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July 2009:
T
HAT'S THE WAY TO DO IT! By BOBBY GEORGE

Blimey, what a funny old time it’s been lately. I mean funny ‘ha-ha’, rather than funny ‘aargh!’

Take Ken Dodd. He’s my favourite comic and the man is a genius, a legend, an icon and a national treasure. Yet his planned Xmas show at the Royal Centre in Nottingham has been cancelled by a new managing director who claims that there were ‘negative’ comments about his show last December.

Well, if The Legends show was to be judged on supposed negative comments (mostly organised) then (allegedly) we wouldn’t be booked anywhere (according to some)!

As it is, just like Doddy, we’ve enjoyed good audiences all round the country and our bookings are very healthy, thank you very much!

Robert Holmes, who has handled PR for the great man for nearly 40 years, tells me that support for Doddy has been incredible. He was asked to go on News At Ten, GMTV and lot of high-profile shows, but it was decided not to dignify the ridiculous decision made by one man in Nottingham (obviously the dastardly Sheriff).

Instead, a couple of well placed interviews in the Daily Telegraph (a bit of light relief from MP’s expenses) and The Independent did the trick by showing the huge public and media support for the toothy comic.

The irony is that Doddy started his professional career in Nottingham in 1954 and has entertained in that City for over 50 years. In contrast to any claims made, his ‘Happiness Show’ last December played to a capacity audience who gave him a standing ovation.

One man’s decision led to the show cancellation this Xmas, which means that there won’t be much laughter in Robin Hood’s gaffe this year. But, I have a feeling that the funniest man in the land might be asked back again.

Proving that critics are not always right – in fact, in my experience (and Doddy’s) they are usually wrong!

THAT’S THE WAY TO DODDY IT!

Did I mention that one of our dogs, ‘Cash’ was nicked some time ago?
He vanished and has not been seen again. That’s the bad news. The good news is that we now have a new dog and have decided to call him ‘Cash’ in memory of his predecessor.

He’s a lovely little Jack Russell who certainly lives up to the name……what you might describe as a case of Cashback!

THAT’S THE WAY TO CASH IT!

Staying on the subject of cash a bloke asked me to sign a fiver at a recent Legends Show, so I made a good job of it by writing my signature as large as I could in black felt tip. He went away looking very pleased.

After the show, Eric asked me if I wanted a drink and when he took a wad of notes from his pocket and the moths had all flown off, there on the top was my signed fiver!

‘Where did you get that from?’ I asked, and he turned round and said with a big grin on his face: ‘I bought it from a bloke for four quid!’

The cheeky so-and-so will probably put it on Ebay and get a tenner!

Maybe Alastair Darling should consult him rather than paying for an accountant (what a laugh!)? It might be the answer to inflation??

THAT’S THE WAY TO FIVER IT!

Talking about Eric, there’s a new film just come out called ‘Looking For Eric’.
It stars the former French football star Eric Cantona, who became a folk hero at Manchester United and is now a big movie star! I suppose he gets a big kick out of it!! (Get it?).

The film is all about the relationship between fans and their heroes, but what caught my eye (other than the title) was a sports psychologist (who needs one of them?) saying: ‘Great competitors in sport are also great actors’.

That made me think of Eric Bristow when he was winning everything 20 odd years ago, and the way he used to command the stage and ‘bully’ all his opponents with well chosen put-downs, expressions and body language. He was arrogant and rude (nothing has changed then!) and played the part of a darts ‘baddie’ by giving the impression – always – that he was unbeatable.

As I said, who needs a sports psychologist?

I know all about the subject of acting, because I’ve been a bit of a thespian in my time. I love all the dressing up and making my stage entrance by whipping up the fans.

I suppose the real answer is that me, Eric and the players from that great era of the 70s and 80s – Lobo, Jocky and the others - were (are) characters in our chosen sport.

Eric Cantona was the same in big time football, and now he’s hung up his boots and chosen to pursue a career in acting playing the part comers naturally to him.

Maybe me and Eric should follow in his footsteps? Hang on a minute, I already have! Remember the film ‘Dog’ and other on-screen appearances by ‘yours truly’?

Anyway, it started me off on a quiz to name as many famous Eric’s as possible and I came up with two great comics – Eric Morecambe and Eric Sykes – the greatest guitarist of all time, Eric Clapton, the bloke behind Miss World, Eric Morley……and of course, the one and only Eric Bristow.

Now don’t get me going on famous Bobby’s and George’s!

THAT’S THE WAY TO NAME IT!

Did you see the stories in the newspapers saying that people who wear too much jewellery and drive nice cars might be dodgy? In the Daily Mail my eye was caught by the headline: ‘Too Much Bling? That’s Criminal’.

At first I thought it was a leg pull, but no! Apparently one of our police forces has launched a new ‘initiative’ called: ‘Too Much Bling? Give Us A Ring?’

