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Important Public Service Announcement

Eddie Mair | 09:53 UK time, Thursday, 9 August 2007

This is for the gentleman with the 1980s facial hair and foghorn voice who sat behind a group of us at a central London cinema last night:

It's clear to me that some of the rudiments of cinema etiquette are lost on you. Can I help?

Judging by your hugely expensive-looking and classy wardrobe (white tie...huge knot...black shirt) you are probably wealthy beyond most people's wildest expectations, and normally watch films in one of your full-size home cinemas, so perhaps it's understandable that you behaved as if you were alone.

But for the avoidance of doubt, there were other people in the room with you last evening.

I suppose chatting during the ads and trailers isn't too bad, but when the BBFC certificate appears on screen, that really is your sign to to shut your pie hole. It's possible that your "date" (did I see her card in a phone box near the cinema?) was mesmerised by your witty observations throughout the movie - remarks that put us all in mind of the late and much-missed Peter Ustinov. But honestly, we paid 13 quid a time to listen to the work of the people who made the film, rather than you.

I did worry your date may not have enjoyed the best of health, given your incessant efforts to revive her apparently lifeless body with your mouth and tongue. She also appeared to giggle a great deal at your hysterical remarks - yet when the lights went up there was no sign of the lobotomy scar we all assumed must be there.

I hope you find this message helpful. I hope it encourages you to continue visiting the cinema but perhaps with more regard for fellow patrons.

Oh, and you're ugly.


  1. At 10:19 AM on 09 Aug 2007, Sid Cumberland wrote:

    Go on Eddie - don't beat about the bush! What do you really think about this bloke?


  2. At 10:20 AM on 09 Aug 2007, DI Wyman wrote:

    Eddie.....27 years of beard growth....it wasn't Brian Blessed was it?

  3. At 10:32 AM on 09 Aug 2007, John Cooper wrote:

    My my you did have a fun night out. 9/10 for the rant though, a nice mix of bitch, annoyance and anger!


  4. At 10:38 AM on 09 Aug 2007, Frances O wrote:

    Yeah, say what you really feel.

    So that's why you're trying to stay awake. Worrying all night and thinking of witty put-downs. Tsk.

    What was the film?

  5. At 10:42 AM on 09 Aug 2007, Kate H wrote:

    Fantastic rant Eddie!

    You'd be great on that Grumpy Old Men programme (at some point in the dim and very distant future, of course)!

    Why haven't we seen more of this. Isn't this what a blog is meant to be for - unrestrained ranting?

  6. At 10:48 AM on 09 Aug 2007, Kate H wrote:

    By the way, what was the film?

  7. At 11:05 AM on 09 Aug 2007, Tart With A Heart wrote:

    I'll have you know, Mister Mair, that my uncle was helping me dislodge a fragment of popcorn what got stuck behind my favourite gold tooth.

    * sniffs haughtily *

    A 'gentleman' would have offered to help, rather than twisting round in his seat, tutting and shusshing in such an unfriendly way.

    Kindly sort your own manners out. And wear a hat in public - not having a top to your head is whats REALLY ugly mate.

  8. At 11:08 AM on 09 Aug 2007, Wonko wrote:


    I can't tell you how often I've wished I had a forum such as this to express my displeasure about certain inconsiderate members of my local intelligensia.

    More power to your elbow Sir! (to gently prod the idiot in the ribs with).

    ;o) []

  9. At 11:08 AM on 09 Aug 2007, witchiwoman wrote:

    1980s facial hair - are we talking designer stubble or Midge Ure type sideys?

  10. At 11:09 AM on 09 Aug 2007, Billy Binks wrote:

    Eddie I remember when I went to the Pictures, a girl and a boy were at the back of the cinema, kissing passionately.

    When they come up for air, the boy says, "I really love kissing you, but do you mind not passing me your chewing gum."

    The girl replies, "It's not chewing gum, I've got bronchitis." :0(

  11. At 11:25 AM on 09 Aug 2007, Flick wrote:

    'who sat BEHIND a group of us at a central London cinema last night':

    'given your incessant efforts to revive her apparently lifeless body with your mouth and tongue'.

    'Judging by your hugely expensive-looking and classy wardrobe (white tie...huge knot...black shirt)'

    So you're the bores who were in front of us with torches and vanity mirrors, who said I was a telephone whore and that my bloke was Frankenstein's monster.

    That much I can forgive. Its claiming he was no funnier than Peter Ustinov that gets me.

    Now you know what its like to try to hear the news, 5 to 6, when its drowned out by some dead heads' smart arsed remarks.

    Next time you go to the flicks try a Soho blue film clip joint (addresses in your favorite phone booth). But go solo, fat face, the girls whose photos you look at in the booths don't do mobs.

    PS The film was sh*t. Catch my partner's review of it in Front Row later.

  12. At 11:25 AM on 09 Aug 2007, Paul Gledhill wrote:

    Maybe one of your party should have complained to the Cinema's management and had the oik forcibly evicted?

  13. At 12:04 PM on 09 Aug 2007, Phil da Greek wrote:

    Sir....if me and Brenda want to let our hair down we will. As a mere subject one should know ones place......your'e not a Jacobite are you?

  14. At 12:32 PM on 09 Aug 2007, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    Now *that* is a proper blog post!

    I've lost the art of a full blog rant, though I was quite pleased a getting the phrase "drug-addled pyromanics" into one earlier this week.

