Journey through space to the Planet Fabulous, where the Ruler of the Universe will see you shortly.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Getting Your Baguette Handled

The Infamous Paul Vyse cordially invites me to his 40th birthday bash this very weekend, though he hasn't made it clear what the '40' was he was celebrating: be it years, decades, or Bel Amis DVDs he'd accrued. Naturally it's fancy dress, so I was over Boots getting some hair dye for my costume at lunch.

While I airily waved around my baguette (I'm wearing very loose-fitting trousers) and shuffling forward in a queue that was slower than a mong on tamazapan, I spied a good-looking functionary 'round the corner, waving for people to come over to his check-out. Nobody had noticed. They were too busy picking at the labels on their 'Be Good To Yourself' salads and wondering which one from IT they'd jump.

So I smiled and trolled over.

"I don't know why nobody comes around here," he complained as he scanned my baguette with careful hands.

"I know. It's a very nice till"

"Thank you!" he smiled, looking up. He rifled through my shopping.

"Hair dye?"

"For the weekend," I said, completely oblivious.

"Oh there's lots of things going on this weekend, isn't there?" he said, reaching down in front of his till for a EuroPride leaflet that I swear wasn't there a second ago. "All sorts?"

"Oh yes - that!" I'd completely forgot. While I like the idea of Pride events, I don't like attending that much. Too many man-made fibre. And whistles. But still, he seemed very excited so I played along: "The march is going through Oxford Street, isn't it?"

He stopped fanning himself with his leaflet.

"...all the way down to G-A-Y."

"Yeah, but it's only Texas playing. Give me Girls Aloud or give me nothing!" I said.

"You going?"

"Good lord, no. I haven't been there since Boney M were on. The first time."

"Shame," he said with a naughty smile.

Ay, me. I've still gorrit.

"We're A People Organisation..."


I know it's going to be sunny and 38 degrees or something ridiculous, but you really should be near a television set this Saturday night. Preferably tuned to BBC 1.

This'll mean nothing to you Johnny Foreigners, but Favourite Of The Gays, Tracy Ann Overlord, will be camping it up in the name of prime-time drama to such an extent that she almost wrestles the Crown of Camp off Servalan's raven head. See?

Old Gertie at the Beeb found out about my new fixation and kindly gave me a signed picture of Tracy-Ann Overlord. She's looking over me as I type.

She's counting my words per minute. And tutting.

So watch it. The internet is going to melt after it's aired.

Venice Part IV

Well, you know me - never one to obviously self promote. Not since that accident where I misspelt 'Come on England!' on the back of my cheerleader's uniform. But here are all my holiday snaps of Venice for you to have a look at, with Yvette, the Wife and myself gadding about some pretty impressive erections.

We couldn't get a picture of Yolanda the Maid, unfortunately. She didn't seem to show up on film?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Venice Part III

I don't know what happened in the past of this great and glorious city, but you're not allowed an iron anywhere near your room in a Venetian hotel.

Was it serious? Did I miss something? I mean there's nothing on the web about the Great Rowenta Fire of '56. Or the Trouser Press Massacre of Piazza San Marco. But something must have happened to make them so paranoid about you pressing your smalls anywhere near your bedding. Instead, we were forced to do it in a little lead-lined cubbyhole where the maid works, every move watched over by the eagle-eyed, gummy Yolanda lest you move your three-setting flattener near the asbestos curtains.

And it wasn't just our pokey little hotel either. We'd gone to Venice to visit one of the Wife's glamorous friend Yvette, a very elegant lady. One of those rich people who thinks she's just 'well off', and was staying in a gorgeous place with a view and lifts and everything, and her maid left her champagne and chocolates every night. We were just grateful if we came back each night to find Yolanda hadn't sold our passports on the black market to finance her ever-growing china animal collection.

But even the glamorous Yvette in her five-star hotel room couldn't smuggle in any flattening device past Venice's 'Iron Curtain' and thankfully we all looked as crumpled a close-up of Jackie Stallone's face whenever we went out. Not that you'd want to leave that hotel room of hers - tasteful art and a beautiful Venetian glass chandelier over the bed, it was the modicum of good taste. We had a mural of fat cherubs over the bed that, despite the artist's best efforts, looked like it had been daubed with their left foot. And the chandelier? A enormous affair in pink and white that looked like some malevolent brain-sucking alien sea creature.

I still have nightmares about that light fitting to this very day.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Venice Part II

Someone asked me to sum up Venice in a sentence. I'll give it a go: hot, and full of tourists.

