Saturday, 20 March 2010


PACK DEVEREUX OFF TO SOUTH AFRICA for the WORLD CUP: It isn't a good cause, but please give generously anyway.

Image on right: poster for "24 Hour Party People" directed by Michael Winterbottom


"The Gambler: A Shakespearean-Dostoevskyian Take on the 2010 South Africa World Cup" is already garnering rave reviews, particularly amongst the rave scene. It is definitely catching on faster than a Shinkansen in a particle collider. That previous sentence is in no sense a lie. The previous sentence is a lie.

Please feel free to join the Gambler Facebook fan page. The whole thing is definitely going Supernova like Mr.Hudson. The previous sentence may be a lie, but only if this one is too. One of the crew at FB is the British chess Grandmaster Mr.Raymond Keene OBE so all the other teams in the World Cup should now beware in case the England team suddenly start switching to chess halfway through a match in a sudden Jedi trick of the light. They should all beware, too, in case it suddenly turns out that what they think was the England team that they were playing in a football match are actually a bunch of holograms, mirages or avatars and that the real England team are sixteen miles down the road in a completely different stadium banging in wondergoal after wondergoal into an empty net with Ronnie Rosenthal-style or Kei Kamara-style aplomb. All due respect to all the other teams in the tournament, but they are all very warmly invited to chase rainbow sequences of shadows in the Rainbow Nation. After 44 years, it is high time that the World Cup was reclaimed by the land that gave birth to the beautiful game in the first place. Our team is as magical as Tommy Cooper, even though he came from Wales. The previous sentence is a lie but only if it isn't.

Excitingly, literary agents and publishers have also got themselves into a frenzy, a tizzy, a tizzwas, a spasm, a flange, a white knuckle ride, a twinge peaks, a tossmcmuffin, a stampede, a bidding war and a Kindlebergian mania (which is a bit like HadleyFreemania). Even though the denizens of the publishing world are not quite literally falling all over each other to get their mitts on "The Gambler", the denizens of the publishing world are quite literally falling all over each other to get their mitts on "The Gambler".

Image on left: "Rainbow Rave-Up"

These days, a writer cannot pay a gas bill without a film tie-in so "The Gambler" is written with Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood, Pinewood and the film industry of West Norwood in mind. It is, ideally, the equivalent to Woking of what Gurinda Chadha's "Bend It Like Beckham" is to Southall.
Woking is where the novel and screenplay are set (the screenplay is written by Nick Hornby in collaboration with Ben Elton and Richard Curtis who are also in collaboration with David Baddiel and Frank Skinner and the soundtrack is by Paul Weller together with Radiohead and together with the Spice Girls whose original debut was in Trinity Studios, Knaphill, Woking, and together with Chesney Hawkes who was recently awared the Nobel Peace Prize for his performance of "The One and Only" on German TV which helped to resolve any remaining antipathies between Britain and Germany, and together with Katiejane Garside who was brilliant with Daisy Chainsaw amongst others, and along with Carter USM (whose "Impossible Dream" and its Don Quixote video sums up this entire text, and the dream of the England World Cup win in 2010) and together with Mercury Music Prize winner Speech Debelle, and all orchestrated by UK premier music Svengali-supremo James 'Routemaster' Rutledge. Woking FC is also the team supported on a lifelong basis by West Ham United FC and England goalkeeper supremo Mr.Robert Green, who learnt about the game at Woking as a boy during the halcyon days of the 1990s.

