We've had Andy Whyment from the Royle Family recreating his dim-witted character in Corrie.
Now it seems we've got Rodney Litchfield from Early Doors, sitting in the pub by himself, a miserable old bastard who never buys a round.
Corrie are nicking the best characters from the great Craig Cash comedies. Which makes me happy as you can't really see them acting like lunatics and getting involved in ridiculous murder storylines. No, they'll keep Corrie light-hearted.
In last night's episode, Street lothario Dev tried to get off with Rodney's granddaughter by buying her a drink, not realising the drink was for her grandfather.
"Thanks for the drink, chief," said the old man as he left the Rovers.
"Is he being racist?" asked Dev of the granddaughter.
"He calls everyone 'chief'" she replied. "Besides, I think he can tell the difference between people with roots in the Indian subcontinent and native Americans." (or words to that effect).
Eh? Is this in response to the Big Brother furore? It's one of those lines you get in Corrie now and then where the scriptwriter is being clever but not really making much sense.
There are no racists in Corrie. Plenty of murderers, but no racists. There are people of different colours and backgrounds just getting on with life, drinking a hell of a lot, and falling in and out of love. Maybe less realistic than Big Brother but a damn sight more entertaining and with more lovable characters.
Can we just vote Janice Battersby out of the Street for good?
We've only seen the first three quarters of an hour. Seems alright. The brother of the actress who was in my play is in it.
The play "wot you wrote"...Eric.
Who does he play? This brother.
The young policeman.
Is there a young policeman?...Did his sister do anything after your play?
I suppose so. I thought I saw her in an advert. The actor who was going to but didn't play the main part in my play ended up in The Bill. He was a central character in The Bill. Another actor on the course was in Eastenders for a bit. I keep looking out for them. It's such a long time ago, I'm not sure I'd recognise them now.
You ought to write a book. You always were good with words. You could give up work, sit at home doing nothing all day. That's what you'd like to do, isn't it? You could create the new Harry Potter. Become a multimillionaire.
No, I couldn't.
Why not? She's done well for herself.
I can't write prose. Only dialogue. And I'm no good with stories.
Their 4x4 was written off by a falling tree in last week's high winds. Good for the tree, I say, taking one of the bastards with it.
Unfortunately, when it comes to motor insurance, this is not an Act Of God, and they can choose a new £25,000 monster.
Also, luckily for them, there's a brand new 4x4 out. The queue to test drive one is predictably long.
In a year in which we are not going to fly, reducing our carbon footprint to the size of a sparrow's, it's heartwarming to discover that other members of my extended family are doing their best to help with the destruction of the planet. I totally despair of the selfish human race as I look at my smug face in the mirror.
Yesterday was spent re-evaluating our CD collection. Which meant bringing down all the 80s, 90s, and early noughties CDs I'd stuffed in the loft a few years back and bringing some back down into the listening fold.
I tend to have manic purges now and then and throw the babies out with the bathwater. Betty is more sensible (if it wasn't for her I'd have got rid of half the contents of the house by now).
So welcome back Moby, Madonna, Jake Slazenger, Manic Street Preachers, Radiohead, Mad Professor, Tricky, and Fairport Convention. All that Britpop shit went straight back into the loft however, to have their own Britpop party with Elvis Costello and Nick Cave brooding in the corner.
Dismissing Jake Slazenger? What was I thinking of?
Russell Brand, zombie version of George Roundy, Warren Beatty's character in Shampoo.
You love him or you hate him.
I used to hate him, now I love him. Not for his humour but because he's always there and I just happen to like it that way. I don't need to watch him, it's just good to know he's there. He's a thoroughly nice bloke with "wanker" written all over him. But don't worry, he knows it. And anybody who's been called a cunt by Sir Bob Geldof is alright by me.
Saw Shampoo, the film, last week for the first time. Still don't fancy going back in a time machine to late 60s California. Still happy I've never taken drugs.
The film ends with the old rich man getting Julie Christie. As if that sort of thing happens in real life!
It could have been so different if I'd discovered Daniel Johnston in the eighties. I would have been over him by now. I would have loved him for a few years then dropped him from my listening schedule.
My eighties fixation with American indie music has long gone. I didn't hear him at the time. And that time has gone.
I'm not over him. I'm discovering him for the first time. And Christ, do I feel for him.
Not only manic depressive in the extreme, with all the horrible delusions that go with it, he was, in addition, born into a very religious family. The poor sod never had a chance.
His whole life seems to be either filmed or on a cassette tape. And that's really freaky.
There are his freaky cartoons, too. And of course his songs obsessing about a teenage girl he once knew. When I say obsessing, I mean obsessing. He can't leave her to the past.
Satan is never absent from either his songs or his art.
