Friday, June 29, 2007

Tony Blair is new peace envoy to Big Brother House

In a surprise move, Channel 4 has introduced former Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie as the latest occupants of the Big Brother house. Mr Blair’s sponsors have backed the move confirmed a spokesman for the quartet of the UN, EU, USA and Russia.

"The level of conflict within the house has been escalating to a point where only someone who has had the successes of Mr Blair can hope to bring a sense of normality," said Kurt Billingsworthski of the quartet referring to the Northern Ireland peace process.

"Let me be clear, this task will require a huge intensity of focus and work," said Mr Blair as he entered the house on Friday night as a replacement for evictee Billi Bhati.

Mr Blair got straight down to the task, when at 1am he was asked if people with short or long hair should have priority with the limited hair styling resources, he calmed the housemates instantly with a small speech delivered through the toilet door. "Look, we need to bring people together. People who have spent a great deal of time consumed by hatred and fuelled by complete conviction in their right to the use of hair straighteners," was his muffled reply.

Charley Uchea, one of the leading protagonists in the ongoing disputes within the house complained to Big Brother in the diary room. "A married man, Big Brother? I am being honest here and I think he is totally fake and two-faced. Who does he think he is, former Prime Minister and world statesman, so what? I have met Gary Neville, so Blair doesn’t impress me!" she ranted. "I’m not being funny though, whilst he did a good job in the immediate aftermath of 11th September - rallying the international community and preventing the inevitable reactionary response being seen as the US versus the World - he painted himself into a corner with the war in Iraq since his success was dependent on the obvious lack of planning that goes with most US overseas endeavours," she added.

Cherie Blair, who joined the house at the same time as her husband commented that whilst the house was very different to her previous residence at Number 10 Downing Street there were some similarities.

"Over the last 10 years I became used to living at other people’s expense. Before being evicted," said Mrs Blair, "I am now looking forward to 10 weeks living off Channel 4."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Women’s Institute admits “policy not fit for purpose”

An independent internal review into the policies of the Women’s Institute conducted by consultants KPMG has concluded that their key mass organisational strategy is not performing to expectations.

"Sadly we have to accept that one of our key policies is only partially effective at best," sad a spokeswomen for the 92 year old institute. "Our investigations have shown that we are only blocking about 46% of the nation’s pathways and pavements."

The WI’s surveys have indicated that contrary to popular opinion old ladies are not successful in blocking even the majority of our pavements.

"Our members try their best, they make the best use of the their numbers. In major areas they are quite effective at causing people to have to walk in the gutter or walk slowly behind what appears to be a group of old dears absorbed in ancient conversation," explained Edith Billingsworth. "However as a nation-wide campaign it is falling short of our targets."

The WI said that another of its key objectives, that of filling up lunchtime "Five items or fewer" or post office queues, was ahead of target having hit an 87% success rate across the country as a whole. It achieved a 92% "cluttering up rate" in the nation’s top 10 cities, by population, for the year to date.

"Our ladies are expert at searching for the badly creased cheque from a fiddly purse trapped at the bottom of a full bag of laundry," explained Mrs Billingsworth. "We are really pleased with their performance."

The institute said that it has taken steps to address its short comings in creating pedestrian area congestion by forming an alliance with the Association of Mothers with Pushchairs who last week announced a 96% success rate for blocking shopping centre doorways.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Britain unveils GPS replacement

The Ordnance Survey today revealed its plans to produce a replacement for the ageing Global Positioning System (GPS) in common use for both military and civilian navigation. The new system, seen as a cost-effective alternative to the troubled European Galileo system, has a working title of Pub Orientated Wayfinding (POW).

At the unveiling of the project in the prestigious surroundings of the Grosvenor Hotel, Professor J. Scott Billingsworth said that the system will fit more neatly with true human behaviour than the existing GPS or planned Galileo system.

"When we ask someone for directions, we don’t want a long list involving distances and turns, because we can never remember them." explained controversial behavioural scientist Professor Billingsworth. "The directions that are most successful are those that are related to our easy-to-find local landmarks, such as today as we stand in the Grosvenor, or ‘Just up the road from the Hogshead Pub’ as POW would tell us."

The Professor explained that many people were frustrated that whilst the existing GPS provided clear and concise directions, it does not work very well for providing people with a sense of where they are and provides no help when they do become lost.

"You could be anywhere in the world when the directions are simply ‘turn left in 100 metres’," he said. "So you can’t stop and ask someone directions. However when POW tells you that you need to ‘turn right at the Prince Albert and follow the road then take the next turning left after the Rat and Parrot’ then you know roughly where the Bowling alley is."

