Monday, 25 February 2013

(TV REVIEW) Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway

I watched Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway the other night. As a childhood favourite of mine, I assumed its return would if anything tarnish the memory of  this truly excellent television programme of past years, surely one that defined my youth. After all, pretty much everything on the box these days is shite, and most of my favourite programmes have got progressively worse; The Simpsons being the prime example, and even Peep Show is on the slide. Except for Coronation Street, strangely, which seems to be going from strength to strength from already Shakespearian heights. But anyway, yes, Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway. I watched it (well, admittedly sort of half-watched it) and from what I could gather the whole affair seemed like a jolly old time, just like the old days. Precisely like the old days, in fact; the usual mix of Anthony and Declan's endlessly amusing cheekiness, paired with amusing celebrity-laden scenarios and all those tantalising prizes up for grabs still works very well as a format. Oh look, Little Ant and Dec aren't so little any more. Tee hee. Louis Walsh is a bit doddery. Hilarious. At one point, during the song and dance number with Robbie Williams, I literally felt like I had been transported back to 2002. Which is a very good thing. Apart from that 9/11 business, I'm strongly protective of the fact that the early noughties was probably the best time ever.

Seriously though, I did watch the programme, and in a weird way I genuinely did enjoy it. Aside from the inevitable nostalgic pull, the programme is nonetheless a bit of lighthearted fun that succeeds in being completely harmless, unlike the chronically unfunny Let's Dance for Comic Relief and neon cattle market Take Me Out, saturday night telly's other offerings.

Yeah, it was good.


Wednesday, 20 February 2013


Jiminy jillikers! I haven't posted for more than a week! There goes the New Year's resolution.

So, what pitiful excuse have I for not posting? After all, it is the half term. However, I would contest that; in my experience, half-terms are incredibly deceptive. It seems that somehow, with time off, I tend to have less free time. Don't ask me how this is, it simply happens to be the case.

The other factor is probably my discovery of the iOS game 'The Simpsons:Tapped Out'. Though I usually steer well clear of social games with a seemingly addictive disposition, I couldn't turn the prospect of creating my own Springfield down. It's a great game. I've just made Apu 'pray to Ganesh' for my own financial gain. Now I've made Ned 'condemn science' for 3 dollars and 1 XP point. This is amazing. Forget A-levels, I just want to play this all day.

Anyhoo, as you may tell, I don't really have anything to say. This is quite the stop-gap blog post. I've actually got a few topics lined up for the future, so look forward to those.

In accordance with the rather 'miscellaneous' nature of this post, I'll take the time to make a few amendments and updates. I would like to point out that my opinion of Ricky Gervais' new comedy 'Derek' has improved since the patchy first episode, and I would now wholeheartedly recommend it to all. Pilkington's character is just excellent. Also, I've written a few more articles on that 3DS website, but I can't be arsed to link you up. Also, I still haven't done any more substantial work on that Cambridge essay. And I still hate Sparknotes. Also, words cannot describe my contempt for Alan Titchmarsh. Also, I now have Twitter; follow @ElliottWright95 if you want to.

Yeah, that's it really.


Tuesday, 12 February 2013


I'm feeling quite happy at this precise moment, in spite of the dread incited by the prospect of upcoming exams. I've reached that point where I really should be knuckling down with revision, but I'm not quite close enough to feel that real sense of urgency.

Furthermore, I feel increasingly pulled apart by two lifestyles, or possibilities; part of me is a hardworking student, striving for academic success, but another part of me just wants to sit in bed all day and play Animal Crossing. Balance, of course, is key, and at this moment things don't feel overly balanced; yet more balanced than they have been, with a distinct sense that equilibrium will soon be achieved if I just sort all this crap out.

