Alons y! Geronimo! Alba gu bràth!

2 09 2014

So, tonight I sat down with my son and we watched the first of the new series of Doctor Who. We got back from our holidays today, so tonight was our first chance.

Well, I say our first chance, but implies that we had a mutual desperation to see it, but just couldn’t make our diaries line up, which isn’t true. He’s six and a half. When he was three and a half, I took him to the press opening of ‘The Doctor Who Experience‘. We made it as far as the lobby before he totally freaked out. There was a looping video of the David Tennant ->Matt Smith regeneration and he just kept screaming “Why is that man on fire?!” We went home.

...but not before getting this picture :)

…but not before getting this picture :)

I decided that day not to rush it. It was a classic ‘dad move’ I think, especially with a son – maybe even double-especially with a first born son. When you hold your little bundle of mewling pink possibility for the first time, the sudden understanding that you are now Yoda to their Luke is visceral. It rests upon you (You!) to guide this little soul toward greatness, to fill their lives with great stuff. A mental list immediately begins. If the chief task of parenthood is to raise your kid not to be an utter arsehole (the world’s got enough of those) then what is the stuff that you have to expose them to? What can you let them see that helps them figure out the world and their place in it?

My boy’s been to Glastonbury, graveyards, Atheist churches and pubs. He’s hung out with Tim Minchin, Marcus Chown and my best mate Steve.

Is he ready for any of those things? No, not really.

Maybe there’s some deep, amygdala-rooted, fear of death bullshit going on. Maybe the apes that came before me were hardwired to teach their kids where the food and clean water was as soon as possible, just in case they themselves didn’t make it through the night. Maybe it’s some Freudian Oedipal aversion tactic – “If I show them all the good stuff, maybe they won’t grow up and kill me”.  Maybe it’s simply impatience in using them as an excuse to relive our childhoods/escape adulthood. Maybe it’s all of these things, maybe it’s none of them. Google ‘maybe’.

Dads whose kids have grown up are forever telling new dads not to wish that time away, to enjoy their children’s childhood. “You’ll never get that time back!”, they warn warmly. But babies are fucking rubbish. Feel free to disagree, but they are. There’s no reasoning with them and they’re just so fucking needy. It’s like living with a Kardashian, but with the added evolutionary imperative not to chainsaw them into tiny pieces. If I could have fast forwarded my son to his third birthday an hour after having him, I would have done. Even now, there’s times when I look at him and just think “Until you can put in a competitive time on Rainbow Road, just what use are you?”

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m trying not to rush the boy through his childhood, but I’m also desperate for him to catch me up. A completely, idiotically unrealistic goal, but one I seem incapable of shaking.

The magic happens when you time it right.

A couple of weeks ago I took him to Secret Cinema’s ‘Back to the Future’ screening. I know he’s still too young for that flick, but he totally dug it. We got home, I downloaded the sequels and he’s watched the entire trilogy half a dozen times since. It probably shouldn’t, but it makes me love him more. Seeing him get it. Seeing him rooting for Marty. Seeing him cry when Doc still gets shot by the Libyans; his pure joy at the sellotaped letter.

I love the kid plenty enough already, but watching him enjoy that stuff for the first time, his reminding me of my first time, that punch of understanding that we’re emotionally close in feeling what we feel when told excellent stories – I love him all the more.

So, tonight I sat down with my son and we watched the first of the new series of Doctor Who. We got back from our holidays today, so tonight was our first chance to share another thing I love.

He loved it. He was scared and hid behind a cushion, but was then totally turned on by the way the Doctor figured out how to win – and by the way he figured out how the Doctor was going to win. We’ve saved episode two to watch together and if I’m being completely honest with you, I’m crying as I write that. Being a dad is about so much more than just what you watch, but sometimes it is about that. As someone who has grown up loving stories, loving movies and TV sharing that part of my life with my boy matters to me. That it matters to him too is just… well, y’know.

Oh, the wonderful things I can share with my little companion on our adventure through space and time.

