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 https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 .
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. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/heartbroken-widow-geraldine-smith-raises-3452997
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…
There seems to be a plethora (That's a good word, I must look it up.) of reality TV programmes these days that fall into the 'look how stupid I am' or 'help me carry out the simplest of tasks' categories.
Firstly, the look how stupid I am type. These can range from I have eaten too much food and am now so morbidly obese that I can't move (except to get more food) to I can't throw anything away as my house is so full of useless rubbish that I can't see the floor any more. The individuals whose problems are being discussed provide Channels 4 and 5 with hours of programming which allows us viewers to comment, 'look how stupid these people are' and deciding there and then to tidy the house and lose a bit of weight.
The other type of programme concerns simple everyday tasks that ought to be able to be undertaken by everyone and his cat. These began back in the fifties with gardening, cookery and diy programmes always fronted by Percy Thrower, Philip Harbin and Barry Bucknell respectively.
Perhaps these are names you don't know. Barry Bucknell was a posh joiner with an obsession for covering 'ugly' Georgian fireplaces and doors with sleek modern hardboard. He'd be jailed for vandalism nowadays.
Such programmes have been joined by others with a similar format showing us how to sew, shop and even eat.
Any road up, there is another programme which combines the 'stupid' and 'help with simple tasks' aspects into a dreadful offering fronted by some skinny female with the most horrible 'Estuary English' accent and seemingly too many teeth in her face. Her name is Tracey Sullivan... maybe... and the programme is called something like ‘Sort yourself out, thicko’.
This programme centres on a family who have too much clutter in their home. Miss Suriname helps them to de-clutter their house. Fair enough, so far, so mind-numbingly awful, but there is worse to come. Once the place is cleared, Macy Son of Man shows them how to put things into cupboards. Yes, you read that correctly, how to put things into cupboards! She is obviously an expert at putting things into cupboards because, when she has finished, the cupboards have most definitely been filled.
That's how far we have sunk into the mire of dumbed down TV. I had to watch the whole programme just to prove to myself that it really was that dreadful. And it was. Sadly, it did not improve.
It seems that programme makers have decided that people will watch any old tripe. Gogglebox and Naked Attraction fit into this same category. Gogglebox features people watching TV and we are supposed to laugh at their reactions to what they are seeing. Hmm. Naked Attraction is basically Tinder without clothes... actually that probably is already in existence. Anyway, the point is [... what I really mean. - Ed.] these programmes are just utter drivel... cheap to produce and watched by people who think a high iq is a new Apple product.
When Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge suggested a programme called Monkey Tennis, we laughed because the very idea was ludicrous. When I see the current offerings, in hindsight, it seems positively high-brow.
Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?
Were any famous or notorious individuals born on the 28th of August? Of course there were. Here are some that even I know.
Robb Wilton 1881 - Comedian.
John Betjeman 1906 - Poet.
Leslie Dwyer 1906 - Jobbing actor. 145 credits on IMDb from his first film appearance in 1936 to his last role in 1980. It was this final role for which he is best remembered. He was the grumpy Punch and Judy man, Mr Partridge in Hi-de-Hi!
Hugh Cudlipp 1913 - Journalist and newspaper editor.
Michaela Denis 1914 - Wildlife documentary film maker.
Max Robertson 1915 - Sports commentator and presenter of an early Beeb Beeb Ceeb antiques programme called Going for a Song.
Alexander Doré 1923 - Actor. Bertram Bright in Bright’s Boffins. Him.
Windsor Davies 1930 - Actor. Famous as Battery Sergeant Major Williams in It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum.
Philip French 1933 - Film critic.
Harold Snoad 1935 - Television producer. Worked on many Beeb comedy shows from the late 1960s through to the 1990s. His Lordship Entertains, Rings on Their Fingers and Keeping Up Appearances are just three from over 30 that he was responsible for.
Dyson Lovell 1936 - Actor and producer. Appeared in 1968’s Romeo and Juliet as Sampson. He was producer on 1979’s The Champ.