This equally can be applied to me back in 1999.

But anyway, you asked what the men were like, and I have to say a little disappointing. I mean, Italian men are hot. We all know this. We learn this in Gay 101 on the first day - along with how to use a nail file properly (only stroke in one direction; use it to wave at waiting staff, as a point of exclamation and comedy, and stab people in the neck who refuse to get out of your way in department stores). But unfortunately, Venice isn't really populated by the Italians, and they appear to bus in some short, hairy variants just to serve you pizza.

In fact, the whole time we were there, there was only one gondolier who made us drop our chips and circle around for a second glance. Bless him.

The women, whereas, are stunning. They are glamour at all times. Even our hotel cleaner, Yolanda, was a lovely little thing. A bit gummy, mind, but you get used to it as she was a whizz with can of Pledge.

Now the Wife loves baiting hotel cleaners. Leaving small amounts of change on the side, seeing whether things go missing. Making out that there's something big and exciting in the room safe by having a bit of paper just jutting out of the side. He takes a UV blacklight stick with him everywhere - not to check the sheets for any stains, but to see where the cleaner's mucky paw prints have been while we were off pretending to be Katherine Hepburn on the Rialto Bridge.

But even he was surprised when we came back on the second day. His plan had worked a little too well: the safe had teeth marks in it.

Well, it explained why Yolanda had a smile like Highgate Cemetery...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Venice Part I

Apparently people live there. God only knows how.

I mean, it's an utterly beautiful city, but how do people survive with all the shops selling little more than those creepy masks, fabulous clothes, hand-crafted marbled paper? Do the residents spend their time sitting in haute couture, being incognito while writing exquisite memoirs in their masks, keeping thin by munching on a gorgeous piece of A4?

I'd ask them, but my Italian is limited to a few words. Well, it's a hard language to master. I was only in Venice for a few days (did you miss me?) and kind of worried about not being able to speak the language, but the Wife, a seasoned traveller of the globe, was thrilling me with all the various Italian he knew on the plane all the way there. And you know me, while I'm no stranger to a foreign tongue, but Italian is a language I've never had the pleasure of outside a darkroom where I once tripped over a gentleman of pure olive skin who smelt of pesto, so I assume he was of that extraction. And then I only learned some words you really shouldn't use when trying to find the lido.

So there I was, in awe and reliant of the Wife's multilingual abilities, which were instantly blown when we landed at Marco Polo airport and he couldn't even get us outside. I found a functionary, grabbed the map and pointed where we wanted to go with a pleading 'por favouri'. Turned out he spoke English anyway.

(Although, wherever you go in the world, the language of what that little paper bag next to the toilet is pretty universal.)

But - oh! - Venice. It really does live up to the hype. I haven't seen anything like it on Earth: even arriving around midnight and staggering on to their equivalent of public transport, you realise that you're on a boat, going up the Grand Canal, with all these beautiful buildings around you. So pretty that you actually get Building Fatigue after the second day: there's only so many times you can stop and take a picture of a beautifully rustic doorway, or a slowly-crumbling façade.

But I have enough pictures of the Wife anyway. Arf.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

New Fact

Of course there is an easy way to spot Gentlemen Who Like Wigs at the gym.

Look for any man who's got his machine set on 'calories' rather than 'distance'. Chances are that's Showboat that's on their iPod.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Great Mysteries of the World: Part XIV

"Zandra! ZANDRA!" yelled Dame Angela Lansbury as she clutched the lamppost for support.

"Look, there's no lights," I said, trying to focus.

"Oh give her a little while. It takes her five minutes to screw her legs on."

I made sure I was wedged firmly against the bin before bringing my hands to the tight skin around my cheeks. The back of my neck was tingling too; I think I'd caught the sun. Odd afternoon: Judith Hann had announced she'd been 'let go' from Tomorrow's World, so we'd raised a glass to comiserate, swore an oath on Phillipa Forrester and before we knew it we were singing 'No More Tears', had drunk all the wine and Aggie was bargaining with some poor couple on the next sheet across for their bottle of rosé in exchange for an old tissue with her autograph on it. Two hours ago we'd had one of those moments when we'd started questioning the very nature of the universe, and Aggie announced she knew exactly who'd know the answer: Zandra Rhodes, fashionista.

I raised my hand in question, fell right on my face, and lay their giggling.

"Come on - up!" Judith was offering her hand out to me. As I looked up, the streetlight was behind her, giving her perm a halo. My heart melted some more, and I sighed. I waved her away (I didn't want her sullied by my indignity) but she stuck her hand in the crook of my armpit and helped heave me up.

