The idiotic challenges issued during Endurance were unbelievably over-the-top, sometimes to the point of cruelty that could have made one cringe – but didn’t because contestants were free to give up. Perhaps it was contestants’ willingness to “stick at it” just made the silliness funnier.
Monday, June 2, 2014
one of our favourite expats
Clive James, now 74, may have emphysema, leukaemia, and not long to live, but it seems his irrepressible cheekiness is … well… still irrepressible.
Despite his illness, he spoke at the Australian and New Zealand Festival of Literature and Arts in London on Saturday. His aim, he said, was to impress Tony Abbott's daughters.
James himself would probably appreciate The Australian’s report – a report that tells us he appeared “wearing black trousers, a black skivvy and a brown jacket…an ensemble in pre-war Hitler colours”, The Australian accompanying their report with a photo of him clearly wearing a tie.
His TV show brought us things like this snippet from 1987, long before the internet could share them with the entire world in a matter of hours.
One thing people will still be denied when they see things like a picture of Knackers Crackers is his unique commentary… no one is a better exponent of the art of alliteration, a better purveyor of puns, or has a better sense of the absurd.
Clive James on Television was reality TV at its best.
James is a multilingual lover of all things Japanese; amongst other things, he says, the Japanese are great lovers of puns.
No episode of Clive James on Television was complete without snippets of the Japanese TV show Endurance.
Here, contestants found themselves in a hot hunk of desert near the Nile, leaning against sheets of metal that had been baking in the sun…
… encouraged to stay upright by the careful placement of cacti.
James is a prodigious author, and although his droll wit permeates his writings I must confess I never managed to finish Unreliable Memoirs, nor did I ever bother to try any other books he has written. Perhaps it was because his mobile eyebrows and bemused smile were missing from the word picture.
Just as well Clive prefers Tony Abbott’s daughters to Tony himself, because I’m sure the humour would be wasted on our Minister for women’s affairs.