Saturday 11 March 2023

Post 473 - A small screen gramble

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 The Grambler’s Kick Cancer’s Backside (

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.

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


Story time...

How often have you heard it said that kids spend too long on their phones/tablet/x box/laptop/any other computery type gadget? What's that you say? Seven. Is that all?

It seems to be a mantra to a lot of us oldies to constantly tell children that they shouldn't be using their gadgets so much. Why? Why are we so critical of them? When we were kids, were we not encouraged to play games? Of course we were. And what is this generation doing? Playing games; albeit remotely, but they are still playing games.

We were encouraged to read, so we read comics. Not the most educational way to spend time, but we were at least reading something. What are the current crop of kids doing? They are reading. I've no idea what they are reading, but they are most definitely reading.

When we were given homework, we were encouraged to visit the library to answer any questions we might have concerning history, geography, science or whatever.

Nowadays, kids don't need to visit libraries when they are given homework; they have the information at their fingertips... as long as they get their information from the right source. Please don't begin your essay with the words 'According to The Grambler...'

Screens? Okay, readers out there in Gramblerland, how many hours a day did you spend in front of a TV screen watching any old tripe? At least kids are now able to choose what they watch.

So hurray for computers, say I.

What has prompted this defence of children and their use of screens? Going for a meal out. Sorry pardon excuse me? Yep. Visiting a restaurant is a pleasant experience these days. No longer do you have screaming kids chasing each other around the tables. You don't hear parents shouting at their offspring to come back to the table and eat something. Why not? Because a child with a computer in front of him/her is a happy child; engrossed and quiet.

Mind you, it can backfire spectacularly. If you have ever frequented Mcdonald's, you may have noticed that, often, there is a higher table which has computer screens mounted on it. Usually, there might be half a dozen at most. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but most McDonald's customers are children, and most McDonald's restaurants are busy most of the time. [And what point are you trying to, mostly, make? - Ed.] Six screens won't keep twenty or thirty screaming weans happy. How could I describe the scene? Remember those old cowboy films where a fight would break out in a bar because somebody looked at somebody else the wrong way? You know; the ones where bottles, chairs and tables are weaponised and used to reshape somebody's head? Well, something like that... Thank goodness, the chairs and tables in McDonald's are fixed to the floor and drinks receptacles are made of cardboard otherwise there could be some nasty injuries, I reckon. I am relieved to see that our local branch has removed the offending/offensive items.

Either that or children have ripped them out to use as weapons during a battle.




Birthday honours...

Let’s move on to the birthday honours, shall we?

Were any famous or not so well-known individuals born on the 4th of March? Of course there were. Here are some that even I have heard of.

Jack Sheppard 1702 - Thief and jailbreaker. I don’t usually include criminal types in the birthday honours, but this guy’s story takes some beating.

He came a poor family and trained to be a carpenter but, before completing his apprenticeship, he took to a life of crime in 1723. In 1724 he was arrested and imprisoned five times, but managed to escape on four occasions.

Due to his exploits, he became something of a folk hero at the time. His criminal career only lasted two years before he was hanged at Tyburn.

He is still remembered today. Yes, really. The character of Macheath in The Beggar’s Opera was based on Jack Sheppard. That play was later updated by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill as Die Dreigroschenoper or, as it was known in English, The Threepenny Opera and from that we get this... take it away, Mr Darin.

That’s very interesting.

Tommy Noble 1897 - Boxy bloke.

Ivan Hurst 1916 - Army officer who revived the Volkswagen motor works after WWII. Pity he wasn’t around in the 1990s to revive the British motor industry.

Alan MacNaughtan 1920 - Actor. Howarth in To Serve Them All My Days.

Joan Greenwood 1921 - Actress. Sibella in Kind Hearts and Coronets.

Patrick Moore 1923 - (Much parodied) astronomer, broadcaster and writer.

Bert Parnaby 1924 - Actor. Sir Austin Fletcher in By The Sword Divided.