"Nice street. I might get a place around here," I said, rubbing my nose.

"Oh you wouldn't survive around here," muttered Aggie, rifling around in her carpet bag for something to throw. "There's not a Habitat or Benniton within two miles."

"What's that got to do with it?"

"Lets just say Judith and I have been noticing what a... snappy dresser you are of late."

I was genuinely mystified.

"Come on Zandra! We know you're up there!" she yelled, pushing the intercom button continuously.

"Actually, how do you know she's home?"

She pointed to the roof of the gaudy peach building. "You see that bundle of rags on the roof?"

"Is that her?"

Aggie cackled. "No. That's her flag. She raises it when she's home.'Ere, Judith, can you have a go at hot-wiring the intercom?"

"You can do that?" I asked, astonished.

"Oh yes," interjected Aggie. "Good old Jude's getting a bit tasty with a philips screwdriver of late. 'Ere, tell him about the time we got messy on Advocaat and the only thing we could find to get home was the school bus! So Jude hot-wired it and we were half a mile down the road singing 'The Wheels on the Bus' before realising it was still full of kids. Still, we took 'em to the casino for a laugh. Told the doorman we were doing a film with midgets..."

"FOLLOW THE LADY!" bellowed Brian Blessed from the playground over the road. The car alarm next to us started going off.

"Nice one, Brian!" shouted Dame Aggie. "That'll get the old cadavier out of bed!"

"You took Brian as well?" I asked, trying to make myself heard over the alarm. Clearly not well enough, or Aggie didn't want to answer the question. For years we all thought she was going deaf, but now it turned out to be oddly selective. She could never hear when you asked her to turn Bedknobs and Broomsticks over, but was first to raise her hand when there was a trip to the cock-fighting.

"Hey Judith, you ok?" I slurred slightly.

"Oh yeah. She says soon we'll be able to use 'my talents' to break back into that bank vault and get her... you know... back."

"It's just, you know, I'm worr-"

"Lee," she said. "I've started seeing Howard Stapleford."

And all of a sudden, my inside were screwed up. I could feel my mouth hanging open, and snapped it shut. "Really? That's great. Marvellous, in fact," I said after a second in a far too level tone.

"I just thing I need someone in my life at this tough time. Sure he's not the most exciting person on the planet, and he's got the nastiest taste in jumpers, but he knows how a videophone works."

I nodded, trying not to think about him and her together, consentrating instead on watching her hand moving over the bonnet of the car, floating an inch or two over the surface like a psychic healer. She closed her eyes for a second, then struck down with her flat palm onto the car. The alarm shut off instantly.

She was magnificent.

"Come on Zandra! We know you're in there," yelled Aggie, throwing a stone against the window.

The sash window shot upwards, knocking one of the pot plants off the ledge. It sailed down and landed a mere foot from Dame Aggie.

"What do you want, you dried-up old hag!" From the window above, a flame-haired woman leered out, barely covered by her elaborate nightie. Her cheeks were flush, probably through anger.

"You silly bitch, you could have hit me with your plant!" shouted Aggie, dander clearly up.

"And there's another coming down if you don't sod right off!" she said, hefting another one up over the ledge to take aim.

"Ladies! Ladies!" I said, before losing my balance and pitching forward onto the pavement.

"You throw that and I'll sue your cottage cheese arse for all it's worth, you wizened corpse!" Aggie yelled, rolling up the sleeves of her cardigan. I pushed myself up onto my elbows and tried to placate them. Didn't work.

"You and who's army, shortarse?" Zandra bellowed back, brushing a length of her bright red hair back off her face. "You haven't got the money to wash your tights, you rank old battleaxe! Last launch you were at, people thought there'd been an OAP incontinence convention in before us!"

"Why you spindly hag! If I did have your money, I'd get a dye job that didn't look like a prozzy had enjoyed her monthlies over it! No wonder it took you so long to open the window - the lid of your bloody coffin must be sodding heavy!"

Zandra hissed in shock and pulled back her arm to sling the second pot plant, but before we could all duck, a strong male hand reached out of the darkness behind her and grabbed it. There was the sound of conference from the window, Zandra's high voice tempered by a deeper, accented one.

"Why Zandra, are you getting some?" asked Aggie with new-found respect.

Zandra smiled.

Aggie started hopping on the spot. "Ooh, I knew it, I knew it!" she said, clearly not even slightly suspecting. "You sly cow! Well, we'll just ask you something and be off then."

