Cliff Richard. An easy target, you say? Why yes! But in the Great War, when a plucky Tommy dragged himself across the hell of No-Man’s-Land to the German lines, and there saw a machine-gunner having a quick fag, do you think he said to himself, “Nah, not worth it, mate, easy target.”. No, he did not. And pop is JUST LIKE WAR, especially where Cliff is concerned.

Because if you ignore Cliff, if you chuckle and smile and say, “Hey, c’mon, the guy’s a national institution!”, then he’ll come up when you turn your back and release THE WORST RECORD OF ALL TIME. There is not a conceptual or indeed torture artist in the world who could have come up with something as execrable as “The Millennium Prayer”. Two thousand years for that? When Our Saviour was in the wilderness, the kingdoms of all the world were not enough to tempt him. If however the Horned One had said, “Well, it’s your choice, go off and redeem mankind, but actions have consequences, and oh, let me just play you this…..“, his job would have been a good deal easier.

But Sir Cliff is the Peter Pan of Pop! Bollocks he is, he has a face like a leathery boot. Oh yes, he looks, ooh, ten years younger than Keith Richards or Mick Jagger – though let us take into account that dreadful though their music is (another story entirely), Mick and Keith have sinned enough to sizzle seventy Sodoms, whereas Peter Pan copped a snog off a tennis player once, so as trade-offs go we must consider Sir Cliff to have made a poor one. Not that he would see it like that, of course, THE TROUPER, as he merrily leads another Wimbledon crowd of Middle England fuckards in a chorus of “Congratulations” as around them the heavens open. BASTARD!

Cliff is everything fetid and dead about good old-fashioned showbusiness: rock and roll as the Titanic band would have played it, doffing their caps as the ship sunk. His records range from the embarrassing to the unspeakable: like every other aging pop egoist, he put together a white label to ‘prove’ that he could make this ‘new-fangled’ music too, and then cackled smugly as the ‘clubs’ played it. You mean a DJ played a generically useless house record, Cliff? Hold the fucking front page! He’ll try his hand and our patience at anything, but he should just stick to what he’s good at: charity work and ribbon-cutting. As my friend Ms Morrissette would no doubt agree, it’s ironic that Cliff Richard is such a devout Christian, when you could happily take his six decades of pop success as final proof that there is no God.