Alan Sillitoe 1928 - An ‘angry young man’ writer. Wrote Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. I’m sure he wrote on other days as well.

John Dunn 1934 - Broadcaster.

Nancy Whiskey 1935 - Singer. Here’s the song she is best-remembered for, Freight Train. Apparently, that was my favourite song when I was about two years old.

Jim Clark 1936 - The greatest ever racing driver. No argument.

Keith Skues 1939 - Broadcaster.

Gordon Lorenz 1943 - Producer and songwriter. Here’s one he wrote for the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday.

Harvey Postlethwaite 1944 - Technical director for top F1 teams of the 70s, 80s and 90s.

Harvey Goldsmith 1946 - Music promoter.

Adrienne Posta 1948 - Actress. Moira Joseph in To Sir, with Love.

Mike Moran 1948 - Songwriter and composer. [There’s a difference? - Ed.] He wrote and performed the UK entry for the Eurovision Song Contest with Lynsey de Paul, Rock Bottom.  It placed second. I’m not surprised; it’s got number two all over it.

Chris Squire 1948 - Musician. Bass player with Yes throughout his career, but had a few side projects as well. He teamed up with Steve Hackett in a band they called Squackett. Geddit? A clip? Why not. Here’s Sea of Smiles.

Michael Barrett aka Shakin’ Stevens 1948 - Singer, isn’t it. Here’s a really early tune from Shaky and his band, The Sunsets, The Spirit of Woodstock.

Kenny Dalglish 1951 - We’ve had the greatest racing driver, here’s the greatest fitba guy.

Chris Rea 1951 - Musician, laik. (That’s meant to be Geordie.) Here’s an early performance on TOGWT, Whatever Happened to Benny Santini.  Benny Santini? Apparently, it’s the stage-name record producers suggested Chris should adopt.

Pete Haycock 1951 - Musician. Founding member of Climax Blues Band. Here’s a toon you might know, Couldn't Get It Right.

Willie Thorne 1954 - Snookery bloke.

Rowland ‘Boon’ Gould 1955 - Musician. Founding member of Level 42. What’s that? You want a clip? Your wish is my command. Here’s the band’s first top 40 hit, Love Games.  Funky! I said funky.

Joey Jones 1955 - Pêl-droediwr. Factoid: Jones was the first Welsh player to win a European Cup winners medal with Liverpool in 1977.

Cheryl Fergison 1964 - Actress. Heather Trott in Eastenders you slag.

Andrew Collins 1965 - A writer and broadcaster who I’ve met and chatted to.

John Murphy 1965 - Composer. You may not recognise his name, but you might recognise this piece of music, Adagio in D Minor from Sunshine.

Tim Vine 1967 - Comedian.

Patsy Kensit 1968 - Actress. Faye Morton/Byrne in Holby City. Factoid: She played the daughter of Robert Redford and Mia Farrow in The Great Gatsby when aged just four.

Will Keen 1970 - Actor. Father/President/Cardinal MacPhail in His Dark Materials.

Alison Wheeler 1972 - Singer. Joined The Beautiful South after the departure of Jacqui Abbott. Here’s an ELO cover featuring Alison, Livin' Thing.

Penny Mordaunt 1973 - Politician.

Christian Jessen 1977 - TV doctor.

John Lawler aka Jon Fratelli 1979 - Musician. Fratellis’ frontman. Here’s the band’s only number one (in Scotland only), Look Out Sunshine.

Josh Bowman 1988 - Actor. Dr. Antonio in Our Girl.

Conor Townsend 1993 - Footy bloke.

Brooklyn Beckham 1999 - Clothes horse.


Okay what about the 11th of March?

Henry Tate 1819 - Sugar merchant.

Malcolm Campbell 1885 - Land and water speed record holder. Not a greengrocer.

Jessie Metthews 1907 - Ectress, singer end dencer. Hev a clip(ped eccent). Hahs It's Lav Again.  Thet was ebsolutely wanderful.