    Sadly my rant veered from the aforementioned pavement smokers who don't watch where they're waving their lit cigarettes, to the weather, people who only look for their train tickets when they've blocked the gap in the platform barriers with their buggies and screaming kids/brats, a local train made up from the surviving bits of two previous crashes (one fatal), and of course The Bank That Likes To Say "Call me!". I even forgot to mention the bagpipers infesting the city just now.

    I have a lot to learn from Eddie about focus and insult.

    I read. I learn. I giggle.

  15. At 12:32 PM on 09 Aug 2007, ian wrote:

    Thirteen Quid!!!!

  16. At 02:28 PM on 09 Aug 2007, Thomas Sellick wrote:

    Come come, Mr. Mair, there's no need to be so personal about my facial hair. Could it be that you were every so slightly envious? (Incidentally, I'd advise against polishing your head, it creates considerable dazzle to those who have the misfortune to sit behind you.)

    One more word of advice, I've found it better to take one date at a time, and would advise you strongly against group dating as it can become very involved.

    I must admit it was a great surprise to see you there at all as I'd assumed West End cinema prices were out of the reach of a BBC employee.

    However, as I'd like to end this on a positive note, if you'd like a few tips on dress sense, I'll be happy to pass on the name of my tailor to you.

  17. At 04:18 PM on 09 Aug 2007, mac wrote:


    Sorry I misunderstood the original tirade. Must be the leuchotomy. Thomas' friend evidently has a different sense of humour from yours but:

    1. I personally find your sense of humour consistently offensive so why should I believe that Thomas' jokes were so poor?

    2. Why do you think people who have lobotomies are stupid? I thought that sort of mental health prejudice had gone out with the ark.

    3. If you were being post post post modern or ironically ironic please forgive me but I think Ustinov is about as amusing as you are.

    4. I fail to see how the tirade of insults that heads this thread can really be justified by the way (you say) Thomas behaved.

    Whether he behaved badly or was the victim of your exaggeration and your professional skill in presenting one side in the interests of dialogue it seems to me your reaction here is extraordinary.

    One, it seems to me to be a misuse of the priveleged place you occupy in this blog. Two, how can those insults be of a piece, commensurate, with Thomas' supposed offences?

    A final thought.

    Do you two know each other?

  18. At 04:28 PM on 09 Aug 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Let's hear it for Eric the Red!

    (rapturous applause, standing ovation)

    Bravo! Go Eric!

  19. At 06:03 PM on 09 Aug 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    I once politely asked a woman sitting in front of me to stop the light from her mobile phone from shining at me when she was texting in the cinema (constantly, more than an hour in), as it was distracting me from the film. I know, I know, I should've gone the whole hog and told the selfish twit to switch it off, in line with signs and advertisements all over the place but it occurred to me that, so long as she stopped flashing, it mattered not to me that she did not watch the film, silly woman. At the end of the feature she hovvered around sheepishly until I'd picked up my things. I thought she was about to apologise. How foolish of me! A tirade of "mind your own business" - to which I, again politely, responded that I was not interested in her buiness; indeed, had not asked her anything about it. In the end we agreed to differ: she though I was interested in her life; I thought she was very rude.

    Mac (17), If you dislike Eddie/PM/the blog so much why do you keep coming back? Maschocism?

  20. At 06:31 PM on 09 Aug 2007, mac wrote:


    Whatever makes you think I don't like the blog?

    Whatever makes you think I don't like PM?

    Whatever makes you think I don't LIKE Eddie?

    May I say I am honoured to receive a reply from blog aristocracy like you -(my first)- who has the sharpest wit around.
    Even if it does remind me of the old saw that the Queen spoke to me today. 'What did she say?' 'Get out of my way!'

  21. At 07:26 PM on 09 Aug 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Mac (20), Not at all; I am genuinely curious -- I don't mean anything other by my question than to ask it. Seriously, why?

  22. At 07:56 PM on 09 Aug 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    mac @20, you remember I reserved the right to tell you if I thought you were writing a load of old tosh?



    On the subject of Wall Street, I am going to write two words, if hyphenation makes two words one, three if it doesn't: October Twenty-Third. It doesn't particularly fit in this thread, but it didn't seem to fit anywhere you were mentioning the Market either, so here's as good as anywhere.

  23. At 08:08 PM on 09 Aug 2007, mac wrote:


    Run that past me again? How does the question stand without the reasoning behind it?

  24. At 11:00 PM on 09 Aug 2007, mac wrote:

    19, then 21. Did your reply get pulled for malischousness?

    Apart from it being an interogative form of 'Get lost' (as in 'Why don't you get lost?)' what else did your question ask?

  25. At 11:09 PM on 09 Aug 2007, Molly wrote:

    Boys! Please!
    It's like an audition for 'West Side Story' in here....

  26. At 09:34 PM on 10 Aug 2007, whisht wrote:

    oh yes.

    That's sometimes the reason I blog too.

    Not often (i grant you) but sometimes.... it needs to come out.


    btw - i got confused by the answers to 'mac' but... erm.... wasn't he just being funny?

    hey ho

  27. At 01:29 AM on 12 Aug 2007, Aperitif wrote:

    Mac (24), You do me a disservice by presuming that, by asking you a question, I am really trying to tell you to "get lost": Apart from believing me to be rude where I did not intend it, it seems that you do not realise that if I were to want to tell someone to "get lost" I would be up-front about it. I genuinely wonder why someone who appears to dislike the PM programme, Eddie Mair and this blog so much would keep on coming back. Care to enlighten me?

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