"What is it?"

Aggie looked around at us, momentarily blank. I'd forgotten too.

"Oh! That's right," she said. "It was a textile question. You know how wool shrinks in the wash - do sheep get smaller in the rain?"

There was quiet for a second.

"Aggie, go home," said Zandra.

"Come on, you must know what happens when a sh-"

"Aggie, go home or I'm calling the police."

Dame Aggie blustered herself up to her full height, ready to have another go, but the magic was gone. That drunken brilliance where you can do anything, say anything and be anything had slowly ebbed out of us. It was time to go home. I staggered to my feet, put my arm around Aggie and steered her away. I saw Judith waving an apology before joining us.

"Nasty piece of work, that Zandra," I said, checking my gums. I think that first fall had loosened my front tooth slightly.

"Oh, she's always been a bit like that. We used to share a flat years back - brilliant fun. Completely forgot that the flag being up was a sign she'd got a man in."

"Really? Oh. That would have saved a lot of embarrasment," I hiccoughed.

"Oh yes. We used to have them in the flat. They were hung on the door when we had gentlemen callers."

"So why'd you forget?"

She tried to level a gaze at me. "Because, dear boy, they were always up! Mucky, we were! Now, who's up for a nightcap?" she cackled as we tried to hail a taxi.

Ah, happy days.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


I'm sure you haven't noticed I haven't been around much of late. You've all had far more important things to be doing with your lives like watching football and going out while it's still sunny and saying how brilliant it is. I've got my head around all this healthy fun and why you all like it. That's why God invented the internet, for Cher's sake, so I believe we're all sitting on different ends of the barge, as my aunty would say.

She does have a barge, too. My aunty. It chugs all the way around the canals of Tamworth, but it's so slow that they have to travel so far in a car, pick up the barge, travel a bit on that, and then get back in the car. Which is clearly nuts, but she's got arms like bolt-cutters after doing 40 locks in one weekend. My uncle just 'drives' apparently. He's got a hat and everything.

Anyway, there's a storm brewing. Can't you feel it?

So I've resigned.

I know, I know. I've been doing this job for five years now and it's nigh on time for a change. And I've got enough freelance work up until October, with the hope of doing more, so I'm outtahere! Vamoose! Gone.

I'll miss the pension and the healthcare, but the people are pissing me off after five years, and I'm sure it's vice-versa. There's a woman behind me who can't sing, yet insists on warbling through every verse of every song she half knows. And has a voice like a zoo burning down.

I'm very happy with moments of sadness. Five years. Long time. I'll have to pack up my Billie Piper dolls (plural) and my Binding Beer coasters and my Cyberman snowglobe that someone made me. One month left. Better get a diary...

Although it's off to a good start. Got pissed at lunch time, and staggered back going "Well, what you going to do... sack me?!"

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Hands up if you're a size queen!

Oh pshaw. Come on, you all have a interest, be it Gentlemen Who Can't Catch, men in locker rooms having a sneaky glance, or Ladies on Hen Nights. Even the lesbisexuals have a preference to their length of meat, although this tends to be more fake 'meat' so we'll refer to it as Quorn from now on.

Yes, we all have a bit of an preference. I love to have a good old look. Oh, the times I've been at a Gentleman's Health Spa in my Goldilocks wig examining three bears going "Oh that one's too small. Oh that one's too big. Oh! Well! That one's just right!" before getting turfed out by the management (apparently that was not porridge I'd left in the locker room) are too numerous to mention.

But when it comes to the 'magic' twelve inches, we have good old King Edward to thank for this. He was the monarch who standardised measurements of length, therefore known as the Imperial system. Several parts of his body were measured, and turned into standard lenghs - with the length from his... heel-to-toe (ha! You thought I was going to be rude!) gave the measurement for a foot. Oh yes!

Now, we all know the human body is an amazing thing. Take Ryan Reynolds, for example. I know I would.

But, that's a sidetrack. Here's an example of the wonder of the human form: did you know that the distance from the crook of your elbow to your wrist is also the same distance? Go on, try it. Place your foot against the top of your forearm and see! I know that some of you haven't had your heels higher than your hips since the Blitz, but give it a go. Amazing!

It's a good guide to check to see whether a shoe would fit. Or help with shoplifting.

I, uh, would also imagine.

Also, if you want to see whether a pair of jeans will fit, but don't want to brave the changing rooms (perhaps you've accidentally wandered into a TKMaxx and can't get an airlift to safety for twenty minutes) button them up, and wrap them around your head. If they meet, they should fit!

