1. No auditions
2. Contestants are selected by picking out 15 names, at random, from the electoral register
3. It will be compulsory, by an act of Parliament, to enter the house and the contest if selected.
4. Each week 2 contestants will be nominated – 1 by private vote in the house, 1 by popular drinking game Fuzzy Duck – to be up for eviction
5. Evictions will take place on a Friday night in front of a live (baying) crowd. Both contestants up for eviction will be plied with huge levels of booze on the night so they are staggeringly drunk and potentially offensive on their exit from the house. Evictees will not walk out of the door and along the platform as is the case now. Instead they will be dropped through a trap door into a pool of crackerjack style gunge, after which they will drag themselves through a tunnel that leads into the interview studio where they will discuss what an incredible journey they have been on and just how much they have learnt about themselves, possibly being sick and declaring their love for everyone as they do so.
6. The winner of Big Brother becomes Prime Minister.
7. The first evictee becomes Nick Clegg.
Ted Striker: My orders came through. My squadron ships out tomorrow. We’re bombing the storage depots at Daiquiri at 1800 hours. We’re coming in from the north, below their radar.
Elaine Dickinson: When will you be back?
Ted Striker: I can’t tell you that. It’s classified.
A warm and windy bank holiday Monday, escaping the masses, far from the madding crowd of caravan laden motorways. En route to Ystradfellte, the family outing; a first visit to their waterfalls, heading over from Brecon along the winding, narrow and thoroughly wonderful Sarn Helen; the old Roman road that cuts its way over the barren, beautiful and windswept peaks of the Brecon Geopark in Fforest Fawr.
This is a day trip in itself, with remnants of the old cobbled path still in evidence and remarkably well preserved in certain parts. The view, as you manoeuvre your car around the sharp turns, is spectacular if not a little hair-raising as the land drops away from the edge of the road, to an open and seemingly endless roll of deep valley and rugged peaks of grey rock and yellow-green gorse. Doing well to keep my eyes on the road ahead, avoiding sudden swerves even in the face of suicidal sheep I made my way over the peak, stopping off to examine and wonder at the Maen Madoc stone (above) that stands alone in the tundra, its giant body defiant against the harsh and changing elements, conjuring images of hairy Celts and mystical Druids in mystical robes.
Photo by: Joanne Hill
Snow Days – Christmas Eve 2010
(photo by Jo, lake by Roath Park).
Go on any footballing forum, spend enough time at the bar of the local pub after a Champions League match or listen long enough to certain colleagues at the office and invariably the conversation will swing to listing the greatest rugby or football team, the best of yesteryear versus the cream of today and all that entirely inconsequential nonsense that, frankly, I love.
You know the routine: was Pele better than Maradona, Maradona better than Messi. How would Ali have done against Tyson or Lewis? Botham or Richards, Lara or Bradman?
Well, in that general spirit and given the recent spate of Manchester City doollally shenanigans I thought I’d compile, for absolutely no reason whatsoever, my greatest ever football team made up of the craziest cats that I can recall playing the game. A team packed with players of outrageous skills and entertainment value, laced with a bit of controversy, personality and the now legendary dollop of daft as a brush-ness. In other words, a team that you would pay bucket loads to see and support even though success may not be a guarantee. So, here it is along with reasons for inclusion. (NB – some of the facts stated may not be wholly accurate.)
Bruce Grobbelaar. Stiff competition for this position and just gets the nod ahead of Rene ‘Scorpion’ Higuita and that goalie from Paraguay. Our Bruce was a true entertainer. Capable of breathtaking saves and spectacular moments of lunacy and warmed the cockles of my heart as a kid with his hand walking at Wembley and wobbly legs in Rome. Wore a porn moustache with considered pride.
Josimar. Not the greatest full back in the history of the game but scorer of a couple of staggeringly good goals at the Mexico World Cup. Who can forget the footage of him with huge smile and long arms skipping with glee after he rattled a 30 yarder past Pat ‘Hands’ Jennings? Never heard of again afterwards. Ever! Rumours abound that he never actually existed.
