Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player

A Time And A Place For Multi-Tasking

Monday, 3 November 2008

I am loving the Russell Brand / Jonathan Ross / Andrew Sachs story. Some people say it’s had too much coverage. I say, after a full week of nothing else in the newspaper, it remains one of the most interesting things that’s ever happened. Each new tangent is gripping.

  This morning I spent a long time thinking about a fragment in today’s News Of The World where a woman revealed that, when Russell Brand was having sex with her and a girlfriend, he did impressions of Frank Spencer at the same time. Mostly, I was trying to work out whether I could think of anything less sexy to do in bed than impressions of Frank Spencer. I couldn’t. Cutting toenails, eating a cheese sandwich, reading out the phone book; all would be more of a turn-on than shouting “Ooh Betty, I’ve got in a bit of trouble” while thrusting. It also made me want to give Russell Brand a big hug. That poor boy must have had so much sex that it BORES HIM OUT OF HIS MIND. I mean come on, he wasn’t doing those impressions for the woman’s entertainment, was he? And he wasn’t carried away in a glowing haze of passionate romantic intimacy either. Bored, bored, bored, that’s what Russell was during this threesome. I’m worried for him. If he’s not careful, he’ll end up like the Marquis de Sade, who thought an orgy involving an ape, a goat, a grandmother and a child simply wasn’t interesting unless they were all thrown onto a bonfire afterwards and roasted.

  Then again, it’s all very well for me to be smug because I don’t yet find sex so dull that I have to jazz it up with a few impressions. I was thinking about the whole story again tonight when I was simultaneously drinking tea, talking on the phone, playing two SNGs on PokerStars and watching No Reservations on cable. Is it a generational thing? Maybe we all need to get better at doing one damn thing at a time.


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Gary Charles at 2:36 am on November 3rd, 2008

I concur! Indeed when i slept with Russell in his ‘beddy-weddy’...., after he had satisfied his own carnal lusts he was far too busy to satisfy me as he was so intent on getting his ‘Tommy Cooper’ just right. Kids today… they don’t know they’re born.

Andy W at 12:20 pm on November 3rd, 2008

The bit I can’t get my head around is that the whole thing was initially broadcast on RADIO TWO.  wtf ?  Has the world moved on so far ?  My total exposure to Radio 2 is Terry Wogan and Jimmy Young swapping harmless banter over the breakfast table before school.  I can only imagine what it would have been like, them doing something like this.  “At 11 o’clock Tony di Angelo will be here with his recipe of the day, but before that I’m going to ring Olive from On The Buses and tell her I shagged her mum.  That’s after this, from the Carpenters”.

charlie at 4:06 pm on November 3rd, 2008

Different strokes for different folks, personally I don’t mind the odd impersonation when its performed during a reverse cowgirl, just as long as Barry White isn’t on the stereo because c’mon the best song to make sweet love to must be THE HOKEY COKEY. No contest.

R at 2:17 am on November 4th, 2008

I’m no expert on British celebs and their media stunts, but after even the grand old Neue Zürcher Zeitung featured this story, it MUST be of global significance.

I can only speculate about the reasons of this scandal … my presidential action plan to prevent similar incidents would be: compulsory tablecloths for every table in the country (no table left behind!), confiscation of all credit cards, mirrors, razor blades and banknotes, a nationwide ban on toilet breaks and comprehensive nose amputations.

According to Francesca, Russell is not “hugely endowed“. Maybe he brought the impression up to distract her from his miserable performance ?!

Anyway, I’m very happy to read that you still enjoy carnal knowledge…. and that you prefer solid craftsmanship to hysteric showmanship.

Paul Dettman at 9:38 am on November 4th, 2008

At last, a new angle on a topic I thought had been done to death. People have been out to get Ross since his huge salary was announced, and I’ve been rooting for Andrew Sachs since he was pinged on the forehead by Fawlty’s spoon. But since when has a telephone prank (by two comedy entertainers, in context) been a crime? Maybe it’s all just harmless fun, and maybe the Sluts should be given a TV show instead? That would be value for the licence fee.

We are all reading too much into this, but if the result is a return to Film 2xxx for Barry Norman, I would be content.

Anyway, your blog is keeping me from Chocolate and Cuckoo Clocks, but I found p125 pertinent. It is a piece called “Let Us Now Phone Famous Men.” Very, very good.

Victoria Coren at 2:05 pm on November 4th, 2008

Oh hurray, thanks - ‘Let Us Now Phone Famous Men’ is one of my favourite pieces in the book. It’s the first one I chose to put in, when we started selecting! I’m really glad you like it, it still makes me laugh out loud.

Fitch at 3:54 pm on November 4th, 2008

I’m glad Wossy and Wussell have been told to get off the wadio, it gives me more time to pwractice my last turkey in the shop impwression.

Blaithin at 12:35 am on November 5th, 2008

On a random note, please tell me your still writing for the Observer. This week it had a newer format and no italicised ‘Victoria will be back next week’ that has me very worried cause your articles are my favourite part of the Observer each week and it would make me sad.

Yes I’m over-reacting.
No I couldn’t find an easier contact for you or the Observer to ask them.

David Bodycombe at 6:16 am on November 5th, 2008

In a case of art imitates life:
Hope you’ll be suing them for millions.

Victoria Coren at 1:17 pm on November 5th, 2008

Aw thanks Blaithin - yes, I’m still writing for the Observer, I just had a week off last week to play the EPT poker tournament in Budapest.

  And David - it’s happened before - there was a big Hollywood film a couple of years ago about some people who try to make an amateur porn movie. I’ve forgotten its name; I tried to Google it but the results that came up when I typed in things like “make amateur porn film” caused me to shut down the window pretty quickly…

MarkP at 11:12 pm on November 5th, 2008

Did you mean The Moguls with Jeff Bridges and Ted Danson. Can’t say I remember the film but I did like your book.

Victoria Coren at 1:59 am on November 6th, 2008

Thank you… But no, no, that’s not it… I think Jenna Jameson may have been a guest star, but I may be imagining that. I never saw the film. It’s a comedy about two people (possibly a boy and a girl) who try and make a porn film… dammit… I hate my brain…

David Bodycombe at 3:54 am on November 6th, 2008

Here’s a fascinating gambling fact for you which was news to me when I visited the place - Las Vegas is all very well, but which gambling centre is now more than double the size of Vegas in terms of money wagered at casinos?

David Young at 12:10 pm on November 6th, 2008

I think Brand’s thing is to perform impressions that relate to the girl’s family or background. In the case of Andrew Sach’s grand-daughter, he blurted out ‘Que?’. Perhaps this other girl was connected to Michael Crawford or her name was Spencer. Whatever the case, just make sure you resist his blandishments. The poor lad wouldn’t know whether to do restaurant reviews or News Quiz stories about parrots.

David Young

ps - My friend Lee insists Brand also said ‘I learn it from a book’ with a cod-Spanish accent during sex with Ms Sachs. Now that genuinely is funny!

Victoria Coren at 12:12 pm on November 6th, 2008

Macau ?

Victoria Coren at 5:42 pm on November 6th, 2008

Carmen Electra! Not Jenna Jameson. The film was called I Want Candy.

Bunkwhistle at 12:31 pm on November 7th, 2008

I can’t help feeling that Carmen Electra doing ‘I Want Candy’ is her feeling her way back into pornography. But she’s going to have to hurry. 36, I believe. She’s about to find herself in a specialist category. Porn is a cruel mistress.

Ron at 6:40 pm on November 7th, 2008

Just read “If I wanted coffee, I’d go to a cafe” and I like it a lot. Gonna read some more, hope the rest is just as good.

take care!


James Poole at 1:16 am on November 8th, 2008

Multi taskings all very well but I can’t drink Glenlivet and play tournaments on line. Tried it last night got hammered.

Tom at 7:19 pm on November 8th, 2008

Hey Vicky, its irrelavent but the other day i finished reading “swimming with the devilfish” and to be honest it was a cracker. I was wondering if you have or are going to write a book about poker and/or your life?
thanks and good luck!

Alison at 12:15 am on November 9th, 2008

Eagerly anticipating what your thoughts are on the results of X Factor this week

Victoria Coren at 6:08 pm on November 9th, 2008

Thanks Alison.. but I’m a bit too depressed to blog about the X Factor now that Austin’s gone. I make a bit of money every time Daniel isn’t evicted; other than that, all I can do it sit around hoping Diana doesn’t win. Which feels a bit mean.

  All I’d say about this week is that we’ve seen Ruth as a ‘rock chick’ both times she’s been in the bottom 2, but never in a normal show performance. She’s being mismanaged. She’s built like a woman in a metal video - guys who like that kind of music will definitely fancy her - and it suits her voice too. That’s what she should be singing every week, not bland ballads and then a bit of last-ditch rock to save herself.

R at 11:32 pm on November 10th, 2008

Nice move to play the Premier League! It’s a thrilling format – and the personalities involved guarantee hilarious TV!  Always a pleasure to watch Philly H. play (I admire his wife, by the way. Her main patient must be pretty hard to tend..) Still, awkward moments and slip-ups aside, he’s a f**in NLHE genius - and actually my second favorite player :-)  And there’s Devil, the old war-horse ... and Annette, who is simply spectacular ! In my humble opinion, the only downside is the commentator. He surely is a competent expert, long-established and obviously very passionate about his work, but I find him annoying. Why can’t they fly in Gabe Kaplan ? Or let YOU do the whole commentating? In any case, there is no need to shiver! Your army of devotees is marching behind you!

David Bodycombe at 3:02 pm on November 11th, 2008

Just popping in to verify that Ms VC is correct - Macau is headed to be worth 2.5 Las Vegases (that ought to be an official unit, like Helen and MegaFonzie) by the end of the year, even though it’s not (yet) got the same number of casinos.

This might be due to the fact that some of the games I saw there had eye-watering house margins of up to 70% on certain bets. If you see a Sic Bo table, run like the wind…

David Young at 4:54 pm on November 11th, 2008


good to know that you don’t find sex dull. Beware spending too much time online, though. As Kate Thornton warns us, you may end up with “the jaded listless sexual appetite of a 60-year-old colonel.”

Victoria Coren

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