Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2011

Tough choices

The Metro in London is asking readers to vote for the most influential woman of the past 100 years. We can choose from a selection of nominees featured in an exhibition at City Hall to celebrate the centenary of International Women's Day. It's so hard though. Should we go with Margaret Thatcher - first ever PM and giant of the 20th-century political stage - or Justine Roberts, the founder of mumsnet? I am so tempted by leading judge Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, yet keep getting distracted by X-Factor winner, Leona Lewis. Let's call it a draw. We'll share the prize between Barbara Windsor and singer-songwriter MIA. That way, everybody will be happy. And intellectual life in the UK will have advanced a few paces.

Electronic fix

A ciggie you charge on a USB? Ain't technology a wonderful thing? But how can they be sure the smoking ban doesn't apply to e-cigarettes? I can't wait for the test case.


This map is a great way to introduce tourists to the complexities of the London Underground, isn't it? I am waiting for the conversation with the next coachload of middle-aged Americans. "Jiminy Cricket, sir, we're looking for Truth but sure are having a time findin' it. We think it's somewhere between your St Paul's Cathedral and your Notting Hill."

Are you going to the ballet, Viscondessa?

Visiting the Royal Opera House website, I was required to register in order to access the booking system. In the field that asks for your title, they're not content with the regular Mr/Mrs/Miss/Dr/Prof choices. This, after all, is a world-renowned centre for dance and operatic performance. I am given the opportunity to register as a Dowager Marchioness, Ambassador, Brigadier or Rabbi among numerous other options. But that's just the start of it. Some of the menu selections are a lot more specific and bizarre. George Osborne and Angela Merkel will find the website a breeze, as they click on the 'Chancellor' tab, for example. No worries for Camilla Parker Bowles, as she calmly selects 'HRH the Duchess of' and finds herself a seat in the Gods. All kinds of foreign honourables and potentates are catered for too. If you're an HRH Sultan Shah, you'll feel right at home. Things take a rather extreme turn, however, with 'HRH The Prince', 'HRH The Pri
I like the idea of a 'retro' prawn very much, but isn't there a danger it's a little past its sell-by date?

Will this advertising gamble pay off?

There is so much I could say about this extraordinary ad. But then there's my sanity to consider. I think it's best I let WARTE readers draw their own conclusions.

Someone's taking the mick

Do you think the guys responsible for the iPad advertising are trying to poke just a little bit of fun at Twitter users in this poster? Come on, dudes. My tweets are topical, discerning, incisive and witty. And you can read them by following me at @philwoodford.

Now's my time

Do they still do those strongmen competitions where people rip up phone directories? If so, I think I may now enter. The new design is so dinky, it sits in the palm of my hand.

How not to write a poster headline

On the 'neighbourhood' board of a local Starbucks branch, there's a landscape A4 notice from the NHS. Headline: 'Does physical activity affect the risk of vertebral fractures in older adults with osteoporosis?' What happens when the world of advertising collides with a paper presented to a medical symposium.

Me old china

It's the little newspaper stories that are often the true subbing gems. Forget The Sun's take on Mubarak's exit speech yesterday ('They sphinx it's all over') and turn instead to page 24 of today's London Evening Standard. We discover that former football legend Jimmy Greaves, who later became partner in punditry of Ian Saint John, is selling his £40k collection of Clarice Cliff porcelain. The headline? Quaint and Greavsie.