His songs have been covered by the great and good of indie rock. They probably sound clearer and more professional than Daniel's versions but no way could the stars put as much real feeling into the songs. Daniel hurts so much it's painful to listen. Since his teens he's needed buckets of medication to keep him from doing something stupid. But being the real deal, he's skipped his medication in order to perform his songs the way he's wanted to: honestly and with full raw emotion.
It's too much for me. I'm quite happy with false emotion and singers just singing the songs, not baring their haunted souls. OK, there are a lot of suicides in my music collection but they all seem to be holding things together on the recordings. Please tell me they are. I couldn't bear it if they're cracking up.
The film ends with Daniel out of the mental home, living with his elderly parents. He so wanted to become famous to be able to afford to make his parents' lives comfortable in their dotage. They end up caring for him, 24 hours a day.
They won't be able to do it for much longer. They are running out of time.
Dad, why do you have to foist your taste in music on the poor sod? And then get him to memorise every single thing about that shitty so-called "punk" band?
Ooh, you big rebel, Dad. Green Day on Junior Mastermind!
Sorry Dad, these are the tossers who closed the coffin lid on Top of the Pops. Them and the Red Hot fucking Chilli Peppers, with their interminable live sets. Music for middle aged men with no concept of a pop tune. How in God's name is your son ever going to find himself a girlfriend if he's obsessed with Green chuffing Day at the age of 10? You've ruined him, Dad.
I am afraid I cannot summon up any "revulsion over another botched hanging", a feeling which you say is "worldwide".
Iraq is still a long way from becoming a peaceful democracy with civilised executions.
However, the more people who are executed by hanging, the more experienced the practitioners will become, and the more expertly the job will be done. There is nothing more morally uplifting than a perfect execution, performed with grace and humility, allowing a dignified end to life.
Messrs Bush and Blair have started the democratic ball rolling. It is up to the Iraqi people to run with it so that they too can one day have a capital punishment system to be proud of.
Just compare, not the performances or the songs, but the way these two perfomances are broadcast...
Here's Spiritualized on Later With Jools with their classic song, Broken Heart.
And here's Roxy Music on the Old Grey Whistle Test with their classic song, Ladytron.
On the Story Of The Old Grey Whistle Test, Jools is quoted as saying his show is the grandchild of Whistle Test.
Of course he's wrong. They're like chalk and cheese.
Whistle Test is so much more intimate. The tv viewer is not being patronised. There is no ego about the presenter. Bob Harris is in the studio but in the dark, an unobtrusive presence. He hasn't got a piano right there in the middle of the studio saying "THIS IS MY SHOW". He lets the music speak for itself.
And a Whistle Test performance is not a LIVE performance in front of a LIVE studio audience. There is no audience. The band are playing as if in a real recording studio. And that's what makes this kind of tv so much more exciting. You feel like you really are a fly on the wall, just you, watching the band create. You're not being told you're part of a big live audience and that THIS IS HOW LIVE MUSIC IS.
I don't care if not all the Whistle Test performers were playing everything live. Whether they were playing to a backing track. So what? That's what happens in studios. It's what it looks and sounds like is what matters.
Sorry Jools, but I'd rather see Jason Pierce in a small studio with a few of his mates, singing to a backing track, than all the clever slow zooms and pans to backing singers and violinists, trying to give the appearance of "live" music in a cavernous space filled with idiots with free tickets who'll applaud any old shit. It just doesn't cut it on tv. If I wanted to see live music I'd go and see The Fall. And I really couldn't be bothered to see them any more.
My tranquilisers are continuing to make sure I have sleepy train journeys to and from work.
Yesterday evening, as I awoke, I caught myself smiling. I don't usually smile on public transport. I hope this is not the start of a worrying trend.
Then again, maybe this is not the first time, but just the first time I've caught myself doing it. Maybe I always smile in my sleep and people know to steer clear of me.
If I start laughing in my sleep I may soon have the carriage to myself.
My current stats are reasonable, with about 20 odd regular readers. At least I hope you're all regular. You've got to be odd.
Search engine queries that come my way have recently become more predictable, however. I've had enough of Sandi Thorn's Flour in her hair and Bev Callard's ample bosom.
The following searches are like peaches in a bowl of rotting Golden Delicious...
What is the weight of the cocaine I buy in the little bag? Sorry I can't help you, old son. Try taking some scales along next time you see your dealer.
Nick Park middle aged spread. Yes, I can see it's possible. But why? Was he a sex symbol as a young man? Gone to seed?
Middle class wankers dinner parties. Are you looking to attend one? Do you really think they'd advertise themselves as wankers? Look, there they are playing that game where someone sticks your character on your forehead and you have to guess who you are.
My post on the Bexleyheath rockabilly Scientologists has been found by someone in Chile. The post had been translated into Spanish.
Apparently "Four Mark Kermode lookalikes" is "Cuatro lookalikes de kumode de la marca."