The POW team plans to keep their database continually updated to provide ever more granular landmarks that are both useful to the traveller and any locals that he might encounter whilst trying to get to his location.

"When you are lost, if you explain the POW directions to a bystander they will of course know what you mean, unlike current GPS based directions," said the Professor. "The POW database will contain useful waypoints such as a group of kids hanging around outside a nearby McDonalds or the police riot van watching them from the corner."

The POW project has plans for a nation-wide rollout early next year, and is currently evaluating the prospects for international versions.

"The initial launch of the system will cover the UK only," explained Professor J. Scott Billingsworth. "However we may extend the system to less civilised nations, in the event that British ex-pats find enough suitable hostelries for the database."

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Foster’s launch "blunt" lagers

Brewing giant Foster’s today launched a new range of beers with more straightforward names and labelling.

"We wanted to capitalise on the famed Australian ‘tell it how it is’ nature," explained Bruce Billingsworth, MD of Marketing at Foster’s. "The idea has proved successful with Australian wines sold in supermarkets - such as ‘Good with pork’ and ‘Best with Steak’, so why not beer? It also enables us to take a lead in providing clearer labelling within the alcohol industry."

The flagship beer in the new range will be ‘Gets you drunk quick’ which is aimed squarely at the market segment traditionally dominated by Tennent’s Super lager with an alcohol content of 9.5%.

"We have done some tests with our key consumers and they say that what they want is something cost effective and quaffable that you can drink whilst slumped in a hedge," said Mr Billingsworth. "Of paramount importance to our demographic is that the labelling is plain and simple and helps you enjoy a summer’s night having a fight with yourself under a bridge."

Tennent’s have said that they welcomed the competition and Foster’s entry into the higher strength market, but denied they had any plans to adopt similar branding.

"We are always looking for new opportunities for our products, commented Grant Binsworth of Tennent’s "So we are branching out into the lighter fuel market instead."

Mr Billingsworth of Foster’s added that they were also planning a family pack of lager aimed at the home drinker called ‘You’ll piss rusty water out your arse in the morning’.

"As you know we are keen on responsible drinking," said Mr Billingsworth. "So our new lagers can also be used to light your barbecue."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

ITV to be replaced by YouTube

Today bosses at struggling channel ITV have announced that all programming will be replaced with videos from YouTube.

"We have to react to the ever changing and challenging world of Television, " said Gerald Billingsworth, head of Light Entertainment at Granada TV. "Our competitors such as the BBC have produced innovative, entertaining and informative programming. However we aren’t in a position to do that."

Mr Billingsworth said that the ITV programme management team had expended a great amount of research effort in trying to understand where ITV’s current programming output can fit in the new digital, on-demand, multichannel world.

"We liked the BBC deal with YouTube but we realised that they have quality programming to offer," he reveals. "Whereas ours is increasingly dependent on members of the public filling our airtime. So we thought, ‘why not just show all those videos from YouTube?’"

The actors’ union Equity has welcomed the news, as it will provide increased work for some of its junior members.

"It is good that the older actresses can get more prominent roles now that ITV will be showing only blurry streaming internet video," explained Fiona Knight, a regular extra on The Bill. "It is great to be in the foreground again. The ‘home movie’ genre retains the quality of ITV’s output - even if I have had my hair set on fire 3 times and crashed my bicycle 18 times when my skirt blows up."

ITV bosses say that the new programme will be a rolling broadcast of Ant & Dec surfing YouTube and showing their favourite videos, or just whatever YouTube thinks is similar to the last one.

"Naturally we will use Ant & Dec to front a programme of this quality. However one of the other changes we plan is to ensure Anthony McPartlin is wearing a hat at all times, " revealed Mr Billingsworth. "His hairline is quite mesmerising and we know our advertisers don’t like families spending entire commercial breaks in discussion about exactly where his hairline ends and the combing forward begins."

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Video solves "Car death family" mystery

Police in the Netherlands today released a statement confirming that they have solved the mysterious deaths of four members of the Rekeningwaard family. They were found dead in their Humvee last month after apparently having lunch from a drive through restaurant.

"Initially we were confused," explained Inspecteur Johan Janssen leading the investigation. "When the car was discovered there was no outward sign of any problem. It certainly wasn’t an intentional suicide."

Police were baffled as, whilst overweight, autopsies on the two adults and two children revealed no cause of death.

"Eventually we found a video on the mother’s camera phone which revealed how they came to die, which we think is a lesson to all of us," said Inspecteur Janssen

"We all like our luxury living," said the inspector. "Although I guess there should be a warning in that Old Icelandic proverb – that man likes the smell of his own farts."

