And it's not just Richard 'Smellyface' Littlejohn, whose column this week, 'Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Darling' in which he hilariously parodies a conversation with Alastair Darling by setting it in Dad's Army bears a striking resemblance to a 2007 column in which he imagined a conversation in the style of Dad's Army called, er, 'Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Darling'. Well done, Smellyface. You earned your next trip to IHoP with that one.
'It's NON-fire night! Thousands forced to watch big-screen TV bonfire... after 'elf n safety' killjoys ban the real thing' bears a striking resemblance to an extract from an earlier Smellyface column 'How Elf 'n' safety stole my country', which refers to an even earlier story 'Hundreds huddle around virtual bonfire' from 2006.
Ilfracombe Rugby Club has a virtual bonfire every year. It's not new. The reasons given range from the organisers saying they couldn't be bothered with the paperwork to meet Health & Safety guidelines through not being able to recruit enough stewards to it just being cleaner and better for the pitch. This most recent version quotes the club captain (not the organiser) as saying "Certain regulations make it difficult for us to have a real bonfire. It is not really a financially viable option." But earlier quotes from the organiser make it clear that it would actually be cheaper to have a real bonfire and the whole thing's a bit of a laugh.
Whatever the real reason, the "'elf n safety" angle sure gets the event a lot of national publicity. See also: Council insist on telly non-fire, Rugby club hopes for a scrum at ‘non-fire’ night and 'THE FARCE OF THE VIDEO BONFIRE'.
It's PR woo gone mad!