'Streamlining' is a word somewhat ruined by business talk connotations, but it's a concept I feel has helped me as of late. Though I am far from organising an actual revision schedule, and doubtful I ever really will, I've made significant steps in reducing my time spent merely fannying about on the internet; firstly, by installing a facebook messenger application (so I can talk with friends without having to observe people's inane status updates), and also by deleting a lot of my news bookmarks. In retrospect, I don't know why I wasted so much time perousing the entertainment and showbiz website 'Digitalspy'. I don't even like it that much.

So, the moral of the story is, don't waste time doing useless activities. Which concludes this blog.


Monday, 11 February 2013

(Cam)bridge over troubled water

I have returned from Cambridge University.  So what did I think of this fabled, supposedly elitist institution?

Well, it was alright really.

But perhaps this judgement is more indicative of my increasingly widespread apathy towards all things than the quality of the experience, or the place. Of course, I enjoyed the trip quite a lot, and appreciate its value in informing me of what the Oxbridge university experience is really like. Many people, particularly those from areas where admittance to top universities is low, hold strong preconceptions of the nature of these institutions partly fuelled by the media and good old-fashioned class rivalry. After experiencing the university for myself, not only do I now realise most of these preconceptions are inaccurate, but how astounding it is that these perceptions are made so readily with none or little evidence, or indeed experience.

I can't really condemn this ignorance too much, as it's largely resultant of people simply not having the opportunity of discovering the nature of Cambridge for themselves, and also because I fell under this category until not too long ago. It seems much of the venom comes from the common dislike of 'poshness'. I don't really like 'posh' people, but not much more than I dislike everyone else. Indeed, some of the people I met were quite 'posh'; but in that pleasant, BBC 4 way, not the spitting in the eyes of the poor way. Indeed, the experience has made me doubt the validity of this latter perception, albeit predominantly on a personal level only. There's still that creeping sense of injustice, that Cambridge is most accessible to those with private education; though I should say, this isn't necessarily the fault of Cambridge, as the existence of the scheme itself proves their willingness to extend participation. The evil here is the fact that we still have this two-tier educational system in sixth forms and the stages that precede that, where the privileged have access to a generally better education while those who are not have to settle for poorly funded, patronising shit; as manifested by the statistically lower results and lower top university applications. Not that I'm bitter about it or anything. And I realise saying this detracts from the intended frivolity of this all, but good teachers in all institutions should be commended for doing the best they can under increasingly hostile circumstances.

But anyway, enough of that. The class divide is too depressing to discuss, and just too well concealed to fully argue its existence if we're taking the paranoid teenager approach. What we should focus on is that the people I met at Cambridge did not really conform to stereotypes, instead simply being bright, hard-working relatively normal and pleasant people. I probably felt more accepted amongst them than I do amongst the general persons at college, I must admit, not to say they were perfect. They were just a bit too rational, balanced as individuals and, well, cheery for my liking. Where, I ask, is the fun in that?

Conclusion? Lovely place, and I shall definitely apply if I do sufficiently well in my AS year. But, for the first time, it doesn't feel like the absolute haven, the 'be-and-end-all' I always imagined it to be.

There's always Southampton Solent. Snigger.


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Games and Cambridge

Good news, everyone! I've been accepted as a staff writer on the second most popular dedicated Nintendo 3DS news site (hold your applause), and have just published my first article. I'm officially a published journalist. Probably.

Not only do I now have a genuine reason to write about games, which is always a good thing, I now don't have to bore the sections of my blog readership who don't like games. So in other words, if you are interested in my thoughts on Nintendo and games in general, keep an eye on that site and look for the articles written by 'Elliott'.

This week is turning out to be rather splendid. In addition to this news, tomorrow I am embarking on a three-day residential trip to Cambridge University under the pretense of a shadowing scheme. Part of me is just happy I get to go on a holiday of sorts, but primarily this should be a very important event. If I love it there, it should give me extra motivation to put more efforts into my studies and ultimately obtain the chance of applying. If I hate it, it shall inform me I'm better off suited somewhere a bit more modest, and consequently I can realign my ambitions and steps to achieve those.

Expect an in-depth account on Sunday.