It’s that time of the year again, when Terry Wogan tries to make up for all the damage inflicted on both poor people and the next generation of people, by the denial of climate change he perpetuates throughout the rest of the Togs’ calendar. These efforts consist of raising a few sanctimonious millions (a tiny fraction of that spent on widening roads, or subsidising the aviation industry) using that other icon, this time of annual cringeworthy “celebrity” stunts, Pudsey bloody Bear. K. says she can’t get away from the blasted ursine in Witney town centre today, and is thinking of taking out a restraining order against him. I take it from the ramping-up of the PB offensive that tonight all the handwringing blarney will culminate in some sort of televisual charigasm.
Despite my trying to defend what Lynn Bowles persistently calls Wake Wogan Up to hatmandu last week (when drunk off only two glasses of incredibly expensive wine), I’ve had to tune the radio away from the dull smear of each morning’s auctions for “things that money can’t buy” (all of which, it turns out, you can buy, if your life is so utterly empty that you want to play golf with Chris Evans). That meant that this morning I heard John Humphrys interviewing an amiable old man who had just won a competition to find the biggest liar.
True to form, Humphrys hectored him as if he was speaking instead to the emeritus professor of liarology at Cambridge College about the announcement of his controversial new theory concerning lies. What was needed was the genial interview technique of a local radio personality, neither confrontational nor particularly perceptive; what was provided was two barrel-loads of Westminster Humpty and embarrassed silences all round.
I don’t know why they dragged the poor interviewee into the studio, whatever he’d just won. After all, if it’s empirical prestidigitation he was after, Humphrys presumably needn’t have gone any further than down the corridor to find an auction that wasn’t offering what it claimed. They’ll pin the blame on Socks for all this, though: mark my words.