Friday, June 15, 2007

Baby boom in paternity leave case

Today marked the beginning of an employment tribunal in Birmingham, the outcome of which might change employment law in the UK.

"For decades, parents have campaigned for the rights to increased parental provision in the workplace," said Geoffrey Mansfield, lawyer for the plaintiff. "Only recently has paternity leave caught up with the status awarded to maternity leave. However if my client is not successful that will all be overturned."

Mr Mansfield is acting on behalf of Zachary Vincent, a 28 year old travelling salesman from Solihul who has brought his employer to the tribunal amid claims and counter claims regarding his demands for paternity leave. Mr Vincent is expecting the birth of his 15th child in two months time and maintains that he should be entitled to the full two-week paternity leave, his employer contests this.

The Billingsworth Steel company says that this would mean that Mr Billingsworth has only worked for 1 month in the last calendar year allowing for the holiday he has taken in between the other 14 bouts of paternity leave.

In a statement issued through their solicitors the company said that it fully supported the roles of fathers in the family and met all its obligations under employment law.

"However, with the latest birth he will have 15 children by 14 different mothers in 11 different parts of the UK," said the statement. "We feel that in Mr Vincent’s case that our good will has been taken advantage of."

Mr Vincent’s solicitor said that the character of his client was beyond reproach with both an exemplary record as a travelling salesman, but that they also had much testimony about what a sincere and personable family man he is.

"Everyone in the office really enjoys his visits. He shows a great interest in us and our families," explained Mr Mansfield. "Indeed only this morning my secretary commented that said that she hoped that the case would be settled quickly before she leaves as she has just found out she is pregnant."

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Farmers demand greater crop circle subsidies

Farming representatives today began lobbying the European Union for greater financial compensation for the phenomena of crop circles.

Amos Billingsworth, owner of a huge farm near Yatesbury in Wiltshire, farm shop proprietor and owner of “Industrialists in Wellies Weekly” began the campaign with a press breakfast at the 5-star Warwick Barsey Hotel in Brussels. The central pillar of complaint he said was that struggling farmers such as himself should be better compensated each year with regards to crop circles on their land.

“As everyone knows, farming is no longer about growing crops, more it is about owning vast tracts of land and being paid taxpayers money from all over Europe not to grow crops. That is fine by us and something the farming community not only supports but we would hate to see a simple return to free market economics” began Mr Billingsworth. “But you must remember farmers are the trustees of the land for future generations to sell in lucrative land deals with Tescos or Golf Course developers. Until that time we have other costs of not doing business to consider.”

Mr Billingsworth then expanded upon his member’s central need for further subsidy. “In an attempt to earn more money from the land, many farmers grow crops each year in the hope that hoaxers will flatten them creating their increasingly complicated patterns to dupe the gullible or those desperate to believe in other forces. We farmers are more than happy to offer tourists access to the crop circles, as well as a wide range of souvenirs in our farm shops. However, as you know, crop circle hoaxing is seasonal in both quantity and quality and in recent years local home grown crop circle production has faced competition from Eastern Europe. In Romania, for example, a simple three circle interlocking Venn-Diagram will gain far more tourist money and press coverage than even the fantastically complicated 'Treble Julia Set' manages to gather at home."

During the buffet conference, noticeably missing any British produce, Mr Billingsworth drew on some of the important historical relationships between the circles and the farms in whose crops they are formed.

“Back in the late seventies myself and a few other farmers were drinking in a pub in Southampton. It was the night after a particularly good demonstration against imported New Zealand lamb, “ he reminisced somewhat wistfully. “We met a couple of chaps by the name of Dave and Doug who wanted to be rich and famous in the local community but were not farmers and therefore had no way of getting money for nothing. After a while we hit on the idea of flattening some of my crops into circular shapes and putting about that Aliens, or secret government aircraft or, well anything other than a couple of blokes with old floorboards, did it. It was a spectacular success! In subsequent years many farmers around the UK have had contracts with the Discovery Channel, Fortean Times and all sorts of paranormal magazines and writers. Without that idea I wouldn’t have been able to work in Hollywood, with that nice Mr Gibson on the movie ‘Signs’. Times are hard now and it is time the EU helped us out by giving us payments when farmers have no circles on their land and undamaged fields”

Several of the journalists present were keen to press Mr Billingsworth on why farmers just didn’t use their business expertise to profit directly from the land - perhaps by growing crops in preparation for the inevitable surge in demand for bio-fuels. Mr Billingsworth would not be drawn on what he called “futuristic plans that sound like hard work”.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Big Bro Posh Spice wannabe wannabe launches career

A devoted fan spoke to the media today about her aspirations to emulate her heroine and Big Brother 8 contestant, Chanelle Hayes.

