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Matt Smith
News

Time Lord Saves Harris Tweed

Matt Smith, the actor playing the latest incarnation of the Doctor in Doctor Who, has inadvertently revived the Harris Tweed industry in the Outer Hebrides. Mr. Smith, working with Dr Who’s costume designer Ray Holman, chose a vintage tweed jacket as part of his signature outfit, which also includes a bow tie, striped shirt and braces. The Chap has yet to establish whether the bow tie is real, though the braces are sadly of the clip-on variety. Mr. Smith’s tweed jacket, however, is thankfully authentic, dating from the late 1960s and made from a Mackenzie two-by-two dogtooth Harris Tweed. Given… Keep Reading

One Arm Bandit
News

The One-Armed Cufflink Bandit

A one-armed man walked into a jewellery shop in Essex and distracted staff while he made off with a single cufflink. The thief pretended to be looking for a present for his mother, when he knocked boxes of cufflinks on the floor and ran off with one in the shape of a boxing glove. The gold cufflink from CJ Vinten in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, is worth £120 and police have issued CCTV footage of the thief. Sally Ann Manthorp, who works at the shop, said: “It wasn’t until we watched the CCTV we saw he had an empty sleeve tucked in… Keep Reading

Ian Carmichael
News

RIP Ian Carmichael 1920-2010

The British actor who could be said to have embodied the ethos of Chappishness has died aged 89. Ian Carmichael always played the upper class twit, offering a bumbling but well-meaning conterpoint to the cads and bounders who shared the screen with him. One of his best-known roles was as Bertie Wooster in the 1960s BBC series, with Dennis Price as Jeeves. Although in his late 40s when he took the role of PG Wodehouse’s bumbling oaf (supposedly fresh out of university), Carmichael captured the spirit of Bertie in a way few actors have managed, including Hugh Laurie in the… Keep Reading

Handshake
News

Hand Shaking Given Shakedown

Modern youngsters are eschewing the handshake as the customary greeting and parting gesture. They are replacing it with a casual wave, a hug or by touching fists – in a nod to the tradition held by the rap musicians they listen to. The custom of shaking hands dates back to medieval times, when it was used as a peaceful greeting between knights; the open hand showed they were not holding any weapon. A poll revealed that 74 per cent of adults shake hands less often than they used to, while only 45 per cent of the under-25s do so. The… Keep Reading

Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer
News

Mr. B Hails The Chap With New Ditty

Hail the Chap! Lovable Chap-hop artiste and rapper for the flappers, Mr. B the Gentleman Rhymer, has composed a brand-new song especially for The Chap, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of this august publication. Entitled “Hail The Chap!”, the ditty explores the theme of the Chap’s ten-year history, examining its various achievements and manifestoes, within a strictly syncopated aeolian cadence and partial spoken word format according to the dictates of hip-hop – but with the addition of an adeptly placed ukulele. Mr. B is England’s foremost proponent of the musical form he calls Chap-hop; although other versions exist of this… Keep Reading

Angostura Bitters
News

Anguish Over Angostura Dearth

Last week, those with a predilection for the Manhattan, Old Fashioned or Pink Gin had a sharp increase in blood pressure, when it was learned that the world’s supply of Angostura Bitters had run dry. The highly aromatic elixir, made from a secret recipe of rare herbs, has been the mainstay in many a cocktail for over 150 years, giving drinks that extra impeccably spicy touch. The drought has only just come to light, when the company who manufacture the bitters in Trinidad revealed stocks had completely run out. “You can’t just turn on and off supply of bitters. It’s… Keep Reading

Shoe Polish
News

Shoe Shine Back in Style

The noble and ancient art of the shoe shine, long absent from our cities, has made a welcome return with the launch of Spit ‘n’ Polish Shoeshine booths. The first booth was opened at Marylebone Station in London. Spit ‘n’ Polish Shoeshine is the brainchild of Ronan McCarthy, who plans to put a shine back on what he sees as the scuffed footwear of a nation in need of some boot blacking. McCarthy turned down the offer of £108,000 on popular noctovisual programme Dragons Den, perhaps threatened by the shiny faces of the eponymous “Dragons”, yet he appears to be… Keep Reading

Matthew Fleming
News

Bowling the Taleban a Googly

Former England cricketer Matthew Fleming is helping to make a difference to the lives of children in Afghanistan by teaching them England’s finest export. Fleming, a 44-year-old former Royal Green Jackets officer, described how he felt compelled to help the grassroots game in the war-torn country. “People were saying they thought we had done our bit in Afghanistan. But as an ex-soldier, I don’t think we have while there are still British fighters in the country.” This May, the MCC sponsored a cricket training camp in Jalalabad, where 150 boys trained with Fleming and Afghan international players. The former Kent… Keep Reading

Keith Floyd
News

Bon Vivant Keith Floyd Dies after Pudding

Vivacious television chef Keith Floyd has died aged 65 at his Dorset home. The celebrated bon vivant, who paved the way for future cookery programmes, died shortly after a hearty luncheon at a restaurant in Lyme Regis. He had just extinguished one of many post-prandial cigarettes when he suffered a heart attack and passed away on the sofa. Keith Floyd’s career as a chef began in the Army. He had turned down the 11th Hussars to take a commission in the less snooty 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, but found his billet in Germany a far cry from the image of… Keep Reading

Kilchoman
News

Congratulations: it’s a Whisky

Just as the drinks industry becomes consumed by giant corporations, hell bent on designing unpalatable new alcopops by extensive use of the ‘focus group’ and ‘blue-sky’ marketing twaddle, comes a brand-new independent microdistillery, built from scratch right where Scotch whisky itself was probably invented. Kilchoman, based on the Scottish island of Islay, can lay claim to being practically at the centre of the cradle of distillation – it was reportedly here in the late 15th Century that King James IV was first introduced to the art of distillation by the Celtic Lord Of the Isles. A recent Launch event marked… Keep Reading

Loop
News

High Tea over RAF Cosford

An RAF Pilot has broken the world record for looping the loop in an aircraft while drinking a cup of tea. Corporal Stewart Hefti, who recovered from serious leg injuries sustained in Basra two years ago, completed 14 loop-the-loops as a passenger. Flying the plane was former RAF Red Arrows team leader Andy Offer. Due to centrifugal force, the tea does not spill during the loops, and Cpl Hefti landed with his cup of tea still nearly full. Speaking after completing his record at the RAF Museum Cosford, near Wolverhampton, he said: “When we first took off I was more… Keep Reading

Panama Hat
News

World’s Most Ethical Panama Hat

A British company has turned the tables on the traditional exploitation of hat weavers in Ecuador. In the past, the straw harvesters and weavers of hats selling for up to £600 in the UK were receiving a pittance, while members further along the food chain were making handsome profits. Carry Somers decided to change all that, after a research trip in 1992 to Ecuador, where all Panama hats are made. The straw used to weave Panama hats comes from a palm species that only grows on the coast of Ecuador. It was given the scientific name of Carludovica Palmeta in… Keep Reading

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