Terence Donovan (Doug Willis from Neighbours) was born in Staines – A Poem


I’m not easily shocked.
I’ve dealt with a lot of crap over the years.
But this poem isn’t about me,
Much as I’d like it to be.
For I only discovered this very morning,
(And hold onto your hats, dear listener),
That Terence Donovan,
Father of Jason Donovan,
Terence Donovan,
Who played Doug Willis in the TV soap Neighbours,
Was born,
Are you ready for this?
Was born in Staines.

Yes, that’s right, Staines.
Staines in the former Middlesex.
Staines not far from Slough.
Staines now pretentiously calling itself
Staines Upon Thames
To make it sound less like the sort of place
You’ll get a slapping,
Home to the Elmsleigh Centre and what’s was once
A really cracking branch of Our Price,
Where I went to school and worked
In the local Sainsbury’s
(But as I just said, this poem
Is not about me),
Was where Terence Donovan,
Father of Jason Donovan,
Terence Donovan,
Who played Doug Willis in the TV soap Neighbours,
Was born.

It’s got a High Street, has Staines.
It’s got a Costa, has Staines.
It’s got a statue of two men
Carrying a roll of lino,
(Google it, I kid you not),
It’s got a Sainsbury’s, has Staines,
Where I worked 1992-1994
And fell in love with a till operative called Simon,
But what it hasn’t got is a blue plaque
Commemorating the birth of Terence Donovan,
Father of Jason Donovan,
Terence Donovan,
Who played Doug Willis in the TV soap Neighbours.
Heads should roll.

We all know that Staines is the place where
Mike Baldwin from Coronation Street came from,
And you can shove that factoid up your arse,
And don’t get me started on Ali G,
But how many of you know that Terence Donovan,
Father of Jason Donovan,
Terence Donovan,
Who played Doug Willis in the TV soap Neighbours,
Was born in bloody Staines?

Staines, for where the gods decreed
A confusing one way system and a cracking
Example of a brutalist multi storey car park
Where my sister once got a puncture,
Staines, whose library
Seems almost apologetic,
Staines, whose bus station is sympathetically clad
In coloured bricks which are all coated in oil stains,
Staines Upon Thames,
Stains on the Thames,
Staines, whose beauty and architecture have caused
Many a lost tourist to drop to their knees and cry tears of
Bitter jealousy,
Where I once saw Russ Abbott in Woolworths doing his shopping
Followed by a gang of kids who kept badgering him and
Shouting, hey Russ, do your angry Scottish bloke for us,
Until he told them to go away,
Staines, where my mate Justin
Found a pig’s eyeball on the seat of the photo booth,
Staines, where I asked Justin,
How did you know it was from a pig?
And what were you doing in the photo booth?
Staines, sparkling jewel of Spelthorne,
Was where
Terence Donovan,
Father of Jason Donovan,
Terence Donovan,
Who played Doug Willis in the TV soap Neighbours,
Was born.

Life’s funny like that.
And I’ve got a Pop Tart on in the toaster
So I’d better be off.

Toothpaste advert Dental expert Argues with god

She’s not an actress at all
She’s got a lab coat
And glasses
And she’s talking ever so slightly
To the left of the camera
About how various experts recommend
A certain brand

And god says lighten up
And she says go pro
And god says lighten up
And she says
You can feel the difference.

She’s persistent.
He’s omniscient.
Her lab coat is sparkling
Unbelievably white
Subconsciously saying to the viewer
‘Our toothpaste must be good
It must be.
It really must be.’

God hasn’t got time for this,
He’s got an earthquake to set off
In twenty minutes
In order to punish a small town in Italy
Because parliament has been
Debating gay marriage.
God is a bastard like that.

Ninety nine percent of dentists
Recommend this brand
She says
And god rolls his eyes because
Thirty eight percent of statistics are just
Someone speaking out of their arse.

I saw an advert the other day and
Some bloke was wearing a white lab coat
And I thought here we go, more toothpaste,
Butq he was a washing machine technician
And he was flogging Calgon,
Whatever the hell that is.

Dazzle with brilliant whiteness.
Thou shalt not question the ways of
Thy lord and master
Removes ninety percent of most plaque.
Thou start not
Covet thy neighbours wifi.
It’s all one
Meaningless slogan
After another.

Do you need those glasses?
Have they actually got lenses in?
Bold frames, aren’t they?
And that clipboard
Just keeping tabs on everything, eh?
These are the questions I’d also
Ask of god, along with,
Why should we worship You?
Even if you are our lord and creator,
Are you really so sensitive?

I said to the dentist,
Why do you always look
So down in the mouth?
At least you get to the
Root of the problem.
A golfer came in and said
Most of my teeth are fine,
But I’ve got a hole in one.

