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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Millionaire Frank Skinner takes driver's lunch for making him late - and doesn't pay a penny for it!

Funnyman Frank Skinner stunned listeners to his radio show by admitting he’d taken the packed lunch of a driver he blamed for making him late.

The millionaire comedian boasted of how he didn’t offer any money in return for the food, which had been lovingly prepared by the eastern European driver’s wife.

He then seemed to suggest the man’s heritage meant going hungry would not be a big problem for him. “He’s probably queued for vegetables in his youth,” he said.

Skinner, 58, recounted the bizarre anecdote during his Saturday morning show on Absolute Radio, which is co-hosted by Emily Dean and Alun Cochrane.

The previous day, the Room 101 presenter had been on route from his London home to Hampton Court Palace where he was due to chair a Doctor Who panel at the Radio Times Festival.

Skinner played the character Perkins in series eight

Skinner is a huge fan of the sci-fi show and played the character Perkins in Series Eight. He had been booked to quiz the current Time Lord Peter Capaldi, writer Steven Moffat and executive producer Brian Minchin.

But after being picked up by a driver, Skinner soon found himself gridlocked.

“We got stuck in the worst traffic you’ve seen in your entire life and I thought I’m not going to make it. I felt myself tense up. I was clenched,” he told listeners to his radio show.

Skinner went on to say that although the driver was already feeling “very, very anxious” the comedian added to the pressure by telling him “you’re the bad guy, everyone hates you” in a bid to “fire him on to find quicker routes”.

After Skinner moaned that he was hungry and “could faint” on stage at the Doctor Who event, the desperate driver offered his wealthy passenger the packed lunch his wife had made for him.

Shamelessly, Skinner said he accepted, much to the shock of his co-hosts.

“You took his lunch?” asked Dean, genuinely dismayed.

“I presume it was his dinner,” said Skinner in a joke that fell flat.

Assuming Skinner had paid for the food, Cochrane asked: “How much did you give him?”

Skinner replied: “I didn’t give him anything. Well, I thought he owed me (for being late).”

Dean gave her pithy assessment: “Okay. We were asking this morning, ‘What would Frank Skinner do?’ I think we’ve successfully answered that question.”

There is such a thing as a free lunch - if you're Frank Skinner

Unabashed, Skinner attempted to justify his actions saying “it just seemed the obvious thing to do” but remarked out loud “you don’t agree” when he realised he was alone in this view.

To make the story even more awkward, Skinner then described how the food he had taken off the driver had been “packaged with love”.

As he described how the driver’s wife had carefully prepared her husband’s food, Dean said: “The poignancy. I can’t bear it!”

Skinner was unmoved. He said: “It was it was lovely - and tasty!”

One listener summed up the views of many in a tweet read out on air by Dean.

She said: “We’ve had a tweet in from Mike. #WhatWouldFrankSkinnerDo? Take a hard-working man’s lunch and tell the nation how nice it was.”

Skinner dug himself in deeper. 

He said: "We don’t know he’s hard working -- it took him two hours to get from my house to Hampton Court Palace!”

Dean’s sarcastic rejoinder: “I’m glad you’ve addressed the key issues.”

Skinner, floundering by this time, continued to display how out of touch he has apparently become with real life.

He said: “It made absolute sense because I had to go straight on stage. He (the driver) could wander about and find food.”

Dean again reflected the mood of listeners: “That’s a super attitude.”

After bragging about his un-Christian behaviour, Skinner, a practising Catholic, then moved on to talk about the pope, without recognising the glaring irony.

Skinner may have sated his appetite -- but the whole affair will leave a bad taste in the mouth of many of his fans!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Open letter to Rupert Murdoch: Why haven't you sacked Katie Hopkins yet?

Dear Mr Murdoch,

I was wondering whether you would explain to me why you haven’t yet sacked Katie Hopkins? I realise you’re a busy man so I guess you must have forgotten, or just have not got around to it.

I also understand you’ve just taken on a new employee in a key role. (I read somewhere that she’s called Rebekah Brooks and that she used to have something to do with mobile phones?) Maybe helping her to learn the ropes is taking up some of your time too.

But seriously Mr Murdoch, why haven’t you dismissed Katie Hopkins yet? You do remember what she said about refugees back in April don’t you?

She wrote: “Show me pictures of coffins, show me bodies floating in water, play violins and show me skinny people looking sad. I still don’t care.”

She went on to say that gunships should be used to stop people crossing the Mediterranean. She compared migrants to cockroaches, Mr Murdoch. Cockroaches.

The fact this horrible, racist rant was published in one of your newspapers might suggest you too feel the same way. Do you? If you do, you should have the courage to say so.

But if you don’t, you must be appalled by what she wrote. Free speech is one thing but this was hate speech.

I notice The Sun has softened its line towards refugees after the public outcry that followed publication of pictures of a young Syrian boy whose lifeless body was washed up on a Turkish beach.

You surely know that thousands of migrants have died this year trying to reach Europe by sea? You must know that many children were among them.

You must know that when Katie Hopkins was writing her poisonous, callous, hateful ‘gunships’ column, similar tragedies to the one so graphically illustrated in those photographs were commonplace.

Those images stirred compassion and empathy in the hearts of those who saw them. They made people see refugees for what they are: human beings with fragile lives just like us. They made people think, ‘There but for the grace of God...’ Katie Hopkins’ column was designed to make people think, ‘Good God, they’re a disgrace!’. Its aim was to dehumanise refugees and make people in Britain feel resentment, anger and revulsion towards them.

You must know this is a bad thing to do. The Sun routinely passes judgement on people who have done bad things in the eyes of the paper. Isn’t racism a bad thing in your eyes Mr Murdoch?

More than 300,000 people have signed a petition asking for you to remove Katie Hopkins as a columnist but still she remains in post.

So I ask again: why haven’t you shown her the door?

If the answer is that you don’t think she has done anything wrong, tell me: what exactly would she have to do?

If you think sacking her is a step too far, let me suggest an alternative penance.

Why don't you send Katie Hopkins to Syria for a few weeks, or perhaps make her join a group of Eritreans fleeing conscription, or maybe just give her a fortnight in the failed state that is Libya.

Better still, put her on a dinghy with a group of desperate refugees attempting the perilous crossing of the Mediterranean.

If she comes back (and that's a big 'if') she could write about it for The Sun. The story of her journey would make a fascinating article. 

And maybe, just maybe, she might have discovered her humanity along the way.


Bertie Bile.