Mark Radcliffe Express Article

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Here is an article that Mark Radcliffe wrote in the Saturday Express in late January

Outside Edge

Most people 1 know find 60 million a rather conspicuous amount of money to spend on a new Royal Yacht - especially on a private cruise liner with no real defence capability. Unless of course we're planning to subject enemy island states to a fearful bombardmerrt of croquet mallets and deck quoits. As 1 recall, the Queen was quick to commend the alleged heroism of Tony Builimore. Presumably there's a substantially cheaper yacht going there. Admittedly it needs a tick of paint, but in the right hands it could be restored to showroom condition. To this end Ma'am, could 1 humbly draw your attention to the following classified advertisement. "Yacht for sale. One not-so-careful owner hence hull damage. High mileage due to round-the-world debacle. First monarch on a tight budget to see will buy.'

WE'RE all familiar with the sight W of builder's bottoms buiglng over their unbeited waistbands. Since Alexander McQueen's introduction of the builder's bottom cleavage to the Paris catwalks the look has almost taken on a degree of respectability, though you would have to say It looks a good deal better on Naomi Campbell than It did on Terry who came to lay our patio. 1 think builders may be getting a bum deal here because another sector of society is equally prone to publicly airing the pallid posterior: Cyclists. This very morning 1 narrowly missed a head-on collision due to my eyes being drawn to the peeping cheeks of the bulbous mountain bike enthusiast passing to my left. Surely these people must be aware of this expanse of naked flesh. They must feel the breeze wafting in the lower back and cleft vicinity. So please cyclists, make the roads safer by tucking your shirts in. That way you'd look more like someone riding a bike, and less like a place to park one.

I MUST say I'm speechless with admiration for Swampy, the Theseus of the labyrinth beneath the proposed A30. Forget Branson and Builimore as national heroes. Here's the real thing. A man prepared to risk his own safety for the common good. A man making a point we all, no matter how deep down, know to be right. His gamin charm gives him the air of a Tolkien character for the 90s the little tunnel-building elfin. SO how should we reward him? It has come to my attention that the National Trust are advertising for custodians for the "rock houses"of Kinver Edge. These are homes built into redstone caves in South Staffordshire and occupied as recently ad 1964. In the mid 1800`s a thriving community was in evidence there and a 16th century hermit by the name of Holy Austin was said to have settled there when he happened upon a hospitable cave dwelling family . (Sound advice for would be hermits: its easier if you do it with a few close friends.) So National Trust, look no further. The new custodian of the caves should be the king of the troglodytes: Swampy.

by Mark Radcliffe

Article Typed up by Richard Knotty


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