Clem Cattini 1937 - Drummy bloke for The Tornados. He became a session musician after leaving the band and holds the record for playing drums on the most UK Number 1 singles. 42, apparently. Have a clip. Here’s the first record by a British group to reach number 1 in the UK and in the USA, Telstar. It looks as if Clem forgot to bring his drumkit to that recording.
Bob Langley 1939 - TV presenter.
John Marshall 1941 - Drummy bloke with Soft Machine and Nucleus. Have some jehhhzzz; here is Nucleus with Elastic Rock.
David Soul 1943 - Actor who played Hutch in Starsky and Hutch. He also sang and had a few hits. Here is Don't Give Up On Us.
Emlyn Hughes 1947 - Footy bloke.
Alec Sabin 1947 - Actor. Fawn in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Him.
James Aubrey 1948 - Actor. Gavin Sorenson in Bouquet of Barbed Wire and Another Bouquet. Him.
Hugh Cornwell 1949 - Original Stranglers frontman. Have a clip. Here’s No More Heroes.
Tony Husband 1950 - Cartoonist.
Emma Samms 1960 - Actress. Fallon Carrington Colby in Dynasty. Her.
Kim Appleby 1961 - Singer and actress. Here she is feeling G.L.A.D.
Mike Brewer 1964 - Presenter of motoring programmes.
Billy Boyd 1968 - Actor. Pippin in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Him.
Esther Hall 1970 - Actress. Dr. Felix Gibson in Waking the Dead. Her.
Paul Sheerin 1974 - Fitba guy.
Andrew White 1974 - Musician. A Kaiser Chief. Here’s their only number 1 to date, Ruby.
Kezia Dugdale 1981 - Politician.
Kevin McNaughton 1982 - Fitba guy.
Florence Welch 1986 - Musician. Florence of Florence + the Machine. Here is their only UK chart topper, Spectrum (Say My Name).
Jamie Murphy 1989 - Fitba guy. Ex-Motherwell player.
Rian Gordon 1997 - Actor. Conor Brodie in River City. Him.
And what about September the 4th? Here are those that I know who were born on that date.
William Lyons 1901 - Co-founder of Jaguar Cars. Originally, the company was called the Swallow Sidecar Company which became S. S. Cars when the company began producing cars. Towards the end of WWII it was decided to rename the company again, due to the negativity attached to the S.S. monicker.
Geoff Love 1917 - Orchestra leader. Produced a lot of easy-listening type albums in the 1970s and 80s. Appealed to the type who might have bought James Last albums... Or Mantovani. Have a wee clip. Here’s Geoff’s take on the Johnny Mathis toon, Misty.
Hilary Mason 1917 - Actress. Heather in Don’t Look Now. Her.
Teddy Johnson 1920 - Singer. With wife, Pearl Carr, had a few hits including this, Britain’s entry in the 1959 Eurovision Song Contest, Sing Little Birdie. Ye gods and little fishes!
Denis Howell 1923 - Politician.
Robin Hunter 1929 - Actor. Sir Gilbert in Richard the Lionheart. Him.
Edward de Souza 1932 - Actor. Charles Grandmercy in The Troubleshooters. Him.
Dinsdale Landen 1932 - Actor. Mickey Dunne in Mickey Dunne. Him.
Jim Clunie 1933 - Fitba guy.
George Claydon 1933 - Actor. He played the photographer in The Magical Mystery Tour.
Joanna Van Gyseghem 1941 - Actress. Lady Marigold Featherstone in Rumpole of the Bailey.
Bill Kenwright 1945 - Actor turned businessman... oh, and he is chairman of Everton F.C.
Jeffery Kissoon 1947 - Actor. Mr. Kennedy in Grange Hill. Him.
David Renwick 1951 - Scriptwriter. He created One Foot in the Grave and Jonathan Creek.
Martin Chambers 1951 - Drummy bloke with The Pretenders. Here’s a track called Fast or Slow (The Law's the Law). That was Chambers on vocals.
