Saturday, January 11, 2003
Neil Innes was one of the songwriting and performing minds behind the Bonzo Dog Doodah Band, and the Ruttles, and he sang Brave Sir Robin in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and if you go to and click on "Innes Own World" you'll get a 28 minute long one man radio show that's a bit of a curate's egg: the surrealist sketches are missable, but the songs and the anecdotes are simply marvellous. (Do it soon. The show changes on Wednesdays.)

Discovered to my chagrin this evening that Alfred Austin, Victorian Poet Laureate, quite probably never wrote the poem on the illness of the Prince of Wales in 1871 that included the couplet,

Across the wires the electric message came,
He is no better, he is much the same.

Or if he did we have no record other than E.F. Benson stating that the lines are attributed to Austin, and they "sound like him at his best". And what's really sad and funny at the same time is that, whether he wrote them or not, they're the only thing he might have written that anyone remembers or quotes at all, and they're only remembered for demonstrating how incredibly crap British Poet Laureates can be when they attempt to be topical.