Mark Andrews: Sturgeon on Mastermind, crimes against comedy, and football in the 21st century

Scottish Nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon wants another referendum on Scottish independence to be held next year, just nine years after the last one.

Joe Lycett
Joe Lycett

And bears which live in the woods rarely use flush-toilets.

Wouldn't you just love to see Sturgeon on Mastermind? On which Hawaiian island is the capital Honolulu? Scottish independence. The finger prints of humans have many characteristics shared with which marsupial? Scottish independence. Which painter and engraver's works include A Rake's Progress? William Wallace.

* * *

Of course, Sturgeon has devoted most of her life to stirring up division, and one suspects her modus operandi is as much about irritating people south of the border as it is as it is about winning the hearts and minds of those to the north. Certainly, her constant whining makes it tempting to let her have her way, let's just stick a wall up and hear no more about the subject.

But would that really be the end of it? That is what probably what everyone thought in 1328, when King Edward III recognised Robert the Bruce as King of an independent Scotland. Then in 1603, his descendent King James came and took over England.

There are three certainties in life. Death. Taxes. And griping about the Scottish constitution.

* * *

Aston Villa have just unveiled plans for rebuilding the outdated North Stand. It will feature a a "multi-purpose central hub space", a "calming space" for new parents, "improved connectivity" and "enhanced wayfinding". I have no idea what any of this means, but I suspect it has little to do with football.

There will be an active area for dance classes, and "food and drink outlets and areas dedicated to showing the club’s rich heritage and history". Which I think means chips and pies sold at exorbitant prices because they are served in claret and blue cardboard.

Times change, and clubs have to make money if they are to compete at the top level. But am I alone in feeling nostalgic for the times when "enhanced food-and-beverage" offerings meant a cup of Bovril at half-time.

When I first started going to Villa, 40-odd years ago, they were good at the football stuff, but didn't really bother with the hub-space and connectivity. Now they're red-hot on all that, but can't seem to get the hang of the football bit.

* * *

The comedian Joe Lycett has had a visit from the boys in blue about the content of one of his shows.

From what I've read, the 'joke' in question appears irresponsible, obscene and unfunny, but hardly a police matter.

I wonder if the response would have been as swift if the complainant had reported a burglary.

Most Read

Most Read

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News