ALLO! ALLO!! ALLO!!! Who thought that one up? It sounds more like an April Fool gag than something that is going to benefit the public. But sadly, in this world of gimmicks, the police are actually encouraging people to ‘spy’ on their fellow men (and women) and report them if they appear to be wearing jewellery or driving a car that others think they can’t afford!

What a cheek! What gives anyone the right to judge? Have they never heard of the proverb: ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover’?

Blimey, they’ll be raiding darts tournaments next and arresting the players and spectators for wearing too much bling! And as for me? I’d better stay indoors – especially as I’ve just bought my second Jag (you can now call me two Jags Bobby) and as a humble darts player how can I possibly afford two Jags and loads of bling?? After all, I’m not a banker or an MP!

 

The answer is simple and applies to many people (darts players included) who wear nice jewellery and drive decent cars: I work hard and happen to like my bling and nice cars!

By the way, my second Jag is a diesel estate that will be my ‘workhorse’ as I travel up and down the country. Did I buy it because it is flash? No. I bought it because of its comfort and reliability.

Apologies if this is sounding like a party political broadcast on behalf of the Common Sense Party, but I am annoyed for myself and decent people everywhere.

You really couldn’t make it up, could you? But, thankfully, the wonderful straight talking MP Ann Widdecombe has responded to this latest nanny state gimmick by saying: ‘If the police spent as much time tackling crime and getting out on the beat, as they do coming out with this ridiculous stuff, we’d all be better off.’

Here, here! Three cheers for a bit of common sense.

THAT’S THE WAY TO BLING IT!

Just after reading this rubbish I had to ring my local gun shop for a new rifle to keep down vermin and rabbits on my land around George Hall.

When the woman at the other end asked for my name and I said Bobby George, she responded immediately by asking: ‘The Bobby George?’ and when I confirmed that I was, she added: ‘You have a lot to answer for in my house because my grandson is a big fan of yours and asked for a gold ring and a dartboard for his birthday. We haven’t been able to get him out of the garage since! He practices all the time with his mates. All he wants is to be a famous darts player like you on BBC TV.’

Not only was I very flattered by this, but also very pleased when she agreed with me that having a gold ring and enjoying a social hobby like darts, is far more preferable than her grandson turning to drugs or hanging about on street corners.

Instead of getting people and kids as young as seven to ‘spy’ on their neighbours. maybe the police should be encouraging kids to play games like darts, pool, snooker and ping pong in properly run youth clubs as a way of bringing communities back together?

Trouble is, all we read about today are cutbacks in council expenditure which is leading to such clubs being closed down.

THAT’S NOT THE WAY TO DO IT!


Whatever happened to good, old fashioned common sense?

Moving on to much nicer things and staying on the subject of community spirit, I had a great night at the Glemsford & District Darts League finals and presentation night.

The highlight was the presentation of a cheque to Woodbridge Mencap Gateway (the charity which me and Marie raised money for in TV’s ‘Celebrity Cash InThe Attic’).

In typical darts style, Clive Stewart (pictured with the cheque) was not satisfied with the money raised from the auction of my personal items on ‘Cash In The Attic’ so he decided to add to it with another £200 raised on the night.

My driver, Roly Bright and his lovely wife Elise came along to accept the cheque on behalf of the Gateway Club, and it was my pleasure to be among such genuine and generous darts people.

THAT’S THE WAY TO CHARITY IT!

And staying with nice people, me and Little Richard had a very enjoyable night at the presentation evening of Braunton & District Darts League. We had lots of fun, but the most important thing is that over £500 was raised on the night for the North Devon Hospice – another example of the wonderful generosity of darts folk.

Must mention a remark by chairman Malcolm Hannon, who reckons that I am ‘almost as good a comedian ad I am a darts player’. Thanks for the compliment Malcolm, but what do you mean by ‘almost’?

Marie reckons I’m a brilliant comic – but then again she’s seen me without my clothes on!

THAT’S THE WAY TO DO IT!

A not so brilliant comic is Omid Djalli, an Iranian stand-up born in Chelsea, who has had his own series on BBC-1. Unlike Ken Dodd he is only funny in small doses and I don’t know how he gets away with material that is definitely non PC and unfunny.

For total bad taste he did a sketch called ‘Darts Players Wives’ (that’s not been done before – only a million times!) and in the last show of the series this featured a love triangle between two darts players and a very ugly woman (played by Omid).

After one of the darts players mentioned the ‘darts players code’ of ‘Never Betray A Fellow Tosser’ (very funny Aaaaaaaaaarh!) he then threw a dart into the other player’s eye and shouted ‘Bullseye!’

Thankfully, this programme went out after the so-called ‘watershed’ because not only was this sketch totally unfunny, but it set a very stupid and dangerous example of how not to play (and behave) in our sport.

Stupid. Senseless and not funny at all!

THAT’S NOT THE WAY TO DO IT!

Which brings me to the end of yet another column. Remember to enjoy your bling, drive the nicest car you can afford and avoid any TV show starring a pretend Iranian pretending to be funny!

May the Darts Always Be With You.





 

 

 

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