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My name is Saima and I live in London, England. Welcome to my blog where I have been writing since November 2000. Please make yourself at home.

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December 12th, 2010
Global Warming: The Facts

If anyone you know becomes a global warming skeptic come Autumn, show them this sketch by Armstrong and Miller.

Posted at 3:52 pm | 2 comments | Category: Comedy, Current Affairs | Tags: ,

August 16th, 2010
Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2010

Posted at 11:27 am | Leave a comment | Category: Art, Comedy, Photos, Travel

October 16th, 2009
Armstrong and Miller – RAF sketches

No matter how many iterations of these sketches I see, I always find them funny.

Posted at 11:43 pm | Leave a comment | Category: Comedy, TV

September 3rd, 2009
Thursday Night with Jonathan Ross

Today we went to see the recording of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross that will be airing tomorrow. Not only was the line-up great, contained my two favourite things on telly (comedy and cooking) but it was also fun watching how these shows are filmed. The compere was pretty funny too and kept us entertained throughout the whole process. The only downside was being told off in front of three hundred people for trying to take a picture. I wasn’t even taking a picture of the set, just the hundred and fifteen (yes, I counted them) heavy duty lights on the ceiling. Harrumph.

The show is filmed at BBC Television Centre on Wood Lane. You know, the one they showed at the end of some episodes of Blue Peter? That place. We got there mega early as the friend who kindly gave us the tickets told us the queue can get long and as they give out more tickets than there are seats there can sometimes be a chance of not getting in. We joined the queue at 4.45pm and gave our two spare tickets to a couple who were originally there for Ready Steady Cook. The woman said on the way there she was saying how she really wanted to see the Jonathan Ross show and now they had tickets. I told her she should have wished for a million pounds.

There was much waiting around as the filming didn’t start until 6.45pm but when everything kicked off it was worth the wait. The first guest was Jamie Oliver, talking about his new programme Jamie’s American Road Trip. As with anything he does, he was very passionate about his experience over there and he certainly sold me the idea of this show. I’ll be watching out for it on Channel 4. Then he cooked bollocks. Literally, bull’s balls.

The next guest was 23-year old cricketer Stuart Broad, fresh from the Ashes victory. I didn’t know who he was but he came across as a lovely young man. Did you know it’s called the Ashes because the trophy is a little urn with Ashes in it? Someone at work told me that and then looked at me a little funny when I asked if the ashes were of the founder of cricket. Apparently this is not the case.

The piece de resistance for me was the appearance of Ricky Gervais. He’s one of my favourites, just favourite people in terms of everything he does. And he was on fire tonight but then you wouldn’t expect anything less. He talked about his new movie The Invention of Lying which we’ve been long anticipating and is out October 2nd.

Oh, at the end Mika performed and that’s all I’ve got to say about the matter. Except that they made us dance to it. Bastards.

Catch the show tomorrow at 10.35pm on BBC1. Hopefully you won’t see me in the audience.

Posted at 11:45 pm | Leave a comment | Category: Comedy, Reviews, TV

August 30th, 2009
Edinburgh Fringe Festival ’09 – Richard Herring

We were on the flight to Edinburgh when we first heard all about the controversy surrounding Richard Herring’s show Hitler Moustache from our friend. Apparently, a writer for The Guardian claimed Richard Herring hates Pakistanis and labelled him a big ol’ racist. I hadn’t read the article at this point or Richard’s right of reply but was pretty certain that the show must have been taken out of context. “Let’s get t-shirts for the show that say “Pakistanis love Richard Herring!” I said and that was that.

We never got time to make the t-shirts so turned up to the show without them. (At this point I should mention that we were wearing other clothes.) My husband bumped into Richard when we got to the venue and told him “Pakis love Richard!” making him laugh and then they had a big old man hug. I told him off for using the word “Pakis” not because I find it offensive in that context but because it can sometimes make others feel uncomfortable. I once induced a collective gasp when I used it in front of colleagues and I was merely quoting a scene from The Office.

So, the show itself: fantastic. You’d have to be an amoeba to think it was in any way racist, in fact quite the opposite. Richard challenges racism and the ideas racists hold, revealing them to be ridiculous. Comedy is such a powerful format for delivering that kind of message, much more effective than me saying, “Racism’s bad, mmkay?”

Posted at 5:25 pm | 2 comments | Category: Comedy | Tags:

August 27th, 2009
Edinburgh Fringe Festival ’09 – Late ‘n’ Live

Late ‘n’ Live is exactly what it says on the tin; it’s three live comedy acts, one music act and it starts at 1am. You have to be pretty well regarded to get a slot at this event so we knew the comedy would be of high quality and it was. Okay, so the compere, John Bishop (shortlised for if.comedy Edinburgh Comedy Award) made a joke about Muslims and then asked if there were any “Mussys” in the audience. But I raised my hand so whatever.

Jamie KilsteinLoved the letter to the US Army

Kevin BridgesHilarious and naturally funny. This guy could say anything and it would be funny. Shortlisted for Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer.

Axes of AwesomeTheir four chord song is one of the best things ever.

The whole evening was even more hilarious because some couple kept rowing and the woman would storm out followed by the man. That’s just pure comedy fodder.

Posted at 9:02 pm | Leave a comment | Category: Comedy, Travel | Tags:

August 24th, 2009
Edinburgh Fringe Festival ’09 – Lewis Schaffer

Guess what? We were late to this show too! And Lewis said to us as we walked in, “I’m warning you! I’m a pro-American Jew boy!” The whole crowd laughed and it pissed me off a little, I must admit. It didn’t detract from the rest of the show though, really very funny. It was a free show too so can’t complain.

We did run into Lewis later on that evening. Twice. We ended up chatting to him for quite some time and I told him his comment earlier on had annoyed me. He explained though that he makes fun of EVERYONE, no matter who they are and that it’s all done in jest. There’s a big debate about racism in comedy at the moment (I will be writing more about that when I talk about the Richard Herring show) but I’m of the opinion that it’s not comedians using it as an excuse to be offensive, more to make us think. Also, Lewis said I was “too pretty to go see the Chippendales” so I guess I’ll have to forgive him. I’m so easily won over.

Anyway, do go and see Lewis Schaffer in Edinburgh this week if you can or when he’s back in London.

Posted at 6:48 pm | 1 comment | Category: Comedy, Travel | Tags:

August 22nd, 2009
Edinburgh Fringe Festival ’09 – Isma Almas

The first show we saw at the Ed Fringe this year was Isma Almas. We were late and she said “The Asians are late, typical!” And that was the high point of the whole act. She has some good ideas talking about growing up in Britain with Asian parents but I just didn’t think it was that funny. Early days yet, I’m hoping that she’ll improve with experience. **

Posted at 8:45 pm | 1 comment | Category: Comedy, Travel

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