"Comedy always works best when it is mean-spirited" - John Cleese

Author John Corby also writes as "Bulldogge" for the British Canadian newspaper.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

6 Brits to Throw a Shoe at: #2 Colin Andjustin

The world has become familiar with the symbolism of throwing a shoe at somebody ever since the well-publicized incident in which a disgruntled middle-eastern gentleman hurled a shoe at former US President George W. Bush. When Blighty's Blog throws a shoe at somebody it means we feel the same way. Want to throw a shoe at some famous Brit? Tell us who.

I remember watching a brilliant TV series from the UK called "The Million Pound Property Experiment". In a six part series the hosts, a Scottish couple called Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan, traded a series of homes in the UK. The objective was to buy what we in Canada call "fixer-uppers", improve them and resell for a profit. Each successive purchase was a step up the property ladder from the previous one. The end goal was to sell the final property for at least a million pounds.

They succeeded. I was glued to that show for weeks and watched the reruns and spinoffs too. I felt a strong attraction to the idea because I too have been a property speculator and I once owned a home that weighed over a million pounds.

I overlooked the bizarre antics of the couple (I use the word "couple" quite deliberately and without prejudice). Although Mr McAllister's behaviour is marginally normal, his partner Mr Ryan is a disturbing extrovert. But one thing, above all else, struck me about the couple - they are inseparable. Inseparable in real life and inseparable as an entertainment item. Blighty's Blog is not going to waste two good shoes on this pair. Instead we have labelled them as one: Colin Andjustin.

Okay, the million pound property thing was good; very good actually. But Colin Andjustin is not a property speculator, they are a designer (alright, I know, the grammar is beginning to sound a little weird now, but bear with me, you'll get used to it). Or should I say that Colin Andjustin hold themselves out to be a designer? Are they really a designer or are they just a TV presenter?

They have a new Canadian TV series called "Home Heist". In 2007 they moved to Canada to make this series. They bought a loft apartment in Toronto, but to the best of my knowledge, they haven't flipped it for a bigger pad yet. Who knows they may end up with a mansion in Rosedale.

Oh My God!
In the series Home Heist they take over some poor gullible Canadian family's home and impose their bizarre design ideas on it. At the end of the show the unfortunate and horrified homeowners are required to pretend to be pleased with their bright orange kitchens. The script instructs them to look pleased, clasp their hands to their cheeks and repeatedly exclaim "oh my God!" before they rush off to their lawyers to file suit for compensation.

Friendly Fire
Colin Andjustin's wilder ideas have included replacing a real fireplace with a built-in flat screen TV displaying a DVD movie of a lovely log fire. I wonder if they have spent a whole winter (all nine months of it) in Canada yet?

Aarrgghhhh! Where's the Milk?
They also have some disdain for Canadian appliances. Perhaps our appliances are so different to Scottish ones that they feel the need to disguise them. Several of their kitchen redesigns have included disguising fridges and dishwashers as kitchen cabinets. Imagine the frustration of coming downstairs in the middle of the night looking for a glass of milk and being unable to find the fridge.

Colin Andjustin - stand up you two-headed weird thing while we throw a shoe at you.

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