He’s got licences to kill, he’s got licenses to fish! But what was Sam Mendes’s *real* wish for James Bond in SPECTRE? An intrepid band of your FT correspondents stumbled upon an early draft of the screenplay last night, while digging through a remaindered box of Scampi Fries. The details can now be exclusively revealed below the cut – naturally what follows contains spoilers of the highest magnitude…
“Well, an early finish to the snooker tonight has left me twiddling my thumbs here at Alexandra Palace, so I’ll take this opportunity to introduce
my plans for world domination the final part of this year’s Freaky Trigger Poll. I’m sad to see that Olly Murs hasn’t made it through, I do love me a bit of Olly Murs – his cue action is second to none. Wait, I’m thinking of Ray Reardon. That troublemaker Olly Murs can barely work an autocue, let alone a snooker cue! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got an episode of Coast to dig out…”
Thanks Hazel, see you in at the Crucible in a few months. On to our top 10!
“Greetings! I’m Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity. You may remember me from one of this week’s University Challenge bonus rounds where one of the teams failed to recognise me at all, let alone answer questions about me and my spacetime continuum. It’s almost like they were operating from a different frame of reference! It’s been tough living in General Relativity’s
luminiferous ether shadow all these years (even though I was around first), so seems only fair that I get to introduce the next batch of this year’s FT Readers’ Poll – these tunes are totally Euclidean!”
Thanks very much, The Theory of Special Relativity! Here’s #20-#11.
“Hi everyone, I’m Tasmin Archer. You may remember me from The Harry Hill Show on TV’s Channel 4, where following a freak accident that NASA have banned me from talking about, I died and was reincarnated as a badger, and was forced to parade up and down for the entertainment of the masses on a weekly basis. How I escaped from my mustelid destiny and returned to Sunderland in human form will remain a secret I shall take to my next grave. Just know this: I can never look Gareth Southgate in the eye again.”
Lovely to hear from you Tasmin. On to the next part of the countdown!
“Greetings from the future, pop lovers! We are robot pop duo Daft Punk and we’re happy to be kicking off the 2014 Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll! We’re definitely not bitter about there being no 2013 poll (one excellent human voted for us this year anyway – your place in cybernetic heaven is assured). One more time: we’re not bitter AT ALL. If you want to see bitter, you should see all the red pen on Robin Thicke’s Christmas Card list! Anyway, a whole bunch of you biological entities from around the world voted this year and the list is harder, better, faster and stronger than we possibly could have imagined!”
Thanks Daft Punk! Without further ado, here’s #40-#31:
‘Hi everyone! I’m long-haired Canadian warbler Alanis Morisette, and I’m here to remind you that you “oughta know” that submissions for the Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll 2014 are now OPEN! I thought I’d been uninvited to last year’s poll but it turns out there wasn’t one! How ironic*. Now all I really want – is to know your favourite songs of 2014!’
Thanks Alanis. The rules are very simple:
– Send your top 20 tracks to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11.59pm GMT on 31st December 2014.
– As with previous years, we will be lenient on release dates. If you think it was released this year, it probably counts. If something on your list is egregiously out of place we’ll let you know and you can choose something else.
– The order of your top 20 is important! Your #1 will be allocated more points than #20.
– If you can’t think of 20 songs then 10 or 14 or 2 is just fine.
*In the true spirit of Alanis, this term has been used incorrectly.
Its usage in the pinnacle of BBC light entertainment aside – what a record this is! The drum intro is played on the side of a rusty water tank. The noisy brass squawks like Pingu angrily trying to shoo geese off his lawn. The piano is straight out of a Chas’n’Dave pub knees-up, and the end of each chorus line is punctuated by Cher Lloyd’s grandma (subs check this) going ‘Ugh!’ All Shaggy himself needs to do is drawl along for the ride: sleazy, cheesy – easy peasy!
The Levi’s advert that propelled this to #1 has stuck in the memory for many: our hero takes on Pingu’s claymation form, effortlessly pulling motorbike stunts to save the damsel in distress from a burning building. The animated city itself has a similar feel to the spoof-robot-noir of Dick Spanner, as does our greaser’s chiseled chin.
Even the visual jokes are there: the roast pigeons coming back to roost on the telegraph line are exactly as subtle than the giant illuminated “SAVE ELECTRICITY” sign in Spanner’s metropolis. The advert is only a minute long, but still manages to cram in a number of other gags that would have been edited out of Police Squad for being too obvious – a firehose full of holes, a firefighter toasting a sausage on the flames, an oblivious nose-picking kid as one of the bystanders (which incldes someone wearing a Santa outfit for some reason?) and of course, finishing on a toilet joke.
The official video unfortunately contains none of these elements. Hence this can only be the third best song of all time! I wonder what could be at top spot?
Welcome back to part 2! See here for part 1.
5.58pm. A quick beverage pH check before the next round of experiments: the acidity of prosecco is 3, Badger’s Fursty Ferret is 4, a substance known as ‘Sainsbury’s Craft Brewed Lager’ is also 4.