I have a week day wake up routine which can only really be described as Wallace-esque. By this I mean it is full of little gizmo packed peculiarities, not that I wake up realising I’m trapped in a crap marriage with a small, disappointing man who singularly failed to do the one thing I was interested in. Or that I’m an over-enthusiastic, under-talented shaven headed man with a gift for guzzling puddings until I resemble one. No, my Heath Robinson style wake-up call begins at 5.23am when I am initially woken by having a large bucket of ice water sploshed over my face as a robot takes to my lower gums with a dentist’s drill. Once this is done I am allowed 9 minutes (why 9 minutes is always the snooze default I will never know) before a drunk mechanical butcher starts to saw my feet off, sending ripples of excruciating agony surging through every nerve of my body. At this point my screams can be heard for miles, though ‘The Wife’ and the cat seem very non-committed to my welfare. A further 9 minutes down the line I have every hair on my body plucked out by a hair plucking machine and I am then vigorously rubbed over with super strength scotch bonnet seeds by a series of massaging paddles. Wishing my ordeals away for (you guessed it) another 9 minutes I finally give in and get up when my balls are repeatedly flicked with a metal ruler (by a specially converted Churchill nodding dog).
Of course, you may ask, why put myself through such agony and discomfort. The answer is simple; it beats waking up to Vanessa. I have an alarm clock radio which I bought when I was about 16 and it’s still going strong. I say strong, what I mean is that it’s peculiarly stained and the dial only picks up about 3 stations; Whitenoise FM, Whitenoise AM and Radio 2. Now I’m not going to lay into Radio 2 because I listen to it a lot in the car, but it does have some issues. One is the Elaine Paige ‘show tunes’ programme on a Sunday because ‘show tunes’ are about as much fun as rectal bleeding and why the nation needs 2 hours of them, on the radio, every Sunday, during the day, is beyond me. Then there’s Paul O’Grady, a top contender for Britain’s least funny man. Not only is he not funny but he seems to be trapped in an alternative universe, one where he speaks only to a group of semi-conscious pensioners in a retirement home, usually between reading out their letters explaining the time they accidentally microwaved their dog. What the BBC fail to appreciate is that between 5 and 7 on a Sunday evening many people are trapped in a car trying to get home. Or just depressed enough already, because it’s Sunday evening. Personally I would rather be trapped in a car, sinking to the bottom of a lake, than be trapped in a car with the shit and wisdom of O’Grady droning on in my poor, poor ears.
Who next? Oh yes, Dermot O’Leary. Only in a country so used to having sub-mediocrity dribbled to it by the media could O’Leary be regarded as someone interesting. No doubt he is a lovely guy, but when he hits the airwaves on a Saturday afternoon I get so bored I have to pepper spray myself to stay awake (‘The Wife’ is usually more than happy to do it for me, oddly enough). Ken Bruce drones on like a drugged wasp trapped in a cigar tube, relentless rubbish always guaranteed, and then there’s always Bob Harris. Nice bloke but he seems to have confused good country music with the kind of slick horseshit you’d get at a hoe down for retards and backwoods shit-kickers behind an outhouse somewhere in Kentucky. Or at a Garth Brooks concert.
Anyway, that bunch pale to ghosts in comparison to the unstoppable awfulness of listening to Vanessa Feltz. Some people could argue she is a Marmite kind of a figure. She’s not. If she was a Marmite figure it would be Marmite that has already passed through and then out of the digestive system of an urban fox and, soon after, a tramp. Besides, I love Marmite so I’d rather not associate it with someone so utterly bereft of charm or ability. When my alarm goes off she is invariably spewing forth her worthless views (bit like this I guess) on any number of subjects, interjected by some of the worst emails ever composed. I don’t give a fuck if Mary is up early to de-worm her cat, or that Ken has been awake all night to dig a big hole in his back garden, or what Ted thinks about hermaphrodite marriages. None of that matters. No-one else cares what anyone else is doing. It’s bad enough they write in, but to then have their eventless lives transferred to my poor, poor, poor ears by a voice that sounds like a fucked road drill is just not what I would call ‘on’.
To make matters worse Vanessa seems to be the BBC’s first alternative for when people are on holiday or so ill they can’t crawl into work to talk shit for 2 hours and invariably fuck up the intro to almost every song they play. Hence, along with her ‘5 Live’ slot or ‘Radio London’ slot or whatever it is there’s a very good chance you’ll catch Vanessa twice a day. I really can’t imagine a scenario in which anyone would need Vanessa more than no times at all on a given day, let alone twice. If I were on fire and she needed a piss I’d probably just tell her to jog on. As if to prove some kind of a point she was covering up for Jeremy Vine (oh yes, I forgot about Jeremy Vine, the nation’s conscience as if delivered via the smuggest vessel in existence) yesterday, which is like trying to hide a big pile of shit by putting a slightly bigger pile of shit on top of it. Anyway, to sign off on a high I shall just mention that she was about to start discussing and taking calls on microcephaly (a cripplingly harsh, very un-God like condition which prohibits the growth of the brain, thus leaving babies in serious trouble). The song she chose to play before the discussion began? 1999, by Prince. Because that just sets the tone nicely doesn’t it?! It perfectly proved a point though (I think) – if the BBC spent a little more time working out how to produce decent radio then I wouldn’t have to spend time writing a huge pile of bitter, nasty rubbish about people who I’ve never met and are probably really nice. And, frankly, I find it all a bit draining.