Archive for I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue

R.I.P. Tim Brooke-Taylor (1940-2020)

Posted in Television with tags , , on April 13, 2020 by telescoper

More sad news arrived yesterday: comedy legend Tim Brooke-Taylor passed away with Covid-19 at the age of 79.

Together with Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor starred an The Goodies, a TV programme I loved and watched religiously as a kid. I remember when my whole class at came down with Gibbon-Mania when the trio reached Number One in the Hit Parade with The Funky Gibbon.

Later on I discovered the radio series I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue and was immediately hooked. Chaired by the incomparable Humphrey Lyttelton (front left in the picture) , the original four panellists given silly things to do were Tim Brooke-Taylor (behind Humph) , Barry Cryer (centre), Willie Rushton (front right) and Graeme Garden (right) . I listened regularly to that show until Humph passed away in 2008. It never seemed the same after that. Now only two of the original team are still with us; Willie Rushton died in 1996.

It seems this cruel virus is targeting an entire generation, cutting short so many lives of so many people who meant so much to us.

Sad days.

Rest in peace, Tim Brooke-Taylor (1940-2020)

Late Arrivals at the Statistician’s Ball

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 16, 2011 by telescoper

I’m in a frivolous mood this Sunday morning so I thought I’d have a go at stirring up a bit of audience participation. Taking my cue from I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, please let me announce some of the late arrivals at the Statistician’s Ball. Your contributions are also welcomed…

Ladies and Gentlemen may I introduce:

Mr and Mrs Ear-Regresssion and their daughter Lynne Ear-Regression

Mr and Mrs Thmetick-Mean and their son, Harry Thmetick-Mean

Mr and Mrs D’arderra and their son, Stan.

Mr and Mrs Layshun and their daughter, Cora

Here’s Mark Offchain and his friend Monty Carlo

Incidentally, the food this evening will be served at your table free of charge; there’s a “Buy no meal” distribution…

Mr and Mrs Rating-Function and their daughter, Jenna.

Mr and Mrs Mentz and their daughter, Mo.

Mr and Mrs Al-Distribution and their son Norm.

Mr and Mrs Variate and their daughter Una; she’s still single, by the way…

Mr and Mrs Otis and their son, Curt

Mr and Mrs Pling-Bias  and their son, Sam

Mr and Mrs Inal-Probability and their daughter, Marge.

Mr and Mrs Over and their daughter, Anne Over.

Mr and Mrs Mogorov and their son, Carl. I’m sure he’ll want to try out the vodka. Hey Carl Mogorov! Smirnov test?

Mr and Mrs Fordslaw and their son, Ben.

Mr and Mrs Knife and their son, Jack.

Mr and Mrs Motion and their son Ian (who’s just back from a holiday during which he got a very deep tan), yes it’s Brown Ian Motion.

Mr and Mrs Rage and their daughter, Ava.

Mr and Mrs Sprier and their son, Jeffrey Sprier.

And now we’re joined by royalty. From the distinguished house of Ippal-Components, here’s Prince Ippal-Components.

Mr and Mrs D’alscoefficient and their son, Ken.

Here’s the Hood family with their particularly amiable son, Lee. I’m sure you will like Lee Hood!

Mr and Mrs Gale and their son, Martin.

Mr and Mrs Imum-Entropy and their son, Max.

Mr and Mrs Spectra and their daughter, Polly.

That’s all I’ve got time for at the moment, but please feel free to offer your own suggestions through the box below…

Mornington Crescent versus the Computer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on August 29, 2011 by telescoper

It seems appropriate to follow my rambling dissertation about the bygone age of London’s railways with an analysis of the following example of the classic game Mornington Crescent, in which experienced human players (and Stephen Fry) pit their wits against a computer. Mortimer’s Variation  often leads to rather defensive strategies amongst inexperienced players, and is for that reason not recommended at club level. However amongst top players the constant danger of offside on the parallels playing this version of the rules simply encourages exploration of   the diagonal moves eschewed by the less adventurous. Notice newcomer Stephen Fry, sitting West, whose daringly unorthodox  shift to West Hampstead clearly tested  the computer’s software to breaking point. Unlike the much simpler game of chess, it will be some time before computers can compete with the greatest human exponents of Mornington Crescent…

ps. Asking “Is it my go?” is also frowned upon in Bridge, I find, especially at competition level…

pps. Notice also the letter from  Mrs Trellis, a regular contributor to Andy Lawrence’s Blog and email correspondent of Prof. Mike Disney.