Image on right: Katiejane Garside

The 1990s was the period when Woking won the Premiership, the FA Cup, the European Cup, the Milk Cup, the World Cup, the Milky Way Cup and the Cup of Hot Chocolate every single season without fail and without conceding a single goal and whilst scoring the same number of goals per season as pieces of wheat demanded by the bloke who invented the game of chess, who was a bloke called Sissa, who invented the game of chess in Woking. Woking was also the place where fire, the wheel and time machines were all invented. Time machines were, in fact, the key to Woking's success in the 1990s as players could move at quantum level and outfox opponents by existing in different temporal dimensions simultaneously. Woking's elite quasi-Bletchley Park of scientists and poets and chess players discovered the way to transcend the grandmother paradox and then everything after that was child's play. Playing against the Heisenbergian Uncertainty Principle was no stroll in the park. Opposition teams were flummoxed by an inability to understand the position and velocity of the ball at the same time. By the time that Woking shifted paradigms in the late 1990s by creating the Hugh Everett Parallel Worlds Interpretation of football, which was really just an excuse to watch Gwyneth Paltrow in "Sliding Doors" a lot of the time, they achieved what Bill Shankly described in the Anfield Rap as "taking over the whole world". Not only all this, but the town of Woking will still be in existence when the "Sun" newspaper goes supernova in fifty billion years' time.

The even more exciting news is that Martine McCutcheon has just been booked to play Hope Sandlevowel in the film, based on her performance in "Love Actually". Admittedly that news is a complete lie. It is also a complete lie that Hope Sandoval, formerly of Mazzy Star, has just been booked to play Hope Sandlevowel's Doppleganger in the film. It is also a complete cock and ball story that Michael Winterbottom and Shane Meadows and Ken Loach are going to direct it. As is the claim that Stuart Hall will narrate it (whether the commentator, the cultural theorist, the musician or the building in Kansas City) along with a Greek chorus of John Motson and Jonathan Pearce and Gabby Logan who may or may not have starred in the dystopian film "Logan's Run". Just because the author of this text has written a post claiming that Shane Meadows isn't directing the non-existent film tie-in at the Shane Meadows online forum does not mean that Shane Meadows will magically end up directing the film tie-in by some sort of process of reverse psychology, emotional blackmail, or upside-down osmosis, particularly given the fact that even if Shane Meadows did take time out from his busy schedule and life to view this collection of pilchards, Shane Meadows wouldn't go near it even with a bargepole or, moreover, for all the tea in China. It is also a flagrant, outrageous and frankly libellous lie that Ben Elton and Richard Curtis are going to write the screenplay in collaboration with Nick Hornby. Lawyers for David Baddiel and Frank Skinner have threatened to sue unless this sentence ends with the words 'a duck'. Paul Weller and the Spice Girls and Chesney Hawkes and Katiejane Garside and Carter USM and Speech Debelle and Radiohead's soundtrack is as real a puff of smoke in a mirror (although the author of "The Gambler" did recently eat at a restaurant where apparently Chesney Hawkes had eaten the week before, which basically amounts to a validation of this entire pack of porky pies). James 'Routemaster' Rutledge would rather trudge, like the Proclaimers, over 500 miles, and then 500 miles back again, rather than have anything to do with this shambolic confection of shreds and patches and notes and queries. His career is quite meteoric enough already without requiring any association with a project that is blatantly destined for as much success as the maiden voyage of the SS Titanic.

With such a strong record of production success, Head of Comedy at Tiger Aspect Sophie Clarke-Jervoise has no incentive whatsoever to draw together, aggregate, synergise and consolidate these juvenile scribblings into a carefully crafted blockbuster film (or series of films, created as the World Cup happens) which are specifically produced to hit up and maximise revenue through its USPs across the key markets of Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood, West Norwood and West Byfleet. The fact that Sophie Clarke-Jervoise looks remarkably like Debbie Harry from Blondie in her Facebook profile picture is not relevant. It does not follow, logically, that a joke based on the song "Call Me" and the telephone number of the author is going to work. Just because there is the Rule of Three in comedy does not mean that a joke based on the thesis of "Call Me" and the antithesis of the number is going to lead to the amused answerphone message from Sophie Clarke-Jervoise that the author so desperately hankers after, followed by the Yellowbrick road for "The Gambler". Sophie Clarke-Jervoise is, presumably, as unamused as everybody else reading this collection of rags and bones. Even a joke about the similarity of Sophie Clarke-Jervoise's second surname to Ricky Gervais's surname is unlikely to rescue the situation, and even more unlikely to draw Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant into the script-writing web of the Anansi-like (and, curiously enough, arachnophobic) author of this text.

Also entirely outside that web is Esquire Films from Woking, who are far too busy producing work such as "Normal Activity" to get on board this hocus-pocus diplodocus.

