Sunday, December 31, 2006

Crappy New Pier

What with having to pull off my Twankey twice a day here at the Neasden Hippodrome, I'm afraid I'm having to rely on my housekeeper posting me the Gazunder to keep up with events on the Ile.

I see from Friday's front page that plans are afoot to transform Margate's harbour arm by building a cafe on the end, and holding a fish market once a month. Artists' studios are also to be built.

It's a little-known fact that many a great artist has been inspired by a heady mix of bacon butties, rotting seaweed and skate trimmings, and it is surely just a matter of time before Margate has a thriving community of Bohemian daubers to rival the likes of Montmartre.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


My Fellow Thanetians,

Since thawing out from cryogenic suspension in a warehouse at Port Ramsgate earlier this year, courtesy of the intermittent nature of your French power supply, I have moved among you as the man you have grown to love and trust, Mr Richard Eastcliff.

However, with the new year approaching, the time has come for me to address you directly about the year that has passed, and the year to come. (Applause.)

I have been greatly saddened by the recent demise of my Vice President and Chief Pardoner, President Gerald Rudolph Ford, but am gratified to learn that a space has been found for him in a spare freezer round the back of Iceland. I look forward with anticipation to the day when we will be able to reminisce about the good times again, and feel sure that, thanks to EDF, that day is fast approaching. (Applause.)

I have presided over many changes on your island over the past twelve months. Neglect, scandal and incompetence have grown, which is good. Yet there are many improvements still to be made. I have personally witnessed people being nice to each other (gasps of shock and disbelief), and there are still far too many beautiful coastal areas which would benefit from a watergate (surely 'waterfront'? - Ed.) style development. (Cries of 'Here, here'.)

It is with a joyous heart, however, that I see our God-given gift of wind is to be harnessed over the coming months and years, and look forward to the benefits that will accrue to my property portfolio on the unblighted south of the island.

2007 will be an election year, and I trust you will be taking the opportunity to re-elect me. I feel certain that you will agree when I say that the prospect of a Thanet without a tremendous great Dick in charge would be a cause of great anxiety among the populace. To that end, I will be keeping my ear to the loudspeaker in order to stay one step ahead of my opponents. (Rapturous applause followed by cries of '90 more years!!')

By the grace of God, and with your support, I am confident that my trusted policies of ignoring your problems, ruining your life, and destroying your future will guarantee my place in history.

May God continue to bless the United States of Thanetia.

Richard M Nixon, President

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Three Unwise Men

1. Howard McKinnell, outgoing boss of the world's largest drugs company Pfizer. Despite being in charge of the outfit that brought you Viagra, he watched on impotently as the share price drooped 40% during his tenure. Those who were made redundant from our local Pfizer operation in Sandwich this year will no doubt be applauding his $200m pay-off.

2. Whoever commissioned the latest Sudafed TV advert, featuring a man whose nose is so blocked he can barely breath. Turns out he's in a container. Which advertising genius made that link? Containers, suffocation? Don't they read the newspapers in adland? Or maybe they do?

3. Charlie Drake. Unlike the first two, Mr Drake worked very hard at being a professional idiot, and was one of the greatest troopers in the business. Alas, his boomerang will now never be coming back as he's finally said 'Goodbye My Darlings'.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Harbour View

For all those salty seamen amongst you who can't get enough of the briny stuff, Port of Ramsgate have just added a webcam to their site, overlooking the marina.

Presumably it'll capture all those overworked/underpaid, oversexed/underlaid bloggers out there looking for any port in a storm. Ooh blimey, I've just spotted the pilot boat coming in!

Isle Of Sex

Good heavens! I know they've found sewage in the water round here, but now there must be Viagra in the air, given the number of Thanet bloggers currently obsessed with the old jiggy-jig.

Justin Brown never stops, neither does that Oapen woman. Angina talks about little else, but as far as I can tell hasn't got a leg to stand on, and now Lucy Mail's on some kind of non-stop shagathon!

It's at times like this that I thank the Lord that I have the willpower and resilience to conserve my vital British juices for the higher things in life. To that end, I have just taken delivery of a brand new, luxury Scrabble set from Harrods.

The only thing I want to be stiff is my upper lip.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Car-Crushing Councillor At It Again

I see our local, superhero councillor Dave Green has been out and about crushing cars again. This one's off to become baked bean tins for Heinz.

