Sunday, December 18, 2005


Looks like the dying embers of 2005 are glowing around some familiar faces from decades gone by. First there's Take That, unrivalled boy band in the nineties with their tatty clothes, lean sweaty torsos and rag doll like acrobatic energy, and, on reflection, some surprisingly good songs (why was I so dismissive?) Now it seems we have the Nolans.

Performing on TV the other night they seem to have looked at the Take That model for three slim ones and a fatty to extremes and have churned themselves out as three carrying a bit and one who could play clothes swopsies with Dawn French and still have to lie on her back with a coat hanger to get her jeans on.

"Why did you get so fat?" Jonathan Ross asked of Gary Barlow on his show the other night. This was always going to be asked - Ross had teased Barlow several times while he was on the screen shot of the hospitality room, at one point comparing his stomach unflatteringly with pregnant Claudia Winkleman.

"Just ate all the wrong foods." Admitted Gary.

"What pies, cakes?" Asked Jonathan. Like it makes a difference.

"Anything with custard." Confessed Gazza, who I thought looked lean and ready for his and his mate's relaunch.

Whereas, Coleen Nolan, twirling around gamely as sister Bernie belted out, perhaps a little too breathlessly: "I'm In The Mood For Dancing," but couldn't because the singing was knackering her out, was showing all the grace of one of those cartoon lady hippos as she tried to prove that she, too, was in the mood to dance.

I do like it when these blasts from the past come back. I thought the Nolans were at their chirpy best up there on the stage - can't remember the programme - and I thought they looked refreshingly real, especially when compared with the manufactured stunners who are now plastered all over our screens and who have been marketed more on their looks than on their talent.

Take That were manufactured, but were, in parts at least, extremely talented. Almost by accident. An accidental talent.

And then to cap it all, the re-emergence of the Brentwood Nugget. Christ, I was trying to remember when I first saw Steve Davis playing snooker and spanking all comers. Throughout the early to mid eighties he was the young thruster crushing the spirits of the grizzly old pros. Suddenly, amid these chain smoking ex miners and milkmen, fat pool hustlers and aging billiard players, came this pale faced ginger robot-boy who took snooker to a new level.

True there was bit of resistance from Terry 'the hair' Griffiths, who had burst on the scene at the back end of the seventies and looked set to dominate, but this was going to be no Coe and Ovett deal. Griffiths was the eternal runner-up, every final for him was bridesmaid revisited, Davis won just about everything.

Then Davis, too, succumbed to a new order and slumped into the shadows with all the other ghosts of once great players. Until now. As 2005 hits the last bend, he's back. The hair, once glittering as if burnished gold like Cleopatra's poop, now thin and dead looking, the skin, white and lined, the eyes crinkling into crow's feet tickling his ears and disappearing into sag hoods crafted from a million sleepness nights of snooker worries. And he playing almost like his old self.

Good to see this lot back. Especially the ones I grew up with.

gotta love the nolans

well, i do, anyhoo...
I feel you should be aware of certain further information on the Nolans.
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