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Who are ya?

Mo FarahThere is a US television presenter this week who needs to go back to the drawing board and make sure she does her research before making a complete idiot of herself in front of millions of viewers.

Mo Farah, one of the most recognisable faces to have come out of the London2012 Olympics, had just won the New Orleans half marathon in a record time of 61 minutes.   Imagine his surprise to be asked by the anchor, LaTonya Norton, firstly “Haven’t you run before?” and then “This isn’t your first time?”   Surely this is on a par with asking whether the Pope is a Catholic?

Viewers were left cringing throughout the interview on local television station WDSU – she quite clearly had no idea who he was – something perhaps a quick Google search might have sorted out for her?   I thought that was what the numbers on their vests were for, to help news crews identify the individual runners.  This seems to work for most other sports.

It is unsurprising therefore that someone has taken the opportunity to update the list of anchors on WDSU’s Wikipedia page to read ‘LaTonya ‘Doesn’t know who Mo Farah is’ Norton’.

Mo Farah postboxSo Ms Norton, let me put you in the picture.  Farah secured  his place in history in London last summer, becoming the first British man to win Olympic gold in the 10,000m, and one of only five people to  also win gold in the 5,000m.   Britain’s  most successful distance runner of all time, he was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s  Honours List.

He has had two post boxes painted gold as a permanent tribute to his achievements, one  in Isleworth, where he grew up, and the other in neighbouring Teddington, in  south west London, where the athlete spent time training.   A nice touch with the one in Teddington is that it is right across the road from a Fara charity shop which has had its signwriting changed to Mo Fara as a further tribute to a local hero’s success!

Who are you, LaTonya Norton?????

The transport of my youth updated

Those of you who know me well will know that “I don’t do buses”.  It is a very long time since I was forced through age, lack of money, and lack of alternatives to get from A to B other than by the good old Red London Bus.

It was however a fundamental part of growing up in a place like Twickenham, which is just outside of London, and we had our regular routes that we used to travel, always joking about the fact that you’d wait half an hour and 3 would all turn up at once.

The old hop-on, hop off buses were the ones I used most regularly and the No. 281 was the route that took me to college in Kingston, along past Twickenham Green, through Teddington High Street and over the bridge to the town centre.  There was always something exhilarating about standing on that platform as you approached your stop, the wind in your hair and the sense of danger lurking just around the corner.

It was a sad day then when these old-fashioned spectacles were replaced by the boxier, more modern version with automatic doors that make that horrible “whooshing” noise as they opened and closed (and don’t get me started on those ridiculous bendy buses!).

It was with delight then that I read this morning that a new version of the old hop-on, hop-off is being introduced on some routes from next week.  A sleeker, curvier version of its predecessor, it boasts 3 passenger doors and 2 sets of stairs to the upper deck. 


We are also going to see the return of the bus conductor on these routes – not to take fares but to supervise people getting on and off the rear platform, although I’m sure the PC brigade will have a field day on this one!  And, as it is topical of course, it is 15% more fuel-efficient than the existing hybrid buses and 40% more efficient than conventional double-deckers.       

With the current trend of remakes in the film industry, how long do you think it will be before someone decides to remake Summer Holiday, this time with Justin Bieber in the Cliff Richard role – heaven forbid!!!

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