Dunn gets yellow fever for fave cartoon

09 August, 2007

OLN independent beer retailer of the year Alan Dunn has got so far into the spirit of the new Simpsons movie that he's shaved his head except for one strand, dyed himself bright yellow all over and changed the name of his Keswick off-licence and convenience store to Kwik-E-Mart so that visitors to the cinema on the opposite side of the road will think they're still in the cartoon when they come out. We hope he hasn't gone further and started a tyre fire.

Lucky striker

Thierry Henry returned to the UK as a Barcelona striker recently for some friendly matches in Scotland, and was welcomed with a gift of a personalised bottle of Famous Grouse. "I think he was somewhat surprised and couldn't think what to say," said a Grouse spokesman. "However, we had included a message in his native language on the back label that prompted a more enthusiastic response in French."

The company's official translation was: "My name on this bottle really makes me feel like a celebrity." Seems like a nice gesture. One wonders why Indian batsmen get so hot under the collar when they are presented with free jelly beans.

Paris pout

You wait 30 years for a film about the Judgement of Paris and then two come along at once. Steven Spurrier is getting extremely hot under the collar about the "unauthorised" movie currently in production about his infamous France versus California taste-off in 1976, in which the Americans surprised everyone by stealing the show.

Spurrier is being portrayed by Alan Rickman in the Bottle Shock film, but is alarmed that his on-screen character is an "impossibly effete snob" with some "deeply insulting" traits. The English wine critic, who vetoed Hugh Grant in the authorised film because he was too old, is threatening legal action.

It's not clear how Mike Grgich feels about his character, who is played by Danny deVito - an actor once mooted to play Graham Holter in the Hollywood interpretation of Off Licence News's decision to go fortnightly.

Cruising for a schmoozing

Want to get paid for going to the pub? Well, now you can. Everards Brewery is looking for "special agents" to help it evaluate pubs across its tenanted estate in the Midlands.

Dubbed Mission Enjoyable, presumably because the brewer has access to the services of a "Tom Cruise lookalike", the scheme will see 500 volunteers rating pubs for the quality of the food, drink and overall service. This information will then go towards the pub's score as part of the Everards tenants' reward scheme, as well as providing valuable feedback for the licensees.

Jenny Panter, Everards PR and marketing co-ordinator, said: "We can't promise Tom Cruise, but this mission is far from impossible and should be a very enjoyable experience for those who sign up to take part.

"The mission for selected agents, should they choose to accept it, is to go along to an Everards pub, try the food and drink and collect a receipt or other proof of purchase without being detected. They will need to complete a feedback form online and will then receive a £15 cash reward for their trouble. It is as simple as that."

Red Bull really does have wings

The "Formula One of the skies" came to London recently when the Red Bull Air Race arrived in town - living up to the brand's promise to give us wings.

Roaring just metres above the Thames at breakneck speeds, the sixth round of the World Series attracted more than 35,000 spectators and coincided with Red Bull's most successful month in history, with more than 32 million cans sold in July.

The event may also have had a big effect on the brand's carbon footprint, but we were too polite to ask.

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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