[sic] Magazine

Doing It For The Kids

The first time I was made aware of the return of Comic Relief was on exiting a branch of a nearby supermarket. Above me hung a poster of Lenny Henry wearing a Red Nose. Now there’s nothing that screams comedy potential than the sight of Lenny Henry wearing a red nose. There, I thought – I’m in for a host of belly laughs this year. Not just belly laughs, mind. There’s bound to be a few full-lunged guffaws in there as well. I walked back to work with a spring in my step, negotiating the slip road to the M56 with carefree abandon, noticing, as I did so, the determined looks on the faces of passing motorists, looks which said “I can’t wait to get home where an evening of enterprising mirthfulness awaits me on television”. So delighted was I by my viewing prospects, I would have gladly stopped and lobbed ten pence in the charity bucket right then, were it not for the fact that I had twenty pounds worth of prime smoked salmon concealed inside my jacket – salmon which had been hand-reared in an algae-free loch somewhere in Central Scotland.

As though sensing the public mood, which, amongst the mean-spirited at least, is roughly “If the government can bail out the banks why can’t they put their hands in their bottomless pockets for the starving children of the world? Why is it always left to me? I’m having enough trouble feeding my own family to the point where I’m forced into shoplifting delicacies as the only means of sustaining the lifestyle to which I have become accustomed, a lifestyle which now seems like a distant, drug-addled, false memory” the nation’s celebrities have gone one step further in a bid to part us with our cash.

This year we were treated to the spectacle of Radio 1 DJ, Chris Moyles, hauling his fat arse up Mount Kilimanjaro, joined by the likes of Cheryl Cole, Gary Barlow and someone else from a boy band. At first sight it’s a brave and noble thing to do, and we should extend our gratitude and congratulations to all of them; not just for raising money, but also for risking life and limb and completing the task. Only the cynical would sneer that it’s a self-serving, profile-raising exercise, the sound of the train marked “Celebrity” colliding with the buffers of public indifference before derailing into the ditch of plummeting popularity.

A piece of piss

But hang on a minute – Kilimanjaro? It’s in Africa for fuck’s sake! How cold can that be? You’re more likely to suffer frostbite, or an embarrassing erection, sat in a bath of baked beans for twenty-four hours. I’m speaking as someone who has tackled The Great Orme in late August. As the picture shows Kilimanjaro is an easy climb, characterised by smooth plateaus and gentle inclines. An assault on K2 in January without oxygen, however, would have seen the public snatching up their purses and throwing the contents at their plasma screens. Who would not donate their life-savings to see Chris Moyles grappling with a Snow Leopard before losing out in the fitness stakes? Chris has the natural ebullience to laugh the whole thing off from the relative comfort of an intensive care unit, assuming Mountain Rescue get there in time. God willing. And what’s all this about Altitude Sickness? Don’t make me laugh. I’ve travelled on a budget airline when the cabin pressure wasn’t quite right. This lead to a very painful earache, which only subsided once I arrived inside the terminal building.

A shark pictured yesterday

For a truer example of bravery, we can look to the one set by North West Tonight Weather Presenter, Diane Oxberry. Oxberry put her life in danger by swimming with sharks at the Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port. Daring? Undoubtedly. Courageous? Absolutely. Foolhardy? Quite possibly. Entertaining? Yeah, sort of. Critics might argue that, this being Ellesmere Port, she would have been in greater danger outside the tank than inside. Nevertheless, the whole thing could still have backfired horribly. And we’re left asking what normally passes for entertainment in Ellesmere Port? Would more cash not have been raised had she or one of the other presenters consented to sexual relations with a dolphin? Remember, we’re talking about a local populace that, since the advent of the internet, has been drip-fed a diet of pornography through the teat of their broadband connections, assuming they’re not still on dial-up. Let’s weigh up the pros and cons.


1) They were in the Blue Planet Aquarium anyway.

2) It’s all for a good cause.