Lorraine Cheshire 1958 - Actress. Sue in Trollied. Her.
Kevin Kennedy 1961 - Actor. Curly Watts in Coronation Street. Him.
Norrie McWhirter 1969 - Fitba guy.
Noah Taylor 1969 - Actor. Darby Sabini in Peaky Blinders. Him.
Guto Pryce 1972 - A Super Furry Animal. Here’s a toon called Northern Lites.
Mark Ronson 1975 - DJ, songwriter and producer. Has had many hit records, including this number one with Bruno Mars, Uptown Funk.
Kai Owen 1975 - Actor. Rhys Williams in Torchwood. Him.
Steven Boyack 1976 - Fitba guy.
Sarah Solemani 1982 - Actress. Miss Gulliver in Bad Education. Her.
Jennifer Metcalfe 1982 - Actress. Mercedes McQueen in Hollyoaks. Her.
Inel Tomlinson 1984 - Comedian.
Michael Smith 1988 - Foody blook, surely noy.
Ryan Flynn 1988 - Fitba guy.
James Bay 1990 - Musician. Here’s his best performing single to date, Hold Back the River.
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Kim Grambleby,
I am surprised that the grambler chappie gave us one of your solo hits rather than one of you with your sister Mel B, or was it Mel C? Nothing against your solo work; it’s all jolly spiffing in my book. Any hoo, I think one of your wonderful duets should be included for people like me who appreciate a good tune produced by those marvellous fellows Lock, Stock and Dennis Waterman. I can’t think which one though. Which would you suggest?
How did The Grambler’s predictions fare last time? Not too well. 70 pees back from a £2.20 stake doesn’t really count as a win. What happened? Read on...
QPR vs Barnsley - Home win
Result - QPR 2 Barnsley 2
Charlie ‘Chummy’ Austin grabbed an added-time goal as QPR came from 2-0 down to rescue a point against Barnsley.
The striker beat keeper Brad ‘Phil’ Collins from Yoann ‘Wally’ Barbet's cross after Ilias ‘Rocking’ Chair had brought Rangers back into the game with an individual effort.
The Yorkshire side had gone ahead early as Dominik ‘Burgeran’ Frieser beat the offside trap and drilled the ball past Seny ‘Gall’ Dieng.
Captain Cauley ‘Culkin’ Woodrow then scored his 50th goal for the club, but they were pushed back as Rangers dominated after the break and Austin's goal earned a deserved draw.
Coventry vs Reading - Home win
Result - Coventry 2 Reading 1
Substitute Matty ‘Yus’ Godden grabbed a 98th-minute winner as Coventry City came from behind to defeat Reading.
Fellow sub Jamie ‘Ray’ Allen had scored an equaliser with his first touch earlier in the second half after John ‘Gulliver’ Swift's penalty had put the visitors ahead.
Luton vs Birmingham - Home win
Result - Luton 0 Birmingham 5
Scott ‘Hulk’ Hogan's double crowned a sparkling display by Birmingham as they thrashed hapless Luton.
Defender Marc ‘Radio’ Roberts headed Blues in front before Hogan nodded in Tahith ‘Impressive’ Chong's cross to double their advantage.
The impressive Chong then set up Hogan to make it 3-0 early in the second half.
Substitutes Gary ‘Ava’ Gardner and Chuks ‘Away’ Aneke both found the net in the closing stages to wrap up the Blues’ win.
In a lively opening, Birmingham goalkeeper Matija ‘Medium’ Sarkic produced a close-range stop to deny Tom ‘Keyto’ Lockyer before the visitors snatched a seventh-minute lead.
Jeremie ‘Lugosi’ Bela's corner caught the Hatters’ defence out as Roberts darted to the near post and directed his glancing header beyond Simon ‘Sea’ Sluga.
Luton’s back line faltered again just before the half-hour, failing to fully clear a corner and Chong delivered the ball back into the penalty area for Hogan to beat Sluga with a looping header.