 

 





Secret Cinema folk – some good news

25 07 2014

Hello.

I’m writing this in a real hurry, so sorry if it’s a bit… y’know… rubbish, but, I just found out Secret Cinema had to cancel tonight.

That sucks. I know everyone is cross with them, but let’s assume they tried their best and something just went wrong. It totally sucks. I have tickets for Sunday night and am so stoked about it, so I can imagine how annoying and frustrating it’ll be if it gets cancelled.

Anyway, I just got off the phone from the people who are running ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’, the show I’m in. We’ve had an idea.

back-to-the-future-outatime-licence-plate-replica

If you have a ticket for tonight’s Secret Cinema, turn up at The Savoy Theatre instead and you’ll get a complimentary ticket ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – The Musical’

Yep. You read that right. You don’t have to do anything other than turn up with your Secret Cinema ticket, and you’ll be welcomed into the world of another cult 80s movie. Go to ‘Back To The Future’ when they re-schedule you, but tonight, if you’ve got a big gang of pals all in London, all excited about going out and now you have nowt to do, well, now you do :) And for anyone who doesn’t want to, I hope your night doesn’t end up too ruined.

Your Pal,

Calvin Klein

Darth Vader

Clint Eastwood

Marty McFly

Rufus Hound





David and Jeremy love your children so much they could just die, squealing in ecstasy

27 01 2014

Well, what a funny 48 hours.

Since announcing on The Jonathan Ross Show that I’d be standing as a potential MEP, everything’s gone a bit  well, I don’t know how to describe it really…foamy? Fractal? Hmmm. It’s definitely gone a bit weird, but in a way I’m completely unused to. And bearing in mind i’ve been bodyslammed at The Brits, broken eggs with my reproductive organs and had Donny Osmond sing me ‘Happy Birthday’, I thought I had a pretty good handle on weird. Turns out I was wrong.

On the off chance that you read no further than this, let me urge you to look at www.nhsforsale.info. The truth of what’s happening to our remarkable NHS is all there.

If you want to know what the National Health Action Party proposes to do to rescue it, take a gander at The NHA’s Action Plan.

Okay – done that? Good. On with the show.

The reason my day’s been weird is that Toby Young (like what would happen Phil Mitchell impregnated a Pug and the product was haunted by William Hague’s childhood diaries), decided to try and create a shitstorm over the title of my last blog-post. He failed – or at least he succeeded, but only with the sort of people who would agree with him on everything anyway. However, Julia Hartley-Brewer decided to give him some air time on LBC… yada yada yada. In essence, there’s been a lot of people who like using words like “pinko” and “sleb” calling me a c**t all day.

This tidal wave of foam-mouthed blue spluttering was accompanied by no shortage of people being incredibly kind and tremendously supportive. As the principal aim of my MEP run is to highlight the dangers facing our Public Health System, the fact that there’s been such an increase in people spreading the word about these reprehensible changes, is already a win of sorts. Basically, I’m shouting and hoping more and more people hear me. If you RT, facebook or tell a mate about what these scumbags are up to, you’re shouting too. Eventually, we’ll get heard. I truly believe that once people really understand what’s at stake and how utterly they’ve been lied to, we will become irresistible. That it’s up to us to stand together and absolutely insist that the NHS is ours and not for sale.

However, I suppose today I realised the cost of doing this. I thought I did before, but it’s only really dawning now. I mean, my wife’s spent some of today crying, and she’s the toughest person I know (I saw her get a baby out of herself. Twice. She’s nails.).

It’s partly my fault, of course. I used deliberately provocative language in that original blog post, so the inevitable backlash to it was always going to be fairly stiff. I could have made it easier on myself, on Beth and possibly on my fellow NHA-ers. It’s hard to defend someone who’s being deliberately offensive, but that’s what good men like Dr Clive Peedell & Dr Richard Taylor have had to spend some of their time doing today.

