THE VIEW FROM HERE
WHO'S interested in the Oscars? Such overblown achievements, such vulgarity on the red carpet, all those tiresome tears and tributes and what on earth had Halle Berry done to her hair?
No, if you wanted star appearances last week, you needed only to watch the Island’s very own quality act on Four in a Bed, the reality series which pits four couples against each other in contention to see who runs the best bed-and-breakfast establishment.
Could George and Juliet Bristow, owners of the Pilot Boat Inn, Bembridge, scoop the honours and bring glory to the Island? Poof! It was no contest, as our Island superstars swept the board in terms of one-upmanship.
They were up against couples from Blackpool, Yorkshire, and Lincolnshire and George and Juliet were clear leaders from the start.
First they visited Blackpool, with George ecstatic to find a little stick of rock in his room.
"Oh, look, George!" squeaked Juliet, as if her husband had stumbled across the Holy Grail.
Do you see what they did there? They subtly made it known that sticks of rock were unfamiliar territory, while also being jolly good sports. Very public school.
They followed this up with a discussion about how to pronounce 'chandelier’ (one imagines whole dinner parties in Bembridge devoted to this important matter).
George also played a blinder over dinner in Blackpool.
"Our whole business career has been based on just doing what we like," he told the others.
"We bought a pub on a whim one night when I was in the bar."
Yay! Bet they don’t drop into the Fishpaste & Ferret in Blackpool for a port and lemon and come out with the entire building. Definitely one up to the Island.
And I was speechless with admiration at the courteous manner in which George ensured everybody was included in the conversation.
"Do you have a tennis court?" he asked the oop-north Yorkshire couple. "Several," they replied in a feeble attempt at sarcasm, which failed entirely when George check-mated them. "Oh, I thought everyone did," he said. Pow!
I also very much liked the way Juliet greeted people on the doorstep. Despite being only inches away from them, she shrieked as if she were hailing a fellow yachtie on the other side of The Solent.
And there was kissing galore, so really it was just like the Oscars, only with tennis courts.
The couple from Lincolnshire were quite good shriekers, too, but the Pilot Boat had the nautical squawk sewn up.
However, it was the episode on the Island which nailed it for our stars, with George’s brilliant tactic of dispensing misinformation surely calculated to bamboozle the opposition.
"Does anyone know the derivation of posh?" he inquired over dinner, before mischievously supplying a completely erroneous etymology (that 'Port out, starboard home’ is actually twaddle but it’ll do for the oop-north folk, won’t it?) *
He then turned the conversation to class and said (remember, we’re in Bembridge here) he thought the social divide had "blended away". Oh, George, you are a wag.
There was certainly no blending of the social divide when the Blackpool couple reported their kettle at the Pilot Boat to be "minging". Juliet peered in astonishment at the comments book.
"What does minging mean?" she asked George.
"I don’t know," he said.
He said it was a good question though not, presumably, as good as asking northerners if they knew the derivation of 'posh’.
By now the Island was on a roll of sheer class. At their final destination, Juliet magnificently demanded a baked egg for breakfast and said she hadn’t eaten a fish finger in 20 years.
The last programme of the week, in which the results were announced, was the pinnacle of glory for the Bristows.
What does it matter they came last? Well, only sort of last. Not last at all, actually.
"We know ours is the best, anyway," said Juliet, confidently popping the Pilot Boat into the winner’s enclosure.
Absolutely. Give the woman a baked egg and don’t mention the minging kettle.
* Posh is believed to come from a Romany word for a dandy.
Rain, with a several brighter patches
Top telly marks to Bembridge’s finest but BBC South Today’s Alexis Green, who tells us what the weather will be like, could perhaps take some sartorial tips from the Bristows.
They always dress appropriately for rain and shine but Ms Green’s zany wardrobe makes it extremely difficult to focus on her forecast.
She’s a delightful girl and a dab hand with wind speeds but it’s a schizophrenic experience watching her.
There she is, in some whacky little number made up of quite random materials which wouldn’t go amiss at a rave-up in the Caribbean, telling us it’s sub-zero outside.
One loses track of incoming fronts while wondering where she sources her clothes. Could they perhaps be art installations from the Tate Modern?
Please, Alexis, go get some warm woollies and stop your frocks telling us we’re in an avant-garde heatwave.