Ultimate Love and Happy Tories, Ivan Shakespeare Memorial Dinner, Café Rouge Holborn, 3 March 2017

NewsRevue’s 2004 Guinness World Record for being the World’s Longest Running Live Comedy Show – Gerry Goddin far left, Barry Grossman back left, a wide-eyed me front right

NewsRevue goes back all the way to 1979. When the show turned 25, in 2004, it was awarded the Guinness World Record for being the World’s Longest Running Live Comedy Show. I was there. I’d been there since 1992. This year my involvement with the show turns 25.

Those of us who wrote for the show in the 1990s still gather a few times a year for Ivan Shakespeare Memorial Dinners.

Earlier this week, coincidentally, I played real tennis with Chris Stanton (another NewsRevue alum, in his case a performer) at Lord’s. Chris was reminiscing with me about the show, not least because he was rummaging through his old files and found many complete runs of scripts from “our era”, which he was planning to shred. I think John Random might rescue them for posterity.

Chris then gave me a pretty-much word perfect rendering of Brian Jordan’s wonderful Arthur Scargill song, to the tune of My Guy. As John Random later reminisced:

He may not be to everyone’s liking/But as a union leader, he’s striking.

Hearing about Brian Jordan reminded me of my first big hit; The Ultimate Love Song, which Brian made his own for a while and took to Edinburgh (my material’s debut there) in his show “Whoops Vicar Is That Your Dick?”  I am so proud to have had my Edinburgh debut in a show with that name.

After seeing Chris, I looked at my file and realised that The Ultimate Love Song turns 25 this week; I copyrighted it 29 February 1992…so perhaps it turns six-and-a-quarter. Anyway, it seemed right to mention it at the Ivan Shakespeare and I was badgered into giving a quick rendering, as much as I could remember.

I have now upped The Ultimate Love Song in its entirety – together with the tale of its early use – here’s the link again.

Here is a link to Ben Murphy’s rendering of The Ultimate Love Song from 1993.

Mark Keagan was at the Ivan Shakespeare dinner; he’s one of the more regular attendees. He mentioned that his father-in-law and former home secretary, David Waddington, sadly passed away last week. Which reminded me that I did once write a song with a verse about Waddington; again nearly 25 years ago. We all (Mark included) agreed that the song might come in handy for him over the coming weeks…well you never know…so I have upped that one too. Happy Tories it is called – also about Maggie Thatcher and Chris Patten – click here.

Below is a picture of John Random and Mark Keagan from the previous Ivan Shakespeare dinner.

Mark was awarded the 2016 trophy, but should he have been? Rumour has it that John might have been handed the wrong envelope…

Gerry Goddin and John both produced quizzes. Gerry’s was infernal as usual; I did well at first but tailed off at the end, letting Barry Grossman take the honours at the line. John’s was suitably silly and superficial for my mood – a small collection of “shock and awe” pun headlines to unfathom. Perhaps naturally, I won that quiz.

As always it was good to see the gang – a slightly depleted gathering this time but at least when that happens you get a chance to have a proper chat with everyone.

The Ultimate Love Song, Whoops Vicar, NewsRevue, Ben Murphy…, 29 February 1992

I think a basic version of this song might have sat on my jotter for years before I typed it up and tried to do something with it, but I copyrighted it 29 February 1992.

That makes the lyric proper 25 years old this week (at the time of writing), unless you are really pedantic about dates, in which case it is six-and-a-quarter. I was reminded of it, coincidentally, during its anniversary week – click here for that story. 

Anyway, I think this one first saw the light of day in the hands of Brian Jordan, who found it in the NewsRevue reject pile (probably thanks to John Random) and took it to Edinburgh in 1992 in his show, “Whoops, Vicar, Is That Your Dick?”  So I can for ever boast that my material made its Edinburgh debut in a show by that glorious name.

Subsequently (and/or perhaps simultaneously), the song did NewsRevue runs and was also picked up by west country comedy-singer Ben Murphy for recording –  click here or below to hear.

Definitely one of my bigger hits. I can even thrash it out on my baritone uke, key change ‘n’all.

Click here or below for a link to the tune and lyrics: Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You by Glenn Medeiros.

THE ULTIMATE LOVE SONG

(To the tune of “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You”)

 

VERSE 1

Every little thing she does is magic, you will never walk alone, the winner takes it all;

I can’t give you anything but my love, together we are beautiful, it’s not unusual.

You to me are everything, I’d like to teach the world to sing;

Only you, love me do,

You don’t have to say you love me.

 

CHORUS 1

Nothing’s gonna change the way I sound,

Just take another song and swop the words round;

One thing you can be sure of,

This is a sound you’ll hear some more of.

Nothing’s gonna change the way I croon,

There isn’t too much scope with only one tune;

You can wait your whole life through

But nothing’s gonna change the songs I do.

 

VERSE 2

You’re the first, the last my everything, with you I am born again, more than I can say;

You won’t find another fool like me dear, I can’t give you anything, one day I’ll fly away.

When will I see you again? you know that you have got a friend;

She’s not there, I’ll be there,

I don’t want to talk about it.

 

CHORUS 2

Nothing’s gonna change the songs I sing,

Just churn another out and hear the tills ring;

How come I’ve made my fortune,

When I have only written one tune.

Nothing’s gonna change the way I chant,

I sorta tried it once but found that I can’t;

This style’s the one for me,

The only thing I change is key (rising to higher key, slightly beyond ability of crooner)

Nothing’s gonna change my serenade,

Despite the fact it sounds as if I’ve been spayed;

I’ve made a pile this way,

So I’m afraid this song is here to stay.