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Sunday, September 03, 2006 


#49: Ant and Dec

My PhD is at the point right now where I am having to write a great deal. Rather than try to concentrate amidst the constant chatter of the Gay Mafia* I choose to write from home. This introduces me to daytime English TV when I take writing breaks. In the past I have come home for Home and Away, my favorite soap but that is the limit of my exposure until now. Aside from that and those Place in the Sun/ by the Sea shows, there is not much (until Deal or no Deal in the late afternoon, of course!)

I hear a lot about Ant and Dec, somehow they have worked their way into the UK pop culture psyche. And yet in the two years that I have been here I haven't actually ever seen or heard of them doing anything. There was that alien autopsy movie, but that's it. I never see them on TV or read of them in magazines, and don't think I could pick them out of a crowd, but the frequency with which the phrase "Ant and Dec" is thrown around is quite alarming. Who are they and what do they do?

Thinking about this post made me realize all the other television duos that exist here. There are the two that tell you how to dress, the two that clean stuff, the two that help you buy a new house.... I wonder what it is about British test audiences that make them response more to groups of hosts rather than one. Pop World/ T4 is always done in twos. There's probably some sublime social commentary to be made here, but I'm not quite sure what it is. I'll have to stick to my pharmaceutical chemistry for now....

*Long time readers know that I have a disproportionate number of gay men in my office, and lately they have acquired a few extremely adoring and vocal fag hags. They are all wonderful people individually, but as a group squawk and squeal like a pack of sea lions at such an alarmingly loud volume I now have to study somewhere else.

Ant is the one on the left


from the back or the front?

What are you getting your PhD in?

Pharmaceutics/ Pharmaceutical Sciences. In short, I make drugs.

Didn't Ant and Dec make a cameo in "Love Actually" ?

Awesome some of my best friends make drugs, and by that I mean they're in pharmacy school here in California :) I'm getting my doctorate in chiropractic over here and all things relating to health and medicine interest me.

What's weird is that people have been referencing Ant and Dec for years. I never saw a sign of them when I lived in Portsmouth ten years ago. Now that I'm back in the UK, I hear their names but never see them. Perhaps they are British mythology and there are certain lessons to learn from them that us Yanqui scum just aren't picking up.

I'm glad I'm not the only one perplexed by the concept of Ant and Dec. I've never actually seen them do anything either! But they even have wax figures in Mme Tussauds!

I'm a bit late catching up on this discussion, but if it helps Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway is currently on ITV1 prime time on Saturday between the two x-factor shows.

And come January they'll be off to the Jungle for another series of "I'm a celebrity, get me out of here!".

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