Who’s who on our favourite daytime programme?
Eden & Angela: Eden is not so much an elderly gentleman with an impressive beard but more an impressive beard with an elderly gentleman attached, although his hirsute overgrowth is perhaps necessary to act as a protective barbed wire shield against the ravenous Angela should she wake up during the night and want to devour something and a yoghurt sandwich is out of reach.
Why we wouldn’t want to sit next to them on a coach: scary beard, disgusting eating habits, general nuttiness
Trevor & Paul: South London geezers who act like monkeys on cocaine.
Why we wouldn’t want to sit next to them on a coach: too Chas’n’Davey by ‘arf
Barbara & Pete: First time abroad and they’re loving it. The most boring tour guide is listened to with great reverence and anything foreign is met with unflinching appreciation and awe. They actually seem nice and we hope they complete the trip but…
Why we wouldn’t want to sit next to them on a coach: Zzzzzzzzzz
Bob & Pasquale: Not so much a couple, more a case of one man and his dummy as the largely mute Bob perfects his stage act and remains in the background voicing the effusive rants of his hilarious camp mannequin Pasquale.
Why we wouldn’t want to sit next to them on a coach: hairdresser Pasquale wouldn’t be able to resist pampering us
Sally & Emma: Essentially they share the same soul but Sally had an operation to exorcise the malice in her by an overenthusiastic priest and Emma was the living,
breathing consequence of the procedure. Only she doesn’t seem to breathe and only “lives” in the same way as the similarly scrawny, runtish hairless newborn rats “live” before they’re drowned by exterminators.
Why we wouldn’t want to sit next to them on a coach: showing off, childishness, mouths like frogs
Max & Tom: Ah, the glorious olive skinned Max who could dim even Donatello’s incandescent sculpture of David with his alluring radiance, but his pulchritude
doesn’t come for free. Each day he plugs in to his best pal/beauty reservoir Tom and leeches the gorgeousness from the very fabric of his being, leaving poor Tom emaciated, ginger and with the albino pallor of a corpse
Why we wouldn’t want to sit next to them on a coach: Max’s increasing desperation for sex means we’d probably get drenched in a Vesuvius-like explosion if he spotted a bikini-clad babe out the window.
Brendan: His job description says tour guide but is in reality more of a swine herder, ushering his horde of farmyard oddities to sites of historical import at which they’ll gaze in wonder for all of two seconds before hunting down the nearest fish and chip shop.
Gone but not forgotten: the butch lesbians who smoked for England, Phil, the most uncultured man on Earth, his peroxided wife, those Geordie old bags.
Lisa and Eileen: A pretty young damsel, enjoying liaisons with pretty much everything with bollocks (Marco, Tom, Winter and Gavin), and her harridan of an aunt who laughs from the sidelines having vicarious orgasms through her niece’s sluttery. Eileen came with masses of clothes – most of them to expose her massive bosom which sagged down to her waistline. Lisa showed unrefined eating habits (bowl of baked beans for breakfast) but she knew a bit about art, unlike Eileen who, confronted with modern art at Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, went through that tiresome “I could do that” routine.
Winter and Suki: Winter appears like the tragic hero of a Goethe novel; all emaciated features and trembling hands with a propensity to slip into the depths of despair should the fair hand of Lisa slip into the diabolic paw of Gavin. But while Winter is warm, pal Suki is so so dull. After being marginalised by the romantic travails of his pal, he slept for most of the time (then had the audacity to claim old Maggie was dozy), dreaming of his hero Harry Potter and other boring things to suit his personality.
Gavin and Nathan: After Tom and Marco exited after drinking too much booze, the coach needed a new pair of charismatic mischievous lads; what it got was these apprentice Mitchell Brothers who regard all knowledge not stored in their tiny minds with the same scepticism Scooby Doo reserves for ghosts. Gavin is also the speaker of the worst chat up line since the demise of Blind Date when he remarked to the then-lovestruck Lisa: “Do you believe that if an eyelash falls out of your eye and you make a wish, then that wish comes true?” Nathan possesses the voice of a middle-aged woman and the sort of Shoreditch Twattiness that makes Nathan Barley seem like a guy you’d love to hang out with. They both know everything about everything and took every opportunity to prove it. Specialist subjects included drumming, wine and surfing (how we laughed when show-off Gavin fell off his board.)
Paul and Maggie: Maggie is like a character in the Tom Hanks film Big, as she dresses like a teenager despite being 73, a state of affairs that has caused tour guide Brendan to make some choice remarks. Paul is a hairdresser. It’s easy to tell. He looks like Andrew Castle with horrible highlights. He can turn on a camp voice easily but is in fact straight, proving appearances can be deceptive. Indeed, if you didn’t think he was gay, you’d think he was was his mother’s gold-digging toy boy. He has some curious expressions, most notably when he remarked that the taste of a particular wine made him want to “run through the bushes naked”. And he needs some history lessons urgently – he compared jumping into a spa’s chilly pool to going over the trenches in World War One. Later he claimed people aged 70 “have been in World War One, going over the trenches and being shot to death.”
Tracy and Debbie: Tracy (“I’ve been gifted”) is little more than the human equivalent of shavings from ice rink grooves but acts as though she was Salvador Dali’s infinitely more talented sister. She drew the other passengers in her “surrealistic” style that is in fact more “schoolgirlistic”; and at an art gallery she dismissed the “flippancy” of her coach mates and dismissed them “to their own shallow worlds”. She has the misfortune to look like another artistic Tracy (Emin) and shares her better known namesake’s feeble tendency to crave attention (“I’m bloody mad, I am.”). Debbie’s a bit dour but inoffensively sensible. Underwent a makeover to make her seem more ladylike, but couldn’t disguise the fact that her voice is so much more manly than Nathan’s chirrups.
Jane and Michelle: Boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses. That’s a fact. Michelle is the exception that proves the rule. She looks so sexy in her specs. Rubbed up some of the boys the wrong way, aided by mouthy mate Jane, a fellow Cardiff nurse.
Brian and Renee: Oldies who’ve been on the stage – he’s an old school comic (who got the coach laughing after wannabe alternative comedian Winter failed to raise a snigger with his ‘aren’t teabags funny?’ routine). She looks like Jimmy Krankie and acts like him/er/it.
Thadie and Dorothy: Our last favourite couple on the whole trip even though, unlike their fellow passengers, we couldn’t even smell Thadie’s rank BO. He was hateful because he conspired to rig the vote (presumably in the hope of becoming the new Nasty Nick) and because he was a big anti-social lump. She was despicable because she wasn’t embarrassed by her cousin’s antics and adopted that horrible working-class haughtiness (think Lizzie Bardsley) when the votes went against them. Bearing a grudge, the pair of them refused to indulge in the fun at the spa and sat like inedible potatoes while everyone else splashed around, having fun.