Oh Jessie, you look so yang

William Lloyd Webber 1911 - Composer. Andy’s dad.

Harold Wilson 1916 - Politician and mannequin for Gannex raincoats.

James Hamilton 1918 - Politician.

Ted Tinkler 1921 - Crickety bloke. I’ve never heard of him, but what a brilliant name.

Terence Alexander 1923 - Actor. Charlie Hungerford in Bergerac.

Derek Benfield 1926 - Actor. Robert Wainthropp in Hetty Wainthropp Investigates.

Ron Todd 1927 - General secretary of the Transport and General Workers’ Union.

Lana Morris 1930 - Actress. Helene Hillmer in The Forsyte Saga.

Nigel Lawson 1932 - Politician. Nigella’s dad.

Dilys Laye 1934 - Actress. Mavis Winkle in Carry On Doctor.

Peter Eyre 1942 - Actor. Lord Halifax in The Remains of the Day.

Graham Lyle 1944 - Musician. Half of Gallagher and Lyle. [Which half? - Ed.] He is also a renowned songwriter. Did you know he wrote this?

Don Maclean 1944 - Comedian.

Geoff Turton 1944 - Musician. One-time frontman of The Rockin’ Berries. Would you like a clip? Course you would. Here’s He's in Town.  [Are they talking about the scary man at the start and end of the video? He really is creepy. - Ed.]

David Stewart 1947 - Fitba guy.

Alan Yentob 1947 - TV exec. and presenter.

Jan Schelhaas 1948 - Musician. Sometime member of prog bands Camel and Caravan. Here he is playing keyboards with Caravan on Unauthorized Breakfast Item.  And no, he doesn’t look anything like Ron Atkinson.

Douglas Adams 1952 - Writer.

Graham ‘Kirby’ Gregory 1953 - Musician. One-time member of Curved Air, he later formed the band Stretch and wrote this song for them, Why Did You Do It. I’m assuming he’s questioning the other band members’ choices of hairstyle.

James Fleet 1954 - Actor. Hugo Horton in The Vicar of Dibley.

David Williams 1955 - Pêl-droediwr isn’t it.

Cameron McVey 1957 - Singer, songwriter and producer. He almost had a hit with this, Looking Good Diving.  Hmm... I wonder why that didn’t storm up the charts. Factoid: He is married to Neneh Cherry.

Robert Glenister 1960 - Actor. DI Kevin Salisbury in Sherwood.

Alex Kingston 1963 - Actress. Elizabeth Corday in ER.

Emma Chambers 1964 - Actress. Alice Tinker in The Vicar of Dibley.

Shane Ritchie 1964 - Actor. Alfie Moon in Eastenders. ’Oo you calling a slag!

Nigel Adkins 1965 - Footy bloke.

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen 1965 - Dandy.

Paddy O’Connell 1966 - Broadcaster.

John Barrowman 1967 - Actor, author, presenter, singer and comic-book writer. In fact, a right old smarty boots.

Dominic Mafham 1968 - Actor. Matthew Castle in Castles.

Jane Slavin 1970 - Actress. Georgy Kepler in Peak Practice.

Adam Wakeman 1974 - Musician. Son of Rick.

Craig Parkinson 1974 - Actor. Matt in Four Lions.

Russell Lissack 1981 - Musician. Guitar and keyboard player with Bloc Party. Would you like a clip? Go on, you know you do. Here’s Their biggest hit, The Prayer.

Jodie Comer 1993 - Actress. Villanelle in Killing Eve.

Andrew Robertson 1994 - Fitba guy.




Gramble time...

How did our last bet with Radblokes fare? We won. Seriously. Nay kidding. We won £10.24 from our £2.20 stake. Woo hoo! What happened? Read on...

West Ham vs Nottingham Forest - Home win

Result - West Ham 4 Nottingham Forest 0


Danny Ings was quiet for large periods but his two clinical finishes after te half time break settled the nerves around London Stadium and ensured that the hosts could kick on to an eventual thumping victory.

