Friday, October 31, 2008

Robert Crampton, Great Wakering and fan mail

posted by Brit, in Bryan's absence

If you're anything like me, you'll occasionally be troubled by an attack of Great Wakering on a Saturday morning.

And if you're anything else like me, you'll have discovered that Robert Crampton's Beta Male column at the back of The Times Magazine offers an excellent remedy, being light in tone, insightful but unpretentious, and above all, just the right length. I always enjoy Crampton - a naturally funny, likeable, columnist. He's the kind of fellow you'd like to go for beer with, so he'd make a good US President. It's a real drag when he's away and a substitute fills in for him.*

In fact, I enjoy Crampton's column so much that I once wrote him an item of fan mail (ok, I emailed it). This, I realised, was only the second time I've ever written fan mail in my life; the other instance being a letter to John Barnes, the Liverpool footballer, in about 1988. I did once have a letter published in the Hamish's Hotshots page of Roy of the Rovers, but that was just to win a football boardgame which turned out to be rubbish.

Crampton sent me a very nice reply but I got sweet FA out of Barnes. (I did encounter 'Digger' years later however, and in unusual circumstances - but that's a story for another day.) If you have any fan mail confessions/yarns, you could do worse than get them out of your system here.



  1. An ex girlfriend used to bombard Dusty Springfield with fan mail, hence her becoming ex, I couldn't compete, nor could she, with Madelaine Bell (younger viewers just stick the names in the Hawaiian bus thingey).

  2. Dear Brit,
    I love your posts. I think your really really great. My mum says much better than the last incumbent and can she have a signed photo???
    BW (no. 1 fan)

    I remember Crampton's interview walking about with survivalist Ray Mears - it was quite funny but I wonder how they really got on. Mears is far too portly to be a proper survivalist, isn't he? Surely some mistake - like a too thin chef - Gary Rhodes! It doesn't make sense.

  3. Slightly off the point, I know, but is it possible to nominate Malty as a National Treasure?

    You know the thing: grateful nation gives him large house and estate and capital sum commensurate with that; he responds by continuing to proffer words of sound wisdom and mildly mocking humour?

  4. Do the transhumans have a policy regarding "Great Wakering"?

    Maybe they will create new human waste management technologies? and of course the reading matter will be zapped into your brain at the speed of light, you might have to find other things to worry about.

  5. "is it possible to nominate Malty as a National Treasure?"

    i'd second that, though i fear he would only pass muster with Nu Labour's goons if English was his second language. i suppose he could claim Geordie is his first language, to London folk that's perhaps as strange as Urdu.

  6. As the inestimable Rod Liddle said "to Londoners, anyone living outside of the Capitol is a Northerner"
    My second language is Romulan Elberry, English my third. If the nation would care to bequeth Ava Gardiner (refurbished of course) that will do nicely, reculsant.

  7. I reckon Malty already is a National Treasure. He should be elevated to World Heritage Site status, at the very least...

  8. Thank goodness, I thought I'd broken Bryan's blog already.

    Rest assured, if I do nothing else with my remaining fortnight here, I will strive with every fibre in my being to ensure Malty is properly recognised as a National Treasure.

  9. I've never sent a fan letter, but I once called a Wall Street Journal reporter and left him a voice mail complimenting him on a story about the German Air Force training in Texas, in which he quoted a Sergeant Schultz of the German Air Force saying about some topic of interest, "I know nothing about it."

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