Big Brother favourite Andy West is back to cast his eye over the week and has taken a leaf out of Victoria Beckham’s book with his first cutting observation…
A letter to you, Andy
Victoria Beckham is a personal inspiration to me, though I’ve never been absolutely certain why.
From the first moment I saw her 63 years ago, standing still next to the Spice Girls, I knew I was in love.
So imagine my excitement on hearing that she had written a letter to her 18-year-old self. And what a letter!
Once the editor of Vogue had caught up with Posh on the way to the post office and explained that it wasn’t actually being sent to teenage Victoria, her words of kind wisdom were able to be printed in the magazine.
Basically, she tells her younger self not to worry about her weight or spots or lack of talent, because she’ll end up wildly successful and married to a global superstar model and footballer who never cheats. Ever.
It made me think about the letter I’d like to write to my 18-year-old self.
I think I’d write this: Stop worrying about being a gay man, it never bothered Julie Goodyear (JOKE).
Don’t even think about a relationship, just realise that the strength of a single person can be measured not in the number of people they sleep with but in the number of people they choose not to sleep with.
I would tell him to hunger for adventure and to leap into the unknown and scream out for what he wants because someone will hear him and give him a chance to prove himself.
I would ask him to stop apologising for who he really is and start apologising to those he’s hurt by pretending to be someone he’s not.
And I would tell him to start wearing underpants because there’s a zipper and a bottle of Ouzo on their way and they ain’t friendly.
Moving on… and this time it’s onwards and upwards
I swear on Kerry Katona’s life if I have to pack my suitcases again this year I’m going to throw myself over Niagara Falls in one of those ridiculous heavy-knit jumpers straight lads buy from River Island in November.
Just like a Saturday night in Soho I’d go straight to the bottom and good riddance to me!
I’ve calculated that I packed and unpacked my suitcases seven times in eight weeks during my Big Brother holiday from hell. Seven times! Only to leave and discover that whoever owned the voodoo doll of me had nipped out and bought a whole new box of pins.
There I was, alone and heartbroken in what was supposed to have been a wee love nest for my new fiancé and I. Turns out a few magpies had been in that nest.
Well, you can’t make an omelette without breaking up with Eds (let’s take a moment to appreciate that… okay, carry on…).
Fear not for me, intrepid reader! I have landed right on my stilettos this time! I left my old room in South London (boohoo, right?) and am now in a very trendy apartment in a very trendy complex in very trendy East London.
I’d say everyone here is gay, even the pigeons, and there’s an on-site pool, gym and – naturally – sauna.
Unpacking my things, for the 8th time in three months yesterday left me feeling very lonely and adrift but, now, for the first time since splitting from my man, I am beginning to breathe again.
Amazing what a new home can do. Take a whistle-stop tour with me here…
Let’s celebrate this and ignore the idiots
During the week, it was fantastic to see Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow on This Morning with their twins Saffron and Aspen.
It’s now 16 years since they became the first kids in the UK to be born through surrogacy to gay parents. But forget the landmark and forget any moment of reflection. Just forget it, alright?
Many viewers did what they love doing most: heading to Twitter to express their idiotic thoughts to their 34 followers before giving any intelligent consideration to their opinions.
It’s what stupid people do when they want to seem clever. Say something negative and imagine that you’re being cutting when actually you’re just being a vindictive nitwit.
Apparently the kids looked miserable on screen. Well, firstly they’re teenagers so… duh. Secondly, they were actually quite smiley. The trolls simply paused their TVs to get the two 16-year-olds looking sombre.
The mind of a twitter troll is very basic. I’ve had a few come at me on social media. Foul language, nonsensical observations, childish jibes.
In fact I lived with two of my most turgid trolls in the Big Brother house.
But then, as now, we have to remember that nasty people are unhappy because they’re living nasty lives. It’s always best to ignore them.
What to do with ‘righteous weeping warriors’
On the subject of Twitter, there is a scourge far worse than turgid trolls. Oh yes. It’s the righteous weeping warriors.
If anybody says anything referencing… anything… then there will be a band of angry people ready to shout them down, regardless of context or intention.
They see themselves as the white blood cells of the Twittersphere, racing to protect the right-thinking body of users from viruses such as opinion, humour and knowledge.
Look at the soap scandals this week on ITV. On Emmerdale, Nicola King said to Dan as they were both thoroughly razzed, “You look like you’ve got that, what is it? Himi, Hemi, Hemiplegia.” Cue a whirlwind of outrage.
Quick! Attack attack! Out of context, Nicola’s line does seem, at best, insensitive.
But consider that Nicola King has hemiplegia and that she is a character with an acerbic, dry, self-effacing sense of humour who will find a smile in a dark situation.
I know and have met a good number of people with conditions that affect their everyday lives and a great many of them have a wonderfully wry way of talking about their condition. They don’t want people pussy footing around them and they certainly don’t want ‘woe is me’ characters on TV.
Meanwhile, on Corrie, Eva was moaning about the roots in their hair and referenced a character from a book about slavery called Roots. Apparently that’s racist. No, it isn’t. Any more than referencing the book Little Women at a Kylie lookalike convention is sexist.
If scriptwriters can’t create subtle, edgy characters who speak like normal people then our soaps will fail to lather up at all and end up like Hollyoaks or Doctors. Now that’s the kind of threat we need protection from.
Wash you mouth out with soap Mary
On a lighter, spongier note, may I say how much I love the new cast of the Great British Cake Scoff…?
I love them more than Gemma Collins loves pie.
Lately my interest in the BBC blockbuster (or should I say block of butter?) had sunk like a fart out of a flan but this time around, I’m excited! The human ginger biscuit Andrew Smyth seems lovely and very talented. I just want to wrap him up in a Swiss roll so life can’t get to him.
Then there’s Selasi who sends me so gooey inside it would make Mary Berry pull that ‘predator’s gran’ face.
The human guinea pig Val clearly loves to bake and in these uncertain times I genuinely love watching people getting so stressed over flour.
I don’t like Kate Barmby as much. I think there are gherkins under that icing. Candice is my favourite though.
She made a pub out of gingerbread… what more do you want? Then a pun about grabbing her jugs? That was it.
Candice, don’t make me love you more, Victoria Beckham will start getting jealous.