Wednesday, April 23, 2008


NEWS from the Smoke and it's a salient message for go-getting, exclusive breaking, byline bandits everywhere. Yesterday I had a message on my e-mail that simply read:
"Hello everyone, I lost my mobile at the weekend, it has been a complete nightmare. Lost all my contacts and London friends! Anyhow, can you send me your mob numbers as I begin to rebuild my life."
So it seems that the Fabulous Baker Boy is stumbling from one catastrophe to another as he tries to make his way in the hard-nosed world of what used to be called Fleet Street.
I have nothing but sympathy for the lad, personally. Having lost my mobile phone on too numerous occasions to mention - normally after an extended session on the ale - I can vouch for the fact it throws your life into turmoil. Many a time I have spent going through my itemised calls bill trying to work out which number belongs to which person. It has been accompanied by rather extended sessions of ranting and raving, as my patient girlfriend Wren can vouch.
One such occasion happened last year at a retail park outside Braintree. Having returned to the car I was alarmed to find that the mobile phone which had been nestling safely in my pocket was no longer there.
There followed a period of door slamming, shouting and self-flagellation before I finally settled down to go and search for the bloody thing. Luckily it had turned up in the security hut at the site. Phew!
So what of the Baker Boy's phone? Well, judging by his hectic social life it could be anywhere between SW1 and NE10. His only response to my inquiry: "I guess I must have left it in a taxi." If that's the case the London Cabbie has probably got a bit more knowledge than he has need for right now.
And the alternative doesn't bare thinking about. Right now there could be some rather shady characters trying to get in touch with his No 1 contact, Charlotte Church's Voice Coach.

Otherwise, it was another boozeday Tuesday on the hub, which doesn't have quite the same ring as when it was part of the WoS routine. I managed to extricate myself from working on the South Wales Ego at around 4.45 having been up since six in the morning and working hard from seven.
I effected my escape with the Wonderful Withers, who was sitting, cleaning his nails and looking particularly bored. We made straight for the Yard and waited for the usual suspects, who timed their arrivals perfectly.
Every time we got to the dregs of our pints another would turn up to replenish the round. First came Danny Boy (the poipes, the poipes), then Smashy. But while the others waited for the arrival of the Prince of Darkness I made sharply for the exit.
Now, I'm not saying the Prince had a thirst on by the time he left the office but rumour has it that he was still going strong at 2 in the morning. Apparently he managed to empty the contents of his wallet in a den of iniquity where no self-respecting creature of the night Should ever venture.

I didn't get much sleep this weekend. It was all down to the big fight in Vegas between that fantastic Welsh sporting icon Joe Calzaghe and the legendary Executioner Bernard Hopkins. Shutts and the Fugitive both ventured out to the States to see their hero perform while I had to settle for booking it through Setanta (not something I really wanted to do, particularly as the Boss was quick to chime in: "Eh, Wee man yous got Setanta eh. That means yous can watch the Glasgi derby between the Bhoys and Rangers, the noo." Um, the no, as it happens. I would rather watch a Take That tribute band singing Boney M covers, as it happens.
Anyway, it was at about 11.30 when I decided to take the plunge and book the fight. The original plan was to go and watch it at Chez Withers but I learned by 7pm that he had already headed off to bed, having got blindingly drunk on Friday playing Man About The House to Amazing Grace and his other new flatmate, who I have yet to meet.
Strange boy, Withers. He jogged off home early on Thursday to buy provisions and did not even accompany us for a pint in the Yard on Friday. We think he is becoming a kind of Richard O'Sullivan character from the 1970s sitcom, co-incidentally called Man About The House. Personally, I think this rather second-rate remake should be called Two women and a Twat.
Still, I digress. Having finally signed up to Setanta and having heard from the radio that the fight wouldn't start until four I set my alarm for 3.30. When I woke a few hours later I zipped into the front room, turned on the TV and, to my horror, discovered four rounds had gone and that Calzaghe had been dumped on his bum in the first. I wasn't thrilled.
Still, I managed to watch the rest of the fight and was delighted when Joe got the verdict, even though the commentary had hinted he was losing. What do these boxing experts know?
Just to make sure that he had, indeed, deserved victory I watched the fight twice more on Sunday and was convinced by the end that the judges' verdict was right.
I got to sleep at 5.20am, only to be woken on the dot of six by a text message bleeping in my ear.
"In Joe we trust," announced the Fugitive, obviously by now totally oblivious to everything, including the time difference between Vegas and Wales.

Wren came over to visit on Sunday and we spent a good hour touring around Morrisons, buying food for a nice indoor picnic. We had green olives, chicken pakoras, chicken legs, coleslaw and some nice crusty bread. Great.

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