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September 08, 2011

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ejh

A couple who claimed to be family of the BMW driver visited us and hoped that we can forgive the young driver

Are we to understand that an envelope played a role in this conversation?

BenSix

Oh, wow. This makes Nick Hogan seem like the prodigal son.

Cian

Click through to the second page and you can see the BMW in question. Nice stripes...

CMcM

Li Shuangjiang is actually a major general in the PLA

Born in 1939 & once of the Song-and-Dance Troupe of the General Political Department of PLA your link suggest. Which makes him roughly the functional equivalent of Cilla Black I'd guess.

JamesP

"My dad is George Formby!"

ajay

"And my mum is Vera Lynn!"

(...actually, is Meng Ge, aka Mrs Li, also a PLA singer, or just a civilian singer?)

Barry Freed

Seriously, they should give these people classes.

I sense a lucrative business opportunity.

Richard J

Which makes him roughly the functional equivalent of Cilla Black I'd guess.

Wasn't there a Popbitch link about a year or so ago on her having a junior runner fired who later became very important in ITV? (and hence her career dying?)

JamesP

"If you were "lucky" enough to catch Cilla Black on Loose Women the other day, you may have wondered how it can be that she gets so little telly work. There could be any number of reasons, but chief among them might be the fact that a top bod at ITV stonewalls each and every attempt that Cilla makes to get on screen. Why this personal vendetta? Maybe it has something to do with how the top bod in question started their career at ITV - as a runner for Cilla on Blind Date.

FYI: We also hear that Cilla is hated "beyond all reason" by BA First Class staff."

ejh

My contacts tell me that one of Kirsty Wark and Jeremy Paxman is far less popular with TV staff than the other. And not necesarily the one you'd guess.

ajay

Never met Kirsty Wark, but Paxman is actually fairly quiet and friendly off-camera, not at all what you'd expect from his on-camera persona. I am now slightly worried that this rule holds across the whole TV industry, and when I run into David Attenborough he will break my nose and steal my wallet.

CMcM

I have it on good authority that Attenborough is personally rather nice, if a bit grand (as,actually, I suspect he has the right to be).

Jakob

I found Paxo rather charming off camera, though admittedly I didn't interact with him very long. What impressed me most was the way in which he could go from joking with the producer through his earpiece to full-on presenter mode in the blink of an eye as the cameras rolled.

Alex

I know of a tiny Shoreditch startup that is right now working on a software product, which combined with the twin factors of the BBC's future plans and the existence of Popbitch, is going to tear through the celebrity and media landscape like a divine wind.

Stephen

A friend of mine appeared on "University Challenge" a few years back, and told me that Paxman was nice off-camera.

chris y

Don't know about Paxo, but Bamber Gascoigne was definitely friendly and encouraging (I was one of the claque, not one of the team).

Phil

to full-on presenter mode in the blink of an eye

I was on GMTV a while back, and while I wouldn't say Roger Mellie was modelled on John Stapleton - I didn't hear him swear, for one thing - there were definite similarities. Terrific show of charm and curiosity when the cameras are rolling, but beforehand it was another matter - once he'd nailed down who was going to say what (which he got through in about twenty seconds) the guests might as well have been sparks waiting to take down the rig for all the notice he took of us. Very professional, in one sense of the word.

ajay

I know of a tiny Shoreditch startup that is right now working on a software product, which combined with the twin factors of the BBC's future plans and the existence of Popbitch, is going to tear through the celebrity and media landscape like a divine wind.

It's a platform-agnostic, open-source Jeremy Kyle emulator?

Go on, give us a hint.

Charlie W

Phil that sounds interesting: what were you on for?

Alex

Basically, it's an application for your PC/iThing/'droid/whatever that works out who's on your TV screen now and pulls in information from the www.

Obviously the pitch to the VC guy is that you could pull in targeted adverts, joy of joys, but the real potential here is that you could also have a channel of archived Popbitch mailouts and B&T threads an feculent ooze dripping from the bottom of the intehwubs, flipping up hamster alerts every time Richard Gere's mug crosses the screen and covering David Cameron's cheeks with taxpayer-funded topiary.

And I don't know about you, but I can see people paying cash money for that.

Chris Williams

Can they do a highbrow version of this? Cos if so, I suspect I know some people who might be interested in licensing it.

ajay

I want the augmented-reality version that hooks into a headup display and works for everyone you meet.

I like the idea of a highbrow version too. I picture academics at conferences wearing monocle sights that secretly tag other attendees with damning overlay labels like "GOT SLOSHED IN GOTTINGEN AND PUNCHED THE REGIUS PROFESSOR OF MODERN HISTORY" or "FUNDAMENTALLY UNSOUND ON GASTROPODS".

Phil

Charlie - I'm going to write about it some time, but basically a researcher at GMTV saw some of these (look under 'D-Day and Operation Overlord'), which I'd written for this amazing site (now endangered), and thought "he can say a few words for us at Arromanches". They then realised how much it costs to get someone out to Arromanches and phoned me to cancel. Unfortunately I'd switched my mobile off to save the battery for when I got out there. Wackiness ensued. I've still got the five minutes of video where I appear, introduced as a "military historian" (conversation beforehand: And we'll introduce you as a military historian, right? "Just historian is fine. I'm not really a military historian." Historian, OK, fine.).

Alex

What I really want to know is how it works. They were advertising for Pythoneers at one point but later decided to build the back-end in Scala so it's unlikely I'll get to see the clanky gearwheels close up.

JamesP

Should you ever find yourself at an awkward pause with someone involved in Chinese political science or international relations studies, ask him for his David Shambaugh story. Or tell him yours! Never fails, apparently.

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