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Docteur Qui is difficult enough to explain in English”

Once during practice for oral French my teacher asked me what my favourite TV programme was and I said Docteur Qui. She then asked me to describe it. Docteur Qui is difficult enough to explain in English and I’m afraid my sparse French didn’t suffice. She suggested if asked this question during the exam I should tell a white lie and pick something simpler. I chose Roobarb and Custard, a cartoon about a chat et un chien, which seemed more straightforward, but it didn’t help because I failed oral French anyway.

I don’t in any way mean this as a slight — Matthew Waterhouse (who portrayed Alzarian boy genius Adric in the late Tom Baker, early Peter Davison era of Doctor Who) seems to possess a charming naïveté and capacity for non sequitur that reminds me of the most sublime moments of Karl Pilkington.

The above, taken from his blog, is a recent example.

“They failed to come up with anything that remotely resembled a word”

From a 2002 BBC News item about researchers at the University of Plymouth testing the ‘infinite monkey’ theorem by making available a computer terminal to six monkeys – Elmo, Gum, Heather, Holly, Mistletoe and Rowan – from Paignton Zoo in Devon.

After a month, the Sulawesi crested macaques had only succeeded in partially destroying the machine, using it as a lavatory, and mostly typing the letter ‘s’.

As Karl Pilkington once observed: There hasn’t been one publication from a monkey – and they’ve been around longer than us. (Here’s Karl Pilkington’s initial take on the infinite monkey theorem from the 8 February 2003 edition of the Ricky Gervais Show on XFM.)