The other downside is – obviously – that being brash, loud, offensive means that you actually put more people off your cause than you draw toward it.

The downside of being polite is that you look passionless, bland and exactly the same as the current pack of Westminster bastards whose complacency, self interest or corporate-whoredom has got us into this mess.

So, I’m going to be a *bit* more polite. It’s a compromise. Compromises are – apparently – what grown-ups do. Who knew?!

Also, I’ve been asked to do heaps of interviews and things today. I will do them, but not yet. I’m deep in rehearsals for the show, and as that’s my actual job, I have to give it my all. The campaign starts in earnest at the end of April, by which time I will have plenty more man hours to give to the NHA, and will be.

Oh, and ‘to be clear’ David and Jeremy love your kids. They don’t want them to die. Ever. They just want to squish and hug them and buy them lollipops, and read them bed time stories and kiss them til they pop. And if you think otherwise, Toby Young’s going to fucking have you.

This. This is how I really feel:





David and Jeremy want your kids to die (unless you’re rich)

25 01 2014

So, last night I was on The Jonathan Ross Show with Robert Lyndsay. We’re promoting the show we’re in together so you’ll hopefully see us on lots of things together over the coming months. Well, in truth, hopefully you’ll just come and see the show :)

I also came out. Yes. That’s right. I know we live in enlightened times, but it was still very hard to do. In case you missed it, I’ll repeat it.

I’m… I’m… I’m going to become [bork]… a politician.

In May, I will be standing as a prospective Member of the European Parliament, and doing so for The National Health Action Party.

For anyone who follows me on Twitter, I doubt that my party of choice will come as too much of a surprise. I’ve been tweeting endlessly over the past few months about the dangers the NHS currently faces, but over Christmas, something changed. My wife – similarly passionate – suggested that we were becoming “those people”. Those people who whinge on and on, wringing hands and asking “But why isn’t somebody doing something?!” – instead of actually doing something.

So, we decided that we’d do something. We just didn’t know what. Neither of us imagined it would involve one of us becoming a… [double bork]… politician.

The NHS is the one of the single greatest achievements of any civilisation, ever, anywhere in the history of the world. Great Britain decided that being broken wasn’t your fault. If bits of you got smashed off, started going wrong or gave up entirely, it would do it’s best to stick them back on, put them right or find you a new one. It essentially made being healthy a human right.

Up until 1948, only wealthy people had access to doctors. Your likelihood of surviving disease was based on your income. In other words, if you were poor, you were fucked. Then came World War Two and with it a generation of young Britons who died in foreign fields, fought for queen and country, opposed fascism and sacrificed nearly everything. The only way through it was for everyone to pull together – prince and pauper, dustman and duke. The sense of nationhood that sprang from this tragedy, the sense that “we’re all in this together”, meant that within three years of the war finishing it was decided that the state would cover the healthcare costs of its citizens. That, regardless of your own personal wealth, you could expect medical attention as and when you needed it.

In short, compassion won.

Well, it won for a short while. The millionaires that currently run things have decided that you (assuming you’re not a member of the Bullingdon Club, or a trustafarian) can go fuck yourself. This place is for them, not you. Why should you get free healthcare? Why can’t they take that big pot of money ear-marked for medicine and just start sharing it out amongst themselves? People are desperate when they’re sick and nothing’s as easier to monetise than desperation. Big, rich, private heathcare companies have donated millions to the Conservative party and now they’re calling in the debt. Jeremy Hunt is killing the NHS so that his owners can bleed you dry.

I don’t believe the NHS is perfect or that it doesn’t need to change. I have known people have terrible times and feel completely betrayed by it. Sad, but true. However, the vast majority of those who use it are delighted. The NHS is composed of incredible human beings whose capacity to care is a combination of vocation, education and genuine kindness. Of course some of them screw up from time to time – sometimes with tragic results – but that’s because they’re human beings. Fallible human beings. And if you employ over a million of them, (as the NHS does), mistakes will be made. The NHS is imperfect, yes, but it’s still totally kick-ass.

