Sunday, January 30, 2005

Matt BarbetThis just in: Somebody reads this blog.

Until a few moments ago, today's highlights included spam informing me that I no longer need drugs to have an erection (thanks for the insight), and that I am an ideal candidate to "meet singles with Christian principles" (why?). But then, alt-tabbing away from a thoroughly unrewarding game, a highlighted name appeared in the middle of the screen. A name I wouldn't expect to find. That name is Matt Barbet.

As in BBC London News? Apparently so, as the email appears legit. Oh dear. This is not going to be good.
From : Matt Barbet
Sent : 30 January 2005 15:16:41
To :
Subject : Nostrils


Having been pointed in the direction of your blog by a sympathetic web-spy, I felt compelled to write in response.

Although, I disagree with your comments on BBC London News (no longer "LDN"), I believe you are completely entitled to your opinion. Fair criticism is always welcome.

On the nostrils issue though, you rattled me. "Surely not", I thought, and gingerly approached the mirror for closer inspection. After a couple of moments measuring, I can confirm that both nostrils are, in fact, the same size. One can only conclude that the studio lights are playing tricks again. (FYI - I closely resemble a hybrid of Brad Pitt and Jude Law away from the camera's harsh scrutiny).

Still, I'm glad you pay such close attention when I'm reading the news, and hope I haven't spoilt your enjoyment.

Keep watching!

Matt Barbet

PS Presence on the BBC website it work in progress.

This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain
personal views which are not the views of the BBC unless specifically
If you have received it in error, please delete it from your system.
Do not use, copy or disclose the information in any way nor act in
reliance on it and notify the sender immediately. Please note that the
BBC monitors e-mails sent or received.
Further communication will signify your consent to this.

Firstly, "sympathetic web-spy"? The notion intrigues me. Does the BBC have special people whose entire lives are spent assessing the changing perceptions of the public faces of the BBC? (If so, what do they pay?) Or do the presenters' legions of fans email constantly to let them know who said what? Or was it his mum? And what specifically about using Google counts as spying?

My comments on BBC "No longer 'LDN'" News? Oh God, what did I say? He does know, surely, just as everyone knows, that anything written in a blog is not to be taken too seriously, especially not my blog.

Having looked up what I wrote, I'm now trying to figure a way to back out of it (spot the instinctive response), and wondering if I should. Basically I slated BBC London News for being not very good, although I now have no idea which part of the programme triggered that thought, and helpfully didn't mention the cause. I then made some silly comment about nostrils. Fortunately I didn't include the weak joke, which is still too poor to be explained now (and is possibly damn near libellous).

In mitigation, I don't really have any mitigating circumstances, but I'll courageously ignore that for now. Oh well.

As for "Fair criticism is always welcome", but mine wasn't really fair, was it? An unsupported opinion casually dropped into a post is hardly worth the paper it isn't written on.

However, I made Matt Barbet measure his nostrils. Now there's a claim to fame. Probably in category of "What have I done?"

To think that if only I was on the other side of the hill, or even half a mile in pretty much any direction, none of this would ever have happened. Admittedly I might well have given the patronising woman on South Today a neurosis about her ears by now (and should anyone happen to play spot the difference with her ears, and find the difference, then I will have just made a very lucky guess).

Honestly I don't really know how to react to this. I was not intending to offend, and the nostril thing only arose as the result of a flippant comment. Yes, I'm backpedalling, but that's only because the entire point of celebrities (or people at least within the M25 of Celebdom) is their otherness. They are not supposed to be real people, with functioning email accounts, and nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon (said he with nothing better to do, except work out why my tax code has changed for no reason, on a Sunday afternoon).

And now to move on to the really interesting bit: the BBC disclaimer. Is the proximity of "attachments" and "is" really annoying anyone else? Why the plural? Any attachment would cover any and all attachments. I know an email might have more than one attachment, but they would still be covered by any.

Oh hang on, when they describe the email as confidential, would that rather preclude posting it on a blog? Um…well, as I wasn't asked to sign a non-disclosure contract before being sent the email, I'll take the view that if it turns up in my inbox, I'll do what I like with it. Also this post would be rather dull, and somewhat limited if I did not quote the email.

Anyway, surely posting it with the disclaimer attached counts as adhering to the rules of the disclaimer (don't try this at home in court).

Does "act in reliance on it" strike anyone else as a slightly odd phrase? What is wrong with relying on or upon, or do not rely on it? Or can we rely on the contents of the email as long as we do not act on it?

One has to admire the plug for, just in case we have never heard of the BBC, nor their website.

All of this is my way of saying I haven't actually been brave enough to email him back.


[Edit: He's just been on the news. His nostrils arch upwards quite a bit, so when he isn't straight on much more of the nearer nostril can be seen, hence the apparent lopsidedness.

I must say that it is comforting to know that BBC presenters prepare to present the news by emailing anyone who happens to mention their name].

Hehehe your SO busted!!

I hope I get a email of someone in McFly cos I have hinted on numerous occasions on my blog that one of them is a gayer!
This is great... just stumbled across it by pure chance when looking for an MP3 of Petula Clark's Downtown on Google. Did you ever write back to him?
No, I'm far too pathetic to do that. And how exactly was I supposed to reply?
I'm so glad to hear that your nostrils are even, as it has been on my mind for an age. Tell me, do you often measure your own body parts?

And why did you want an mp3 of Petula [cough] Clark?
apropos procrastinating (and yes I know this is the top post on the page)

this is hilarious! well done anyhoo.
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