Sorry, that’s
My easily triggered gag reflex.

On Roseanne and other cock-ups.

I know exactly how Roseanne feels. I’ve never taken Ambien, but I had some hay fever pills once which knocked me out, and I made some very disparaging comments about The Netherlands, which even now I deeply regret. I also once took a paracetamol – just the one, mind you – and I scowled at a bus driver.

I decided I would look back through history and see what else was caused by a dose of Ambien, and the results were quite astonishing. The destruction of the library at Alexandria was due to a particularly potent blend following nights of insomnia. Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. Ambien. The visitor from Porlock who ruined Coleridge’s Kubla Khan. Ambien. (Actually, the visitor probably saved millions of school kids from having to plough their way through another weighty epic, so that was probably a good thing). And that rapper. You know the one. Who made all of those homophobic tweets a couple of years ago. That was all down to eating a gone off plumb.

Once a set of occurrences has been put in motion, one never knows what the consequences might be. I took a vitamin pill this morning and I’m already watching what I say. Perhaps this blog is a result of it. Just a small amount of chemistry in our bloodstream, and we change entirely. And it’s amazing, how some pills make some people suddenly racist, whereas before they would definitely not show any such symptoms. Didn’t that Farage bloke once blame one of his social media rants as being a result of a lack of sleep? I’ve had a lack of sleep often, particularly when travelling, and never once become a Nazi. Perhaps it effects some people more than others. And poor Katie Hopkins, she must be kept up every night.

We all react differently when there’s something in our bloodstream. One only needs to hang around in Paignton on a Saturday night to see what the usual cocktail of booze and other substances has on the average person, turning a law abiding citizen into a ne’erdowell of the highest calibre. Those silly hats and stuffed donkeys that people come back from Spain with. Tattoos, acquired in drunken nights out, misspelling the names of fleeting loved ones. I once had a small white wine and then bought a Steps CD.

So I know how she feels. The fact that she constantly has to police herself from making silly comments in normal discourse and only forgets to do this when she’s had an insomnia pill demonstrates that a certain amount of social editing was always occurring. And that poor sap in the White House, my goodness, he must be very, very tired.



Notes to the Producer – A Poem

Notes to the Producer

I am the firm-jawed space captain
And this is my show.
I’m the randy tough shirt-ripping hero
You know the way it goes.
I’m the brown-haired stubbled morally-upright
Captain of this ship
I’m the father figure hunky macho man
Who never loses his grip.

Each week the show ends
With the threat of evil lessened.
I’m the laser shooting alien bating guy
Who teaches everyone a lesson.
My assistant this whole time has been
An affable old curmudgeon
Who dispenses words of wisdom and sanity
With every alien that i bludgeon.

The producers met last year
And while they were pleased gosh I’m so heroic
In my body hugging one piece spacesuit
Making me be both ridiculous and stoic
Decided to give me a new assistant,
A scientist, with test tubes and litmus .
But from the first moment of our first rehearsal
He turned out to be as camp as Christmas.

Viewer figures started to go up.

First day on set he seemed upset and
Insisted on rewriting his script
Pretending to get just a little aroused
At the sight of my shirt getting ripped.
And when we were held captive by then
Evil King Empreror of the Gargantuan Lizard Men he asked, could he
Remark that the Gargantuan Lizard Men were Gargantuan
In every place but the one that they really should be.

To the maniacal plotting demon wizard,
While supposedly undercover
He remarked to him, oh, you’re so butch!
You must get it from your mother.
While running away on Forbius Seven
Pursued by the furious Forbius Sevenese,
He adlibbed the line, ooo, a pair of handcuffs,
Now what shall we do with these?

Viewer figures went through the roof.

To the giant snake like Mega Octopus
Who wouldn’t let us pass,
Presumably unaffected by it’s mind altering powers he said,
Ooo, you’ve got a face like a slapped arse.
And my catchphrase I loved, as I jump into action,
‘Power it up and hit the switch!’
Was replaced by his own insistence by the phrase,
‘Brace yourself, bitch!’

And all those corny jokes about my ray gun.
Don’t point that thing at me.
Gosh, that’s a big one.
Does it shoot as well as it looks?
My my, you’ve polished that one up nicely.
Look at the shaft on that.
Big ones are so much harder to conceal.
Is it difficult to get a good aim with one that size?
I’ve never seen one that shape before.
Keep that thing covered up, I’ve just had a sausage.

I wanted such fame and tough guy acclaim
But my dreams have all been torpedoed.
It’s hard to have dignity when captured by robots
He says, ooo, were going to get probed!
The scripts for next year
I really do fear
Have just been released by the studio.
And while my name is still in the frame
I’ve been reduced to just a brief cameo.
I was the firm jawed space captain
And this used to be my show.