Sunday, 28 March 2010

The UK-US 'Special Relationship' Is Over

Stop all the clocks. Cut off the telephone. Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone.

Well actually, if you're not W.H. Auden, simply read this: "No more special relationship".

It's an article taken from the BBC website which suggests that no 'Special Relationship' actually exists between America and Britain any more.

And who am I to disagree with an all party Select Commitee on foreign affairs?

(That's a rhetorical question).

But I shall plough on with my project regardless.

Y'know, just in case....

Sunday, 14 March 2010

The Famous Five (Hundred)

Listed below are the 500 individuals who were picked for me by several thousand members of the public who kindly voted in a group that I set up on Facebook, what an eclectic mix we've ended up with. I'm not sure whether this is the first time that Ewan McGregor has been sandwiched in between Esther Rantzen and Fern Britton, but that would make a hell of a News of the World headline.

I'm asking each of these people to spare me 2 minutes of their time and have informed them that I am happy to travel to wherever is convenient for them in the UK (my budget of approximately zero won't really permit me any trips further afield), in order to get them to sign my Union Jack flag with a 'message of goodwill' for the American people a.k.a our 'Special Friends'.

I will send the completed flag to Barack Obama to let him now how much we all cherish our friendship with them over there and he will hopefully respond by inviting me to the States and agreeing to be interviewed as research for my book.

I'm also hoping for world peace, that England win the World Cup and that Scarlett Johanssen answers my advert for a new flatmate on Gumtree.

Each of the 500 that I meet will also be asked to sign a second flag that I will give to the good people at the 'Help for Heroes' charity to auction off.

Feel free to listen to the relaxing tunes on the video below or simply scan the list of names beneath it to see whether your favourites managed to eke their way into the public consciousness as one of the 500 most voted for British personalities.