It’s also the most cost effective health care system in the world. For every pound spent on the NHS, it returns a value of five times that to the economy. And we need to stop taking it for granted and tell the shower of outright bastards that are stealing it from us to back off. It’s ours, not theirs.

So that’s what I’m doing. There’s no way I should be an MEP. I’m not smart enough, or machiavellian enough, to survive in modern politics. My closet barely closes for the number of skeletons. I’m an ex-touring stand-up and professional show off, not a statesman. But then the NHA is wholly made up of people who don’t want to be politicians. Literally, none of them. It’s just that it turns out that the people who do want to be politicians – i.e. politicians – are a pack of duplicitous c**ts who have absolutely no interest in ensuring that free healthcare – provided according to need, not wealth – remains the cornerstone of our brilliant country. Somebody has to do something. So it looks like it’s going to have to be us. It’s a nightmare.

So, please, read the stuff on the NHA website. If you want to know how these politico douchebags are taking away your kids access to medicine, it’s all right there. The NHA folks are way smarter than I am. And nicer. I mean, most of them are doctors, ffs. You don’t get smarter or nicer than that.

Once you’ve got wise to these vampiric fuckers, get angry. Start making noise. Tweet. Facebook. Tell people what’s going on. Write to your MP. Tell them to stop what they’re doing. Tell them to act in the best interest of the people who elected them (y’know, almost as if that were their fucking job).

We can’t afford not to take a stand. The lives of our children, of our grand-children, of our great grand-children may very well depend on it.

(Thanks for reading this much text. I tried to be succinct, but there’s so much to say. Should probably have got an editor instead.

Oh, and sorry for all the swearing. I’m just a bit like that.

Anyway, cheers for reading.)





I want to shoot myself in the head

5 08 2013

So, I was on That Doctor Who Live tonight and I totally dicked it up.

So, due to the #twittersilence thing, I didn’t want to come to you all and apologise, but it’s past midnight now, so here it is.

I’m sorry.

When they asked me to do it this week, I was delighted. I love Doctor Who (Dalek tattoo, picture of the TARDIS hanging up in my house, sonic screwdrivers etc. ) and the chance to be there at this turning point in its history was a real treat. I’m currently working on ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’  six nights a week, so the fact this fell on a rare day off was a miracle. I even went out and bought a new T-Shirt for the occasion.

And then, today, I sat in a room with Peter Davison and Bernard Cribbins (who recounted amazing DW & other theatrical tales) and Lisa Tarbuck (who is one of the best people to ever know) and I got all over excited.

So there, on live, international TV, I just went into melt down. I said “Knock three times”, when it was obviously a quad-sonic moment that heralded Tennant’s (and RTD’s) swansong (and made me cry).

I said Peter Eccleston. Who is Christopher Eccleston’s cousin – a smashing bloke and a friend of mine – but not a man who has ever portrayed the internal beating of two hearts.

So, I’m a bit gutted because I really wanted to try and represent the fans. And I know that for a huge portion of the fans, knowing the names and faces and places is a demonstration of the amount you care about the show, therefore someone who seems to know very little can’t really give a shit.

My problem is that I care about the show, and because I care, I went a bit weird.  Any way, if you think I dicked it up, know that I do too and I’m sorry. Genuinely.

Two other things

1 – I didn’t know it was going to be Capaldi. I swear on my life. Anyone saying I said “Peter Ecclestone” because I knew it was Peter Capaldi is bang wrong. If I’d have wanted to know, I could maybe have winkled it out of someone (once I was there), but I promise you, I had absolutely no idea. I wanted to find out the same time as everyone else.

2 – Oh my fucking God. I met The Moff tonight. I met Sue Vertue tonight. I met #12 tonight. And they were all so totally lovely.  Fate dictated that Clan Capaldi and I ended up trapped together in an Elstree dressing room, so I got to speak to him literally minutes after he’d been named. He’s properly up for it. Really, really. That letter from the Radio Times was written by a boy who had autographs and annuals. His inner child is so excited it looks like it’s regenerating.