Further goals from captain Declan Rice and substitute Michail Antonio sent the home fans away smiling on a rare goal-filled afternoon.

Forest were lifeless throughout in a disappointing display.


Norwich vs Cardiff - Home win

Result - Norwich 2 Cardiff 0

Woo hoo!

Gabriel Sara fired Norwich ahead on 33 minutes with a precise finish from the edge of the penalty area.

Four minutes later the Canaries took control as Marquinhos swept home at the far post from Onel Hernandez's cross.

Norwich might have scored more goals in the second half, while Jaden Philogene hit the post for Cardiff late on.


Sheffield Utd vs Watford - Home win

Result - Sheffield Utd 1 Watford 0


After a tense first half failed to produce a shot on target from either side, Ryan Porteous diverted the winner into his own net after reacting to a header from Oli McBurnie.

Earlier an offside flag denied Jayden Bogle from heading the hosts in front just after the hour mark.

Watford goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann made crucial saves either side of that effort being ruled out - first denying Oliver Norwood from a free-kick before coming up with a double save to foil substitutes Tommy Doyle and Ben Osborn.


Fleetwood vs Morecambe - Home win

Result - Fleetwood 1 Morecambe 0


A first-half goal from Carlos Mendes Gomes was enough to give Fleetwood Town the three points in this entertaining League One derby at Highbury.

He scored the only goal of the game on 13 minutes after a flowing move down the right.

Shaun Rooney played in Jayden Stockley and the striker's cross was volleyed home by Mendes Gomes from six yards out.

Morecambe almost replied immediately when Michael Mellon headed a Danny Crowley cross against the crossbar.

Mendes Gomes curled an effort just wide and Rooney saw a shot blocked on the line as Fleetwood looked to extend their lead before the break.

The second half saw Morecambe substitute Ash Hunter force Jay Lynch into a save low to his right and have a good penalty shout for a Rooney handball waved away before Harvey Macadam and Rooney wasted glorious late chances to extend Fleetwood's lead.


Portsmouth vs Cheltenham - Home win

Result - Portsmouth 4 Cheltenham 0

Whoop de ******* doo!

Ryan Tunnicliffe scored one goal and made another as a dominant Portsmouth claimed an emphatic 4-0 win against Cheltenham at Fratton Park.

Pompey went close after just 41 seconds as Colby Bishop was sent clear, only to see goalkeeper Luke Southwood block his tame effort.

But the hosts took the lead inside five minutes when a pass from Bishop teed up Tunnicliffe to side-foot into the corner of the net from outside the box.

On 20 minutes, a neat one-two between Bishop and Michael Jacobs saw the latter convert for 2-0.

Owen Dale beat two Cheltenham defenders and shot against the bar, before Ronan Curtis fired home following Tunnicliffe's pass on 26 minutes.

As hard as Cheltenham tried at the start of the second half, Pompey took back control, and although not as dominant as they were in the first, they added a fourth courtesy of a rocket shot from Louis Thompson in stoppage time.


Well, that was fun. Can The Grambler make it two wins on the trot? [Doubt it - Ed.] Let’s see what he/she/it has come up with this week.

Game - Result - Odds

Bolton vs Ipswich - Away win - 20/21

Oxford vs Derby - Away win - 11/10

Shrewsbury vs Morecambe - Home win - 4/6

Grimsby vs Rochdale - Home win - 10/11

Stevenage vs Walsall - Home win - 4/5

The bets have been 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


I suppose that is a bit whopping.




Teaser time...

Yay! How did you get on with the five teasers set last time? Here are the answers.

1. Who am I?

I was born in Spain in 1989. A defender, I began my senior career at Osasuna before moving to Marseille. I moved to my current club, Chelsea, in 2012. I have been capped for my country 44 times.