"Chanelle is my hero," said Chardonnay Bucket, 18, from Formby in Merseyside. "I have followed her entire week-long career and think she is just wonderful. The way she wants to be Victoria Beckham makes me just want to be Chanelle Hayes."

Chardonnay says that she still has a lot to learn from her idol and is avidly following Big Brother’s live broadcasts on E4.

"She is just the best at saying ‘Stupid’ at the end of every sentence and speaking in one long endless sentence that seems to only repeat the stuff that she has already said several times and is delivered as though she is fighting for air after nearly drowning, before saying ‘Stupid‘ and repeating herself again and again," gasped Chardonnay.

Miss Bucket says that it will take her time to fully master the talents of Chanelle, but that she is determined to put the effort in.

"I need to practice more on some of her other talents. I got a bit engrossed in heat magazine yesterday and didn’t use my hair straighteners for 45 minutes, for example."

"I can sit and talk about make-up for hours, just like Chanelle. I look great in my underwear, but I am still studying for my A-Levels at the moment, and still a virgin. Stupid!" she blushed. "Nothing sordid for the papers yet. Stupid!"

As Chanelle wants to use her talents to follow Victoria Beckham to Madrid and Los Angeles, Miss Bucket is hopeful that she can follow Chanelle’s stellar career.

"I plan to go to Madrid this summer, and I hope I can get a video of me being shagged by a Spanish barman wearing a Real Madrid football shirt," revealed Chardonnay. "Then it is practising sitting around and bursting into tears about hair and make-up until Big Brother 9 comes round."

Chardonnay hopes that she can get her pop career over and done with before she returns to school this September. Her first single, a cover of the Victoria Beckham’s ‘Not such an innocent girl’ reached a peak of 26 in the Australian chart on Sunday (ten places higher than the original version achieved) before plummeting out of the top 500 today.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

First "Big-Boned" skeleton discovered

Egyptologists today revealed details of what is believed to be the first example of a ‘big-boned’ skeleton ever discovered. The ‘big-boned’ phenomenon is one that has mystified physicians for decades since despite the millions of apparent sufferers, no skeletons have ever been found.

"We were researching the mummy of an ancient Egyptian Princess Tentopet, from the time of Ramesses ‘The Great’. When we produced a computer reconstruction of her skeleton, we were quite surprised by the findings," explained Dr. Bill Billingsworth of the Sidcup Centre of Pantheonic Studies. "That Tentopet was of slightly above average height is to be expected as she would have had the better diet of royalty. However she also exhibits wider and thicker hips, thighs and upper arms, whilst the rest of her skeleton is of average dimensions."

The team hopes that their discovery will provide information for the millions of people said to be suffering from ‘big bones’.

Found with Tentopet where a number of fragile papyrus documents that the team has spent the last three years deciphering.

"There is a catalogue of the beasts of the kingdom along with the plants of her farms. Each animal and plant has been given a value," explained Dr Bill Billingsworth. "We think it is some sort of religion based on eating certain combinations of animals, or attaining a certain total. One translation of the document title is the ‘Lexicon of the Heaviness Observers’."

Entombed with Tentopet were several documents describing her reign and include details of a ceremonial weekly weigh-in for all of her female subjects involving the chant ‘No matter what, we can’t lose weight."

However it is the remarkable skeleton that has excited the team the most as their subsequent research reveals it to be a unique specimen.

"We have checked medical records, autopsy reports, and neither ancient specimens nor modern records have ever documented a genuine ‘big-boned’ human skeleton, until now," said Dr. Billingsworth. "Although they are quite common in pigs," he added.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Queen condemns paparazzi intrusion

Today, in a break with tradition, Her Majesty the Queen lashed out at the media and what she feels is the constant intrusion of press-pack and photographers into her life. Queen Elizabeth II is said to be the person who has had more photographs and other likenesses of her than any other person in human history but it seems that it may finally, after 55 years as monarch, be getting too much.

"Everywhere one goes, one is photographed." said the reigning monarch. "Sometimes we feel as though we live in the constant blindness of a seemingly infinite number of flashbulbs."

The Queen is said to be particularly unhappy about the trend within recent years for the press to want more candid images of her and less formal portraiture.

"The younger generations of the family seem to suffer it worse. However nowadays one can expect to see images of one paying for drinks in west end nightclubs and even paying for fares on the bus. I believe there is also one of me on Holiday. It can get somewhat tiresome".