And that thing he said on the telly about looking in the mirror and trying to find the doctor , well he said it to me again, sort of acting it out and I think I caught a glimpse. Just a fraction of a second. #12 is sharp, I reckon. If Matt Smith was all angles with rounded edges, Peter Capaldi’ll have your eye out. An inspired choice and one that elicits huge excitement for anyone who has seen the multitude of sublime performances Mr Capaldi has delivered in recent years (Torchwood: Children of Earth, The LadyKillers, The Cricklewood Greats, The Thick of It and more). I can’t wait to see what he’s got for us.

So, Alons-y! Geronimo! What’s the story Bala-fucking-mory?





Burzynski

3 06 2013

So, I’ve just found out that I’m mentioned on BBC’s Panorama tonight! Exciting, right? Well, not overly. It seems that something I did two years ago has intersected with an investigation the BBC has been doing and so my name comes up.

The investigation is into the work of The Burzynski Clinic, an organisation that claims to be pioneering new cancer treatment and, in a roundabout way, I (and some of my twitter followers) have raised funds for them. I say “a roundabout way” because the money that The Rufus Hound Twitter Army™ coughed up, wasn’t delivered directly to Burzynski, but to The Hope for Laura Fund – a collection that I learnt about through Twitter.

Ask anyone with over 100k followers on Twitter and they’ll tell you that every hour of every day you’re asked to RT dozens of pleas for help. As someone who is currently privileged enough to have almost a million followers, I can tell you that I never RT these. I don’t even read them. Not because I’m too grand or important, but because there’s so many of them… where would I start? What would be fair? Whose need is the greatest? And, if I RT’d them all, my twitter feed would be boring as all hell.

So, frankly I surprised myself when, in May 2011, I actually clicked one of these charity links and found myself reading the blog of a man whose wife had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The blog of a man my age, with a son – like me – whose mother he was terrified of losing. British doctors had told her that nothing could be done. She should go home and enjoy what little time she had left. I read this. I cried. I’d never met this bloke (Ben) or his wife (Laura), but I knew how utterly broken they must have felt. I’m terrible at empathy but this hit me square in the chest. My wife was seven months pregnant with our second child and the very idea that she’d be gone from my life, from the lives of our kids, emptied me with sharp, tepid tar. I only had to imagine it to feel sick. Laura and Ben weren’t imagining it, they were living it.

Some small ray of hope was found. A pioneering American clinic that could treat Laura’s inoperable brain tumours. It was the only future they had that didn’t involve just sitting around waiting for Laura to die.

So, I did a video which urged my followers to bung them a couple of quid. The price of a pint, something like that. Not because I had done any research into where they were spending the money, but because if worrying about where they’d find £80k was one more thing for Laura to have to stress about, then it seemed like a good idea to cross it off the list. In the end, The RHTA™ came nowhere near the £80k mark, but we did cheer Laura and Ben up a bit and let them know they weren’t totally alone.

Shortly after the video went up, I was contacted by people horrified that I should be lining the pockets of “that charlatan Burzynski”. Hearing and reading more about the man and his practises made me feel awfully stupid. As an aetheist and a rationalist, here was exactly the sort of fellow I abhor and I was helping line his pockets. Surely, I was told, a second video should be made or a statement denouncing this bastard. I had made an error. I should make a correction.

But I didn’t. Nor did I share with Ben and Laura any of my reservations. But not because I worried I’d look a fool – I am a fool – but because it would have felt utterly disloyal. I had acted unintelligently, but compassionately, and retracting what small kindness had been offered felt deeply wrong. Rather I look a twat (not unusual) than start shaking the resolve of a young mum fighting terminal cancer. And, I say I ‘m a rationalist, but there’s enough quasi-scientific-mumbo-jumbo pinging around this sci-fi fanboy heart to believe that the placebo effect may be capable of miraculous things, and that decrying Laura’s treatment could be diminishing the one thing that could heal her – her own resolve.

