It is reported that the BBC canteen in London is serving just six chips with a meal; stingy or what?

For reasons which are quite obscure,
The chips are getting rather fewer,
Within the BBC canteen,
Which some folk say is rather mean.

The ration seems to be just six,
Less than some people’s daily fix,
But nonetheless, you understand,
More than the fingers on one hand.

When questioned no-one seems to know,
Why this has come about and so,
The bosses at the BBC,
Say, “Nothing here to do with me.”

The canteen staff as well aren’t sure,
Why they are serving numbers fewer,
And so some cooks could be prevailed
Upon, or at some times assailed,
To serve a few more chips that day,
And not to change what people pay.

So just for now things are OK,
More chips available each day,
But will rations return again?
We don’t know if and neither when.



It is reported that Netflix is planning to allow viewers to speed up films so that those with limited time can watch them but filmmakers are opposing it.

If you watch films without much time,
Then I can tell you in this rhyme,
That soon on Netflix you might yet,
A speeded up film version get.

This is what Netflix wants to do,
Assuming people just like you,
Can keep up with a faster speed,
So that some time can thus be freed.

But filmmakers say, “No! No! No!
Our films are not designed to go,
At that speed no, for certain not,
For viewers will then lose the plot.

So with our films you cannot do,
These things you might have wanted to,
And if you don’t do as we say,
We will not sell you films to play!”


Fake news

It is reported that Russian and North Korean state media have joined forces to fight fake news. (Excuse me, was that ‘fight’ or ‘write’?)

We all now know about fake news,
And doubtless have a range of views,
But one fact that one can’t deny –
It’s not produced by you or I.

A lot of it is from the east,
From where it’s recently increased,
Especially DPRK,
Where it’s produced most every day,
And also Russia, east and west,
Where some say that they do it best.

So it has come as a surprise,
To hear that such newsworthy lies,
In places where they are devised,
Will be cleaned up and sanitised.

But maybe this itself is fake,
And now with such a lot at stake,
They want us as we join the dots,
To tie ourselves all up in knots.

So how to tell? GCHQ,
Will know what’s false and what is true.
But it’s not certain, not at all,
That they’d have time to take your call,
Because they are with little trace,
Fighting the war in cyberspace.



It is reported that actress Helena Bonham-Carter who is to play the late Princess Margaret in The Crown has sought advice from the princess by speaking to her via a psychic. The princess apparently told her to make sure she held her cigarette holder properly.

If you’re a smoker, young or old,
You really should know how to hold,
A cigarette or a cigar,
And from the mouth about how far.

For normal people that’s OK,
No-one would notice anyway,
But if you’ll in a movie be,
You must beware that folk will see,
Your cigarette and just how you,
Do movements that you’ll have to do.

So then if you can get advice,
From your subject it would be nice,
The fine details to understand,
From times before the weed was banned.

But what if your subject is dead,
Departed from the life she led?
Then trying now with her to speak,
Will need some sort of new technique.

A psychic enters now, stage right,
Who says that for a fee she might,
With this subject communicate,
Or have a try at any rate.

They all sit round, then Mystic Meg,
Says, “From that time before you pegged,
Please help us with some general thought,
Then ’twil be acted as it ought.”

The princess spoke but like a ghost,
“The thing that you should think of most,
Is not to show me when I’m tight,
But getting the fag holder right.

It is important, you will see,
It was a trademark, then, of me,
In fact I used it quite a lot –
That’s why I’m here, as like as not.”


Red dress

It is reported that Emily Maitlis has been told not to wear red so as not to clash with the new fuchsia-coloured sofas in the Newsnight studio. She will wear black or white instead … but probably not at the same time.

Newsnight comes on at half past ten,
And Ms Maitlis, now and again,
Comes on to introduce the show,
With people who then undergo,
Her questioning on matters that,
Can turn into unarmed combat.

It seems she’s fond of wearing red,
Puts her in charge or so it’s said,
But now the colour has to go,
Because, in case you didn’t know,
The Newsnight couch will soon be gone,
And replaced with a fuchsia one.

And when it changes there’s concern,
That viewers might sometimes discern,
If she is still dressed like a rash,
Her outfit and the couch might clash.

So she’ll be wearing black (or white),
Two colours which should look all right,
For black and white, if you’re viewing,
Will pretty well match anything.

The guests, I think, might be quite keen,
To find out that the Newsnight queen,
Has ditched her trademark red rags and,
If they now have the upper hand.



It is reported that on 22 September 2019 the Greenwich Time Signal – the Pips – failed to appear at 9 am but were played at 9.15 am. The problem was put down to human error.

The time signal, the Greenwich Mean,
So often heard but never seen,
Is played throughout most of the day,
And it’s supposed to be the way,
We set our watches, check our clocks –
The things that do the ticks and tocks.

It’s broadcast by the BBC,
Which I am sure you will agree,
A sterling job does all day long,
And never really gets it wrong.

But recently, a double take,
For someone had made a mistake,
And when the pips at nine o’clock,
Did not appear it was a shock.

We could tell there was something wrong,
Just like Big Ben without the bong,
But it took time to quite work out,
What we were suddenly without.

Some minutes passed, the truth dawned then,
By this time it was o nine ten,
Then as It got to nine fifteen,
The pips that really should have been,
At nine o’clock to check our clocks,
We’re broadcast at that time (approx).

And that’s another mystery too,
Though listeners this time would be few,
Why on the quarter they arose,
I really think nobody knows.



It is reported that a casting call has gone out seeking a thin young girl with ‘very good teeth’ to star as Mia in a Christmas TV advert for the chocolate bar Milka. She must not have red hair or be ‘overweight as this is for advertising chocolate’. Oh dear, where to start?

These days most people are PC,
Even if they don’t want to be,
And those who’re not still understand,
What sorts of things are always banned.

So wanting actresses ‘not fat’,
Is bound to start some sort of spat,
While ‘carrot heads’ might give offence,
To red tops with no humour sense.

And then the teeth, the perfect set,
As uniform as one can get,
And they must be for this young star,
White as a Milka chocolate bar.

And that is it … but I forgot,
These days one really just cannot,
Say whether it’s a girl or boy,
That you’d prefer in your employ.

Is this then all LGBT?*
Like double dutch to you and me,
So maybe this has gone too far,
To advertise a chocolate bar!

*  see picture?