3) Dolphins, according to a well-known (and probably true) urban myth, are the only species aside from man, that regularly enjoy sexual intercourse for pleasure, and not just as a means of procreation.

4) It’s payback time for the world’s dolphins. After years of being stranded in tuna nets, their clicks ignored by callous fishermen, the least we can do is offer them a shag.

5) Dolphins are traditionally less aggressive than sharks.

6) It’s all for a good cause.

7) Most people are bored with re-runs of Flipper.

8) No child anywhere in the world will ever go hungry again.


1) The moral uncertainty over televising such a groundbreaking piece of television. Remember the furore over “The Singing Detective”. Now imagine that with a dolphin.

2) Dolphins aren’t very sexy.

3) There’s no way esteemed broadcasters such as those who work on regional news programmes would agree to such a stunt, even if it did raise stacks of cash for charity.

4) Clothes designed for a human being might have a tendency to drift away from a dolphin, especially if it is thrashing around excitedly underwater.

5) The dolphin may grow bored easily and revert to more traditional dolphin-type stunts such as playing water volleyball or jumping through hoops.

6) The technical difficulties inherent in filming an underwater “money shot”.

7) It’s probably illegal.

Let’s take a closer look at item three of the cons. Easily solved – employ a body double. Item two – having sex with a dolphin isn’t at the top of most stand-in actors “To Do” Lists. One way of making this more palatable would be to disguise the dolphin as a handsome film star, someone with a large nose, say that bloke out of Cyrano de Bergerac, Gérard Depardieu. With a winning, sexy, French accent piped directly into the tank, a body double, perhaps one of low intelligence, might be momentarily fooled into thinking they were doing it with a famous actor. Gerard could be approached to see whether he would be up for reading from a prepared script, as follows. “Allo, my name is Gèrard. Welcome to the Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port. You might have seen me in that Cyrano de Bergerac, which featured very few underwater scenes. This is one of my favourite places in the whole world. It is a place where I can truly relax and be myself. I like very much to swim underwater. Doing so makes me feel romantic. It is not often I see such a beautiful lady on one of my swims. Et maintenant, ma cherie, the time for talking is over. Le chien, as they say, est dans le jardin. Donnez moi votre derrière s’il vous plaît. Très bien. Ca va?”.

Alternatively, if Depardieu refuses on the perfectly reasonable grounds that it’s a cheap, gimmicky stunt, it might be worth offering the job to a second party. Top chef Raymond Blanc, whilst not a film star, is certainly handsome and famous enough and has the necessary French accent. What he does lack, unfortunately, is a large nose, and there is a danger that the whole thing would lack authenticity. Any prepared script would need to deliver in the reality stakes. Like so – “Hello, I am top chef Raymond Blanc and I am very fond of the aquatic realm, especially the indoor varieties like this one. Do you mind if I swim a little closer to you? Good. Don’t be nervous. You look like the sort of lady who enjoys fine cuisine. That is where I can ‘elp. Not only am I an expert loveur, I am also quite handy in the kitchen. I ‘ave two Michelin stars. I can cook you an omelette, perhaps featuring a selection of cheeses and some surprise ingredient like truffle oil, the likes of which you won’t ‘ave experienced before, certainly not at any restaurant in the Ellesmere Port area. Incidentally, the reason my nose looks so big is down to a foolish error with an overhead extractor fan. One of the surprising benefits of underwater love is that you don’t need lubricant, although, if you ask me, there’s too much chlorine in here. Well, my sweet, this evening I have a special challenge for you. And, if you succeed, I will open a restaurant with you! Zut alors!”

Charity funny man, Lenny

[sic] Magazine would like to point out that anyone planning to wrestle with a snow leopard or have sex with a dolphin for charity should be aware that both activities are potentially hazardous .We would not recommend our readers engage in either activity, or at least seek the advice of medical experts before engaging in such a practice.

The opinions of writers are not necessarily the opinion of [sic] Magazine.