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Mark Steel

Mark Steel

Commentator and stand-up comedian Mark Steel has presented several radio and television programmes, and appeared on Have I Got News for You and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. In 2006 he published Vive La Revolution: A Stand-up History of the French Revolution, and in 2000 stood as a candidate in the London Assembly elections.

Mark Steel: Has the real Gordon been replaced by a robot?

Oh no. It's got to the point where you start pitying him. Poor Gordon Brown comes on television for a press conference and you feel he's about to say, "Um, right. Er oh this is harder than it looks. I'm a bit nervous." Then his colleagues, just out of shot whisper, "Go on Gordon, you can do it – go on Gordon, read from your notes, uh-oh he's wet himself." And Tessa Jowell has to go and get a mop.

Recently by Mark Steel

Mark Steel: There was more to 1968 than hippies and festivals

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

The spirit of 1968 was lost on me, because at the time I was in an all-white junior school in Kent. I wish I could remember the headmaster bawling in assembly, "Whoever it was who used fuzzy felt to make surrealist graffiti will be severely punished," but I don't think it happened.

Mark Steel: Sorry, but Prezza's bulimia is just a trifling matter

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

No wonder John Prescott could not get cured of bulimia. When the doctor asked him what was wrong he probably said, "In as much as over-consumeringness, that which is vomitatious to indigested, as you well know. Now, don't be interruption doctor, I've paid listening to how you've said – sickability, as such, of triflement and manyfold of chips, is forthcoming with each regurgitationingness of that which has undergone swallowment, both liquified and solidacious, and you can look at the reports to be backing this of certain, pukement levels have ascendified to alarmed figure, reaching frankly unprecedentious rates of outpourings that is highly inacceptable AS I HAVE SAID ALL ALONG."

Mark Steel: Sorry, Gordon, but you aren't a game-show host

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Why is Gordon Brown so useless? Maybe the answer could be found on the American Idol charity show he appeared on at the weekend, where he announced that the British government was donating millions of mosquito nets to Africa.

Mark Steel: So did Neolithic settlers have estate agents?

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

As an expert on economic indicators, I can predict one positive effect of a falling housing market, which is an end to those television shows with names like Buy a House Where I Tell You To, You Idiot, in which slithery property experts say: "We simply must persuade Julia and Simon to buy this charming disused crematorium as it has such potential for conversion into a four-bedroom maisonette using original features such as this gorgeous fire for central heating and just look at these exquisite drapes.

Mark Steel: You couldn't make it up (unless you're Hillary, that is)

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Traditionally, Democrat candidates for President start slightly radical, then try to reassure Conservative America, get in a tangle and look like idiots. But this time may be different, because Barack Obama has stuck by his friend the militant preacher, refusing to disown him, and Hillary Clinton has gone mental.

Mark Steel: So Tibetans have been brainwashed by a rogue...

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Surely no one with a fragment of humanity can fail to be moved by the protesters in Tibet, not so much because of their courage and optimism, but because in one clip on the news they were on horseback. That's how to arrive at demonstrations. Imagine if there was some protest at the local town hall, and just as it was petering out it was joined by the "Save Luton Library Cavalry". Then the leader fiddled with his knee-length beard, announced "Councillors, prepare to meet your doom" and laughed with a threatening high-pitched cackle before jumping off his horse to drop-kick the mayor. Then it could all be portrayed in a film called Placards of Fury.

Mark Steel: How dare these soldiers go round getting wounded?

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Of all the shady reasons for supporting the war in Iraq, the weakest was always how it was our duty to "Support our boys," as they couldn't do their job if people back home were critical. To start with, this doesn't seem logical. Is there any evidence that tank commanders were about to fire off a volley of missiles, but then hesitated saying "Ooh I'm not sure I can go through with it because there was this sniffy letter in The Independent"?

Mark Steel: Let's be modern and swear an oath to the monarchy

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

When Tony Blair and Gordon Brown launched the idea of New Labour, it was as a crusade to be modern. A typical speech would go: "Mister chairman, brothers and sisters, modern modern modern modern modern. New Britain new modern modern. Modern modern modern, thank you," (23 minute standing ovation).

Mark Steel: Sixties nostalgia that hid the horrors of Jersey

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

One striking aspect of the child abuse allegations being investigated in Jersey is that they took place in an environment of charming 1960s discipline that so many people scream we should get back to. It was a time without hoodies or political correctness, when children were taught respect and the bobby on the beat was not afraid to give young scallywags a clip round the ear and ignore their allegations of mass abuse, because back then everyone knew their place, especially children. So, jolly policemen would call out to them: "Good morning, David, everything's in order I hope. What's that – you've been beaten, half-strangled and tortured? Well, that's all part of growing up, I'm afraid. Now don't let me see you walking across the grass by Mr Filbert the fishmonger's again or you'll get a smack across the legs – that's private property is that."

Mark Steel: I'm starting to feel sorry for Ken Livingstone

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

If anyone wonders how you become an investigative journalist, there are now unprecedented openings in London. All you do is follow Ken Livingstone for a couple of hours, then demand a full public inquiry about something he did, such as buy an apple, and send it into the London Evening Standard.

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