BILLY'S CONTRACT confesses all

Many people have their fears in life. It could be anything from the fear of flying to being scared of the dark. My son for instance has a phobia about all things ears. Won't touch his ears if he can help it, and does not like the bony texture or feel of an ear. His other fear is spiders. I would love to see how he would react if a spider crawled into his ear.

As for myself, I have my own private nightmare, well three nightmares to be precise. The first fear, albeit the chances of it ever happening were indeed, somewhat remote, even more so now I rather suspect, and that would be to wake up in bed next to Amy Winehouse.

Secondly, and this one scares the life out of me, would be the thought of owning a French car of any description.

Saving my worst fear until last (and this one sends the shivers down my spine even writing about it) would be to have Alistair Brownlee, the Radio Cleveland presenter, as my best friend, or even as a distant relation (the further the distance the better)."Lately, Pools reserves beat Borer reserves and BrownPants was on the radio going out of his way to point out that Pools had several first teamers in the side on the night"
 Many years ago in Monkey Business I wrote that, even though I had never seen Alistair Brownlee I could imagine what he looked liked just by the sound of his irritating voice. So it came as no real shock the first time I saw him on television. He was exactly how I imagined him to be, even down to the jumper he was wearing. A ‘poor man's Alan Partridge’ I think would be a fair description.

I know a few people who have been guests on his football show on the radio who originally shared my sentiments, but since meeting him their views have softened. They tell me he is not so bad, and pass him off as a daft lad with a passion for The Borer. Fair do's I say, but why does he have to inflict his passion on the rest of the civilised world? Every club, including Pools, have their share of mad or cross-dressing supporters, but Brownlee should be sectioned.

No matter what subject he is talking about, somehow or other he manages to drag Borer into it . However, what narks me most about him is that he actually thinks they are a big club. Pre-season he was doing the commentary when Darlo were playing them, and despite the fact that the non-league club won four-something, it was down to the fact that the Blue Square side had raised their game when playing their 'bigger neighbours'.

Lately, Pools reserves beat Borer reserves and BrownPants was on the radio going out of his way to point out that Pools had several first teamers in the side on the night. Recently on my way to Pools I heard him on the radio ten minutes before the West Ham v Borer game kicked off. He commented that it looked as if there was going to be a small crowd in at Upton Park on the night. As it turned out, only 27,500 were in attendance, one of West Ham's lowest crowds of the season (obviously the opposition were not exactly a star draw). That crowd was almost twice as much as the Borer get for a home game. For the record Mr Brownlee, for the reverse top of the table clash when Borer entertained West Ham at the Cellnet, only 18,500 turned out ...and 2,500 of those fans were from East London.

What is even worse is that Brownlee now fronts BBC Radio Smog's breakfast programme. I don't know how many Monkey Business readers watched the excellent, nay, brilliant Father Ted, but in one episode Father Dougal picks up the remains of a smashed television set and pops his head through the frame. Father Jack wakes up, and seeing Father Dougal throws an empty (naturally) whiskey bottle at him, asking “is that Gobshite on the telly again?” Substitute the word telly for radio and that is how I feel about 'Ali' Brownlee.

In common with most people from the Headland, my radio is tuned into to Radio Four on my way to work. There is nothing better than listening to John Humphreys tearing into some hapless politician and giving him/her some right chew.
Even though my car radio is not tuned into Radio Smog at the most interesting bit of the Radio Four interview, or they are just about to inform the listener on how the currency markets and the FTSE is performing, the next thing I know there is a fanfare of tat music and the Radio Smog traffic bulletin interrupts my listening. Alaistir Brownlee tells us that (like any other day of the week) that traffic is slow moving on Marton Road. The amount of times I have tried to switch the radio off before the traffic jingle finishes and Brownlee speaks is a challenge in itself with me at the same time shouting “is that Gobshite on the radio again?”

He really does my head in. I do really pity his wife.
Once upon a time I used to listen to Radio Cleveland on a daily basis, but since Hartlepool's Alan Wright left the station I seldom have it on. In fact the only time I make a conscious effort to tune in to that station is if the Borer have been beaten yet again and listen to Brownlee and the Borer fans berating their lot.

Come to think of it, of late I am listening to Radio Cleveland on a regular basis on a Saturday night nowadays.