In the Egotistical Age, that peaked in the late 2020’s, he stood out. As 9.5 billion of his fellow humans went about their day as if they owned the place, he swept up behind them. It was his calling, to clean. He gathered litter. He scooped up dog excrement yet never owned a pet. In one year, he scrubbed every public toilet in Britain, yet he sought nothing for these deeds. Nor did he require thanks. Only on his death, would the country ever know the weight of his workload.


First there was Paxman. Like Rocky Marciano and Joe Calzaghe he stood head to head with many an opponent and came through unscathed with a career record of 42 years at the BBC undefeated. While much of the talk is about who will fill his shoes, maybe it’s time to say a nice double corny cobblers to Newsnight, as much as I love it, and use this as a trampet to commission a news show fit for now. In all his time confronting fame-seekers and law-makers, it’s ironic that his one wobble was with Russell Brand, caught verbally flat-footed and researchless, he forgot that Brand was and is a stand-up comic.

Next there came Clarkson. A radish of a man that has been left to seed, slightly tart but ultimately lacking the intellectual bite of his namesake…Kelly Clarkson. Once again, the focus is on his clumsy mumbling fumbling instinct and payday for his employers instead of his dress sense. This is what counts gentlemen. He has single-leggedly led sane men astray with their wardrobe. One only hopes that Gok Wan either steps into his Top Gear brogues, or quietly sorts him out with a sarong.

Third on the Jeremometer is Bowen. The one who makes Paxman look like Clarkson. The one who always chose the front line over the front seat as 6’o’clock struck every evening. The one who began his career at the Beeb the year Michael Burke broke the Ethiopian famine. In many ways, this news story illustrates the difference in how we react to news now. Ever since Geldof did what he did, there has a been a Russell Brand or Bono trying to simplify and solve the problems found by our brilliant war correspondents. Bowen was born a couple of months before Clarkson yet their callings are aeons apart. Maybe one day they’ll team up and startle us all on a talent show?

On the fourth and final plinth sits Jeremy Putin. Don’t laugh. It’s a little-known fact that Vlad the Impaler is in fact Jez the Inhaler. Leaks in Moscow suggest that in his KGB days he developed an allergy to horse hair, hence his need to strip down to his waist when up on the saddle. This technique opens the windpipe and assists respiration, like an organic form of Ventalin. We are sill awaiting official comeback on these rumours.

So, before you bollock Aunty Beeb for sticking by Clarkson, letting Paxman walk and keeping schtumn about Putin, spare a thought for Mr Bowen. Jeremy that is, not Jim (who, sadly, is not his brother, as that would have made this article even more desperate). Raise your peace placards please, to the king of the Jeremys, Mr (Jeremy) John Francis Bowen.


They met in a cafe every Sunday to destroy their respective weeks of contentment. As happy people, they sought to hate something, anything, and they chose each other. And so The Argufier’s Society was born. As the day of faith faded, people chose to use their day or rest to meet up in order to insult and upset each other with verbal weaponry. ┬áThis sadistic tradition brought a healthy counterbalance of melancholy to their otherwise sedate lives. Over time, this form of physical anti-social media was adopted by the UN as a civil war deterrent, causing mass outbreaks of peace.


What happens to our brains when we miss an entire night’s sleep? Does it sue the body for damages? This is the tug ‘o’ war I find myself in right now. Delirium. Grab a can opener and work your way around my skull and have a look inside for me would you?

Is it a Ukrainian dogfight in miniature? Or are Crossrail in there tunnelling from one ear to the other? All I know it is hurts. Like hell. An imploding avalanche of numbness as these words clamber out in a dislocated mess. I hold my thumb and index finger to my nose and blow in a vain attempt to pop the pain. This only balloons the thud to the outer reaches of my head, like a turkey chick in a hen’s egg.

What caused this ouch to the power of infinity? Well, to paraphrase Tom Waits, the keyboard has been drinking, not me. On that growling note, I’m off to find a new head at Argos. I may be gone some time.