And so we read that that libidinous haystack and, to our undying national shame, recent prime minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Boris Johnson, will soon add his name to the roster of failed entertainers who have sought career-stretching refuge in the clammy arms of GammonBall News. The only surprising thing about this development is that some people appear to be surprised by it.
In all honesty, this latest act in the increasingly unfunny farce that is the life and times of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is on a par with death, taxes and EastEnders in the inevitability stakes. The “news” channel is in need of some new big names, having been forced – one way or another – to divest itself of some of the human clickbait who until recently made up much of its marquee presenting staff…
Boris, meanwhile, having nothing much on save the Daily Mail column that he absolutely and undoubtedly writes EVERY word of himself – and shame on anyone who suggests otherwise – has quite a lot of free time on his hands at the moment. Mind you, judging by the few snippets of the ongoing Covid Inquiry’s findings our fearlessly independent press can be bothered to report, Boris had quite a lot of free time on his hands when he was supposed to be leading the country through the worst pandemic in a century.
So this is, in many ways, a match made in Hades; after a lifetime of failing upwards led Boris to the very top of the professional and political greasy pole, he has finally managed to fail not exactly downwards, but certainly sideways and down a bit. And what a joy it will be for the man who was fired from the Times for dishonesty to be working for a “news” station where pulling “facts” directly out of your arse is keenly encouraged.
So; what format might the former prime minister’s new gig take? Here are some shows Boris Johnson could present on GB News:
BANTER WITH BORIS
A straightforward chat show in which Boris invites luminaries to come on and tell him about their latest projects, visibly dozes off while the male guests speak and flirts nauseatingly with the female ones.
BORIS’S BELLY LAUGHS
Boris hosts a late-night stand-up show in which the fearless, uncensored, free-speech, absolutist, leashless comedians of Britain can bang on about how they’ve been “silenced” and then tell their own version of the one joke they’ve got between them: “So I suppose I can identify as a chair then can I?” (Oh dear, gave it away).
WOULD I NOT LIE TO YOU?
Boris presents and is the resident team captain on a quiz show in which guest celebrities listen to his many tales, anecdotes and excuses and have to guess whether or not they’re true. They never are. Ever.
ARE YOU MY DADDY?
A riotous game show in which (usually conspicuously posh) single mothers present their unclaimed offspring to Boris to see if he remembers them or not. The ones who bear a sufficient resemblance to ol’ Horny Orinoco will go through to the DNA test round, and the winner of the end-of-season finale gets an inexplicable life peerage.
BEND IT WITH BORIS
Beating Prof Brian Cox at his own game, Boris presents an unapologetically high-brow science show in which he demonstrates that the way gravitational forces bend the very fabric of time and space means that reality is whatever the hell he says it is.
BOOK TIME WITH BORIS
Boris reviews the latest popular fiction and non-fiction releases, concluding that none of them are as good as his biography of Churchill or his forthcoming book about Shakespeare, on which he is working INCREDIBLY hard and which will be ready any day now.
AROUND THE WORLD WITH BORIS
A bit fanciful, this, as GB News’s average programme budget barely stretches to making sure the studio lights have functioning bulbs, but I bet the post-defenestration Boris has occasionally cast an envious glance at the way a previous generation’s fallen Tory star, Michael Portillo, has successfully rehabilitated his public image by means of riding round on trains on the BBC. With his easygoing charm and finely honed linguistic and diplomatic skills, Boris would make a great frontman for a series of (possibly even intentionally) amusing travelogues, perhaps through the Britain that still remembers him so fondly (make sure he takes minders) or even abroad. Hey foreigners? Remember how much you all loved Michael Palin? Well here comes the OTHER kind of Englishman…
A series of increasingly weary guest hosts fill in for Boris week after week as it becomes apparent he couldn’t be bothered to turn up for work again.
POEM OF THE WEEK
Did you go out for Halloween?
Did you party in disguise?
Did the person with the scariest
Costume win a prize?
Was there a Michael Myers?
Were there the Shining twins?
Did the girl who came dressed up as
Suella Braverman win?
What did you do for Halloween?
Did you go trick or treatin’?
Were the sweets you cadged from strangers
The first thing your kids had eaten?
Did you watch scary movies?
Which ones did you choose?
Or to really terrify yourself
Did you just watch the news?