Mark Andrews on Saturday: Scary Katie, not enough dough, and 'right on Tommy'

Read the latest musings from Mark Andrews.

Cannon and Ball
Cannon and Ball

Farewell Bobby Ball. To be honest, Cannon and Ball weren't my cup of tea, a bit too slapstick, but they brought a lot of laughter to others, and it was all good clean fun.

They hailed from a time when comedy was about entertaining the masses rather than dividing people into niche groups. It was aimed equally at everybody, regardless of age, class or background.

This week I tried watching the BBC's new show, Stand Up For Live Comedy. It took less than a minute for the compere to start jabbering on about politics.

The first act talked about politics. The second act, talked about politics. The third act... I don't know, I'd switched off by then. But in the five minutes or so I was watching, not one of them made me laugh.

I suppose you could say it was 'right on, Tommy'.

But if I wanted to see a bunch of jokers talk politics, I would have watched Question Time.

It has been suggested one of the reasons for Cannon and Ball's decline was that television executive Greg Dyke did not believe 'northern humour' appealed to southern audiences. Hmm, I wonder if he ever considered what northern audiences made of 'southern humour'. Or did he assume southern humour was the default which everybody found funny?

One thing I'm certain of is that little thought was given to what people in the Midlands liked. It's why TV bosses in the 1970s repeatedly turned their noses up at Tommy Mundon, dismissing him as 'too regional'.

Regional or not, he was a sight better than anything on Stand Up for Live Comedy.

Remember how, in July, the Prime Minister announced he was going to save the nation's waistline with a raft of measures to discourage people from over-indulging on junk food?

A ban on two-for-one offers, unless they were Rishi's Dishes, obviously. Calorific content recorded on food packets so people didn't eat too much. Boris even said it would reduce the dangers of coronavirus.

I only mention it because police enforcing government lockdown restrictions have just raided a bar in Manchester because they thought its 600-calorie, 11in pizza slices were not 'substantial' enough.

Meanwhile, the row about free half-term meals for children has generated more heat than light.

Shrill talk of 'starving children' tugs at the heartstrings, but is it actually true? I haven't read much factual evidence of widespread malnutrition, just reports about a crisis in childhood obesity.

I suspect there probably are a very small number of children going hungry, but this will be the result very specific sets of circumstances unique to each case. Instead of dishing out food vouchers, wouldn't it be better to identify who these families are, and tackle the underlying problems?

Katie Hopkins: Scary

Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre's half-term quiz: "What am I? Hint: Its methods of killing are most wondrous, for aside from its deadly and venomous fangs, looking one directly in the eye will immediately kill the victim, but an indirect look will merely render them petrified."

Twitter user: "Katie Hopkins."

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