You also can't get your hand all the way around your elbow so your fingers touch. Unless you're Karen Carpenter, but that's just details, isn't it?

But you're after the important measurement, aren't you? Why yes, it is more or less possible to calculate that length: gentlemen, fold your middle finger down into your palm as far as it will go. Where it touches, note this position with the thumb of your other hand. Now return your middle finger to its original position, and note this with the index finger of your other hand. And this, more or less, is the length you'll be getting off the office temp in the stationary cupboard come the Christmas Party after a few too many Sambucas.

Although, let it now be proclaimed that small hands and small feet don't often follow through on a short person. Goodness, no. I won't mention his name (too much of a Risky Business, ho!) but I couldn't sit down for a week!

God bless you, Tom Cruise!


Friday, June 09, 2006


I've never been 'down wi' the kidz'. My hips won't bend that far.

In fact the closest I ever got to being 'in the ghetto' was accidentally popping into a Co-Op, thinking it was a gentleman's outfitters thanks to an amusing mix-up with a Spaniard's directions. So no. I've never been 'hip'.

But that's never stopped that aged dance-scarecrow Madonna, has it? Last video, there she is trussed up a pink leotard, skin the colour and tone of wicker that you'd expect Edward Woodward to be put in her and set afire. And maybe that corset was a bit too tight as they had to stick her on wheels! But still, if it can prop up her tired career with a bit of mirrorball and putting on some skates, I'd be onto a winner and blinging my pimp (or something) if I popped into the same place she filmed the video and did a bit of roller disco!

Well, it was a nice idea, but frankly, I discovered I'm as good on wheels as Michelle Rodriguez.

Fair play - I haven't done anything like this before. I wasn't a very energetic child. I put a foot on a skateboard once (blame Back to the Future) and ended up with my legs right over my head years before I could fully appreciate the advantages. So there I was, careering around with all the grace of Posh Spice dancing, rolling into walls and landing flat on my arse once every ten minutes.

It was brilliant. I laughed myself sick.

Even when you don't realise the implications of being on wheels, it's a lark. Like going to the bar: can you imagine trying to gracefully carry a cocktail back to your seat when your feet are at ten-to-two and wanting to go to twenty-past-four? Or having to use a urinal? Hilarious!

Brilliant fun. Riot. Especially when a) I'd almost figured it out how to do it by the end of the night, and b) when I'd stopped looking on the floor for Madge's incontinence stains.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

M-M-M-Ma Binding


It's been a long time since we heard about my mother, isn't it? Well, today's her fiftieth birthday - I know! How young! Turns out I was an accident. As I'm oft reminded. I'm also too big to flush now. But anyway, why not tell you a quick tale about what she's up to?

Lets see... lets see. What about the time when she was over to Spain recently and almost fixed my sister up with an Elvis impersonator, yelling "But you could have been his Pricilla!" when my sibling refused his offer of marriage? Or how she accidentally blocked the email of an annoying former work colleague of hers while she was playing Cyrano De Bergerac with a guy from IT? Or that she was the only one to get laid on a recent Hen Night holiday away to Spain, meaning that everyone else had to hang out in the villa's lounge until she'd finished?

Actually, that's the point. There are just too many stories about my mother. She's a person so determined to wring as much from life as possible and just have a brilliant time. I mean, we had a surprise party for her this weekend, and she didn't stop dancing all night. She's marvellous, kind hearted and brilliant fun to be around.

Mother, we gays salute you.


Well, it turns out there is something worse than having to put your duvet on when you're drunk. And that is getting drunk in a park on cheap British wine and falling asleep, awaking to find that the park's locked and you have to dig your way out using a broken Advocaat bottle.

That is all.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Is there anything more dispiriting than getting home pissed and discovering you haven't put your sheets on your bed?

Oh probably. A couple of years in a Turkish prison; sitting through a Jennifer Anniston film. But at the time, when you've just lurched back from getting twatted on those tart-fuel alcopops, dribbling kebab-juice from the corners of your mouth, finding a bed sans sheets is oft enough to reduce a drunkard to his knees and sound the banshee wail of Paris Hilton after a new Porsche.

And worse, then comes the Olympian task of trying to put a duvet cover on. Four corners on the duvet, four corners on the cover. It should be easy. It never is when you're sober, and now you're already in a state to allow a complete stranger a quick fumble in the club toilets, all the time you were thinking 'I'm classier than this. I really am. I shouldn't be here. I should be doing it in the alley outside, which is far more picturesque."