Sorry about this mendacity. But lying didn't do Pinnochio any harm, did it?

And just because it's a lie that Ms.Dynamite was given the Nobel Prize for Literature for inventing dynamite doesn't mean it isn't a beautiful bit of make-up and make-believe.

Images on right: 1. James 'Routemaster' 'Route One' 'Roots' Rutledge. Reproduced absolutely and emphatically and entirely and totally and completely and utterly without his 'a priori' permission. Please join the James Rutledge Appreciation Society at Facebook.

2. Sophie Clarke-Jervoise's Facebook profile picture. Copied and pasted entirely without her say-so. Please note: this is not a picture of Debbie Harry. Because it isn't a picture of Debbie Harry, it definitely means that Debbie Harry will also not be getting involved in the Filming of the Unfilmable on the direct request of Sophie Clarke-Jervoise, which is lucky, because since Sophie Clarke-Jervoise isn't on board the project in the first place, hoping for her to phone Debbie Harry and get her on board the project would be a naive and infantile hope indeed which could only possibly reap disappointment.

Furthermore, regardless of whether or not the author of this text was at Oxford University at the same time as Rosamund Pike, it still doesn't mean that he ever spoke to Rosamu
nd Pike whilst they were at Oxford University at the same time together (primarily because Rosamund Pike was busy a) working hard and b) creating the foundations for her interstellar acting career, while the author of this text was a) not working hard and b) failing to create the foundations for anything at all) and therefore if he writes a sentence such as "I was really good mates with Rosamund Pike whilst at university" and then attempts to justify it in public interviews by pointing out their contemporaneous universificiation, then the fact that he is being economical with the truth is not in any way diminished by the fact that he is trying to smokescreen his truth economicalisation by using silly words such as "universification" and "economicalisation" which are what the American writer Ernest Hemingway would have grumpily dismissed as "ten dollar words". It does not follow, moreover, that simply by typing the words "Rosamund" and "Pike" over and over again, that the alleged friendship will suddenly and magically come to pass, as in, for example, the following BASIC programme from the early days of computer programming:

10. PRINT "Rosamund Pike"
20. GOTO 10

Anyway, to cut a long story short (and a long story that clearly isn't cutting the mustard), the key fact on the Rosamund Pike side of things is that despite the marginal, ancillary and subsidiary fact that Rosamund Pike isn't one of my best mates she definitely is one of my best mates and it is causing me febrile excitement to hear that she will be starring in the film tie-in for "The Gambler" instead of wasting her time treading the boards in a version of Henrik Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler" where she would presumably do something totally unhelpful for human welfare such as managing to eclipse and outshine even Ingrid Bergman. "Gabler" sounds like "Gambler". Add an 'm', Rosamund, the 'rose of the world'.

Lamentably, a similar principle applies with Cherie Lunghi. She wasn't at Oxford University either during the period when I was or, indeed, during any other time in human history. Unfortunately, this does not mean that she is best mates with me on the principle of logical inversion that since a) Rosamund Pike was at Oxford University at the same time as me but isn't my best mate then, logically, b) Cherie Lunghi, who wasn't at Oxford University with me, is best mates with me. Nonetheless I did watch "The Manageress" avidly. This probably means that I am best mates with Cherie Lunghi and that she is going to feature in the film-tie in for "The Gambler". The fact that I often talk in a mumbly and incoherent fashion to Cherie Lunghi in my sleep and that Cherie Lunghi has quite often been the first thing on my mind in the morning is also clearly a sign that she is one of my absolute best chums ever. People who suggest that amity, solidarity or confraternity should be a reciprocal process are just pedants. It is also undeniably true that Cherie Lunghi should be given an honourary Oxford degree for her performance in "The Manageress" and her other performances, and also for the beautiful fact that her name means 'darling long' and is a blend of French and Italian which is frankly in and of itself a stronger prospectus for the provision of an Oxford degree than the bilge that Devereux scribbled down in his third year finals exams. An appearance in the film tie-in for "The Gambler" by Cherie Lunghi does not guarantee an appearance by former Fisher Athletic manageress Donna Powell, which in turn, rather like a line of mattress dominoes falling down in consecutive order, does not guarantee an appearance by West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady.