Sheffield Utd vs Huddersfield - Home win
Result - Sheffield Utd 1 Huddersfield Town 2
Josh ‘Toyota’ Koroma gave Huddersfield the lead with 15 minutes to play, side-footing in the loose ball after his initial shot had been saved.
Billy ‘Needle’ Sharp then thought he had earned the Blades a point in added-on time after scoring the equaliser.
But Colwill turned in a 94th-minute goal after fine work by Harry ‘Gruff’ Toffolo to earn Huddersfield the points.
Stoke vs Nottingham Forest - Home win
Result - Stoke 1 Nottingham Forest 0
Josh ‘Rhyming’ Tymon's goal earned Stoke City a deserved victory over Nottingham Forest.
Tymon drove low into the net despite the best efforts of Forest keeper Brice ‘Carioca’ Samba.
Stoke had dominated with Samba holding a Tommy ‘Gun’ Smith shot and doing brilliantly to deny Steven ‘Arrow’ Fletcher, minutes before Tymon's goal.
Forest failed to register a single shot on target.
That was last
week time, what has The Grambler randomly selected for us this week?
Game - Result - Odds
Bradford vs Walsall - Home win - 7/10
Bristol Rovers vs Crawley Town - Home win - 3/4
Mansfield vs Harrogate Town - Home win - 19/20
Northampton vs Scunthorpe - Home win - 10/11
Port Vale vs Rochdale - Home win - 21/20
Well, the bets are placed. Ten 20 pee doubles plus a single 20 pee accumulator. If the results go as predicted by The Grambler, the Bobby Moore Fund will be richer to the tune of a whopping
Heading for unwhopping territory, I think.
As I am running late with this issue, I can tell you now that we didn’t win much this week. Details next time.
Yay! How did you get on with last time’s five questions? Here are the answers.
1. Who am I?
I was born in 1985 in Londrino, Brazil. I began my senior career at Atlético Paranaense in 2002. I moved to Shakhtar Donetsk in 2005 and played 184 games before moving to my current Premier League club (where I am currently captain) in 2013. I have been capped 53 times for Brazil.
Answer - Fernando Luiz Roza aka Fernandinho
2. Which African nation has won gold, silver and bronze Olympic medals for men’s football?
Answer - Nigeria
3. Mikel Arteta, Graham Potter, Patrick Vieira, Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Steve Bruce have what Premier League-related fact in common?
Answer - They all played in the Premier League and are currently managers in that league.
4. Which outfield player appeared in the Champions League final in three different decades?
Answer - Ryan Giggs
5. The fastest goal scored in Premier League history came in 7.69 seconds. Who scored it?
Answer - Shane Long for Southampton against Watford.
Five for this week? Why not.
1. Who am I
I was born in Cardiff in 1989. [Got it already! - Ed.] I began my senior career at Southampton, before moving to Tottenham Hotspur. [Oh, it’s not who I thought it was. - Ed.] I moved to Real Madrid in 2013, but am currently on loan to my old club, Spurs. [Yep. Got it now. - Ed.]
2. Which club has won each of the four flights of the senior English league, but only once for each?
3. Which former Tottenham Hotspur manager has competed in the Dakar Rally?
4. Singer Nicky Byrne from Westlife played for which club before moving into music?
5. Which former Brazil star spent time in prison after trying to use a fake passport?
There you have it; five teasers to test you. Can you answer them without resorting to Googlie or Bung (or any other search engine, for that matter)?
Remember the serious message...
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 http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign
Please, take a few minutes to watch an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).
Click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26HWQXMalX4
And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, have you ever wondered what tickled the nation’s funny bone around a century ago? [I haven’t, that’s for sure. - Ed.] If you have, then enjoy a few minutes in the company of a Mr. R. Wilton who gives us one of his amusing monologues. Hmm...
That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week (well, most weeks) by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com where you can also catch up on any previous editions you may have missed.