Two of the Netto gnomes were looking on. They later told me that the third gnome had succumbed to a surfeit of White Lightning earlier in the day.

A Fishy Tale

Angela popped over yesterday afternoon with my Christmas present - a splendid DVD of 50s, 60s and 70s promotional films made by Ramsgate Borough Council.

(And one about, ahem, Margate but we won't mention that. Except to say it was presented by Michael Aspel and called 'All Go Margate'. More like 'All Gone Margate' these days.)

Any road, being a bit obsessive over film credits, I happened to notice that the cameraman on most of these seaside epics is a chap with the delightfully appropriate moniker of Ron E. Haddock.

At first I thought it might be a nom de plume. You know, like Alan Smithee, the name conventionally appended as 'director' on Hollywood movies that have turned into such a box of bollocks that the real director has walked out. Or that, this being almost 40 years ago, Mr Haddock might by now have had his chips and gone to meet the great director of photography in the sky.

But no, not a bit of it. After tinkling the old internet ivories, I discovered that Mr Haddock was alive and well as recently as 2004, when he gave a talk to the Borehamwood Camcorder Club.

So in a spirit of briny nostalgia I've emailed the aforementioned club asking for Mr Haddock's contact details, in the hope that I'll be able to bring you an interview with the piscine cinematographer at a later date.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Wind-Win Situation

I see the government has given the go-ahead for the world's largest fart farm in the sea off the Ile de Thanet.

Fortunately only views north of Dumpton Gap will be blighted, whilst at the same time 800 jobs will be created in Thanet's premier megalopolis, Ramsgate. Another victory for common sense!

Chocs Away

I always take great care to ensure that my Christmas presents reflect my standing as one of the country's leading celebrity entertainers and writers.

So every year I send out boxes of Charbonnel Et Walker chocolate truffles to my showbiz pals and business acquaintances. This year, with all this talk of the government shutting post offices, I thought I'd support Postman Patel and his teeny-tiny branch by toddling round there with the last few packages that my PA hadn't dealt with.

"Effing bloody effing government no effing TV licences no effing pensions effing bastards," muttered the great man as he blithely spent the next ten minutes rearranging paperwork behind the counter. He always seems to have something he needs to get off his chest, and as I was the only customer there, I thought it best to indulge him.

To my surprise, however, he continued in his own sweet way as the Royal Mail van man arrived. "Five effing bloody specials," he intoned, as the postman swept towards the door. I barely had time to blurt out: "Am I in time for the collection?" before the fellow had jumped back in his van, and revved off up the road.

Speechless, I was left standing in front of the counter, doing my best goldfish impersonation. But the guardian of the 'heart of the community' was no longer ignorant of my plight, and, as ever, had some crumbs of comfort to offer.

"You should have effing well bloody come earlier," he said, as he returned to shuffling his paperwork.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Blog Up

Smoking source code! Look what happened when I tried to add the newly-revamped Thanet Blog List's badge to my humble jottings! Talk about alphabetti spaghetti! Not only that, but the badge wouldn't link to the list anyway, as there's a typo in the http reference. Unless there's such as thing as the Thaet Blog List, that is.

I approve of the new look, though, and am especially glad to see that the header now features a marvellous shot of the Ile's premier resort. Keep up the good work!

Cock On

I almost choked on the old toast and marmalade this morning, listening to a report about the splendid work the World Health Organisation has done in Africa to establish that circumcision can prevent the transmission of HIV.

Nothing amusing about that, but the spokesman the WHO has, er, put up to discuss this research is none other than a fellow rejoicing in the name of Kevin de Cock.

Honestly. I've said it before and I'll say it again. You go to all this trouble to make stuff up, and then they go and do it all for you!

BBC Circumcision News

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The ECR Christmas Quiz

Ho! Ho! Ho! It's Christmas! I always get a bit over-excited when the festive season approaches!

One of the yuletide traditions in the Eastcliff household (after Bertie and I have exchanged presents and scoffed the turkey), is to sit down in front of a blazing fire and test the old noddle with a few brainteasers.

This year, what better way to celebrate than to share our quiz with all you lovely readers? And to make it more interesting, I've based the questions on the events and people that have shaped the Ile in 2006.

