The Star Witness

By Andy Hamilton

The comedy legend’s first novel charts a TV soap star’s descent into disgrace and his attempts to recover his dignity

Sunday, 22 November 2015


Travelling round the UK with a show about change, I have noticed a few changes as I go. 

1. Most British medium-sized towns are now composed of two parts. A dilapidated High Street consisting mostly of charity shops, and the gleaming mall full of shoppers drinking coffee from global outlets who pay no tax. Hard to see how High Streets can survive, apart from as heritage sites or sets for dystopian movies.

2.  The English countryside now seems to have quite a few fields that contain llamas. Very perplexed llamas - presumably wondering how they ended up in such a dull part of Peru, where there are no mountains and the condors are tiny.

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Geoff Adams
 Geoff Adams says:

Tur Langton, Leicestershire, Field with 2 llamas. How many are there in the UK. Can we make a freedom of information request to get to the bottom of this. and lastly what is the point of a llama in Britannia

posted 24th November 2015

Stevyn Colgan
 Stevyn Colgan says:

Sadly, all too true. The nearest town to me is High Wycombe which has a very pretty little High Street with a mix of Georgian, Victorian, even Tudor buildings. But its heart has been ripped out by the soulless newly built glass and steel shopping centre a few minutes walk away. It's so sad. The High Street is now a sad anodyne showcase of pound shops, betting shops, fried chicken outlets and the inevitable Greggs. So sad. Perhaps a few llamas would brighten it up?

posted 24th November 2015

Vaun earl Norman
 Vaun earl Norman says:

We get the high street we wish for. If we didn't shop in the out of town, super supermarkets and shopped more locally the high street can be a lovely vibrant and varied place. Of course town planners are also responsible for trying to correct their previous mistakes as well.

I've never seen a lama outside of a zoo or safari Park, although Ostriches.......

posted 24th November 2015

Chris Maryon
 Chris Maryon says:

Alas the High Street is probably dead already! I can only speak for my part of the UK but they are as described "dilapidated" I hear many discuss the resurrection of our once bustling high streets but it would seem that we prefer the out of town all in one supermarkets! And their time is probably short lived as well. The interweb will see to that, we're all being pushed to order all our needs online. It'll just be a few huge warehouses and lots of vans.

No llamas around here, confused or otherwise.......

posted 24th November 2015

Philip Pinnell
 Philip Pinnell says:

I'm sorry to say that I now buy almost everything on the interweb - unlimited choice, always in stock somewhere, the best prices and no parking charges or fines. I have to indulge my wife from time to time with a visit to Bluewater Shopping Centre, but she doesn't mind if I stay in the car and read my book - an ebook from Kindle of course.

No llamas here either - just our scruffy Airedale - and her wool is rubbish!

posted 24th November 2015

Simon Newman
 Simon Newman says:

I recently sent a moving quote from the Dalai Lama to a friend and the email spellchecker offered "The Daily Llama." Can there really be a newspaper thus named ? What would you find to talk about on a daily basis? "Breaking llama news ..... in a field in Buckinghamshire today a llama spat and then bit the bum of another llama. We go over to our on-the-spot correspondent ..... Steve, give us sense of the mood in the field today."
Anyone want to keep this thread going........?

posted 24th November 2015

Laven Pillay
 Laven Pillay says:

Steve: Thank you, Simon. Yes, folks, its pure mayhem down here in this field in Buckinghamshire. The confused llamas have gotten more confused by all the confusion around their cause of confusion, resulting in a veritable profusion of confusion, and a possible illusion of the infusion of sense into what is essentially an a-llama-ing situation.
Back to you in the studio, Simon.

posted 26th November 2015

Simon Newman
 Simon Newman says:

Well Steve that really is, as you say, very much, in every sense, a confusing situation there ...... (holds earpiece, looks into middle distance) ... erm ... we've just getting a report in....... it seems there's been a swift response from the Peruvian Ambassador in London deeply shocked at the bum-biting incident in Buckinghamshire today. They're demanding a full apology from HM's government and immediate repatriation of all UK llamas to Lima .... it's a bad line ... that may be Limas to Llama I'm not sure ... but over now to our correspondent, Al Packer, who is, as we speak, quite literally outside the Embassy ...... Al, how is this, what can only be called a deeply worrying international spat, or perhaps I should say spit, unfolding where you are?

posted 26th November 2015

Laven Pillay
 Laven Pillay says:

Al Packer: Yes, Simon, I am, as you say, very literally, maybe even actually literally outside what is definitely an Embassy (points to Embassy of Peru sign) and moreover, certainly a Peruvian one. Just over my shoulder you can see the Peruvian attaché, big-bummed bigshot Benilda Babilonia berating broken back-bencher Benedict Blatherstock. I think...yes, she's just threatened Blatherstock with a Retaliatory Bum-Strike on the Buckinghamshire area! And I dont think she's going to be half-arsed about it! Back to you in the studio !

posted 27th November 2015

Simon Newman
 Simon Newman says:

We leave the tsunami of alliterative incontinence that has erupted outside the embassy to go over to Westminster where pandemonium has broken out following the threat of retaliatory bum-strikes by “dark forces.” David Cameron has just announced a UK/US coalition pre-emptive drone attack on Lima “a city that,” Cameron warned ominously, “has clearly now become completely IS-controlled.” In support, from the White House, President Trump declared, “Yeah, yeah, llamas, schllamas, whatever. Where the f**k is Peru anyway? Is it like, Mexico or sumpt’n?”
Meanwhile, back in London at the emergency Cobra meeting, Defence Minister and Right Honourable Member for Wimbledon South, Andy Hamilton, quite possibly the only man capable of ending this seemingly impassable impasse is about to stand up and speak. What? Oh, sorry, he’s already standing apparently. Sorry.

(Are you there Andy? End this thread now …… please!)

posted 27th November 2015

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