Branco – raked a wicked free kick in from half a mile against Holland in USA 94 having come in as a replacement for Leonardo who famously caved in Tab Ramos’ face in previous game. Not hugely concerned with the defending role in his game, or for that matter, the running part. But give him 40 free kicks in a match and he’ll surely oblige with a goal.
Phillipe Albert. Not only did this guy look like the policeman from Allo Allo (good moaning!), he was also a centre back of prodigious showmanship. Always looking for the Hollywood ball and fit right into the Newcastle philosophy of not worrying about defending. Greatest moment – scoring an outrageous chip past Schmeichel in toon’s 5-0 romp over Utd. The most extravagant Belgian since Poiroit.
Frank Rikjard. A good footballing Dutchman. Basically he gets in the team on account of his silky skills and his famous spitting fight with the similarly moustachioed Rudi Voeller.
Georghe Hagi. More famous in his homeland than Dracula this is Romania’s greatest ever footballer. Without him there’d be no Adrian Mutu. Hagi was a player of extraordinary skill and absolutely no desire to do any running whatsoever. Would hang around doing nothing but look surly for most of the game before deciding to score a breathtaking free kick or forty yard volley or something. He was surly, arrogant, lazy and utterly brilliant. One of my all time favourite players, he walks into this team (literally).
Zinedine Zindane. Let’s be fair Zizou as he demands to be called was THE player of his generation. Scorer of big goals in big games and a man blessed with heavenly skills. As with most of his team mates in this dream XI for Zidane, defence is what goes around de-house and nothing more. Also, not averse to a bit of the old dirty stuff either. As Materazzi (Kramer from Seinfeld as I like to call him) discovered, you say bad things about Zinedine’s mum at your peril!
Diego Armando Maradona. The only player to truly fit the description ‘genius’. Maradona was the most spectacularly talented footballer ever. Single handedly won World Cup 86 – if you know what I mean. Totally peerless in his sport, a man who veered from moments of sublime majesty to moments of out and out psychosis. Managed to be brilliant in 94 despite being unfit, coked up and a couple of latte’s short of a Starbucks. Team Captain.
Romario. Like Pele, scored over 1000 career goals. Unlike Pele, would never ever admit to impotence. This is Brazil’s true alpha male footballer. One of the most natural finishers in the game ever, he made everything look easy. Demanded a lot from his team mates – mainly that they do all the hard work like running and tackling and stuff. Formed deadly partnership with Bebeto. Naturally of course, they hated each other.
Hugo Sanchez. As a kid growing up in Wales we were treated, long before goalazzo and football Italia and all that nonsense, to a Monday night program called Sgorio. This was a portal into the world of Italian and Spanish league football to a soundtrack of incomprehensible Welsh Commentary. The undoubted star of this Monday night feast of football exotica was curly haired Mexican Hugo Sanchez of Real Madrid. The man was a legend in my school. With the famous white and purple kit Sanchez used to spend most of his time airborne, springing about like Zebedee, trying and usually achieving the spectacular. I believe that one season he scored 150 goals for Madrid. All of them were over head kicks.
Hristo Stoichkov. Whilst Romario was helping Brazil win the World Cup his Barcelona team mate was single handedly turning Bulgaria into a good team – with a bit of help from bald headed Lechkov who knocked out the Germans and became a national hero. Hristo was very similar in personality and skills to Hagi (and in fact looks). Like so many of this team he was arrogantly brilliant and totally offended by the thought of moving around much or trying to defend. God only knows what the Barca dressing room was like when he and Romario were sparring. There is a tale that one year he complained to the powers that be as to why van basten was named European footballer of the year instead of him. Now that is the level of arrogance that Cantona could have only ever dreamed about. They just don’t make players like this any more – and the game is duller for it.
Manager – Ian Holloway. Just because he’s funny.