So I shut up. And Laura got better. Totally, miraculously better. All fixed. Her son will know his Mum.

The specifics of her recovery are unknown to me. Why has Laura lived when Burzynski’s treatment has failed countless others? Is this snake-oil salesmen onto something after-all? I have my doubts, but I haven’t done the required research to have a valid opinion so I’ll shut up – see, I’m learning!

What I do know is what my Dad said to me, when the first critics of my involvement stepped forward on Twitter. “It’s called Hope for Laura. A load of people each sticking a few quid in to give a young girl hope. That’s gotta be better than not doing it, right?”

And as my quite-cross skeptic friend (who just read this blog post for me) counters “Yes. That just the sort of emotional blackmail that these charlatan bastards use all the time.” Touché.

Enjoy Panorama.


				




My #twittermillions deal

7 03 2013

Hello.

Right, I should tell you, I’m writing this when I’m already late for work, so if it’s looks like it was scrawled by a chimp, I apologise.

I’m writing this to ask you to join #twittermillions team. What’s that? Well, in a nutshell, it’s a thing where you – YES YOU – undertake to raise £50 for Comic Relief, on behalf of a team. Each team is lead by someone bloody gorgeous (i.e. Me) and famous (i.e. Simon Pegg) with each team leader being tasked with ‘sweetening the pot’, in order to get as many people as possible to sign up. Not a bad idea.

So, here’s my deal.

If you join my #twittermillions team here – and if you raise £50 for this most excellent of causes – then, when all the money’s in, I’m going to pick one of my team members at random and give them my motorbike.

I’ll say that again: I am going to give one of my #twittermillions team my Limited Edition Triumph Steve McQueen T100. It’s a bike that the lovely men and women at Triumph (Earth’s greatest motorcycle manufacturer) lovingly crafted to look the same as the bike Steve McQueen rode in The Great Escape.

This is me and it:

Prova PRRufus HoundJack Lilley’s Triumph5th March 2013

 

So, what I’m offering is pretty straight forward. You raise the money and if it’s your name out of the hat, I will ride the motorcycle to your house and just hand it over. That simple. If you’ve already got a bike license then, you’re golden. If you haven’t, well, you might want to get on that. However, just so you get the idea of how awesome the bike is, I’ll bring a spare helmet and take you for a spin on it. You’ll also need a leather jacket… so I’ll bring you my Steve McQueen King Leather Jacket, that you can keep too.

A couple of things I should tell you.

  • It’s got about 3000 miles on the clock.
  • You can’t buy them anymore.
  • I changed the single seat for a King/Queen seat and stuck foot pegs on it – so it’s good for two. You may want to switch that back, if you want it to look really Steve McQueeny again. I might be able to get hold of the old seat if that’s what you want.
  • It was a limited edition. Only 1500 of these were made for worldwide distribution. Only 101 of them exist in the UK. For bike collectors, the lower numbered bikes are the MOST collectable. This is number 4. Yup. Number 4.
  • The ever brilliant Motorcycle News (MCN) did a double page spread – recreating scenes from The Great Escape – using this actual bike.
  • It’s f***ing awesome.
  • It’s really f***ing awesome.

Prova PR<br />
Rufus Hound<br />
Jack Lilley’s Triumph<br />
5th March 2013″ src=”http://rufushound.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/steve-mcqueen4.jpg?w=300″ width=”300″ height=”200″ /></a></p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href=Prova PRRufus HoundJack Lilley’s Triumph5th March 2013

 

If you want more info on the bike, try here otherwise, I don’t really have very much to say. I think it’s straightforward enough. Raise £50 for Comic Relief as part of my #twittermillions team and I might pop round your house and give you an awesome Triumph motorcycle.

 

So, let’s do it, yeah?

F****ING YEAH!?!

Sign up HERE NOW

Bike 1

 

 

 








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