Opening up my email inbox this morning I encountered a press release from ‘Britain’s favourite astrologer’ Russell Grant…some nonsense about how the stars predict success or failure for skiving MP Nadine Dorries and the rest of the Z-list celebs featured in this year’s I’m A Nonentity Get Me Out Of Here. It couldn’t have come at a better moment, for it spurred me into digging this horror out for you.
For you see, back in 1983 the man best known for predicting the future on various breakfast TV shows during the 80s and 90s released this monstrosity, a cover of the Supremes’ No Matter What Sign You Are. Bedecked in a terrible sleeve that featured the pudgy astrologer squeezed into a spandex body suit, this awful dirge actually reached the charts, peaking at number 87!
I’ve got a bit of a grudging admiration for Russell: he always seems game enough to take the piss out of himself when needed; he’s had a successful relationship with his partner Doug for 40 years, has lost a shed load of weight (something I’ve failed miserably to do) and he’s battled severe depression and come out the other side to tell the tale. Still, he did make this piece of rubbish, so it's not all good.
Although people of a certain age (that’s me included) will remember him for camping it up on the TV-am and BBC Breakfast Time sofas, over the last decade he’s forged a new career for himself, appearing on every ‘reality’ TV show imaginable: Celebrity Fit Club, Kitchen Burnout, Five Go to..., Strictly Come Dancing and so on. I thought he’d been in the Aussie outback for I’m A Celebrity but it seems not; in fact in 2011 he told The People newspaper: “It’s not about aggrandisement. I’ve turned down I’m a Celebrity about four times and Big Brother about three. I’m not someone who really cares about celebrity.” Really?
I’ve no doubt he’ll be popping up again somewhere soon, but until then – enjoy!