So come on, even you lot in Margate can have a go! After all, I'm sure you won't have any difficulty in finding a blazing fire to settle down in front of over there, will you?

Which local politician was quoted as saying he wanted to put the 'wow! factor' back into Thanet?

A: Animal-loving Sir Roger Wind
B: Ferrari-loving Dr Steve Ladyboy
C: Garlic-hating Councillor Sandy Beach


What came onshore in Margate?

A: 40,000 tons of rotting seaweed
B: The Anthea Turner Centre
C: 12 pallets of Primark undies


New plans are announced to 'fill Dreamland with rides for the summer'. Who made this promise?

A: One of the local madams
B: Margate sponsors Bryant and May
C: One-Eyed Pete the carny guy


Who unexpectedly withdrew his column?

A: Sir Roger Wind
B: Lord Nelson
C: Long Dong Silver


Who was photographed playing with some balls on Broadstairs beach?

A: Graham Norton
B: David Beckham
C: Councillor Jeff Kirkpatrick


Thanet District Council launched its 'Thanet Is Beautiful' campaign by attaching banners to local beauty spots. To what did they attach their banner in Ramsgate?

A: Dolly Parton impersonator Mandy Winters
B: The 'temporary' fencing along the crumbling East Cliff
C: The world famous Granville Theatre



Our ruggedly handsome council leader was spotted out and about, but who won my competition to find a caption for this photograph?

A: Dane Valley Ted with: "And may I thank Victoria Beckham for extending the hand of friendship to the people of Thanet."
B: Snailspace with: "Will someone please tell Iris to get off of that broom and walk. This is a pedestrian zone dontchaknow."
C: Ram Skate Raider (sniff) with: "Unleashed, it sticks out this far."


Revolution was in the air as the Thanet Community Development Trust decided to up the rent on one of the few places in the area where teenagers could still have a good time without unwanted pregnancy. But what is Thanet Community Development Trust?

A: A charity
B: A company
C: A charitable company


BBC Radio Kent broadcast an item about blogging in the county. Someone who sounded a bit like me was featured, but the voice had been altered. What did it sound like?

A: HAL the computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey
B: Pinky and/or Perky
C: Norman Wisdom


Scientists discover that anti-fouling paint on the bottom of luxury yachts in Ramsgate's Royal Harbour is causing whelk penises to shrink. What name did they give to this phenomenon?

A: Dumpton Syndrome
B: Dumped On Syndrome
C: Big Yacht Syndrome


Thanet planning chiefs were rapped for mistakenly saying a three storey building would only be two storeys high. What else have the planning department got wrong?

A: The Turnip Centre
B: Dreamland
C: Just about everything


A local celebrity claimed to have become engaged to charming new blogger Frances Oapen, but was later discovered to have gone off half cock. Who was the blushing, would-be bridegroom?

A: High-flying doctor of somethingology Simon Moores
B: Fun-loving doctor of laughology Richard Eastcliff
C: Bum-loving doctor of proctology Justin Brown


Bonus Question!
Which local councillor was secretly filmed during the year expressing a surprisingly musical side to his personality?


So how did you do?

0 - 4 correct answers - Michael Barrymore
5 - 8 correct answers - Dale Winton
9 - 12 correct answers - Jonathon Ross
13 correct answers - Me!!!!

And if you've still got an appetite for quizzes after all that, I can thoroughly recommend the new Prince of Wales Quiz Book by Marcus Berkmann, available at all good stockists price £12.99.

And thanks for the case of Krug, Mr B!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Lost For Words

This isn't something you'll hear me say very often, but, well, I'm lost for words.

I'll just have to go back to tinkering with my Widow Twankey in front of the mirror again, I suppose.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Frannie Closed

I see that delightful, thrusting young property executive Frances Oapen is closing her blog due to some unwanted attention.

Nothing to do with me, I hasten to add. Despite the recent upset, I'd still be happy for her to come round and take my measurements.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Shuffling through the small ads in the back of the trade papers this afternoon, I came across an invitation to tender from Kent County Council.

They're looking for a company to run their new broadband TV service for two years from autumn 2007. A quick call to my chum at the council revealed that they've already put together a tentative schedule for a typical evening's viewing:

6pm - Maidstone at Six. That Ruddy-Faced Man From The Council rounds up the latest from the county's capital. Followed by weather.

