some old bullshit

Angela Rippon

Dear Angela Rippon,

May I first start by saying I am a massive fan of your work. I loved it when you danced with Morecambe and Wise. I cheered with delight when that light-bulb exploded in your face on live TV – the way you just carried on was an absolute masterclass in news-reading and I laughed like a drain when you lived next door to Felicity Kendall and the man who wore that jumper in The Good Life. “Jerry! Stop messing around!” you would always say. I hope you are still alive and are reading this but please do not think I am lying about being a big fan in order to curry favour. National Treasure is not a term I bandy about but for you it is apt.

Recently I have very much enjoyed your stint as presenter of Cash in the Attic, my absolute favourite show after Storm Chasers and Whale Wars. What impressed me most was your ability to brow-beat old people into parting with their treasured memories – often only netting them a couple of pounds in return! It’s a great truism though, YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU. And that is why I am writing.

I see from contacting the BBC that they are no longer making Cash in the Attic. I could not believe it when they told me although yes I could believe it – those bloody idiots, excuse my French, they don’t know what they’re doing.

The lunchtime TV viewing public’s loss could just be my gain as I am assuming that means you are now available for work and I hope to be in the position to answer all of your prayers. A bit of background – I have recently become friendly with a very old woman who lives alone in an absolutely massive house. I’m 99% certain she has no contact with anybody. I haven’t been able to get inside yet but I’m pretty sure the house will be packed with national treasures. Obviously I can’t just turn up on my own and start appraising her stuff but with you in tow everything changes.

Imagine, I knock on her door, Gertrude answers and she says “Ah my good friend Jamie!” (me) And I say, “Look who’s with me!” and she goes, “It’s Angela Rippon!” and you go “I’m Angela Rippon!” (you) and my wife will be there with a video camera and she will let us in and have a good root around. When we find things that are valuable we will split the profits three ways – Gertrude, me (her friend), and you Angela Rippon. You may actually get a bit extra to cover your travel expenses. If she starts grumbling about selling things I may need you to do your ‘you can’t take it with you’ shtick and really lay it on thick but we have to be quick.

I have worked out the woman’s age to be approximately 90 so we really need to get a wiggle on and if you could respond by return email I can book you a flight. We’re in Jersey. Gilbert O’Sullivan lives here too although I don’t know him personally. His house is bigger than Gertrude’s but I suppose he has family. We’ll think about that when you get here.

I look forward to hearing from by return email.

Yours Faithfully

James Barker