Friday, August 04, 2006

nice work, wollaston

It's hard to imagine a better TV critic than the Guardian's wonderful Nancy Banks-Smith, but Sam Wollaston seems to be getting better and better in his role as semi-successor; her columns are still perfect, but I no longer feel disappointed when I see it's his turn. Indeed, some of his stuff recently has been extremely quotable, particularly yesterday's A-Z feature, where he - on a whim, nothing else - broke down his column into a list-style breakdown of what he learned from Kate Humble's 'Seawatch'. Here's the whole thing, but I've pulled out a few choice entries for a moment's diversion - F through to K, in fact:

"Flavor Best Chicken. The name on a plastic bag found in a leatherback turtle washed up in Scotland. Turtles swallow plastic bags because they think they're jellyfish. This poor guy must have thought he'd hit the jackpot when he spotted a Flavor Best Chicken jellyfish. But it killed him. It's strange how the bigger the animal is, the sadder its death is; it doesn't work like that with people.

Ganets. Plummeting into the sea like surface-to-air missiles in reverse, they're brilliant. It's a good week for them on telly - it's been raining ganets all week on Trawlermen as well.

Huffin'. It's what you find an out-of-breath puffin doin'. After a deep dive.

Irish Sea. This is where basking sharks go in summer. To bask.

Jonathan. He's a kindly man who once, while diving, found a basking shark entangled in a fishing net. Did he leave it to die? Did he hell. He cut it free. Nice work, Jonathan.

Kelp. Big fresh tagliatelle verde that grows on the bottom of the sea. Lovely."

He's quite good on Dragon's Den in his column today as well, actually.

"But it's the Dragons themselves who make this show. God, they're horrible. I have nothing against rich people; I actually quite like them, though obviously through a thick fog of jealousy. But wealth is a hard one to pull off in a way that's publicly acceptable, and this lot fail miserably.

I'm afraid I'm not one of those people who, when a yellow Lamborghini pulls up next to me at the lights, looks over and thinks: nice work, mate, you've done well, I really admire your success. I think: cock."

Ha ha.


Dan said...

I really enjoyed 'The Dragons Den' last night. I particularly liked the man who came on who had invented a kind of Egg Toaster. Which hard boiled an egg with out using water and which could be left to cook it and then turn itself off. It looked a little like the shape of a Dalek which led one of my housemates to the inevitable ‘Eggsterminate’! His presentation was however awful. On the first demonstration of the product he had actually forgot to put an egg inside! Then on the 2nd and 3rd times the egg didn't cook at all, yet he really had a belief in his product and knew that it worked 99% of the time. It turned out that the thermostat had been set somehow to the wrong temperature but that wouldn’t be a problem with the final product. You could tell that most of the potential investors could see past the poor demonstration to its true potential. The man I think actually secured a decent investment in his company and maybe in a few years time we'll all have forgotten how to boil an egg in a pot with boiling water.

Anonymous said...

mmm soft boiled eggs

jonathan said...

Thank you for your thoughtful comments Dan and - particularly - Anonymous. Not long 'til lunch now, so try not to fret.

I like Dragons Den too, I have to admit.