The Full List

Abi Clancy
Abi Tittmus
Adam Hart-Davis
Adrian Chiles
Agyness Deyn
Ainsley Harriott
Alan Ayckbourn
Alan Bennett
Alan Carr
Alan Davies
Alan Sugar
Alan Titchmarsh
Alesha Dixon
Alex Salmond
Alex Ferguson
Alex Reid
Alexandra Burke
Alistair Campbell
Alistair McGowan
Amanda Holden
Amir Khan
Amy Williams
Amy Winehouse
Andrea McLean
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Marr
Andrew Motion
Andrew Strauss
Andy Gray
Andy McNab
Andy Murray
Angela Rippon
Anna Friel
Anne Robinson
Anne Widdecombe
Ant McPartlin
Anthea Turner
Anthony Gormley
Anthony Hopkins
Anton du Beke
Arlene Philips
Armando Iannucci
Barry Hearn
Ben Ainslie
Benjamin Zephania
Beth Tweddle
Bill Bailey
Bill Oddie
Bill Tarmey
Billie Piper
Billy Bragg
Billy Connolly
Bobby George
Boris Johnson
Boy George
Bradley Wiggins
Brian Sewell
Bridget Riley
Bruce Forsyth
Bruce Oldfield
Calum Best
Carol Thatcher
Carol Vorderman
Carol Ann Duffy
Caroline Quentin
Cat Deeley
Catherine Tate
Chantelle Houghton
Charles Saatchi
Charlotte Church
Cherie Blair
Chistopher Biggins
Chris Barrie
Chris Eubank
Chris Evans
Chris Hoy
Chris Martin
Chris Morris
Chris Ofili
Chris Tarrant
Chris Moyles
Christian O'Connell
Christine Ohuruogu
Christopher Dean
Christopher Lee
Clare Balding
Claudia Winkleman
Cliff Richard
Coleen Rooney
Colin Jackson
Colin Montgomerie
Colin Murray
Colin Myler
Collin Mcallister
Cormac Murphy O'Connor
Corrine Bailey Rae
Courtney Pine
Craig Charles
Dale Winton
Damien Hirst
Daniel Craig
Daniel Radcliffe
Danny Baker
Danny Boyle
Danny John-Jules
Danny Wallace
Danny Kelly
Darcey Bussell
Darcus Howe
Darren Gough
Dave Gorman
Dave Ulliott
David Attenborough
David Bailey
David Beckham
David Cameron
David Dickinson
David Dimbleby
David Frost
David Gower
David Haye
David Hockney
David Jason
David Lammy
David Miliband
David Mitchell
David Starkey
David Tennant
David Walliams
Davina McCall
Dawn French
Declan Donnely
Delia Smith
Denise Lewis
Denise van Outen
Derek Acorah
Dermot Mernaghan
Dermot O'Leary
Derren Brown
Des Lynam
Desmond Morris
Dizzy Rascal
Dominic Mohan
Donna Air
Douglas Gordon
Eamon Holmes
Eddie Izzard
Edith Bowman
Elton John
Emma Watson
Eric Bristow
Eric Clapton
Esther Rantzen
Ewan McGregor
Fern Britton
Ferne Cotton
Fiona Bruce
Fiona Phillips
Frank Lampard
Frank Bruno
Frankie Boyle
Fred Goodwin
Freddie Flintoff
Gaby Logan
Gaby Roslin
Gail Emms
Gail Porter
Gary Barlow
Gary Bushell
Gary Lineker
Gary Rhodes
Gavin Henson
Geoff Boycott
George Galloway
George Michael
George Osbourne
George Passmore
Gerri Halliwell
Glenda Jackson
Gloria Hunniford
Gok Wan
Gordon Brown
Gordon Ramsey
Graham Cole
Guy Richie
Harry Hill
Harry Redknapp
Hazel Irvine
Heather Mills
Helen Chamberlain
Helena Bonham-Carter
Holly Willoughby
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Hugh Laurrie
Iain Lee
Ian Botham
Ian Mckellen
Ian Hislop
Irvine Welsh
Jackie Brambles
James Corden
James Hewitt
James May
James Whale
Jamie Oliver
Jamie Winstone
Jan Moir
Jane Moore
Janet Street-Porter
Jane Torville
Jasper Conran
Jay Kay
Jedward Grimes
Jeff Stelling
Jeffrey Archer
Jensen Button
Jeremy Clarkson
Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Kyle
Jeremy Paxman
Jessica Ennis
Jessie Wallace
Jilly Cooper
Jilly Goolden
Jim Davidson
Jim Bowen
Jimmy Carr
Jimmy Savile
Jimmy White
JK Rowling
Joan Collins
Jodie Kidd
Joe Calzaghe
Joe Swash
Joe McElderry
John Barrowman
John Cleese
John Craven
John Culshaw
John Francome
John Gaunt
John le Carre
John Leslie
John Major
John McCririck
John Motson
John Seargeant
John Semantu
John Simpson
John Snow
Johnny Vaughan
Johnny Vegas
Johnny Wilkinson
Jonathan Dimbleby
Jonathan Ross
Jonathan Sacks
Jools Holland
Joss Stone
Jude Law
Judy Finnegan
Julie Burchill
Julie Etchingham
Julie Walters
Justin Lee Collins
Justin Ryan
Justin Webb
Kate Beckinsale
Kate Garraway
Kate Moss
Kate Thornton
Kate Winslet
Katie Price
Keira Knightley
Keith Richards
Kelly Brook
Kelly Holmes
Kelvin Mackenzie
Ken Dodd
Ken Livingstone
Kerry Katona
Kevin Pietersen
Kim Woodburn
La Roux
Lady Sovreign
Lauren Laverne
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen
Lawrence Dallaglio