Historically of course the establishment had a more "arms length" relationship with the press and back in the 1950s, when Her Majesty came to power, other areas of the print media were altogether more respectful. For example Buckingham Palace was easily able to get the Bank of Fleet Street‘s £5 note to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s coronation changed to replace the originally planned topless image.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Creationists : “Maps are the work of the Devil”

The ongoing debate between evolutionists and creationists has escalated as the proponents of "Intelligent Design" have lashed out at cartographers as being "purveyors of Evil". Pastor Jesse Billingsworth of the Glen-Rivers Baptist Church of Nashville, Tennessee in the USA, made the comments during his television show.

"It is clear that science is trying to destroy God, but He is greater than any so called theory. Evolutionists want to use Science to tell us how we got to where we are – well I know how we got here, the Lord put us here to do his bidding and to go to the places He wants us to go to. The so-called mapmakers say they want to explore and document His work, that they too want to show us the way! There is only one Way, the Way of the Lord, to follow the Word. We don’t need to understand where we are and less do we need to understand where we are going. We have Faith in the Lord! These people, these pawns of Satan, purveyors of Evil, say they want to lead us to our destination. Well I don’t need a map for that, do you? I have the Book and Faith to take me to our destination – the Promised Land!".

Fellow Creationists have taken up the Pastor’s words and have started pickets and organised the mass burning of Atlases and gazetteers. Online petitions have been set-up against various web-sites offering maps and has been the subject of co-ordinated Denial of Service attacks.

James Azimuth, Under Secretary of the Cartographers Union (N53:33:24 W3:03:16 branch) spoke at a debate on the subject today. " ‘Way Fundamentalism’ as it is known, is a classic appropriation of fear and ignorance by the extreme church to control people. They not only want to control what people think and research but also where they do it. They have started to pelt motorists using satellite navigation systems with manure, Yet they won’t even engage in debate about how such systems work if they are just some sort of Satanic trickery."

A spokesman for the Merseyside Evangelical Church commented "We would have been happy to attend the debate and spread the light of the True Way with those who need to be saved, but I didn’t know the way to the conference."

Monday, June 04, 2007

New Olympic logo revealed

The new logo for the 2012 London Olympics has been revealed to the public. It will be the branding adopted on all signage and merchandise. It is hoped its new dramatic style will reflect the true value of the games to Londoners on the world at large.

"We feel that the new dynamic styling of the logo will fully reflect the stability of the massive undertaking that will make the London Olympics the finest games that money can buy," said Lord Billingsworth, the chairman of the Internaional Olympic Financial Awareness committee.

"This logo, available in a range of different colours, is the first Olympic logo to feature imagery that directly reflects the feelings of Londoners for the games and the commitment of Britain to making sure the games are a success," he said.

Outgoing Prime Minister, Tony Blair, endorsed the new logo and the manner in which it captures the wealth of creativity being expended on the games.

"Look, I won’t be Prime Minister of this fine nation in 2012 but I hope to have a window in my lecture tour schedule to come and have a look at the VIP facilities in Stratford," he said. "Gordon will have a list of my fees for speaking."

The Prime Minister also said that the new logo would appeal to young people and inspire them to change their lives for the better.

"The logo represents how much of their future is already mortgaged," said Mr Blair. "Given the pensions problem they will need to get involved in sport at an early age to be active and healthy enough to work into their 80s to pay off £9bn."

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Hasty release of new cricket game

Billingtons Games has announced the latest version of its ever popular whodunit game - Cluedo, this time with a sporting theme - Test Match Cluedo.

"Cluedo has been thrilling generations of games players since 1948 and we feel that now is the perfect time to launch Test Match Cluedo," said Dr Noir, Head of Game Development at family firm Billingtons Games.

The game plays exactly as the traditional version of Cluedo except that the setting has changed from a manor house to an opulent cricket club with the victim now a prominent cricket coach. In addition the suspect have been renamed in favour of the nations that play in their respective colours: Australia replaces Colonel Mustard; England is Miss Scarlett; West Indies takes on the role of Professor Plum; South Africa assumes Reverend Green’s position; Mrs. White is played by Pakistan and India plays the role of Mrs. Peacock. The final change is that the candlestick and lead-pipe weapons have been replaced by a cricket bat and ball respectively.

The game has been endorsed as being the official homicide investigation game of the Jamaican Police.

Dr Noir said that the game was available to order from all good toyshops immediately and that stocks would be on the high-streets as soon as they became available. He denied that the game had been rushed out hastily.

"It was always part of the plan to have a summer release, with cricket being a summer game, he said. "It has nothing to do with any announcements from the West Indies that Bob Woolmer may have died of natural causes after all."

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