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Friday, 25 February 2011

Happy Birthday Mr Benn - A Nation Salutes You

I know what you're thinking: can this really be the third Things To Do in Manchester post within twelve hours? Well, actually I don't know exactly what you're thinking, which could in reality be any of the following:

1. Wow! Post number three! It really is my lucky day
2. I really MUST cancel my RSS feed - I can't think why I subscribed to this pesky shoe-woman's blog in the first place
3. She really is the hardest working woman in Britain
4. She really must have an inordinately large pile of marking that she wishes to put off a little longer
5. Mr Liz must be taking longer to fetch the Frankie's Fish Bar order than she'd anticipated
6. Something very important MUST have happened in Manchester to prompt such unprecedented levels of activity
7. Where's my wine?

Actually, it's only a very short post, and nothing to do with Manchester at all, but today cannot be allowed to pass without remarking that Mr Benn, beloved behatted hero of the seventies, is forty years old today. To anyone under the age of thirty (what are you doing here anyway? It's Friday night!) his charm may be hard to pinpoint; after all, how exciting can it be watching the same man walk into the same shop to be greeted by the same shopkeeper? VERY EXCITING, that's how exciting it was - where would his (often frankly rather sinister) outfit lead him this time?

If you've never seen it, go and watch it on YouTube now this minute; if you were raised on a diet of this mild-mannered gentleman and his outlandish adventures, then reflect for a moment on these two astonishing facts. Firstly, there were only ever thirteen episodes, making it, along with Fawlty Towers, shimmering in its elusive brevity (although that's where the similarity ends - I do not ever recall seeing Mr B thrashing a small red car with a tree branch.) And secondly, Google has apparently not considered this anniversary important enough to mark Mr B's birthday with a natty graphic, although seemingly every other milestone in the history of the world, however minor, has been honoured in this way. I would be very busy campaigning to rectify this miscarriage of justice if my Frankie's Fish Bar order hadn't just finally arrived...

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