Lee Westwood
Leigh Francis
Lembit Opik
Len Goodman
Lennox Lewis
Leona Lewis
Les Dennis
Lesley Garrett
Leslie Grantham
Lewis Hamilton
Liam Gallagher
Libby Purves
Lily Allen
Lily Cole
Linford Christie
Lisa Rogers
Lisa Snowdon
Liz Hurley
Liza Tarbuck
Lorraine Kelly
Louis Theroux
Lucian Freud
Mackenzie Crook
Maggie Smith
Margaret Thatcher
Mark Mardell
Mark Ronson
Mark Steel
Mark Thompson
Martin Amis
Martine McCutcheon
Matt Dawson
Matt Lucas
Matthew Wright
Max Clifford
Max Hastings
Melanie Sykes
Melvyn Bragg
Mervyn King
Michael Caine
Michael Mcintyre
Michael Palin
Michael Parkinson
Michael Winner
Michaela Strachan
Mick Jagger
Mike Atherton
Mike Leigh
Mike Mendoza
Miquita Oliver
Mischa Barton
Moira Stewart
Mylene Klass
Natasha Kaplinsky
Neil Kinnock
Nick Clegg
Nick Faldo
Nick Ferrari
Nick Griffin
Nick Halling
Nick Hornby
Nick Park
Nick Robinson
Nicky Campbell
Nicole Appleton
Nigel Benn
Nigel Kennedy
Nigella Lawson
Noel Edmonds
Norman Foster
Omid Djalili
Oz Clarke
Ozzy Osbourne
Patricia Routledge
Patrick Moore
Patsy Kensit
Patsy Palmer
Paul Burrell
Paul Daniels
Paul Gascoigne
Paul McCartney
Paul McKenna
Paul Merton
Paul O'Grady
Paul Ross
Paul Smith
Paula Radcliffe
Peaches Geldof
Pete Doherty
Pete Tong
Peter Jones
Peter Kay
Peter Mandelson
Peter Stringfellow
Peter Tatchell
Phil Collins
Phil Jupitus
Phil Taylor
Phil Tufnell
Philip Green
Philip Schofield
Philips Idowu
Piers Morgan
Pixie Lott
Polly Toynbee
Prince Harry
Rachel Weisz
Ranulph Fiennes
Ray Mears
Ray Winstone
Rebecca Adlington
Richard Attenborough
Richard Bacon
Richard Branson
Richard Curtis
Richard Dannatt
Richard Desmond
Richard Hammond
Richard Keys
Richard Madely
Richard Wilson
Richie Persaud
Ricky Gervaise
Ricky Tomlinson
Ridley Scott
Rob Brydon
Robbie Williams
Robert Kilroy Silk
Robert Pattinson
Rod Liddle
Rod Stewart
Roger Moore
Ron Atkinson
Ron Dennis
Ronnie Corbett
Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ross Kemp
Rowan Atkinson
Rowan Williams
Rufus Hound
Rupert Grint
Russell Brand
Sacha Baron Cohen
Sadie Frost
Sally Gunnell
Sam Fox
Sam Mendes
Sara Cox
Sarah Kennedy
Sean Connery
Sebastien Coe
Sharon Davis
Sid Waddel
Sienna Miller
Simon Cowell
Simon Fuller
Simon Pegg
Sophie Dahl
Stacey Solomon
Stan Collymore
Stelios Haji-Ioannou
Stella McCartney
Stephen K Amos
Stephen Fry
Stephen Hawkins
Steve Cram
Steve Redgrave
Steve Ryder
Steve Coogan
Steve Davis
Steven Gerrard
Sue Barker
Sue Nicholls
Susan Boyle
Tara Palmer Tomkinson
Terence Conran
Terry Gilliam
Terry Pratchett
Tess Daly
Tim Rice
Tinchy Stryder
Toby Anstis
Tom Chambers
Tom Daley
Tom Jones
Tony Benn
Tony Blair
Tony Hawkes
Tony Robinson
Tracy Emin
Trevor McDonald
Trevor Phillips
Trevor Nelson
Ulrika Jonsson
Vanessa Feltz
Vanessa Mae
Vernon Kaye
Vic Reeves
Victoria Beckham
Victoria Wood
Vinnie Jones
Vivienne Westwood
Wayne Rooney
Will Self
Will Young
William Hague
William Roache
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

Friday, 12 March 2010

The American View

Whilst researching my new book, I decided to take a little trip to the USA last year to try and get the American perspective of the 'Special Relationship', in other words to tit about in the sun for three months whilst slowly going bankrupt.

For some reason the English are often portrayed as villains in their films, whilst the Scots are frequently viewed as heroes, but how much do the Americans really know about us? Why are they so fixated with our teeth? Do they really go weak at the knees when they hear our accents, even Brummie ones? What do they think about the likes of Gordon Brown, Posh Spice, Simon Cowell and Keith Harris & Orville and perhaps most importantly, do they prefer us to the French (a resounding 'yes' by all accounts).

During my time over there I met and interviewed some fascinating people including:
Jerry Spinger
Talk Show Host
Ron Jeremy
(Adult) Film Star
Morgan Spurlock
Bret Easton Ellis
Homer Simpson

as well as numerous members of the American public, all of whom provided me with invaluable research material for my book.

This short video gives a brief insight into some of things that I learned: