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Exciting news...

Eddie Mair | 10:13 UK time, Thursday, 2 November 2006

The newsletter could be back today. I don't want to promise...I mean, we couldn't get the Comment link on the blog entry below to work for goodness sake...but it COULD be back. Our top people have spoken to the top people at the Newsletter Department (there is no such thing really) and it seems there was a catastrophic server problem that no-one told us about. Stand by.

Also, thanks for all the suggestions of straplines. We'll add them to those that came in after the on-air appeal last night and enrich the page once again. New postcards are being scanned as I type, and all is well with the world. Sorry the texting entries below drove some people mad. I thought the discussion on the programme was of interest.

I have a question for you. I don't know the answer which is why I'm asking. Does caffeine raise cholesterol? And did you see Newsnight last night? Why were Kirsty and Madonna creating a fire risk, lighting candles under Bella Emberg's dress?


  1. At 10:25 AM on 02 Nov 2006, OnTheLedge wrote:

    Wow! An early post and with not-to-be-missed news!

    Newsletters? Comment buttons? = Whatever next?

    And. yes, Eddie - the candles bothered me too. And thanks for explaining about the address - I'd been worrying about that.

    It's a strange world, being a celeb. Thank goodness there are none around here.

  2. At 10:28 AM on 02 Nov 2006, 'Concerned' wrote:

    Who's Bella Emberg? And, for that matter, who's Madonna?

    Oh, and another thing, who's this Eddie Mair who seems able to post whenever he likes?

  3. At 10:33 AM on 02 Nov 2006, Fearless Fred wrote:

    I do hope you're not toying with us over the newsletter!

    Hmmm... Caffeine and cholesterol? It sounds like another of these health stories that's going to be contradicted in a week or two to me...

  4. At 10:33 AM on 02 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Does caffeine raise cholestrol? - a google seems to produce mixed answers.

    I guess it's back to the old adage of a little of what you fancy ...........

    Now, of course, if it's coffee laced with cream, I think we know what is the answer.

  5. At 10:35 AM on 02 Nov 2006, OnTheLedge wrote:

    Oops, I appear to have mistyped:

    Post 1 - 'address' should read 'dress' .......

    Where's the dunce cap?

  6. At 10:37 AM on 02 Nov 2006, RobbieDo wrote:

    That wasn't under Bella Emberg's dress. Bella Emberg always had more taste than that!

  7. At 10:42 AM on 02 Nov 2006, Penrose wrote:

    Dear Enid

    If you really want to know the dangerous effects of Caffeine on Cholertserol then why not pop over to the website of Psychosomatic Medicine Org at:
    But don't stay there too long eh, it could make some feel quite poorly.


  8. At 10:44 AM on 02 Nov 2006, Sara wrote:

    Oh, I'm so excited about possibly getting the Newsletter back. I knew you wouldn't be defeated. I'm waiting with bated breath.

    Eddie, why did you ask for more straplines? You've already got dozens on the blog and you haven't used any of Dr H's yet, for example. I wonder if you have some kind of strapline fetish. I should cut down on the coffee if I were you.

    Btw - caffeine can raise blood pressure as can chloresterol. But they do it for different reasons - chloresterol due to fatty deposits which clog up the arteries, but cafffeine does it by affecting the central nervous system. At least, I think that's right. I expect Dr H has a strapline to explain it.

    I'm a bit worried by all this talk of trolls and won't be going near any bridges in Norway for a while.

  9. At 10:45 AM on 02 Nov 2006, ian wrote:

    That depends where the cholestorol is born. If it's in a mediterranean country like Olive Oil, then it will be raised by extended families, so yes. However, if it is in the UK, like chip fat, then it will be out all evening, terrorising the neighbourhood and getting an ASBO, and in general, not raised by the caffeine.

  10. At 10:50 AM on 02 Nov 2006, Fifi wrote:

    I read somewhere that coffee with caffeine is bad for high blood pressure, and decaffeinated coffee is bad for cholesterol!

    Me, I stick to Chinese green tea, or Ruibush tea. Bursting with anti-oxidants (they're good for you), naturally non-caffeine - and unlike those disgusting fruit infusion things, they also taste wonderful.

    Since eliminating milk from my diet, I've found I can't drink ordinary tea any more. It makes me feel queasy. But decaff tea, green or red I can quaff all day.

  11. At 10:50 AM on 02 Nov 2006, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    The candles were obviously to make Madonna look better: candlelight hides the ravages of age.
    (Wonders if the PM studio will suddenly sprout candelabra...)

    She clearly didn't want to be outshone by the lovely and talented Kirsty Wark.

    (Note to Mad': It didn't work.)

  12. At 10:59 AM on 02 Nov 2006, ian wrote:

    Madonna was wearing candles in her bra? Is there no quirky outfit that woman won't wear?

  13. At 11:01 AM on 02 Nov 2006, Fiona wrote:

    Yay!!! The newsletter is coming back? I can hardly contain myself........we knew you could do it Eddie!

    As for Kirsty and Madonna, darn it! I missed it! I'd like to say its because I have a life and was out frequenting a top class restaurant or taking in a play, but sadly no - I fell asleep as usual in front of the box after a hard day (have toddler's to contend with you see!) so if anyone can tell me if it is being repeated I would be obliged.


  14. At 11:20 AM on 02 Nov 2006, Lee Vitout wrote:

    Bella Emberg - she never returned any of my calls.

  15. At 11:25 AM on 02 Nov 2006, Ed Iglehart wrote:


    Last week, just to fit in with some Brit friends while making heather ropes and sleeping semi-rough, I took several mugs of tea one day instead of my usual coffee. As a result I got many opportunities to check out the spectacular starfields, milky way and all, ... Y'all can keep the stuff!

    As to cholesterol, the only thing holding me up is the hardness of my arteries.

  16. At 11:25 AM on 02 Nov 2006, Belinda wrote:

    There is no direct link between caffeine itself and cholesterol - Caffeine releases adrenaline which increases heart-rates and increases blood pressure but, as far as has been established, does not have a link to the amount of cholesterol being deposited...well unless the caffeine is poured over a chip-butty.

    On the other hand, unfiltered coffee also contains things called cafestol and kahweol which are linked to increases in cholesterol.

    I think Madonna should go somewhere without media coverage..I hear Burma and North Korea are nice this time of year.

  17. At 11:28 AM on 02 Nov 2006, Fifi wrote:

    An American friend of mine is studying Naturopathic Medicine. On the subject of diet generally he included this:

    "The cancer rate in the UK is terribly high owing to one very traditional factor - the drinking of "black tea".

    "You folks pride yourselves on a wonderful cup of tea, some of which I have had. It's like having a good meal.

    "Problem is, the black tea leaves, when steeped too long (this is said to be as much as 2 to 3 minutes) make for a very high level of tannic acid, which in turn causes lots of bladder cancer.

    "Years of tea-drinking can have some serious consequences. Of course, there are hundreds of other varieties of tea that one can have, so there are tremendous, healthy options.

    "Also, black tea leaves have more caffiene than coffee!! Up goes the blood pressure...!!"

    Didn't say coffee was bad for you though, did he? ;o)

  18. At 11:32 AM on 02 Nov 2006, jonnie wrote:

    Morning all,

    Morning Lee, long time no hear but glad ytou are back!

    There was an item on the effects of Cafeine and cholesterol about 9 Months ago, seemed that de-caf was more harmful as it is a different and stronger type of coffe. From what I recall it is not the caffeine but some other chemical composition in the coffee bean.

    This is what the beeb had to say


  19. At 11:35 AM on 02 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Gosh! Lee Vitout's posted .... He's made my day!

    Life hasn't been the same since I got that postcard from him.

    Where've you been hiding, you hunk? - Welcome back!

  20. At 12:00 PM on 02 Nov 2006, Vyle Hernia wrote:

    Sara (8)

    I think I've rumbled it. Remember last whenever it was, the "Today" programme had egg cups for sale in aid of something or other?

    Eddie is collecting straplines to publish in a book, which will be sold for charity.

    Actually, I bought a couple of those egg cups but they are too small for our eggs.

  21. At 12:27 PM on 02 Nov 2006, Dr Hackenbush wrote:


    “Cholesterol for your ears”

  22. At 01:09 PM on 02 Nov 2006, Anne P. wrote:

    I believe it is not true that a cup of tea has more caffeine than a cup of coffee it is just that weight for weight tea has more - but then you don't need much to make a decent cuppa. (It came up as a question on QI a while back)

    All things in moderation says I - but don't take away my tea pleeeeease.

    Note to FiFi - I do drink it green as well as black, can I keep it please.

  23. At 01:20 PM on 02 Nov 2006, David wrote:

    Problems with the Catastrophic Servers, eh? Yeah, I heard they can be the devil.

    I thought the discussion on the programme was of interest, even if it wasn't really news:

    Examiner: We examine more than one thing at a time. We can walk and chew gum, too.

    Tory desperate for publicity: Outrageous! If you don't clamp down on this gum-chewing, nobody will ever walk again!

  24. At 01:48 PM on 02 Nov 2006, Timothy Hilgenberg wrote:

    Just got the email! Glad to see it's working again, but I did get the original too... I remember it clearly as you had to send another one to say it was missing the date - 2013... I laughed.

  25. At 02:09 PM on 02 Nov 2006, Timothy Hilgenberg wrote:

    Just got the email! Glad to see it's working again, but I did get the original too... I remember it clearly as you had to send another one to say it was missing the date - 2013... I laughed.

  26. At 02:27 PM on 02 Nov 2006, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Hey, I've got a newslater!

    Bwahahahah! Or as the youngsters would have it, LOL!

    Sadly, the technical achievement of a working newslater is overshadowed by Eddie's latest sign-off; "Kate Muir"

    I'm now imagining a fusion of Mr Mair and the delectable Kate Silverton. I'm having the Bad Thoughts again...

  27. At 03:00 PM on 02 Nov 2006, coco wrote:

    I thought I had been dumped from the distribution list. Glad to know it was a server problem.

    There was an item, I think last month, in the Sunday Times Style Magazine about a study which said that decaffeinated coffee is the real cholesterol culprit (attracts the stuff, chemical reaction) while caffeinated coffee is related to high blood pressure. More than two cups of the stuff is not healthy.

  28. At 03:02 PM on 02 Nov 2006, Lee Vitout wrote:

    Hi Big Sister (19)

    Your'e very kind - it's nice to be back. My thanks go to jonnie too. I've been working in Italy and France.

    I'm just calling at my London pad for a few things. It was chilly early this morning in London, but the sunshine is brilliant now. I can see the Thames shimmering from my balcony windows. I'll try and catch up with friends this weekend. But the office now tells me, that I'll have to go away next week on yet another overseas job. Such is life.

    Hopefully I'll be back soon.

    I do miss PM & all the bloggers or is it froggers?



  29. At 03:30 PM on 02 Nov 2006, RobbieDo wrote:

    Stainless Steel Cat (26)

    You're lucky - I conjured up the picture of Mr Mair and Kate Hoey - Aaaaaarrrrggghhhh

  30. At 03:35 PM on 02 Nov 2006, Big Sister wrote:

    Lee! Lovely to hear from you. You lucky so and so, Italy and France .... I lived for a year in Florence and do miss life over there.

    Good of you to pop by when you're so busy. Where are you off to now?

    It IS a beautiful day, isn't it? I'm down in Sussex, but it's glorious here too - just rather cold.

    Can I come and stand on your balcony some time?

    Take care - and bon voyage!

    Big Sis xx

  31. At 04:16 PM on 02 Nov 2006, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Robbiedo (29):

    Judging by your "Aaaaaarrrrggghhhh" it seems I'm fortunate in not knowing who Kate Hoey is.

  32. At 07:15 PM on 02 Nov 2006, RobbieDo wrote:

    Stainless Steel Cat

    Labour MP from Vauxhall - ex (very ex) Sports Minister

  33. At 11:26 PM on 02 Nov 2006, gossipmistress wrote:

    From what I remember reading there have been conflicting findings as to whether caffeine can raise your cholesterol levels, some depending on your sex and BMI. Even decaff has been implicated in raising cholesterol in some cases.

    I agree with Bis Sis (4) about a little of what you fancy...(and about the coffee)

    On the other hand, if your BP and cholesterol are both high, then I imagine the stimulatory effects of caffeine may not do your risks of stroke or coronary heart disease much good.

    Welcome back to the newsletter! Mine arrived at 13.44 and 14.18. Unfortunately I wasn't there to receive them with a celebratory glass of champagne.....

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