Saturday 8 February 2020

Week 27/28 - Grambling up the wall

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


We begin the blog today with a nice little toon. All together now...

La la la la la

La la la la la la

La la la la la la la

La la la la la

La la la la la la

La la la la la la la


Thing a thong

Thing out loud

Thing out thtrong

Thing of good thingth

Not bad

Thing of happy

Not thad


Thing a thong

Make it thimple

to latht your whole life long

Don’t worry if itth not good en...

[How could you?! You are making fun of people who can’t talk properly! Appalling behaviour! - Ed.]

I’m not.

[Yeth you are... Whatth going on? Why am I thpeaking tho thtrangely? Why can’t I thay my etheth? - Ed.]

The eth on my keyboard ith acting up, tho I’ve got to uthe ‘th’ to replace it.

[That’th prepothterouth? How can you produce a whole blog while thounding like Daffy Duck? - Ed.]

It theems to be intermittent and it can thuddenly thort itself out. See? It’s done it again.

Let’s get on with this week’s blog.

Sorry about that start. It wasn't designed to poke fun at speech impediments. Perish the thought. However, it does lead us nicely into this week's (g)ramble which is to do with voiceovers. Sorry pardon excuse me?

Do you remember the days when to be an announcer/presenter on radio or television a person had to speak proper Beeb Beeb Ceeb English. It was all a bit forced, but at least every syllable of every word could be understood.
Nowadays, it seems that anything goes. We have had professional cockney, Ray Onestone telling us to gaymbool reeshponshibly for years.

Mind you, his crown as the most annoying fake cockney might be slipping; Danny dialler is breathing down his neck as the presenter of a programme supposed to be called The Wall but he calls it 'Duh woo.'

Another annoying speaker has turned up on a programme called Countryfile. I don't mean Matt Baker from off of The One Show. [He’s done more shows than one, surely. - Ed.] Don't call me Shirley. Ahem. He has a Geordie accent, but it has been ironed out a bit, unlike the accents of Ray Winsome and Danny Dire. Mind you, if he hadn't adapted it for television he would probably have been as unintelligible (That's a good word. Must look it up.) as the farmer in Shaun the Sheep whose speech consists of noises... Eh? Ooh hoo. Wuh hey. Huh huh huh. Ay etc..

No, the guy I'm referring to is the bloke in the wheelchair. I know the Beeb likes to promote its inclusion credentials by employing disabled people in plum jobs, but I think being able to talk properly ought to be that guy's main qualification. He speaks in what is called estuary English. In other words, he comes from the London area. His accent isn't quite as thick as the aforementioned Messrs Winton and Dryer, but it's too close for my liking. F sounds abound when he should be saying th. He would probably argue that his accent wasn't vat fick.

Sticking with mockney cockney, one of the worst offenders in the TV presentation world is Mike Blewitt, presenter of Wheeler Dealers. He uses a steering wool to guide a vehicle and presses the selleray'uh to make it go faster. I love cars and I would dearly love to watch Wheeler Dealers but can't because I want to throw something at the television whenever Mr Brewster opens his noof en saahf.

Regular readers of the world's most ill-informed blog, may recall my love for the erudite Mr Jamie Callahan who is regularly seen on Sky football programmes [Now you're just being sarcastic. - Ed.] Indeed I am being sarcastic. His scouse accent is pretty much impenetrable... ‘Dey tink der a good team. Der noh.’ Translation: They think they are a good team. They are not.

That is bad enough, but of late a different type of annoying accent is being deployed by the TV companies. Don't think me racist, but it is obviously the voice of a young black person. The advert is for Macburger or Donald King or some such. The ad tells us that a particular item can be purchased for 99p. Nothing wrong with the wording of the advert. And the message is getting through loud and clear. So what is my gripe? That young black person's accent; particularly the way she pronounces 99. It comes out as naah y naan. It isn't trendy or clever to use someone who can’t talk properly, whoever came up with this particular campaign. It is just bloody annoying.

That is bad enough, but the British Broadcorping Casteration in its corporate wisdom thinks that such a 'trendy' way of speaking should be utilised more. So we now have a continuity announcer (or whatever they are called these days) telling us about some forthcoming highlight on Friday evening. Again the information being given is understood but the pronunciation just grates. Well, to me anyway. Highlight comes out as 'hah lat' and Friday night comes out as 'fraddy nat'.

I'm all for diversification but come on Beeb Beeb Ceeb, there is a limit to what is acceptable. As Stewart Lee, the well-known comedian, says, it makes you long for the days when having a regional accent was seen as a disadvantage.






Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we? Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 1st of February? Of course there were; here are some I’ve actually heard of. Henry Briggs 1630 (Mathematician who gave us logarithms [Sounds painful. - Ed.]), Clara Butt 1872 (Chanter. Here’s a 111 year old clip of her giving it laldy - Ombra mai fu), John Ford 1894 (Film director. Westerns were his forte.), Stephen Potter 1900 (Orfer.), Clark Gable 1901 (Actor. Could you give a damn?), Stanley Matthews 1915 (Footie bloke. Oldest ever player in the English top flight, still playing when aged 50.), Muriel Spark 1918 (Orfer. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, that was one of hers.), Colin Watson 1920 (Orfer.), Peter Sallis 1920 (Ector. Wallace of Wallace and Gromit fame.), Boris Yeltsin 1931 (The well-known drunkard president.), Don Everly 1937 (Performed with brother Phil in a singing duo. [Really? Which one? - Ed.] Have a clip. Here they wonder when they'll be loved.), Claude François 1939 (Chanteur. Voici Comme d’habitude dans son original Français.  Profitez-en.), Terry Jones 1942 (Actor, writer, comedian, film director and historian... In fact, a right old smarty boots.), Elisabeth Sladen 1946 (Ectress. Played Sarah Jane Smith in Dr. Who and various spinoffs... Erm... That’s it.), Adam Ingram 1947 (Politician. One time M.P. for Polomint City.), Rick James 1948 (Musician. Have a clip... Ever wondered where M.C. Hammer got that riff? Here’s Super Freak.), Nick Magnus 1955 (Musician. Fancy a clip? Here’s Winter. Nick is on keyboards, by the way... He doesn't sing.  Just thought I would clarify that.), Luther Blissett 1958 (Footy bloke.), Simon Stainrod 1959 (Footy bloke.), Linus Roache 1964 (Ectaw. Ken Barlow’s lad.), Brandon Lee 1965 (Actor. Son of Bruce.), Lisa Marie Presley 1968 (Elvis’s lass and Jacko’s missus.), Andrew VanWyngarden 1983 (Half of MGMT [Which? MG or MT? - Ed.] A clip?  It's time to pretend.), Darren Fletcher 1984 (Footy bloke.), Dean Shiels 1985 (Another footy bloke.), Dan Gosling 1990 (Footy bloke.) and Harry Styles 1994 (Singer who has that X factor. A clip? This is a sign of the times.).

What about the 8th of February? John Ruskin 1819 (Orfer.), Jules Verne 1828 (Auteur.), John Moore-Brabazon 1884 (Politician.), Edith Evans 1888 (Ectress. Famous for two words and two words only... ‘A handbag?’ Not much of a legacy.), King Vidor 1894 (Film maker. Not really a king.), Lana Turner 1921 (Actress.), Jack Lemmon 1925 (Actor.), James Dean 1931 (Actor.), Cliff Allison 1932 (Racey car bloke.), John Williams 1932 (Composer. Famous for writing many film theme tunes from the 1970s onwards. Before that, TV was his domain and he provided a few theme toons. Let’s hear an early example, here's Checkmate. ), Nick Nolte 1941 (Actor.), Roger Lloyd-Pack 1944 (Actor.), Carolyn Pickles 1952 (Ectress.), Mary Steenburgen 1953 (Actress.), John Grisham 1955 (Orfer.), Vince Neil 1961 (A bit of Mötley Crüe. A clip? Here’s Girls Girls Girls. At least there's nothing sexist about the accompanying video.), Trinny Woodall 1964 (TV presenter.), Hristo Stoichkov 1966 (футболен човек.), Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall 1967 (Bowly bloke.), Gary Coleman 1968 (Actor.), Seth Green 1974 (Voice artist these days apparently.), Abi Titmuss 1976 (Actress.), Ralf Little 1980 (Actor.) and Javi Garcia 1987 (Hombre de fútbol.).





I’ve received a letter...


Dear Mr Mambo,

Before I retired, I was a film writer for a well-known newspaper and I got to see every film release there was. I am so pleased that you gave us a link to a John Williams composition. I always felt that his rip-roaring tunes were perfectly suited to the film one was about to see. Think Star Wars or... that other one. What was it called again? Indiana Jones! That’s it, yes. Both had rousing tunes that went so well with the films for which they were written. He could produce gentler pieces as well. There was a film from 1987... or was it 88? My memory isn’t what it was. Anyway, he provided lovely music for a film called... No. It’s gone. It was a good film too. I wonder what it was called...

Yours absent-mindedly,






Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did our little bet go last time? It won. Yay? Definitely yay. £3.28 back from our £2.20 stake. Woo hoo! An actual profit! What happened? Read on.


Blackpool vs Tranmere - Result Home win

Result - Match postponed

I have no idea what effect that has on the bet.

Stevenage vs Plymouth - Result Away win

Result - Stevenage 1 Plymouth Argyle 2


Both sides had early chances to take the lead with the hosts forcing Argyle keeper Alex Palmer into a top save through Jake Cassidy before Antoni Sarcevic's shot trickled wide at the other end.

Argyle hit the front in the 47th minute as Byron Moore coolly finished after being played through by George Cooper.

