It was all quite surreal, really - as you can probably imagine. The phone rings in the middle of last night's re-run of Extras - right at the point where Ricky's doing his brilliant Oliver Hardy impression while Stephen Merchant does that wonderfully observed tosser-clicking-the-mouse-like-an-abstracted-retard bit. It's Yentob. "Oh, hi Al. How's things? Great. Yeah, good thanks....listen, I'm a bit....a pitch? [Pause, to check out the lovely Ashley Jensen's legs. She looks lovely as a Third Reich fraulein, doesn't she?] ......OK, Al - shoot, but can you make it.... Mm hmm. Yes, I was wondering when someone would realise that I'd make the perfect foil for Kaplinsky. A game show, huh? All in the title.....yes, so what's the title. Yes, I am sat down. No, I promise, I won't...look, can we er....You *are* joking, Al...Kaplinsky, Ker-plunksky!!?? What the...yes, yeah, I can fill in the gaps Al...Kaplinsky in a little black number, tottering about on her heels, coo-ing at them and I come behind the good looking ones and try to jab them with a ker-plunk stick...Set in Moscow? Why the....Oh, course - the *Russian* thing....Yes, American market...can't leave anything to chance.....Well, yes, the nudity would certainly make it a more interesting proposition but...listen, Al, can I just ask, *was* that you in the silver BMW in St. Ives in June? Oh, right. It is a real beard though, I take...ah ha. Yes, I think that's wise, Al. Listen, can we crack on because... yes, I see. And what time's it airing? Is that *before* the Z-List Charity Goat-Slaying? Yes, it should make us look good....it would make *anything* look good, assuming there's anyone left watching who hasn't got their head halfway down the toilet bowl, Al...What do I *think*? Well, Al....can I be *honest* with you?? I do have somewhat of a reputation to maintain - you know, feisty, callipered, underworld eminence grise of blog and all that...but Kaplinsky specifically asked for me, you say? How's that marriage of hers working out, do you happen to....well, yes, that would certainly help the ratings Al, but I can't run too fast with this thing on and he does look quite useful....well, if you're going to put me on the spot, Al, I'd have to say we're looking more favourably disposed to the nyet option...Why? Well, I've made some great friends on the blog. Plenty of enemies too, but - no, don't cry Al, it's nothing personal...Al.....do you know how *undignified* that last offer sounded....Besides, I have a thing about whipped cream ever since the UHT incident with Nastasia Kinski...Just because it's *cheaper*...doesn't mean....OK, Al - yes, I am listening...Look, Al - I'm gonna have to pass on the ker-plunksky-Kaplinsky thing. How can I put this? I just couldn't bear to give this up. I mean, there's no one to answer to, for a start. Sure, the pay is lousy - and the hours are long and it's *bound* to put strains on your personal relationship when you spend *that* long on a PC looking at Goth Girls splattered in fek blood...I mean, researching each day's provocative new post... Listen, I'm gonna hang up Al - no, I won't shift on this. In fact, lemme tell *you* something La-di-da Gunner Alan Yentob - you can *stuff* yer stupid nudey celebrity novelty 70s boardgame-based game show format up yer feckin' arse and fry it. I'm stayin' *right here* in the unmediated world of blog and pillocks to Natashia Blinkin' Kaplinsky...."
And then I woke up.
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