 1515 (Wife number four of Henry VIII. They were married for all of six months. She escaped with a divorce.), Michael Faraday 1791 (Scientist famous for his effect, cage, cup, constant, paradox, rotator, wave and wheel among other things.), Christabel Pankhurst 1880 (Queen of the mob.), Erich von Stroheim 1885 (Actor, screenwriter, director and producer), Paul Muni 1895 (Actor), Henry Segrave 1896 (World record setting bloke), John Houseman 1902 (Actor and producer), Rosamunde Pilcher 1924 (Orfer.), Eric Broadley 1928 (Engineer. Founder of Lola, el oh el ay Lola), Fay Weldon 1931 (Orfer), George Younger 1931 (Politician and banker... I said banker), Ingemar Johansson 1932 (Boxy bloke), Toni Basil 1943 (Singer who had a hit with Hey Mickey. ... erm... that’s it), King Sunny Adé 1946 (Musician. Have another clip; here’s Enia l'Asho Mi.), Mark Phillips 1948 (Stud.), David Coverdale 1951 (Chanter with Deep Purple and Whitesnake. Have another clip... Here he goes again.), Richard Fairbrass 1953 (Singer who’s deeply dippy.  No, I have no idea what it means either.), Debby Boone 1956 (Singer. Daughter of Pat who looks suitably proud in this cheesy video for You Light Up My Life.), Nick Cave 1957 (Musician. Have another clip. Here’s Into My Arms.), Andrea Bocelli 1958 (Rerr chanter. Here he is performing Con Te Partiro.), Joan Jett 1958 (Singer who loves rock and roll.), Scott Baio 1960 (Actor), Liam Fox 1961 (Politician from Polomint City), Catherine Oxenberg 1961 (Actress), Ruth Jones 1966 (Actress, isn’t it.), Sue Perkins 1969 (Comedian), Rupert Penry-Jones 1970 (Ectaw), Emmanuel Petit 1970 (Homme de football), Harry Kewell 1978 (Strine footy bloke.), Billie Piper 1982 (Singer turned actress. What? Another clip? Aye, go on then. Why?  Because we want to.) and Glenn Loovens 1983 (Voetballer).


I’ve received a letter...

Dear Mr Fumbler,

I have always been a great fan of singer and actress Billie Piper and am so pleased that you included one of her songs in this week’s edition. The song you gave a link to was her first number one single. The second number one was called Girlfriend. Here’s a teaser for you, can you remember her third and, to date, final number one record?

Yours with knobs on,

Diane Ite.




Let’s move onto grambling matters. How did last week’s bet fare? All right, actually. Made a wee profit for once. Not much. 30 pees. Better than a poke in the eye with a wet fish. What happened? Read on...


Newcastle vs Arsenal - Prediction Away win

Result - Newcastle 1 Arsenal 2


Despite being frustrated in the first half, Granit Xhaka opened the scoring for the Gunners with an excellent long-range free-kick after the break, before Mesut Ozil followed up Alexandre Lacazette's blocked effort to double the advantage.

Ciaran Clark responded in stoppage time for the hosts.


Coventry vs Barnsley - Prediction Away win

Result - Coventry 1 Barnsley 0


Conor Chaplin should have given the home side an early breakthrough when he somehow side-footed wide from six yards.

Jacob Brown spurned two clear-cut chances for Barnsley, firstly when he intercepted Junior Brown's backpass only to see goalkeeper Lee Burge touch his low shot on to a post before firing wide when well-placed from Mamadou Thiam's low cross.

Burge tipped Thiam's 20-yard curler over the bar five minutes into the second half, but at the other end, City were denied when Chaplin's fierce finish from a Jonson Clarke-Harris knockdown was disallowed for offside in the build-up.

An end-to-end affair saw scrambles in both boxes but City snatched the winner when Michael Doyle's free-kick was headed back inside by Dominic Hyam and Jordan Willis hurled himself forward to bundle in from close range.


Macclesfield vs Lincoln - Prediction Away win

Result - Macclesfield 1 Lincoln 2


The Imps had had an alarmingly easy afternoon at the Moss Rose but looked to have thrown two points away when Jamie Grimes scrambled in an equaliser five minutes from time, cancelling out Tom Pett's first-half goal.

But centre-back Jason Shackell fired in through a crowd of players to increase the misery for second-bottom Macclesfield and keep Lincoln riding high.

In truth the struggling Silkmen had been overrun in a one-sided game, only the heroics of goalkeeper Kieran O'Hara seemingly earning a reward after impressively denying John Akinde, Pett and Harry Anderson.

O'Hara had performed heroics with his side barely able to lay a glove on their high-flying guests as Macclesfield's torment continued late into the game.

That was until Grimes pounced during a goalmouth scramble but, while Lincoln were not at their best, Shackell's goal moments later was enough for the win.


Brechin vs Raith Rovers - Prediction Away win

Result - Brechin 1 Raith Rovers 1

Ooh! ’It the bar!

Match report? Ha ha ha ha... This is a Scottish League One game and therefore unrecognised by the Beeb Beeb Ceeb.

Berwick vs Elgin - Prediction Away win

Result - Berwick 0 Elgin 3


See above.

Okey dokey, let’s have a look what The Grambler has come up with this week.

Game - Result - Odds

Aston Villa vs Sheffield Wed - Prediction Home win - 4/7

Leeds vs Birmingham - Prediction Home win - 5/6

Middlesbrough vs Swansea - Prediction Home win - 13/20

Sheffield Utd vs Preston - Prediction Home win - 17/20

West Brom vs Millwall - Prediction Home win - 7/10


The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...




Hmm... That is distinctly unwhopping.


As this week’s edition is so late, I can tell you that these predictions turned out to be a bit rubbishy, only two proving to be correct. Sorry about that.





Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you which club dropped Boscombe from its name in 1972. The answer, of course, is Premiershit team A.F.C. Bournemouth.

That was too easy, don’t you think? How about one for this week? Here’s a good un... What connects the football clubs Southamption, Darlington and Plymouth Argyle?  Hint: it's to do with nicknames.  Hmm... very interesting.




As usual, I remind you of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration. Just point your doctor in the direction of



And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Messrs D. Norden and F. Muir who provide us with our final clip of the week.

Long long ago, when you went to the cinema, you didn't just watch one film and that was it, as happens nowadays. This is relevant, I assure you. There used to be an accompanying film (a 'B' movie), a news report and, sometimes, another short, informative film. Often, these took the form of travelogues about far off exotic lands which the average Brit had only ever read about in books; places like Tahiti, Peru or Bali might feature.

The clip I am giving you a link to is a spoof travelogue written by Muir and Norden. Ladeez and genullum, please enjoy Balham - Gateway to the South.
Pronounced Bal-ham


That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at


Happy grambling.


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