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Off the Record.

Byline: BYPATROLLER

FACT: Ricky Gervais has taken a role in the next Mission: Impossible movie after an invitation from Tom Cruise. Probability: He won't be the one who cops off with Scarlett Johansson. She's into Top Guns, not top staplers.

It has not yet been revealed what the plot for MI3 will be. However, if the producers are still short of inspiration as to what would be a Mission Impossible these days, here are some suggestions for Mr Cruise, should he choose to accept them: lGet Tony Blair to slap Gordon Brown on the back - without a knife.

l Judge a beauty contest between John McCririck and a camel with indigestion.

l Watch more than three rounds of a wrestling match between Dale Winton and Elton John.

l Stand in a phone box with Lisa Riley. lGo on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? with David Beckham and try to get past the pounds 500 question without him phoning a friend.

The mission, whichever one is chosen, should ideally be delivered by a member of the UK Independence Party, who will self-destruct in no time at all.

A HOLY man in the Himachal Pradesh region in northern India, Ram Dayal Sanichar Muni, has now spent a full two years standing up. And you thought your bus service was terrible.

IF you've experienced a weird, annoying warbling noise on your phone recently, don't bother reporting it as a fault just yet. It just might be that Britney Spears has dialled a wrong number. As evidence, consider this quote from her: 'I don't have time to sit down and write. When I think of a melody, I call my answering machine and sing it.'

THE new manager of Partick Thistle, Dick Campbell, has had a long and varied career. Including, it would appear, a stint as Uncle Fester in The Addams Family.

HORROR writer Stephen King has bought a pounds 400,0000 house in his home town of Bangor, Maine. Apparently he went through dozens of estate agents before he finally found one backing on to a cemetery, miles from the nearest neighbours with a rickety staircase, creaking floorboards and a cellar with a solitary lightbulb guaranteed to pop just as the door is opened...

SCIENTISTS at NASA have held their hands up and admitted that the warning they issued the other week that a huge asteroid could hit the earth on April 2029 was down to a mathematical error - they were 37,000 miles out in their calculations and you won't have to duck after all.

If they're so poor at their sums, though, it raises the question: what if the conspiracy theorists were right after all? What if they did miss the moon all those years ago, and those grainy images of a rubble-strewn desert with no atmosphere they fobbed us off with really were taken at a Cowdenbeath game?

IT'S 20 years today since the Sinclair C5 was launched. Mark the anniversary in a truly authentic version by lying in your bath and blowing a raspberry.

THE final verdict on Jerry Springer: The Opera? What a load of ***@@!!** ***@!!@@** ****.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 10, 2005
Words:519
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