P&J Column for 25.2.13

George Osborne’s credit rating has been downgraded. Well, times have been tough since Sharon got the boot from the X-factor

Money Saving Expert and King of the Grips, KEVIN CASH

Oh the shame. Oor national credit worthiness his been impuned by Moody’s. They’re Moody? Foo dae they think we feel? I’m usually a loan wolf, fiscally spikking, mair used tae sticking it tae The Man than helping him oot. But fan the hale country’s considered a bad risk, emergency measures is needed. Luckily, I am available tae offer George Osborne some advice. There’s nithin I dinna ken aboot swicking credit, just cry me the Chuncer of the Exchequer. We’ve all been there. One minute yer imagining how smart that sofa wid look in yer living room – the next some plooky loon is telling you that your finance application his been refused. It’s exactly the same for governments. Except the sofa is an aircraft carrier and the plooky loon is fae BOAC instaed of DFS.

So fit’s the answer? First of all, you’ve tae be gye careful with your name. Een of the first things they check is whether or not your on the electrical roll. If you’re sensible like me, you’re nae. Cos that’s how they nobble you for cooncil tax and jury duty. My advice is tae choose een o’ your neighbours. I eyewiz ging by the name of Elsie Patterson fan I’m oot shopping. I dae get some funny looks, but if I mind and shave properly, pit on a heid-scarf and sook a pan-drop, I can usually pull it aff. Once you’ve conned them intae thinkin’ you’re a 70 year auld wifie fae Sheddocksley, yer next job is tae convince them you’ve got plenty cash. They’ll ask fit your salary is and aboot your monthly expenses. Funnily enough, fit will give your application the ring of truth is a couple of unlikely bits of information. The kind of thing naebdy would mak up. Fan I got ma new telly Elsie’s job wis “Ship’s Captain”, and her monthly outgoings included a donation tae the Scottish Conservatives.

So the wye forward for the government is to mak on we’re nae the debt-ridden double-dip recession UK, but een of the ither countries still hudding on to their AAA credit rating. In short, we’re going tae have tae steal anither country’s identity. Finland and Lichtenstein would be a stretch, but I reckon we could pass ourselves off as Australia. Thanks to being drip fed Home & Away and Neighbours as bairns we can all dae the accent, and if we share it oot evenly, there’s enough fake tan tae dae the hale country staggering doon Union Street on a Setterday nicht.

Entertainment news with showbiz insider SHELLEY SHINGLES (Miss Fetteresso, 1993)

What a night I had last Wednesday! The Brit Awards at the O2 – OMG! It really was a swanky do with fancy lights and a red carpet. I wasn’t in London, like, I was round at my pal Natasha’s flat on the Hardgate. She’s just had it re-done after her pipes burst at Christmas time. It looks fabulous. Though it does still smell a bit like Swarfega. But what a night! We had too much too drink and just chatted away to each other during the bits when James Cordon Bleu was talking, so it was exactly like being there!

How cute are One Direction?! Or, as show business insiders call them, R2 D2. They’ve had such an amazing year, that I wasn’t at all surprised when they picked up the award for ‘Global Success’. It could have been invented especially for them! Apparently they got it for breaking into the American market. That’s obviously not as bad as breaking into the Aberdeen Market. My cousin Stevie Shingles got caught doing that and they never gave him a Brit! They gave him 3 months.

I’m so proud of all my showbiz chums who won awards. I can still mind the boys from Mumford and Sons running round the studios when their dad was in ‘Rentaghost’ (I made my TV acting debut in that show, as the back end of Dobbin), and I know from my days standing behind the presenters on ‘Top of The Pops’ that Frank Ocean’s dad, Billy, will be dead chuffed at his success.

But we should all be proudest our own local starlet, Emeli Sande. The Alford quine has the world at her feet just now and as one of her oldest friends I can tell you that nobody deserves it more. I can actually lay claim to being one of the co-creators of her unmistakable look. Me and Emeli go way back. I met her when she was a student with a Summer job at the Alford Transport Museum; it was the day of the Grampian Motorcycle Convention, I was there as a spokes-model for Muck-off degreaser and she was taking part in Moped Madness. When she came off the back of her Kawasaki, her hair was all sticking straight up in the air, exactly like a vanilla cone from the Inversnecky. I’ll never forget what she said to me: “Excuse me, do you have a hairbrush I could borrow?”. But I didn’t, and the rest is history.