Uptown Top Ranking, Part One

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To cheer us all up, our new trainee reporter Colum Incheys steps into Jason Wildgoose’s wet shoes and takes the dripping Smartphone and its dodgy spellchecker in search of the feelgood factor and that elusive teenage reader …

Offshaw & Gonn who own The Bafflesby Bugle and Bafflesby Fame Academy accept no responsibility whatsoever for the contents of this article.

i wake up with this big like grin on me face cos todays the day I get to meat bafflebys mister star maker & get took on a free toor round his fame acadomy, well its a dream cum tru eva since i was a lickle kid singin & dancin on the kitchin table with all me uncles & stuff cheerin away like i was a big star, anyway i get there & seen this sign out side these big old like gates what says SMILE ZONE but the thing what cracks me up is this picture whats under neeth


well you got to laugh dont you, so anyways i go up this like drive way & seen this merc & 2 lamber geenys parkd out side this grate big dead old like house what you see in them movies


& i am like wow this is so cool & when i press the bell it plays this like old tune off of the TV what the words jus cum in yor head what you cant stop singin, im gonna live for ever im gonna learn how to fly, so im still singin when the door opens & theres this like butler in a black suit with that face what they have what cracks me up, so I cant stop giglin be hind his back all down this like marbal hall way, then we go in to this big room with all these like wood panals smart chairs & stuff


im not giglin no more now, ive got the hickups, so i try take me mind off of them by lookin at stuff like me mam says & one wall is coverd with fotos, i reckond they must be the famly what use to live there & im lookin at there faces smilin like they jus took the pegs off when this deep voice make me jump out me skin


so i spin round & theres this big tall guy standin there whats the spit of James Bond in a dead smart suit & posh hair cut, all gold bracelets & stuff im not kiddin you so cool, i just stair at him & he points to this like gold drinks trollee yeah, i am soooo gob smackd but it jus cum to me this must be yer man so good job i remebmerd to press Record on the smart fone

  • You got – hic! – any Fizzicola?
  • Fizzicola?
  • It’s my favourite drink. It stops my hiccups. I never have – hic! – nothing else.
  • Oh … well, I’ll get my man to drive down into Bafflesby and buy a case of them.
  • They come in cans.
  • I thought they might.  So, er … ?
  • Colum.
  • So in the meantime, Colum, can I tempt you with something a little stronger?
  • Alcohol, yeah?
  • Er, yes …
  • I’m only 16.
  • You have a beard.
  • They let you – hic! – grow them at school.
  • Good for them! I was going to offer you a luxury cigar but I don’t suppose you … Oh well, never mind, you’ll have all the time in the world to develop expensive habits when you’re filthy rich and famous!
  • Me?
  • That’s why you’re here, isn’t it?
  • I’m here – hic! – to interview you for The Battersby Bugle.
  • Ah, the day job, but don’t try to tell me you’ve never pranced in front of your mother’s bedroom mirror in her special make-up and scarlet high-heels!
  • How did you – ?
  • We know your dreams, Colum, and we know how to make them come true. Yours is a very special capability. Why follow the crowd when you can make them follow you? It’s not a matter of luck, it’s a matter of time. And it’s high time you shared your talents with a hungry world!
  • You mean, perform at like charity concerts in aid of starving people?
  • Hungry for you, Colum, you and your marketable gifts! Think of The Bafflesby Fame Academy as a place where your raw talent can be nurtured and nourished by a know-how nowhere else to be found. And when you bloom like a gorgeous hothouse flower, we shall hang your picture with pride up there in our gallery of honour.
  • Those people are famous?
  • Every last one of them an Academy Alumnus who has ascended to the halcyon heights of stellar apotheosis! We knew them all here … Patrick Porter … Charles Medway … Poppy Dilks …
  • They don’t ring no bells on me!
  • … Jimmy Sylvester … the Ibstocks … Oscar Poop …
  • Sorry, dude, never heard of them!
  • Ah, well, many of our graduates go on to adopt stage-names.
  • Such as?
  • We never refer to pseudonyms inside the Academy.
  • Why not?
  • It’s considered unlucky. Like any other branch of show-business, we have our quaint little superstitions. And when it comes to the A-list we must consider their need for privacy. If we let reporters nose around here for salacious tit-bits or early indiscretions, we’d soon be –
  • I’m a reporter …
  • Oh yes, so you said! Trouble is, I’m so used to interviewing people. These days everyone wants to be famous. Andy Warhol’s fault, of course, promising them their fifteen minutes! You have to interview them all to discover the special ones.
  • The ones with special talent?
  • No, the ones prepared to pay our tuition fees. The pursuit of fame can be a lifelong struggle and the support costs are considerable.
  • You get many drop out?
  • We give them every encouragement to continue. There are many, many avenues to take. They are all in this brochure. Who knows, you might find something that takes your fancy …
  • Yeah, like I can afford these prices on the pocket money they pay me!
  • We give drastic discounts to the truly talented. This is possible because the slightly skilled are far more numerous and can often be persuaded to part with their money. Our little concert-shows and talent-competitions keep them perfectly happy. We never give up on anybody. It would be cruel to deny them their hopes, you see, however hopeless. We provide a therapy lifeline. Our brochure is full of it.
  • Nice pictures.
  • They illustrate our philosophy.
  • Plenty of smiling.
  • You have entered the Smile Zone! (Sings) You gotta … accentuate the positive … eliminate the negative … latch on to the affirmative … but don’t mess with Mr In-Between!
  • Ha, that dude must be you!
  • Who?
  • Mr In-Between!
  • Haha, how perceptive of you! Only the truly talented can understand such things. Yes indeed, a bridge between performer and public …
  • I was thinking – hic! – more like a blockage.
  • Ah … well, Colum, there’s no need to take my word for it when you can get it straight from the horse’s mouth … (Buzzer) … Er, send in Mr Flunkett, please … and get me a case of Fizzicola!


What will Mr Flunkett bring to the party?

Will Colum be as starry-eyed when he leaves?

Where will they find a case of Fizzicola in Bafflesby on early-closing day? 

Read tomorrow’s gripping instalment, only in The Bafflesby Bugle !!!



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