Posted by: docdenbow | January 28, 2012

Casualty, The Bill and An Encounter in Lidl

Normally on a Saturday night I enter into the blogosphere as Mrs Denbow lies recumbent watching Casualty on the TV. Can’t stand the programme myself. The rate of staff turnover and the number of deaths, I’m talking A and E staff and their loved ones here, removes this pseudo soap from any sense of reality. I mean I could list the casts names and all of their character traits and quirks which would only serve to prove that I watch it, when I don’t. No way, never. Like I don’t know that Charlie Fairhead has been in it from the start and that one of the Battersby girls is now a Doctor called Ruth, or that David Wicks is the head honcho. I don’t even know that Colin Jackson’s sister (or is it cousin) is in it every week. I didn’t know either that an old sidekick of D.I. Frost who I thought died in a Touch Of Frost now drives an ambulance. It never occurred to me that Big Mac broke Eileen’s heart up in Weatherfield. With the possible exception of Robson Green, I can’t think of anyone from the cast who have gone on to bigger and better things.Casualty and the now defunct The Bill seems to be where old hacks go to see out the dying embers of a once promising career. Waterloo Road seems now to have stepped in to the place left by The Bill in that it finds a brief home for the unemployable actor. I was shocked stunned and disappointingly surprised when  Inspector Spencer Jordan from Waking The Dead turned up in Waterloo Road playing what can only be described as a dork. So saying that I don’t suppose TV parts are that easy to come by for an actor who has played the same role for 11 years. He probably gets offered lots of parts as a cop, but what the hell I’m losing the point here.Last Of The Summer Wine was widely criticized as much of the cast in its’ later years were old, and I mean old, stalwarts of British comedy. I’m talking about Norman Wisdom, Dora Bryan, Blakey from On The Buses, Hilda Ogden, Liz Fraser from the Carry On films, Ron Moody from Oliver and Brian Murphy of George and Mildred fame. Then there’s Kato from the Pink Panther films. John Cleese even put in an appearance! This derided, but much loved comedy was seen by the “intelligentsia,” parading as TV critics, as outdated, outmoded and a retirement home for the elderly thespian. Better than leaping from one soap to another illustrating your range asa dramatic actor – I think not!

I would argue that it’s better to be a part of that “retirement home” syndrome than be part of the incestuous and virtual nepotism that is seen in TV these days. It strikes me that once you’re “in,” then a succession of similar parts will fall your way even when your character is killed off or written out of the turgid soap that you’re currently starring in. That’s what I saying about Casualty. All soaps are the same. Get in one for a few months, bank the few fat cheques and you’re on the gravy train for life. Open a few bingo halls, turn on the Christmas lights in a few Godforsaken towns – cash only, no cheques – to further boost your earnings. Free tickets to see Michael McIntyre as a “celeb” guest tops it off. Then there’s the obligatory reality TV offers where you can pocket a quick £50,000 for doing bugger all. As soon as Ant and Dec ask you to eat a koala’s arse you can bugger off to the pub and get some tinnies down you. Luvverly jubbly.

Better yet you may be able to marry one of the top characters and even if you turn out to be a Richard Hillman type (Corrie) at least you can try to get your old job back in Grange Hill, mind you I bet his CRB checks threw up a few questionable episodes – multiple murder, attempting multiple murder. That role seems to have knackered Brian Capron’s TV career (assuming he still wants one) but apparently he’s doing ok – just in case you wondering or cared. I rang him and he said,
“Who the hell is this – you ring one more time and I’ll chain you into my Ford Galaxy and drive into a canal, you see if I won’t”
I guess that was interview over.

Anyways, as you guys know I live in Swansea. I was out shopping in Parc Tawe the other day and went into Homebase to buy some ironmongery. I love ironmongery me. I am particularly keen on Anti Manipulation Cylinders and have several types made from assorted metals. I’m sure they’ll be useful one day. Having appraised myself of the available driver bits I set off to Lidl leaving my driver to peruse The Outfit and JD Sports -oh yes and Pets At Home.

I was looking at the fine array of foodstuffs available in this elegant emporium when I espied a couple walking ahead of me with two young children in tow. The lady was piling tin after tin of spaghetti hoops, baked beans, beans and sausages, luncheon meat and so on and so forth into the trolley. I was gently adding the divine Lidl’s oxtail soup to my trolley along with so fizzy pop when the lady turned and shrieked with delight at viewing my countenance,
“Denbow,” she trilled in that breathy Welsh accent of hers “How are you my love?”
“I’m good Cathy! These your kids?”
“They are.” She smiled with obvious pride “This is Dylan and this is Carys.”
“Hello kids.” I said. Then I just had to ask, why are you ramming so much stuff into your trolley?”
Cathy didn’t get chance to reply, Michael Douglas turned and fixed me with a level stare with his movie star brown eyes and said,
“Greed is good.”

Ciao For Now Ironmongers


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