Answer - César Azpilicueta

2. Who was the last English manager of a UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League winning side?

Answer - Keith Burkinshaw (Tottenham Hotspur 1984)

3. Who was the only German to play Premier League football with Manchester United?

Answer - Bastian Schweinsteiger

4. Who has coached Coventry City, Southampton, Celtic, Middlesbrough and Scotland?

Answer - Gordon Strachan

5. Which club has the nickname The Honest Men?

Answer - Ayr United

Okeydokey, let’s have five for this week...

1. Who am I

An easy one this week. I was born in Chuncheon, South Korea in 1992. That’s probably as much as you need to know. Need more clues? I currently play for Tottenham Hotspur. Got him yet? I have scored 98 goals (and counting). I have been capped for South Korea 108 times.

2. Who is Fleetwood Town’s manager?

3. Whose transfer fee in 2000 is still a record paid by any Scottish club?

4. Mo Salah last week broke Robbie Fowler’s record for the number of Premier League goals scored for Liverpool, but who is Liverpool’s most prolific scorer of all-time?

5. Which club plays its home games at the Falmer Stadium?

There you have it; five teasers to test you. As always, try and answer them before shouting out Hey Googly, Syria or Alexis. Please feel free to pass on the link to your pals so that they can enjoy The Grambler’s footy teasers too.




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 (the already mentioned) Never Too Young | Bowel Cancer UK





Please, take a few minutes to watch an informative little video from Mersh (a great friend of Stewart’s).

Click on this link: The amount raised is a little out of date; it is now sitting at...





And Finally...

And finally, Cyril? And finally, Esther, I am indebted to that most amusing personality, the wizard of the one-liner, the jolliest of jolly japesters and most convivial comic, Mr Timothy Vine who ends this week’s edition of the world’s greatest ill-informed blog with a few humorous gags. He tells the jokes quickly without really waiting for a response from the audience. It’s a scatter gun approach, so audiences might groan at a duffer knowing that a good one is bound to come along soon. I’m sure you’ll smile a few times while reading these...

I’d like to start with the chimney jokes – I’ve got a stack of them. The first one is on the house.

The advantages of easy origami are two-fold

I did a gig in a fertility clinic. I got a standing ovulation.

I had a dream last night that I was cutting carrots with the Grim Reaper – dicing with death.

I rang up British Telecom and said: ‘I want to report a nuisance caller.’ He said: ‘Not you again.’

I saw this bloke chatting-up a cheetah and I thought: ‘He’s trying to pull a fast one.’

I rang up my local swimming baths. I said: ‘Is that the local swimming baths?’ He said: ‘It depends where you’re calling from.’

I said to the gym instructor: ‘Can you teach me to do the splits?’ He said: ‘How flexible are you?’ I said: ‘I can’t make Tuesdays.’

I’m against hunting. In fact, I’m a hunt saboteur. I go out the night before and shoot the fox.

This policeman came up to me with a pencil and a piece of very thin paper. He said, ‘I want you to trace someone for me.’

I met this bloke with a didgeridoo and he was playing Dancing Queen on it. I thought, ‘that’s Abba-riginal.’

I’ve decided to sell my Hoover – it was just collecting dust.

I was getting into my car, and this bloke says to me ‘Can you give me a lift?’ I said ‘Sure, you look great, the world’s your oyster, go for it.’

I went down the local supermarket. I said: ‘I want to make a complaint – this vinegar’s got lumps in it.’ He said: ‘Those are pickled onions.’

I’ll tell you what I love doing more than anything – trying to pack myself in a small suitcase. I can hardly contain myself.

I was at sea the other day and loads of meat floated past. It was a bit choppy.

You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen, it said ‘Parking Fine.’ So that was nice.

I’m so lazy I’ve got a smoke alarm with a snooze button.

I’ve spent the afternoon re-arranging the furniture in Dracula’s house. I was doing a bit of Fang-Shui.

I was stealing things in the supermarket today while balanced on the shoulders of vampires. I was charged with shoplifting on three counts.

