Edward Snowden, Jihadi John, a farting Mr Methane & legless Eric Morecambe

Edward Snowden in Moscow yesterday

Edward Snowden in Moscow yesterday interviewed via Skype

Yesterday, at the Observer Ideas Festival in London, Edward Snowden was on a dodgy Skype link from Moscow.

After Jihadi John and that old Taliban bloke the name of whom everyone has now forgotten, he must be one of the most wanted (by some) men in the world. Last week, I also saw actress Linda Thorson reminisce at the Cinema Museum in London about her days on cult TV series The Avengers.

So should I blog about Edward Snowden or Linda Thorson or what my chum Mr Methane did in Manchester last Thursday?

A tough call?

Not at all.

The outstanding Mr Methane with some of his fans

The glamour world of Mr Methane with some fans

My chum Mr Methane has been farting around the world most of his career. He is the world’s only professionally-performing flautist – a farter to you and me. He became a cult in Sweden, Japan and elsewhere. He is also quite liked in France.

In November 1994, he was a guest on the French TV show Nulle Part Ailleurs (1990–2001) at the request of host Antoine de Caunes who had seen Mr M featured earlier that year on a celebrated French documentary series called Oeil Du Cyclone.

This consequently led to numerous appearances on the British Channel 4 series Eurotrash, which Antoine presented.

At the weekend, Mr Methane told me this: an insight into the glamorous daily life of an international flatulist:


Last Wednesday, I got a call from Antoine’s current Canal Plus TV show in France – Le Grand Journal – to ask where I was on Thursday as they were doing a Nulle Part Ailleurs celebratory show on Friday and they wanted to send a cameraman over to the UK to film a short message from me – with a fart scene at the end of course.

Mr Methane in a train at Crumpsall station, now on Manchester Metrolink

Mr Methane in his former guise in a train at Crumpsall station

As luck would have it, I was due to be in Manchester for a works reunion of former and current British Rail staff. (Yes, Mr M used to work for BR.) So Le Grand Journal booked a meeting room at the SAS Radisson hotel, Manchester Airport, flew a cameraman in from Paris, I diverted to the airport and we shot the scenes there.

I missed the British Rail reunion because, after the filming, I took David the cameraman to the Manchester United stadium tour at Old Trafford and, by the time I had made sure he could get on the tour and navigate his way back to the airport OK, it was a little late for the reunion.

So I went to the Dickies store in the Lowry Mall near Media City and bought some shirts and a jacket. The jacket was reduced to a fiver: an unbelievably good deal.

Dickie’s Store in Manchester

Dickie’s highly esteemed Store in Manchester

Maybe I should have gone and done some more hedonistic showbiz stuff – hookers and cocaine or somesuch – but that’s not really my thing. An unbelievable bargain from the Dickies store in the Lowry Mall is definitely more my thing. But, if that hadn’t done it for me, then I might have nipped over to the Blue Peter Garden near the Media City MetroLink tram stop and had a selfie with the statue of Petra the dog.

Talking of celebrity statues, a 32 year old bloke was arrested in Morecambe today for sawing Eric Morecambe’s leg off.

Me and Eric Morecambe on the seafront in happier days (Photo by M-E-U-F)

Me and Eric on the seafront in happier days (Photograph by M-E-U-F)

The local council has now removed the statue. I am not sure how they will repair it and whether the original sculptor Graham Ibbeson, will be involved. It is a real shame, as it is a great sculpture. He really nailed that one. It is a much better likeness than his Les Dawson statue near Lytham St Annes pier, which somehow isn’t quite right – or at least that’s what me and Charlie Chuck thought when we went to look at it on the way home from Ken Webster’s wedding reception at the HorseShoe Bar in Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

I’ve been back there a few times since on my own and for some reason he just hasn’t nailed Les like he’s nailed Eric, its fascinating as I can’t quite put my finger on why.

Eric’s statue took him six years and Les was six months so maybe that’s the reason but you can’t believe everything you read in the press. His Laurel & Hardy statue in Ulverston is very a good likeness.

The clip of Mr Methane on Le Grand Journal is online. Afterwards, they sent him an e-mail: “Just to let you know that the show went well last night.  You stole the thunder.”

Mr Methane congratulates the French

Mr M congratulates the show from the depth of his heart

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Filed under Humor, Humour, Television

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