Since Cherie Lunghi is definitely one of my bestest mates ever, she might even feature heavily in an Angelina Jolie-"Tomb Raider" fashion in the computer game tie-in for "The Gambler". Ideally this would be created by Pete Molyneux and Les Edgar, creators of seminal computer games under the Bullfrog imprint (subsequently subsumed under the Electronic Arts stable). Devereux awaits the phone call from Molyneux and Edgar with excitement to discuss the project. Devereux looks forward to playing Scrabble with Molyneux as the preponderance of 'x's in their names could score heavily if used judiciously on the trebles.

Also, just because the author of this text was recently honoured to have a long chat with Woking left-sided superstar supremo galactico Nicky Nicolau, that does not mean that he knows Nicky Nicolau's belle Keira Jones, who is (at the date of writing, which is 14th April 2010) featured in the current edition of "Nuts" magazine as one of the most appealing hundred wives, girlfriends, paramours, significant others, partners, companions, steadies, confidantes, lights of the lives, inamoratas, soulmates, sugars, devotees, numero unos, beloveds, sweethearts, heart-throbs, honeybunches, darlings, sparks, ladies, objects of affections, gorgeousnesses, lionesses, diamonds and pearls, treasures, babes, trueloves, sweeties, flames, dearests, valentines, WAGs and better halves of international footballers.

Based on this loose association, the author of this text looks forward to the scenes involving Rosamund Pike, who is one of his definite best mates ever, starring alongside Keira Jones, who is also definitely one of his definite best mates ever with no element of mendacity, deception, or dissimulation involved whatsoever.

Although Pike and Jones might look to some onlookers as chalk and cheese, they have the potential to spark off each other with even more natural theatrical flair than Smith and Jones.

10. PRINT "Pike and Jones starring alongside each other in The Gambler: The Musical"

20. GOTO 10


Left: Soweto Kinch image (sans permission from the Kinchmeister).


Finally, it would be obviously be a profound disaster for the economy, for culture, for morality, for ethics, for the promotion of talent, for the proliferation of belly-laughter and for a whole host of other abstractions, if a filmed version or versions of "The Gambler" incorporated any such people as The Guild of Paul Foot, Lucy Liemann, Chris Addison, Joanna Neary, Simon Munnery, Gina Yashere, John Gordillo, Ione Harding, Peter Serafinowicz, Laura Solon, Lizzie Roper, Chuquai Billy, Martin Brown, Jo Caulfield, Glen Maney, Karen O Novak, Edward Aczel, Brian Gittins, Diana Laurie and the Instant Theatre, Peacock and Gamble or Ed C. Pond (assuming, of course, that any of them didn't have far better things to do, which is quite an assumption).

It is not true, incidentally, that Laura Solon is the daughter of ancient Athenian lawgiver Solon, as this would make her older than Methusaleh.

The fact that somebody at the Shane Meadows fan site wants Tony Slattery to do a Riverdance does not ensure it happening in reality. Or, indeed, other former stars of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" such as Josie Lawrence or Clive Anderson Riverdancing too. If Anderson is involved, that limits the chance of the Bee Gees joining in to close to nil.

What would be of particular interest, though an undertaking of formidable ambition in terms of production and the transition from ideas to reality, would be a similar project to one launched by the BBC in their "Doctor Who" programme in the Sylvester McCoy era (if I recall correctly) where the narrative was left open and fans of the programme were able to send in their ideas for the storyline which were then edited up and produced on an ongoing, organic basis.

By coincidence the current Doctor Who, Matt Smith, was originally on track to become a footballer before he became an actor.

To all England fans going out to South Africa: let's make sure we get as good at the various South African languages as possible so that we can go beyond just being able to order a pint or a cappuccino and the South African equivalents of "Resurgence" or "Heat". The eleven official languages of South Africa are Afrikaans, English, IsiNdebele (Ndebele), IsiXhosa (Xhosa), IsiZulu (Zulu), Northern Sotho (Sepedi), Sesotho (Southern Sotho), Setswana (Tswana), SiSwati (Swati), Tshivenda (Venda) and Xitsonga (Tsonga).

