Monday, 26 January 2009

BBC Breakfast Watch! Bill Turnbull Gets Pictorially PWNed

It's been a while since I've watched this with a proper amount of attention, but I just had to mention this morning's edition. As Gordon Brown has been revealed to have a thin skin about political cartoons depicting him as too fat, Sian and Bill spoke to cartoonist Martin Rowson about it. Turns out Rowson once met Brown before he became Chancellor, and after asking him a serious question about economics, Brown chided him for the corpulence of his lampoons. This, apparently, stuck in Rowson's craw, which is why he, in particular, draws Brown as especially large.

Anyway, after discussing his methods for a while, Bill and Sian made nervous comments about Rowson sizing them up for a drawing, and he revealed that he already had. Sorry for the crappy quality of this picture, but I had to use my terrible phone to take a shot of it. (Click on it for more detail. Oh, and copyright Martin Rowson, obviously.)

I'm not sure what's going on with Sian, but his depiction of Bill is genius. This picture, provided for comparison, doesn't do the accuracy of the caricature justice, sadly.

Of course Bill, being the delicate flower he is, took massive umbrage at it, and made sniffy remarks for the next few minutes. At first it seemed like he was trying to laugh off his "jowly" appearance, as Sian put it, but when she tried to pat his chins he got a bit arsy, and cutting back to them after a news bulletin he seemed genuinely annoyed. I loved every second of it.

Quick celebrity encounter story: I met Rowson once at a talk with political comic writer/artist Joe Sacco at the ICA. While waiting to get my copy of Notes From a Defeatist, Rowson walked past and I collared him to thank him for a deeply offensive and hilarious cartoon about the Orange Walk that had just taken place with its typical levels of controversy. I think he thought I was going to tell him off about it. Poor guy. He was very nice about it. Joe Sacco was lovely as well. We chatted about his comic strip of a guy rebelling against work by furiously masturbating, and I said it put my frustrations about work into a much-needed perspective. He signed my book with an exhortation to get out of my soul-crushing job ASAP*, but I was so flustered about the growing queue of fans behind me that I rushed away without looking at what he wrote until later. He looked hurt that I didn't react to his generous message, which I still feel bad about even to this day.

Anyway, here's my favourite picture by Rowson in a while, dealing with the BBC's rejection of a DEC-endorsed appeal for Gaza, and the return of humour-void Jonathan Ross to TV. And yes, I didn't say much about Bill and Sian, did I. It was just me expressing a burst of delicious schadenfreude, that's all.

* Funny I should recall that now.

1 comment:

caughtinthemiddleman said...

I really cannot stand Bill Turnbull. This will explain why:

....he is why I listen to Radio 4 in the mornings.