The match was disrupted in the second half as the ground was plunged into darkness following a floodlight failure.

After the restart, Palmer produced a fine stop to tip Charlie Carter's strike onto the crossbar and keep the visitors ahead.

New boy Ryan Hardie bagged his third goal in as many games as he rounded Paul Farman in the Stevenage goal before firing home in the 77th minute.

Carter pulled one back for Boro with eight minutes to go as he nodded home off the post but Argyle held on.


Swindon vs Port Vale - Result Home win

Result - Swindon 3 Port Vale 0


The Robins took the lead in the 41st minute when Diallang Jaiyesimi's shot took a deflection off Leon Legge and into the back of the net, when the initial effort was going wide of the far post.

In first-half stoppage time, the hosts doubled their lead in much better style.

Midfield playmaker Michael Doughty picked out Rob Hunt with a sensational through ball and Hunt cut it back across goal for debutant Hallam Hope to slide in his first goal three days after joining from Carlisle.

Doughty finished matters on the hour by curling in a majestic free-kick with his left foot into the right-hand side of the net, with the Robins putting daylight between themselves and Exeter.

It could have been 4-0 five minutes later, but Kaiyne Woolery was denied by the post. Vale rarely threatened but Mark Cullen shot over early in the second half.


Queen of the South vs Alloa - Result Home win

Result - Queen of the South 2 Alloa 3


Kevin O'Hara's opening goal came after the Queen of the South defence failed to clear the danger and the striker took advantage.

He then turned provider as he played a lovely ball across the face of goal, Robert Thompson finishing off with ease.

Jack Hamilton came on as a second-half substitute and got the better of a mistake by Alloa Keeper Andy Wilson, who'd come on to replace the injured Jamie MacDonald.

Stephen Dobbie then unleashed a stunning strike from about 20 yards to equalise.

Both sides pushed forward looking for the winner, and with nine minutes to go Alloa found it. A lovely ball in from the right from Ben Stirling found O'Hara in space and he wrapped up the win.


Raith vs Montrose - Result Home win

Result - Raith Rovers 4 Montrose 3


No match report. Boo.

Not a bad result for The Grambler; can he/she/it continue the good work? [Doubt it. - Ed.] Here are this week’s predictions...

Game - Result - Odds

Exeter vs Stevenage - Prediction Home win - 4/6

Forest Green vs Walsall - Prediction Home win - 10/11

Orient vs Macclesfield - Prediction Home win - 17/20

Newport vs Cambridge - Prediction Home win - 3/4

Northampton vs Port Vale - Prediction Home win - 19/20


Uh oh, The Grambler is stuck in one division mode again; all predictions are from the English League 2. Anyway, 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 Predictions, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...



Woo, two pees more than last time.




Teaser time. Yay! Last time I asked you what Jairzinho, Chris Kamara, Gary McAllister and Robbie Elliot have in common. The answer is that they all share the same birthday. It is a birthday they share with somebody even more famous: Jesus. They were all born on Christmas day.

One for this week? Here’s one that is, sort of, football related. Till Death Us Do Part was a popular Beeb Beeb Ceeb comedy from the 1960s. Its main characters were Alf and Else Garnett with daughter Rita and her husband Mike Rawlins. Alf was a mad keen football fanatic. Two questions for you this week: What team did Alf support and what was the character of Alf Garnett’s name changed from after the pilot edition shown as part of the Beeb’s Comedy Playhouse series of 1965 and why was is changed? [That’s three questions sure... by my reckoning. - Ed.]





As usual (at the risk of repeating myself), 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



Please, also take the time to click on this link, an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).





And finally Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to a Mr. T. Jones who didn’t quite live long enough to celebrate his 78th birthday on February the 1st. Terry died on January the 21st. I had followed his career from the mid 1960s (Yes, I am that old.) when he appeared with Michael Palin and Eric Idle in Do Not Adjust Your Set, a programme I have mentioned before in this esteemed blog. My favourite Terry Jones was not so much the comedian as the writer. I recommend that you read his book Douglas Adams’ Starship Titanic: A Novel based on an early computer game developed by Douglas Adams. An excellent read. What a pity Jones wasn’t the author entrusted with continuing the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy novels after Adams’ death rather than Eoin Colfer. Only my opinion, of course, but Jones’ sense of the absurd was closer to Adams way of thinking. Any road up, I’m waffling on here... You just want a clip to finish this week’s edition, don’t you? Have you ever watched Horrible Histories? It takes a look at historical events and gives them a comedy twist. What a novel idea, I hear you say. Not so, says I. Terry Jones and Michael Palin were there first... over 50 years ago. Let’s go back to 1969 and enjoy The Complete and Utter History of Britain.

Just a leetle waffer theen meent


That’th all for thith week folkth, but remember you can read the muthingth of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at


Happy grambling.


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