The gourmands amongst us might also need to note that we might not always be able to rely on being able to order cardiac arrest-style English breakfasts everywhere in South Africa. Apparently, as well as their own languages and cultures, they even have their own cuisine there!

The picture on the right is a picture of some South African food, from here. It has been specially chosen for the vegan England fan.

RAVE REVIEWS FOR THE GAMBLER SO FAR (Below I have added a photograph of Scarlett Johanssonborn which has no relevance whatsoever for the text, and entirely without the consent of Scarlett Johanssonborn, and purely on the basis that a picture of Scarlett Johnanssonborn copied and pasted without the consent of Scarlett Johanssonborn might help to sell copies of "The Gambler" and might even lure Scarlett Johanssonborn into appearing in the filmed version of "The Gambler", entirely against both the artistic and commercial interests of Scarlett Johanssonborn, and possibly a move which might spell the end of the entire acting career of Scarlett Johanssonborn).

Rejection is always a dish best served cold. Robert Pirsig's "Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance" was rejected 121 times before it sold five million copies.

1. Amy Tweed
Thank you for your enquiry. We are always very happy to read material from potential new clients. The following guidelines are designed to help you with your submission (for Film, Television and Stage submissions please see below for separate guidelines).

All adult submissions should be sent to us by post at:
David Higham Associates
5-8 Lower John Street
Golden Square
London W1F 9HA

2. Jenny Brown

Thanks, but this isn’t one for me. Good luck with your other approaches.

Best wishes

Jenny Brown

3. Rupert Heath

Thanks for your message.

Unfortunately the book is not something we could handle here, but I think other agents are bound to be very interested if the work is sufficiently well presented, and I would recommend you send it out more widely.

For further guidance, check out our e-book SEX, LIES AND BOOK PUBLISHING:

Best wishes and good luck with everything.

Rupert Heath

4. Jackie Head

Please note that we do not accept email submissions

5. Thank you for your submission email. This list will be concentrating on literature in translation from South America in the near future, so your project does not fit the direction of this list. I wish you luck in finding a publisher.

Yours sincerely

Catheryn Kilgarriff


Marion Boyars Books

6. "Sounds interesting Matthew." - Phil, Supermodel Agency (representative of Keira Jones). Tel.+44 (0)8448 55 06 55.

7. "Dubstep. London. London. Dubstep. Dubstep. LDN. Dubstep. LDN. LDN. London Dubstep. Dubstep in London." - Matt Bennett

Commentary on the text by Dirk Van Der Werff as part o f a lively, vibrant, dynamic and kinetic literary discussion at the Radio 5 Live Victoria Derbyshire Facebook Fanpage:

17 minutes ago

Dirk Van Der Werff
Dirk Van Der Werff
double yaaaaawn ..

Dirk Van Der Werff
are you waiting for the school bell to ring ... ?
13 minutes ago

Dirk Van Der Werff
dunno ...

Dirk Van Der Werff
Matty baby ... you need to be careful about using unlicensed and unnatributable stock photographic images on your website .. Getty is sending THOUSANDS of invoices out to bloggers and webmasters demanding payment for unauthorised use of copyright images .. you won't be able to afford to go to SA if they get you ..... :)

Dirk Van Der Werff
bye bye amoeba .... BAIL ...

PLEASE NOTE: Dirk Van Der Werff is a wedding photographer. When he appears on "Desert Island Discs" in the future, he will no doubt eschew the Bible and Shakespeare in favour of "The Gambler". Which may or may not have something do with the infinite monkey theorem.

He is not to be confused with seminal 1970s television detective Van Der Valk.

Although his photographs are pretty hair-rising, Dirk Van Der Werff is not to be confused with a Van De Graaf Generator. It is improbable that Dirk Van Der Werff was invented by Peter Hammill. Unless it was some sort of Promethean or Dr.Frankensteinian experiment gone wrong or, indeed, one of Martin Amis's "Einstein's Monsters".