6.30pm - Tunbridge Swells. Fly-on-the-wall documentary following young rich kids living the high life in Kent's swinging second city.

7pm - Seasiders. Soap. James and Angela Heatherington-Smith have relocated from London to Whitstable, only to find they are allergic to oysters. Starring Janet Street-Porter, Sir Bob Geldoff and Peter Cushing as Uncle Fester.

7.30pm - It's Grim Out East. Gritty drama about a low income family living in, er, what's that place called again? Sort of beyond Canterbury. Right on the end. Just before you get to France and all the cheap booze and ciggies. Anyway, starring Brenda Blethyn and Timothy Spall (hopefully).

8.30pm - Canterbury Tails. Documentary tracks the trials and tribulations of a country vetinary practice based in the Stour Valley.

9pm - Strictly Kent Dancing. Veteran entertainer Bruce Sandy-Lockhart is joined by glamorous Anthea Turner-Centre and a host of other stars from the Assembly Halls in trendy Tunbridge Wells.

10pm - Grand Designs. Documentary detailing the amazing story of how £7m was spent transforming a pile of mud and seaweed off the Kent coast into an entire stable of Bentleys and Ferraris for anyone quick enough to grab a slice (shurely shome mishtake - Channel Controller).

11pm - Camera, Action, But No Police! Some of the best shots from speed and traffic cameras around the county. Hilarious!

11.30pm - News, weather.

11.57pm - Lights out (aren't they always?)

11.58pm - Close down.

11.59pm - Rates up.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Gazunder Blog of the Year Awards

The 2006 Blog of the Year Awards, sponsored by the Isle of Thanet Gazunder, will be bigger than ever!

But our host will be the smallest yet!

Yes, tiny Ronnie Corbett, who runs an even tinier kiosk on Ramsgate's East Cliff, has agreed to MC the glittering bash at the town's world famous Granville Theatre.

And what a star-studded occasion it's going to be!

Entertainment will be provided by chart topping (tribute) boy band Fake That!! And comedy fans will be over the moon to hear that local wag and politician Sandy Beach will be treating us to one of his witty monologues!

It's been the year of the blog in Thanet, and now we want to find the Blog of the Year! Is it small but perfectly formed Dane Valley Ted? Or has Lucy Mail 'hogged' the limelight with her Ramsgate Tourettes? Or you may prefer a Man Eating Sausage In Wenceslas Square.

Do newcomers like Frances Oapen and Justin Brown float your boat? Or do you hanker for the old timers like Arts And Elbows, Snailspace, Little Weed, Nethercourt Notes, Eastcliff Matters and Thanet Life? Or the very old timers like The Angina Monologues?

Remember, it's the readers' choice, so get voting now and you could be in with a chance to win two pairs of tickets (retail value £120) to the fabulous Gazunder Blog of the Year Awards in January.

Entry is simple. Just jot down on a postcard why you think Eastcliff Richard's blog is best and send it to:

Blog of the Year 2006
Isle of Thanet Gazunder
Gazunder Buildings
Victoria Parade

And don't forget to include your name and contact details.

Old Eastcliff's Almanac

Well, it's the time of year when everyone makes predictions for the next twelve months and who am I to buck the trend? Besides, I once stepped out with the daughter of a woman who used to read palms at the end of the pier, so I'm practically Nostradamus. Here goes:

The New Year will bring much peace and happiness to the Ile de Thanet, especially the south. Beware, though, of a man coming from the west wearing wellington boots, for he will bring much mud.

February will be a short month, and may even end after just 28 days. A millionaire celebrity from the beautiful south of the Ile will be relaxing on holiday as a guest of Sir Richard Branston.

An extremely attractive and wealthy man will arrive back in Ramsgate from an island somewhere in the Pacific. This man should be greeted by everyone on the Ile with the happy sound of laughter and singing.

Easter will be in this month, or possibly March. Who knows? Why can't they just make it the 25th of December like everything else?

Votes will be cast by the inhabitants of the Ile to elect a new chieftain. His name will be heard by an old hag holding a sea shell to her ear the Wednesday before.

