The Underdog Wins Britain's Got Talent

So the dog won Britain’s Got Talent. A part of me always knew that it was going to happen. It wasn’t going to be the Welsh choir with hundreds of dedicated members who had practiced for thousands of hours and sounded like a host of angels. It wasn’t going to be the injured ballroom dancer who overcame agonising injury to compete at the last moment. It wasn’t going to be the young opera singer with a voice as pure and powerful as Pavarotti. It wasn’t going to be the trio of cheeky chappies who are already virtually guaranteed to top the charts in 2012. No. It was the dog. The scruffy little mut who got most, not all, of his routine correct and rounded off his act by sitting on his trainer’s arse.

Simon Cowell did his best to sound happy. He had always said he wanted to find a great dog act but he never really thought it would happen and clearly hasn’t yet thought of a way of getting a sixteen year old girl and a mongrel to record a Christmas number one. But he’s no doubt working on it.

It’s results like this that should make us proud to be British. We as a nation love to support the underdog. Whoever the thought that the underdog would one day literally be an underdog. Oh happy day.


Brian and Georgina's Fat Chance [Ep 31]

Rubber chicken called Camilla launched into space, plus scholorships for people who can quack like a duck. Also, flash drive shaped like a tampon, Satnavs for the elderly, a sheep that’s crossed with a worm and a magnetic hamster.  Contains strong language and a peguin on anti-depressants.

Brian and Georgina's Fat Chance [Ep 30]

Brian gives up drinking again and Georgina’s deodorant spray is ticking. Special bumper edition of this award-nominated podcast featuring smart floors, lickable walls and a hotel for hamsters. Plus, small birds on top of big birds, sausage wars, stricken seagulls and a real-life  smurf village. Also blowing up frozen cows and a party where you can sniff people’s bums.  Contains strong language and an extended plug for B&G’s new digital album.

Edinburgh Fringe App – Review

If you’re at the Edinburgh fringe this year, there’s a great little app to help you track down the best shows and gigs.

The Fringe Society has got together with Virgin Money and designed an App for iPhone, iPad and Android which allows you to access comprehensive, up-to-the-minute show information directly from your mobile device. It includes full listings, daily Half Price Hut listings and an easy to use search functionality where you can find out what’s on tomorrow, today or even right now.

The app shows you exactly where you are in Edinburgh at that very moment, and sticks a pin in the map for every show that’s within a few yards from you and about to start – including hundreds of great free shows on the PBH Free Fringe.  When I think how many times I could have used that App on my many visits to Edinburgh – the number of times I’ve had an hour to kill, wondered what to go and see – and ended up strolling into a leaking church hall and watching a bunch of half-pissed students trying to perform Abigail’s Party.

My only criticism is that it would be nice to also be able to access press reviews, but speaking as a veteran of the fringe, I think this is a well designed and neat  application. And the price is right: It’s available FREE from the iPhone App Store and Android Market

If you’re taking your iPad to Edinburgh (and watch out for the pick pockets on the Mound, by the way) the iPad version is available from the iPad App store. This provides access to the complete 2011 Fringe Programme as well as the Festivals Edinburgh Daily Guide, which offers a daily update of the show listings for all the summer festivals in Edinburgh during August.


Hill Country Barbecue, New York City

Sowerby and Luff write…

This joint is obviously where New Yorkers went when they wanted to pretend to be Texans, and the whole restaurant was based on the idea of an indoor barbecue. Hickory wood was piled high next to the kitchen, and you ordered your meat by the pound. God, the Americans love their meat.
“Half a pound of lean brisket,” you’d say to the chef, and he’d grab it off the hickory grill and slap it on the scales. In order to further duplicate the experience of eating at a real Texan barbecue, the meat was then served not on a plate, but in brown paper, out of which you were also expected to eat it.

“I’d like a quarter of a pound of moist brisket, please,” I said meekly, and it was quickly weighed and slapped into my brown paper with little ceremony. As the meat was wrapped for me to take to the table, the fat quickly soaked through, and dripped appetizingly onto the floor.
“You want sides?” asked the chef?
“What are sides?” I whispered to Georgina, and she pointed towards another serving hatch, at which a number of mashed-up vegetables bubbled on a hob.
“I’ll have some of that, and some of that,” I said politely, not really knowing what it was I was ordering. The sides were scooped into big paper cups, and placed on my tray. I think I ordered corn on the cob and sweet potato, but both had been liquidised beyond recognition. It was like eating food that had been specially prepared for an old person with no teeth. Georgina ordered about a half a pound of lean brisket and some sides that were a slightly different colour and texture to mine, and we took our trays and sat down at a table.

An authentic Country and Western band were playing somewhere, but the restaurant was so big we couldn’t actually see them.
“How’s your moist brisket?” Georgina asked.
“Very moist,” I said. “I particularly like all the little bits of brown paper mixed with the meat.”
“That’s what makes it authentic,” Georgina said.
“Fancy another half a pound of brisket?” I asked.
“I’m good,” she said.