The ridiculous annual charade

It is perfectly ridiculous that the nation’s premier TV channel has been put aside for an entire Saturday evening for a third round tennis match, whch amounts to the usual torture.

Thank goodness that dear old Auntie Beeb has put on Billy’s King Dick 2 on BBC 2. It really is superb.

Jimmy Savile's string vests for sale

Guide price: £80 to £150. But, don’t worry, the forthcoming auction of the late deejay’s effects will helpfully provide accompanying photos of the great man wearing each vest before you part with your hard-earned cash.

At the other end of the scale there’s a Rolls-Royce Corniche at £60,000 to £90,000. Hopefully it will find a good home with someone old enough to appreciate the numbers on the personalised numberplate – “JS 247”. It will have to be someone well over forty with a nostlagic soft spot for the days when Radio One used to jostle with Radio Tirana to be heard on that frequency.

Anger over torch bearers from sponsors

Former Newbury Mayor Gillian Durrant had this letter printed in The Times(£) on 19th June:

In common with many British people I was inspired to nominate someone I believed worthy of being an Olympic torchbearer – a local teenager who has overcome her disabilities to raise money for charity. She was so excited to be shortlisted; she told me it would give her the impetus to do her “run” using her prosthetic leg, something she has been struggling to achieve for four years.

We were disappointed when she wasn’t chosen, but now I know that a large number of places were reserved for sponsors (Richard Morrison, times modern, June 15) I am angry with the organisers for giving false hope to so many.

Newbury, Berks

Richard Morrison’s piece on 15th June(£) said:

The sponsors, it now transpires, have also fixed it so that many of their own executives are included among the 8,000 people (supposedly all sporting heroes or pillars of local communities) chosen to carry the Olympic Torch round the country.

Why people should use like as they like it

On Friday night’s Graham Norton Show there was fascinating intercghange between and Miriam Margoyles.

Margoyles kept telling off for misusing the word “like”. OK as a verb, she said, but not as a substitute for “said”, for example: “He was like, why have you come here?”

I disagree with Margoyles. The English language is great because it has evolved enormously over the years. The language should reflect how people use it, not text books. Long may that continue.

Great!!! Another Greek governmental swearing in with beards, gold robes, smells and bells!

I never tire of these Greek governmental swearings-in. This is the fourth one in eight months so my cup runneth over this year…

I love the men in beards, the gold robes, the gold bible, the incense, the bells….great fun!

As an interesting extra variant this time, the new PM, it seemed, had to stand for ages with the men in gold/beards to wait for the President to arrive.

The President eventually arrives at 4’36”.

This is just a one-man swearing in though. We can still look forward with relish to the full governmental swearing in soon. They’re great. Everyone has to touch each other in a sort of mass human chain and then a few people at the front put their hands on the bible – so they’re all sort of connected somehow via flesh to the bible. Sort of a mass tag wrestling match. It’s great fun!

In tribute to the one single scientist in the House of Commons…

I learnt from Today this week that there is only one scientist in the House of Commons. Step forward Dr Julian Huppert. He’s an expert in G-quadruplex nucleic acids, don’t you know.

In tribute to Julian, stimulated by Radio Three – bless them – playing this song today, here is Daniel Radcliffe’s party piece. It’s Tom Lehrer’s Elements Song. Then, just below, is a three year old doing the same ditty, and finally, the Lehrermeister himself doing it brilliantly. As a bonus, at the bottom, it is Tom Lehrer’s dark comedic take on the 1960s Cold War nuclear face-off, “We’ll all go together when we go”.

Tom Lehrer is a Harvard mathematician.

And a big shout out to Gilbert and Sullivan.

Mrs Thatcher is 86.