Well-loved DJ and fundraiser Kenny Bovril passed away peacefully in his sleep last year. However, a private document, discovered only after his death, has fallen into the hands of Noseybonk. It reveals a dark secret hidden for decades…
Pamela Smethwick, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Pa Mel La: the tips of the lips meet twice to kiss, once quick, then slow, before the tongue lingers lovingly on the palate. Pa. Meh. Lla. She was Pam, plain Pam, in the morning. She was Pammy in slacks. She was Ms Smethwick on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Pamela.
She should, of course, have been my downfall. But here I am, a free man, beloved, beknighted and mouldering peacefully in my grave. You are reading this because my sins are now known; it matters nothing to my dead conscience.
Since I’m in the mood for confessing, let me own that I was not always Kenny Bovril, popular Radio 1 Disc Jockey. Hoping for a soldier or a saint or a solicitor, my mother bestowed on me the upstanding name of Alfred James Arthur Xavier. Her hopes were wholly dashed: I became an academic. Yet perhaps she must shoulder a share of the blame for her accidental acronym, because I took to the Ancients, with the accent on the Greek.
As an Oxford don I was a dismal failure and unpopular to boot: ever in combat with porters and, especially, librarians. One particularly violent contretemps with a dunce at the Bodleian (who, thinking the entire works of Galen marginal to the study of the ancient world, shipped them all off to Swindon) landed me in hot water. As it turned out, my Professorial colleagues were in no mood to rescue me from boiling. They disapproved, you see, of my little soirees, and in particular the guests who came to my quarters on drizzly afternoons or foggy, foggy nights. Insufferable old fuddy-duddies! They frowned not upon the gender, nor the race, nor even the quantity; but upon the age, as if love were a game of numbers! Inevitably, I fled.
My reincarnation as Kenny ‘Bovvers’ Bovril – clucking clown, spinner of discs, warbler of drivel – was as improbable as it was strategically brilliant. Who could have known it was old A.J.A.X. behind that preposterous fringe and curly beard? What former student could guess it was the Prof himself, chirping inanities about The Sweet and Gilbert O’Sullivan between 11am and 1pm, Monday to Thursday? God knows I detested pop music! But, mes amis, I consoled myself thus: like Oxford, it was a means to an end. Every step I have taken, every leap into the darkness, each degradation I have suffered – all has been at the service of one master: my exquisite peccadillo. In that sense, I have been pure.
But how did I get away with it? you ask, feigning querulous outrage like the tiresome prig you really are. Well, consider the times. The past is another country, and at Radio 1 in 1977 we did things very differently there. Weird was safe, old was young, youth was everything, but age had power. What a cast of ghouls we were, flouching around those brown corridors, guzzling Hofmeister and Nescafe, flashing our chest-hair at the soggy receptionists. The Hairy Cornflake. ‘Fluff’ Freeman, Kid Jensen. Gits the lot of them. Think of the conversations I had to grin through! Paul ‘Yawnsville’ Gambuccini, rabbiting on and on about the ‘achievements’ of pop musicians as if they were Tudor Monarchs! John Peel and his wretched bald patch. And don’t get me started on Blackburn.
Dear God, the phoney Cockney-cum-Mid-Atlantic accent I had to adopt! The catchphrases I had to coin, mirthless ejaculations of nothingness, spat gobbets of imbecility. Strike a light, sister!… Pull the other one, it’s got a bell on the end!… It ain’t over yet, Chuckie-Pig! Doubtless that last is on my gravestone, and sod all about the PhD in Hellenistic Poetry.
So you see I have suffered for my sins. But oh! the magic of the dressing rooms, with Linda, with Sharon, with Pamela…. And at the Beeb I could hide in plainest view.
I was suspected from the off. The other Jockeys at Radio 1 were as concupiscent a gaggle of old goats as you’ll find anywhere in the bordellos of Broadcasting House, but they had their lines in the sand, I suppose. Like the Oxford Dons, they frowned but no more. It was the culture, the gentleman’s club. Eyebrows were raised hither and thither. Hints and flashes…
…At an aftershow party I express a preference for nylons over bobby socks….
…A private DJ bash one night at the National Gallery: the other DJs purr at the cherubs, I linger lovingly at Rubens’s fat trio of Goddesses….
…A sixteen year-old beauty from the typing pool brings her mother in one day: I am witnessed paying undue attention…
I was not quite alone at the BBC in my peculiar predilection for grown women. DLT was partial to German wenches in their thirties. Bruno Brookes liked ‘em old. We knew each other by sight, fellow travellers on the forbidden path. But at free-wheelin’ Radio 1 a man could not openly declare his lust for buxom forty five-year old divorcees in sensible shoes. And that, mes amis, is precisely what Pamela Smethwick was – an innocent maid with two kids and a hefty mortgage – whom, God forgive me, I enticed into my sickly orange dressing room with promises of tea and bourbon biscuits and a full recitation of my catchphrases. Strike a light, sister, you don’t get too many of those to the pound!
It was Savile who caught us canoodling between sips. Bursting in was just one of his myriad horrible habits. Now then, now then, he croaked automatically. A grin of purest evil spliced with disgust slithered across his goblin features. It was no use pretending. Tumescent and filled at last with the rage of frustrated decades, I leapt across the room to silence him.
But I reckoned without his uncanny strength: the wiry little bastard was a professional wrestler, and soon had me expertly bent in a half-nelson. Pamela was screaming fit to wake the dead (of which I, now I come to think of it, am one, and so is he. We shall not wake). He had me over a barrel. There was no choice: a deal had to be struck. I’ll keep your little secret, leered the rotten old troll. And you’ll help me keep mine.
And so I did, my friends. Until now, when it’s too late for you or anyone else to do a sweet little thing about it. That was my sin. I never got my knighthood, but the scrawny satanic marathonist got his, and what can you do to him now? Tear down his gravestone? Go ahead, you have my blessing. Do your worst.
It’s all over now, Chuckie-Pig…
Professor Kenny Bovril (deceased)
Noseybonk’s book Blogmanship: How to Win Arguments on the Internet Without Really Knowing What You are Talking About, is available to buy as an eBook from Amazon or as a PDF direct from The Dabbler.
Cartoon by The Spine. Noseybonk can see you.