There’s something disconcerting about going into a Chinese restaurant offering an all you can eat for £5 deal and seeing the owner sitting at the back tucking into a Big Mac and fries.


Whatever rakish image I have of myself in my head crashed today when I was stopped in a department store by some old guy irritably demanding that I show him where the trousers were.

‘I don’t know,’ I said.

‘Don’t know? Don’t know?’ he replied waspishly looking me up and down. ‘You work here don’t you?’

‘No,’ I said shocked anyone would think I was a gusset dispenser and waved him off in the general direction of the underpants and socks section.


I had to go and visit a friend who works for a mental health trust based in one of those gothic old hospitals that still survive off London’s main drags.

I got lost and asked some bull-necked man-dog posing as a human if he knew where it was.

It took a few seconds for his head to turn in my direction like some slow moving tank turret.

“You mean the nutter hospital?” he said squinting at me with his little piggy eyes.

Yes, my good man. The nutter hospital. The place full of dribbling loons eating spiders and wiling their time away in padded cells.

And the ignorant dog-like homo sapiens shall inherit the earth and worship at the foot of the golden burger bar.


Someone said the only thing worse than having a shit job was not even having a shit job. Anyway, the mighty Circle Jerks tell it like it is. My three year-old is nodding her head to the song as we speak. Groovy man.



“It takes a long time to become young .”

Pablo Picasso


Footballer Ryan Giggs drops his pants and tries to vainly cover up with a court gagging order.


It was a cold wet day. Typical weather for a funeral.

However, many of the graveside mourners were smiling as the coffin was lowered into the ground at the back of a house in Malvern Mews, north London.

There was also a brass band on hand as Michael Meany was laid to rest. But Michael was far from dead.

The 33 year-old barman was starting the first in a toe-curling 61 day internment in his attempt to enter the Guinness Book of Records for being buried alive.

The thought is enough to make most of us break into a cold sweat but Michael was well prepared.

The lid of his foam-lined coffin was fitted with books, magazines and a torch, while two pipelines provided him with air, food and a means to communicate with the world above.

A doctor provided him with a high calorie diet and friends kept a round-the-clock vigil nine feet above ground in case of trouble. He even had his favourite tipple, stout, piped down to him.

Michael bide farewell to well-wishers in February, 1968, wearing his favourite green pyjamas and clutching a crucifix.

Two months later an expectant crowd waited outside as the coffin was exhumed and Michael emerged to roars of congratulations.

The Irishman and his coffin were paraded in triumph through Kilburn’s crowded streets on the way to a reception at the Admiral Duncan pub where he was met by blonde actress Diana Dors.

Doctors were amazed he’d suffered no ill effects from his internment, but the coffin man from Kilburn took success in his stride.

“It was no problem, he said. “I could have stayed down there another hundred days.”

The current record is 150 days held by Geoff Smith from Mansfield, England.


‘There are only two mistakes that one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting.’



John Thomson is on a mission to turn the gym industry on its head by using the appliance of science to help people lose weight and tone up.

He says the majority of gym users have a misguided approach to weight loss and – instead of burning fat – are simply burning blood sugar, stored glucose and even muscle.

“One of the great myths surrounding exercise is that you burn fat effectively by exercising. In reality, you are largely using up the body’s sugar or glucose supply,” says the .49 year-old who runs a popular gym in Ilford Lane, east London.

“If you want to lose weight and be healthy, one of the worst choices you can make is running or aerobic exercise because it’s a high impact glucose burning activity that can lead to long-term joint problems.”

Instead, he prescribes heart healthy eating habits coupled with a maximum of 2-3 one hour weight training and resistance sessions a week to lose fat and create a toned body

John estimates that he has personally overseen an extraordinary 65,000 personal training sessions during his 25 years in the industry and says people should ignore the ‘pills, potions and fad diets.’

The framed testimonials lining the walls certainly bear witness to his approach and his belief that you should be judged by results.

John added: “I feel passionately about this because we have a growing problem with obesity. A lot of it is down to a lack of education about how the body works and that is something that could be easily addressed.

“People are mistakenly over-training thinking they will get better results as well as using cardio-vascular equipment like treadmills assuming it’s the best way to lose weight.

“What I want to see is some honesty about the facts regarding diet and exercise. It’s a multi-billion pound industry and people have a vested industry in not challenging the status quo.

“My priority is helping people get the point where they are happy with their body and a lot of time and energy is wasted by gym users who think the longer and harder you train, the leaner and strong you become. That simply isn’t the case.”

John admits it has been long journey and still meets widespread resistance.

He added: “It’s been a long journey. I took the gym over more than 25 years ago when it was a failing business and have slowly turned it around, becoming the world’s busiest personal trainer.

“I still do training but my focus is increasingly on consultancy work and retraining personal trainers so that they start getting their clients the right results. I’m passionate about health and giving people the facts so they can get the best out of their bodies.

John’s top five tips for losing weight and toning you body are:

  • Prioritise your nutrition if you want to lose body fat, and be healthy
  • Do not perform exercise, to lose weight, it will generally have no effect.
  • Only choose exercise to tone and strengthen muscles and improve posture
  • Never exercise over 45 mins per session.
  • Do no impact exercise or excessive cardio if you are overweight, it can very possibly make you lose muscle tone and cause joint damage.
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