'We can't have a woman in charge...'

WTF: Weekly Trivia File

  • ‘I probably wouldn’t go and see comedy on a night off.’ Milton Jones

  • Sandi Toksvig could have been host of  Have I Got News For You – had she not been a woman. She was on the first show in 1990,  and BBC bosses apparently preferred her performance over Angus Deayton – but told her: ‘We can’t possibly have a woman in charge of the news.’ Sandi, now happily hosting Radio 4’s News Quiz, told Saga magazine: ‘They should have picked me, because I never went down the prostitute and cocaine road.’

  • Thanks to reader Barry Chambers,  who points out that this could well be the Chortle car...

  • John Cleese has been reduced to flogging signed photos to try to make his alimony payments. He has signed almost 1,000 copies each of stills from Fawlty Towers and Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which are being sold online for between £30 and £60 apiece. Last month he was also forced to sell the beloved 1987 Bentley which he has owned for 25 years. It  raised £17,000 at auction, which included a lunch with Cleese for the buyer.

  • A dozen comedians from the North East – including Show Me The Funny finalist Dan Mitchell – are to take part in a boxing night this summer. Over genuine three-round bouts, the comedians, representing either Sunderland comedy club Mackem Laugh or Hartlepool’s Rib Ticklers, will slug it out for bragging rights. Rib Ticklers’ Nick Banks told the Giggle Beats website: ‘It’s just a case of letting of a bit steam, really.’ Stand Up And Box takes place at The Place Cafe, Sunderland, on July 6.

  • Undertaker Darren Abey has brought something different to the dignity and solemnity of a funeral: Del Boy’s battered Reliant Regal van. His Lancashire-based company – inevitably called Only Fools And Hearses – rents out a replica of the sitcom icon, which comes with a trailer for the coffin. ‘The hearse has the best of everything, for any family to know their loved ones are having their final send off in true Totters style,’ he says, adding that the car ‘brings that smile out of us even on our darkest days’.

  • Nice comeback from Channel 4, who had come in for a battering by the Daily Mail over their Big Fat Quiz Of The Year, although the outrage never really caught on. At the start of the new series of 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Channel 4's continuity announcer warned: ‘readers of morally questionable newspapers’ that the programme ‘contains comedy’.

  • ‘I don't write something that will be really clever,’ Mrs Brown’s Boys creator Brendan O Carroll.

  • It didn’t take long for the ticket touts to swoop on Louis CK’s newly announced London dates. Some hopeful shark on ticket resale website Viagogo is asking an eye-watering £454 for a single ticket for the Hammersmith Apollo date...even way back in Row O. The face value is just £35.

  • Comic Paul Sinha was at the National Television Awards this week as part of The Chase team. As he arrived on the red carpet, a paparrazo yelled out at him. Recognition at last? No, the snapper shouted: ‘Get out of the fucking way’ as he was blocking their view of pop star Tulisa.

  • Wojtek Gorczynski is the spitting image of Keith Lemon – see – but says it’s making his life a misery: ‘It is even spoiling my fishing trips,’ he says. ‘I like the peace and quiet, but when I go fishing on the pier at Bridlington tourists hound me for photographs.’

  • Tweets of the week:
    James Martin(@ Pundamentalism): Roses are red, violets are red, grass is red, I've had a horrible accident with the strimmer.
    Sebas (@ OhLookBirdies): No means no. Or sometimes number.
    Mark Niel (@MKPoetLaureate): Happy 25th January. Little tip:  If you're invited out for supper in Shangai tonight, don't go. It's Chinese Burns Night

    Published: 25 Jan 2013

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