Uncle Ben has died. No more Mr Rice Guy.

I once did a gig in a zoo. I got babooned off.

Eric Bristow asked me why I put superglue on one of his darts. I said ‘you just can’t let it go can you?’

I saw this advert in a window that said: ‘Television for sale, £1, volume stuck on full.’ I thought, ‘I can’t turn that down.’

I’ve just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I’ll tell you what, never again. – that’s a site for sore eyes.

Do you ever get that when you’re half way through eating a horse and you think to yourself, ‘I’m not as hungry as I thought I was?’

Black Beauty – now there’s a dark horse.

I was reading a book – ‘The History of Glue’ – I couldn’t put it down.

I got home, and the phone was ringing. I picked it up, and said ‘Who’s speaking please?’ And a voice said ‘You are.’

Exit signs? They’re on the way out!

Velcro? What a rip-off!

I went to buy a watch, and the man in the shop said ‘Analogue?’ I said ‘No, just a watch.'

I was in this restaurant and I asked for something herby. They gave me a Volkswagen with no driver.

I went to the doctor. I said to him ‘I’m frightened of lapels.’ He said, ‘You’ve got cholera.’

I met the bloke who invented crosswords today. I can’t remember his name, it’s P-something T-something R…

I was having dinner with my boss and his wife said, ‘How many potatoes would you like, Tim?’. I said ‘Ooh, I’ll just have one please.’ She said ‘It’s OK, you don’t have to be polite.’ ‘Alright,’ I said, ‘I’ll just have one then, you stupid cow.’

A friend of mine always wanted to be run over by a steam train. When it happened, he was chuffed to bits!

I was in the army once and the Sergeant said to me: ‘What does surrender mean?’ I said: ‘I give up!’

This bloke said to me: ‘I’m going to attack you with the neck of a guitar.’ I said: ‘Is that a fret?’

I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger eating a chocolate egg. I said: ‘I bet I know what your favourite Christian festival is.’ He said: ‘You have to love Easter, baby.’

I used go out with an anaesthetist – she was a local girl.

Crime in multi-storey car parks. That is wrong on so many different levels.

I went to a Pretenders concert. It was a tribute act.

I went down my local ice-cream shop, and said ‘I want to buy an ice-cream’. He said ‘Hundreds & thousands?’ I said ‘We’ll start with one.’ He said ‘Knickerbocker glory?’ I said ‘I do get a certain amount of freedom in these trousers, yes.’

I bought a train ticket and the driver said ‘Eurostar?’ I said ‘Well, I’ve been on telly but I’m no Dean Martin.’ Still, at least it’s comfortable on Eurostar – it’s murder on the Orient Express.

I went into a shop and I said, ‘Can someone sell me a kettle?’ The bloke said ‘Kenwood?’ I said, ‘Where is he?’

I went in to a pet shop. I said, ‘Can I buy a goldfish?’ The guy said, ‘Do you want an aquarium?’ I said, ‘I don’t care what star sign it is.’

You know, I’m not very good at magic – I can only do half of a trick. I’m a member of the Magic Semi-circle.

My next door neighbour worships exhaust pipes. He’s a catholic converter.

He said ‘I’m going to chop off the bottom of one of your trouser legs and put it in a library’. I thought ‘That’s a turn-up for the books.’

And the back of his anorak was leaping up and down, and people were chucking money to him. I said ‘Do you earn a living doing that?’ He said ‘Yes, this is my livelihood.’

I bought some Armageddon cheese today, and it said on the packet ‘Best Before End…’

So this bloke says to me, ‘Can I come in your house and talk about your carpets?’ I thought ‘That’s all I need, a Je-hoover’s witness.’

So Batman came up to me & he hit me over the head with a vase & he went ‘T’PAU!’ I said ‘Don’t you mean KAPOW??’ He said ‘No, I’ve got china in my hand.’




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 where you can also catch up on any previous editions you may have missed.


Happy grambling.


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