Unwise men will appear in the north of the Ile promising car parks, luxury apartments, and a shed out the back for an arts centre. Do not listen to them. Men and women in Boredstares will dress in Victorian bathing costumes and address each other as 'Roger' for an entire week.

Everyone will bugger off on holiday, but not to Margate, where most of what's left will burn down.

Ramsgate will gain Unesco World Heritage status this month after Canterbury is demoted to the bottom of the Vauxhall Conference League.

A millionaire superstar who resides somewhere on the Ile in a place whose name begins with the letter 'R' will be acclaimed and lauded, for it will be his birthday.

Bloody hell, how many more months are there?

Fierce winds will blow all buildings to the north of Dumpton Gap into the sea.

A wise man with much foresight and knowledge will write another load of old cods just like this.

Phew! Made it! Now, where did I put that G&T?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Road Rage

Call me a boring old sausage, but really!

As you all know, I am by nature a kind-hearted, warm and generous soul, but when my daily quota of helping frail old ladies cross the road rises to double digits, even my relatively cool claret begins to boil!

We're told that the current roadworks on Victoria Parade, causing cars to back up as far as Eastbourne, are aimed at enhancing road safety, and about time too. What it really needs, though, is a pedestrian crossing, but by the time we get one I'll be a frail old man being helped across the road by (hopefully) charming and attractive young ladies.

Meanwhile the measures that have already been taken to lessen the dangers at the junctions that lead off Victoria Parade, like these double yellow lines, aren't being enforced. I can't remember ever seeing a traffic warden, or indeed any no parking signs, so naturally people can, and will, get away with it. Is anyone at Kent Highways listening? Or are they too busy fancifying Tunbridge Wells?

By the way, I've disguised the vehicle in the photo as I have absolutely no desire to be dubbed a copper's nark, and besides, it's not his/her fault anyway.

On second thoughts, maybe I'll make one of those number plates for the TT!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Blond Is Back!

What a terrific 007 that dashing young Daniel Craig makes. If you're prepared to ignore the mousy hair and FA Cup ears, that is.

I trundled down to our Granville Megaplex (2 screens) last night, hoping not to be the last person on the planet to see Casino Royale. I wasn't disappointed, as it appeared that the vast majority of the pit bull-tugging, smelly socks brigade hadn't seen it either. Although it rather shattered the dramatic illusion when some charmless oik bawled out during the obligatory love scene: "GO ON SON, STICK YOUR TONGUE IN."

Bit of a shame, too, that John Cleese's splendid 'Q' has been replaced by a Mr Sony, with Viagro laptops and Sony Ericsson mobiles in virtually every shot. In fact there was so much product placement that, not content with just plastering Virgin Atlantic all over the screen, they had to crowbar Sir Richard Branston into the film as well.

Still, having watched Bondie get his danglers tenderised with a knotted hawser, I was well prepared for the short walk home, during which I was accosted by another band of track-suiters with the cheery salutation: "GEEZER! GEEEEZER! GO' ANY RIZLAAARS?!?!"

Oh well, if you can't beat them, join them. I'm off to get my Brosnan pierced.

Dreadful Wind

Woken up this morning by atrocious wind, I decided to toddle down to the prom and take a squiz at the old briny.

Standing on roughly the spot where 430 luxury apartments and 3 five star hotels are going to be built, this was the view. Apart from the spray, the sand was whipping across so fast I was fearful that, without the protection of my Barbour Beaufort, I was at imminent risk of being flayed alive.

Still, not as bad as the wind my old showbiz pal Barrymore woke up with this morning, I bet.

Friday, December 01, 2006

An Oapen Letter To Frances

Cliff Top Mansion
Victoria Parade

Dear Ms Oapen,

I feel I must apologise for the way I jumped the gun the other day and announced our impending nuptials. It was rash and silly of me, and I was motivated purely by self interest. I admit now that I faked the photograph of us together, and that I have never met you in person. All talk of a fairytale wedding was entirely the product of my fevered and rather over-active imagination.

If you have it in your heart to forgive me, I'm certain that we could have a friendly and purely platonic blogging relationship going forward, and to that effect I have added your blog to my list of 'local millionaires'.

Who knows, we could even become pals, and I'd be delighted if, at some stage in the future, you would handle my rather substantial portfolio bugger I think I've blown it again.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Eastcliff