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whining & dining by michael whiner | contact:


As dining companions Michael and I couldn't be more different. Where I was just about manage a subtle fillet of lemon sole and a cold glass of Chablis 1er cru, the cardholder was looking forward to roasting rare species…any species really. 'Rules', an old relic on the South side of Covent Garden has long been the venue for such crimes against nature. As usual he is already in full flow…

"I’m in the mood to waste a tremendous amount of money this week. Therefore I want you to bring me the most expensive item on the menu. The Sturgeon? Ah yes, now is it over 70? Good, that’ll do nicely then. Hmm. Still not that expensive though. You don’t happen to have any of those Dodo eggs knocking about do you? Right well I’ll have a Dodo egg omelette as well please.

I think my current attitude towards the folding green stuff has been greatly influenced by the BBC’s rather devil-may-care approach to what it does with the license fee. It emerged this week that having spent 7 million to acquire the broadcasting rights to the Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks mini series ‘Band of Brothers’ the corporation has now decided to show it on BBC 2 where it was previously supposed to be their big new drama signing for the more populist BBC 1. Apparently the controller of BBC 1, Lorraine Hegessey has deemed the series to be "not mainstream enough". Of course before Lorraine got her power suit and became a network executive she used to be a producer. What is the most impressive entry on her CV? Er,‘Animal Hospital with Rolf Harris’ actually. She’s obviously obsessed with removing quality drama from our screens and replacing it with wall-to-wall brain melting rubbish. I mean have you seen ‘Macready and Daughter’?! I’d rather have my colon irrigated with bleach then sit through that again. I despair.

Talking of ‘Band of Brothers,’ I notice that the end credits thank the Ministry of Defence and the Government for their help during the making of the series. It seems that Tony Blair made sure that all the steps were pulled out to aid the production. I also couldn’t help noticing that a certain young Euan Blair got a work placement on the series. Hmmm. Wasn’t he always accusing the Conservatives of cronyism?

The newspapers have been going to town over the remake of Planet of the Apes. Frankly they shouldn’t have bothered as by all accounts the film just isn’t that good. But nothing gets a headline writer going more then a good pun and good lord did they get going. "Ape-tastic", "Burton’s gone bananas" were just two of the more restrained examples. It’s no wonder that the suicide rate of headline writers is amongst the highest in the media industry, I’d want to kill myself if I was responsible for some of those.

Did you hear about the film fan who got chased by the police whilst he cycled down the wrong side of a motorway? It seems he was out trying to find some of the locations used in ‘Where Eagles Dare’. I just pray to God that nobody ever shows him ‘The Italian Job’ or he’ll be in real trouble."

recent whines...

January 2002 - St John - Clerkenwell EC1

December 7 - Hell

November 30 - Birthday at Brula

November 23 - Picnic on the Heath

November 16 - Les Trois Soeurs

November 9 - Ed's

November 2 - Burger King: Piccadilly

October 26 - Lindsay House

October 19 - Darcy's

October 5 - Spitz of Spittlefields

September 28 - West Street

September 21 - St John's

September 7 - Southeast W9

August 31 - Rogues

August 24 - Royale With Cheese

August 17 - Rules

August 10 - Manana

August 3 - £15/head at Mazzo

July 27 - La Scala

July 20 - La Putain de la Tour

July 13 - The Real Zorba

July 6 - Palefico

June 29 - The Moon and Pigeons

June 22 - Post Theatre

June 15 - Danang Vice

June 7 - La Crebiche

June 1 - B.A.N.G.E.R.S

May 25 - The Ritz

May 18 - The Harpo

May 11 - Trading Braces

May 4 - Hijo De Puta

April 27 - Broadway!

April 20 - Escoffier Steakhouse

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