Needless to say, I woke up sobbing, lying in what appeared to be some shambolic Chinese laundry.

Friday, June 02, 2006


I've done some raw things in my time. Been chased around a rooftop by Clare Rayner during an eclipse. Sniffed a line of Lemsip off the back of a company credit card in Rome.

But I talk a good game. And only once have I partaken of that zenith of nose candy, the Devil's Dancing Powder itself. Which is pretty good considering I work in the media and most people I know seem to have appalling nose dandruff.

Picture the scene: many years back, a wide eyed (and equally wide-legged) ingénue down in London, out on the town when a gentleman friend pulls me into the toilet cubicle. Now, I was no stranger to that sort of behaviour as I'm sure you're aware. Even to the point when he bent me over the cistern and told me he was going to show me something that will change my life.

Now as a sideline, I had heard that line once before: on my first night of university, where I'd been drinking with a motley assortment of gentlemen for some hours. One of them sidled up to me as the bar was closing and said he was going to show me something that would change my life, and told me to accompany him a little further down the bank next to the water. And - my lord - he did. And for some hours following, we did indeed put the term 'anal' back into 'canal'.

Anyway, back to the toilet cubicle, where a line was now chopped up and laid out before me. Virginal white on the cistern. One quick snort and it was gone.

And so was I.

I remember dancing. Eyes like dinner plates, clearly wired to the moon, arms everywhere. Thinking I was the greatest dancer and wondering why on earth every single person in the room had turned their backs to me. No matter what I did, people just ignored me more. So I stormed off, grabbed a taxi and headed towards my home.

Although I didn't quite make it. The journey home involved going past, well, let's just call it a Gentleman's Health Spa. You know the ones: always advertising in the press for Gentlemen Who Moisturise with pictures of men you have no hope of meeting in there. You have, in your mind, images of toned gentlemen languishing in glamorous pools, just waiting for your arrival. What you do get is hairy-backed men with stomachs folding over their white towel, splashing around in the shallow end of a stagnant pool that could double as primordial soup.

Clearly I wasn't in a state to remember this at this juncture. "STOP THIS TAXI!" I shrieked, throwing a bundle of cash at the driver before stalking off to the entrance, almost getting run over in the process.

I think it had all become a little too much by this point. I don't remember much else, just the odd flash (for want of a better phrase). It was rather like a poorly edited 1980s pop video. People running down corridors with fabric billowing behind them, someone squealing my name at half the speed, and an awful lot bare hanging bulbs, swinging a bit sadly.

I came to, several hours later, no idea where I was. I was arse-up on a crash mat in one of their rest-rooms with a throat as dry as an arab's fart, and a half-eaten cheese toastie sliding down my face.

And let that be a lesson for you. For I've certainly learnt mine.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


And it's this point in the proceedings we normally ask ourselves what the hell is the point of Battenburg cake.

Oh it's so difficult to be a pure, gym-going, carb-free homothexual, dear viewers. It's always the cake I fall down on. Oh there's no way I can keep my hand off my muffin in weather like this. But there's no way you're getting me wrapping my laughing gear around a portion of Battenburg.

It's just wrong. Battenburg only exists to make Angel Cake look good. And there's something amiss in the baking world that riles me about a cake that has an amount of flavour that is inversely proportional to the amount of colour. It's just pink and yellow air coated in marzipan which is, frankly, the devil's playdoh.

Oh yes, take it from me. As a long-time champion beater, and a gentleman who's flicked his fair portion of batter around in the past, I'm getting to be quite an authority on baking. And there's not much I haven't had rise up in the kitchen with the help of a stiff hand and a bit of a nudge from a greasy spatula. And I've had quite a few Gentlemen Callers commenting on how firm my buns are, and there's nary a man in the village who hasn't licked his lips at the prospect of getting my spotted dick down their gullet. And some of my friends are getting into it too - although clearly not very well - dear Dolly had a go at a nice two-tier sponge essentially just baked a milkshake. The dear thing had forgotten to add flour. Honestly. I ask you.

Indeed, there was one of my charming ex's that was so fond of his tea and cake, as well as making the Beast With One Back (we're filthy sodomites, remember) that we decided to combine the three on one occasion. It got a little messy, but we soon rectified that for future occurrences by buying one of those 'Tommy Tippy' drip-free toddlers mugs and I never looked back. Mostly as I was gums-deep in a pillow, but you get the idea.

Say no to Battenburg. And get your lips around my Cream Horn instead.