Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Guilty Pleasures, again

Guilty Pleasures, again

Part two (of two, you'll be pleased to learn) of my short list of things that have made me the twisted, immature individual that I am today. In this sense, today's selections speak volumes. Oh yes.

Dredd, putting away a few perpsJudge Dredd: The year is 1977. I stand in Newberry's paper shop in Twyford, 10p in my pocket, deciding which comic to buy. There is a new comic on the rack, with a free gift. I buy it, and have enough over for a clutch of ha'penny chews. A bunch of stunning sci-fi stories, including Dan Dare (which pleased my parents greatly), and the promise of a new character the next week. I was in, and the next week Judge Dredd arrived in a hail of bullets. There was another free gift, too.

Dredd was a terrible fascist. Cop, court and executioner all rolled into one on a huge motorbike with a fuck great gun. Absolutely no sense of humour, the man was a death-dealing robot that didn't suffer fool, on the contrary, they got a five-to-ten stretch in the iso-cubes. I was eleven, and, Grud, he was all the role model I needed.

Dredd took on the Robot Wars, the Cursed Earth, evil twin Rico Dredd, Judge Death, Sov-City and lord knows what else, and beat them all without ever once taking his helmet off. I remember a letter the printed in 2000AD on one occasion, suggesting they might want to cast Sylvester Stallone in the title part in a Dredd movie.

Then they made a Dredd movie. With Stallone playing Joe Dredd.

And the bastard took his helmet off. Despite this dreadful faux pas, not to mention a bit of a critical panning from people who didn't quite get it, I actually rather liked the film, as do a fair number of fans. They way was open for a sequel which would have been streets better, but you know how Hollywood doesn't work.

Dredd's still there, locking up perps, and there's whole swathes of comic book story arc I've missed out on. But I grew up on the bastard, and By Stomm, he's still my number one fictional hero type guy.

I have never, ever run a Judge Dredd website.

Grud, I love Judge Dredd.

Blue Peter: It doesn't shame me at all to say that I still watch Blue Peter, and have done so for my entire life.

Z. Salmon and pussyAt the age of five, I was taken to Television Centre by a family friend who worked there to see them making the programme. I was taken up to the studio gallery and watched the backs of John Noakes, Val Singleton and Peter Purves as the programme went out live. I was distinctly non-plussed at this non-event. I didn't even get a Blue Peter badge.

Presenters came and went, advent crowns repeatedly failed to destroy the studio, attempts at Blue Peter sticky-back-plastic-and cardboard makes were never completed, and my dog tried to shag J. Noakes's leg, but my enthusiasm for safe, middle-class children's television never diminished.

Ah Peter Duncan. Leslie Judd. Janet Ellis. Golden days.

And then it all went tits. Mark Curry was the start of a dreadful slippery slope in the mid-eighties that turned the programme into, well, tat. Uninspiring presenters who wanted to celebrities in their own right, and dare I say it - the format just got tired, and it ould have been no surprise if the whole thing folded somewhere in the nineties.

But it didn't. Konnie Huq. Butch Katy Hill. And so on. The programme was back on form, and by God, it will go on forever.

I'm over not getting my Blue Peter badge now. I could have written to them at any time and got one, but it's too late for that. Instead, I badgered the kids until they wrote in and got their own. Scaryduckling's actually got two, and until the evil ebaying hordes spoiled it for everybody, it was saving me a fortune on holiday admission tickets.

And two words to sum up the entire 2006 Blue Peter experience: Zoe Salmon.

God, I love Blue Peter.

Did I mention Arsenal got to the European Cup final last night? Why, yes I did. God, I love the Arsenal.

No comments: