A Royal Christmas Message

Exclusively on The Dabbler, we have an alternative Royal Christmas Message from a certain Harry, who blogs at The Red Tuft

Dear Subjects (of my grandmother),

It’s three o’clock on Christmas Day and, if any part of you is Englishman, you’ll be sat at home, nursing a mince pie, and watching this year’s Queen’s Christmas Message. And I’m sure it will delight! Having finally listened to me, the old girl has adopted an ‘X Factor’ approach to 2010’s highlight reel, so please vote for your favourite natural disaster or ceremonial ahead of the grand final in the New Year when the two lucky finalists will compete for a cash prize.

Yet despite my hand in the broadcast, you’ll quickly twig that it’s all a bit heavy on charity work and very light on culture. Luckily, I bumped into your editor licking the bark from the bar at Mahiki the other night and he asked me if I’d like to provide my own Christmas message to a more cultured audience. Naturally, I said that I would and we drank to our arrangement until the early hours.

Television in 2010 explored new territory, especially at the upper end of the Sky Viewing Guide. A special mention has to be made to Babestation which continued the excellent work they started in 2009 by extending its broadcasts into daylight hours so red-headed men can be entertained whilst sobering up ahead of a busy night on the town. However, this being a culture blog, I hope you’ll agree with me that the television highlight of the year was the moment Jeremy Kyle suffered severe paper lacerations when a snorting yahoo threw an envelope at the back of his head.

My musical highlights of the year are many but my Album of the Year is Spark’s ‘Seduction of Ingmar Bergman’ which might surprise you. Yet my knowledge of Swedish and natural ability to sing in a high falsetto made Ron and Russell Mael’s witty experiment the perfect antidote to much of the autotuned pap that has passed for hit records this past year. I might also make a second recommendation of Charlotte Gainsbourg’s IRM(Because Music/Elektra) not because English brunettes with impeccable French are the flavour of the month but because it made up for ‘Antichrist’, the film that ruined my most promising date of the season.

If Lars Von Trier didn’t carry away the film award this year, who did? My award for ‘Services to Cinema’ goes to Judge William Hodges who locked up Wesley Snipes for tax avoidance. If, like me, you sat through ‘Game of Death’ you will think three years is what he deserves.

Sport was rarely out of the news and the World Cup was a victory for the vuvuzela’s bid to be taken seriously as a musical instrument. However, another bid didn’t go so well and my own brother made an arse of himself schmoozing with FIFA wideboys. I was asked to attend but I was too busy putting pins into my Sepp Blatter doll. Meanwhile, Zippy Phillips continues to dominate her sport (as well as the imagination of her cousin) but this year also saw her engagement to rugby star Mike Tindall. He’ll be a welcome addition to the family since we’ve not had someone able to rush a student riot since Fergie was kicked out of the Firm. My tip for next year: don’t go poking us royals with any sticks.

Can’t say I noticed a ‘Book of the Year’ but I can name my ‘Calendar of the Year’. Keeley Hazell trumped the rest by delivering a calendar that defied the critics. The setting was conventional – silky bedclothes and soapy lather abounds but the placement of witty elements elevated the genre to new heights – but I was particularly taken by the way she enhanced her cleavage with a large yellow rubber duck and her use of a large paper fan to keep her cool whist my temperature soared.

Online, the events of the year are no less difficult to choose. After much deliberation, my blog of the year has to be ‘The Dabbler’. Recent feature articles on whisky and beer have particularly caught my eye as well as my throat. Indeed, my Drink of the Year is not the usual expensive wine. I’m instead nodding my head towards a little cocktail invented by Yours Truly and named after this blog. ‘The Dabbler Daiquiri’ is a simple drink containing rum, lemon juice, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, lime juice, a touch of sugar, vodka, and mixed with a paddle in half a bucket of iced Moet and Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne.
Finally, we come to the big awards.

My ‘Woman of the Year’ is Lady Gaga for doing much to enhance the status of women, particularly the work she has done to promote fire safety.

For the fourth year running, my ‘Man of the Year’ is Silvio Berlusconi who continues to enliven Western European culture by providing a role model for the rest of us with ambitions to never let our libido lapse.

All winners will be notified through the post but let me end by wishing you all well for the New Year. 2011 promises much in the way of royal weddings, Wikileaks, and naval conflicts off the Korean peninsula.

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