36 4 mins 2 yrs

On this Christmas Day, I break from most of my self-imposed traditions, and write of a man, who is but a fortnight younger than myself; with whom I am truly disgusted. 

Sir Cliff Richard, born Harry Webb to British parents in India, whose family migrated back to Gt. Britain after Indian Independence. His start and career in show business is catalogued in many places, so I shall not list it here, but suffice to say that he has remained a force for over five decades in an industry whose stars are often akin to comets; rising brightly and swiftly, but either equally swiftly diminishing in brightness, or diving into a life of excess fuelled by drink or drugs. Cliff Richard had found a foundation and life based upon Christianity, and has remained true to that belief for over four-odd decades; which belief is the source of my disgust and annoyance with this eighty-year-old millionaire.

In 2014 and unbeknownst to him, Sir Cliff Richard became the subject of a police investigation in relation to an allegation of a historic sex offence and was investigated as part of Operation Yewtree (“OYT”). South Yorkshire Police decided to cooperate with the BBC once the SYT learned that the BBC had been tipped off. SYP told the BBC the day before the search and confirmed the property details. The BBC arranged for journalists to attend and a helicopter was hired to film the search. They also sent journalists to Sir Cliff’s homes in Portugal and Barbados. The BBC was very anxious to protect their exclusive, did not consider privacy (only accuracy) and knew that the broadcast would have a serious impact.

The impact on the singer was such that, at one stage, he collapsed, stricken with anxiety under the intense pressure of the relentless investigation. A book deal collapsed, he even gained the attention of the US Immigration Authorities when suffering difficulties inbound to America, due solely to the adverse publicity.

But, eventually, he recovered, sued both SYT and the BBC, and won substantial damages, costs and apologies from both organisations.

But this morning, he was the guest who was due to be the ‘Castaway’ on Desert Island Discs, played on Radio 4 immediately after the Eight-o’Clock News. So this eighty-year-old entertainer, given this truly prime-time position on the airwaves of the BBC does what? He skims over this possibly career- and health destroying episode, towards the end of this musical interview. He virtually forgives, on prime time radio, the Corporation which had set out to publicise the search and possible arrest of himself, a public figure! He acted as he is, a truly Christian gentleman!

His actions and attitude disgust me! Placing myself in his shoes, during that interview for Desert Island Discs, I would have blasted the whole BBC, inclusive of all the senior management involved; along with the cretins from the South Yorkshire Police. In the legal arena, I would have pursued, individually, every BBC clown whose shadow had crossed the plot to publicise the search of his properties; and, if possible, bankrupted every one of them. 

I am truly disappointed in Sir Cliff Richard: unfortunately, a true Gentleman; in every sense of the word!

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36 thoughts on “On this strangest of Christmas Days, I wish all readers the best of that which they hope for themselves.

  1. //which belief is the source of my disgust and annoyance//

    OK, so you acknowledge his Christian belief and are disgusted by him acting as a real Christian would and should.

    In contrast to Cliff’s forgiveness, on this Christmas Day your imagination is filled with thoughts of how you “would have blasted the whole BBC, inclusive of all the senior management involved; along with the cretins from the South Yorkshire Police. I would have pursued, individually, every BBC clown whose shadow had crossed the plot to publicise the search of his properties; and, if possible, bankrupted every one of them.”

    This is right-wing Christianity – the religion of hatred, revenge and aggression.

    Another reason why that particular calling is going absolutely nowhere and can in 2021 and thereafter fortunately look forward only to moral and political defeat and self-consuming anger.

    Happy Christmas.

  2. Noel

    You are reading this too literally. Mike isn’t ‘disgusted’ with Cliff, he is lauding him, not castigating him. He is just acknowledging his own unwillingness to be as magnanimous as Mr Richard,

  3. //You are reading this too literally. //

    Colm, I think you’re reading it too drunkenly if you think Mike is praising Cliff’s attitude here. The word “disgust” three times in a few paragraphs is a bit too often for Christmas.

  4. Noel

    I’m not yet as drunk as I thought I might be by this time 😊You only have to read Mike’s last sentence to get the message he intended in this post.

  5. I’m also disgusted with Cliff Richard, but for his appalling music selection. Given his life I thought we’d hear some banging tunes. I was stood in my kitchen listening to Olivia Newton-John instead. My neighbours probably think I’m gay now.

  6. I have always loathed Cliff singing his Christmassy or Holy songs. Normally I can tolerate almost anything playing on the radio but I have to switch over when I hear his tepid saccharine warbling.

  7. Cliff Richard and The Shadows with “Move It” it in 1960, two years after its release. This was the first proper Rock n Roll song to come out of Britain, and it’s really cool. Cliff had obviously been told to pull some Elvis moves by someone in a suit with no imagination –

    250 million sales later, No. 1 hits in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s and he’s still going strong. It’s been a lifetime since he was cool but by any measure Cliff Richard is a great artist, and that’s no joke.

  8. Pete

    Barbara Cartland and Joan Collins had zillion year careers, didn’t make them good writers or actresses. Same with dullard Cliff.

    Length doesn’t equal quality 😉

  9. We’ve left the EU now Colm. You can drop the snooty metropolitan outrage against working class culture.

    No seriously, Cliff Richard was a revolutionary and pioneer. At 17 years of age he recorded Britain’s first Rock n Roll track, something for which we should be forever grateful. And it was cool as cats.

    We all know his career went in multiple different directions in subsequent decades, but his influence and legacy are genuinely great.

  10. “We’ve left the EU now Colm.
    You can drop the snooty metropolitan outrage against working class culture.”
    that’s u told colm 😉

  11. I’m still right. 2021 is the year I persuade the ATW commentariat of the greatness of Cliff Richard.

  12. What was it that Jesus said after the Romans nailed him to the cross ?

    Forgive them father they know not.

    He was wronged. He sued. He won. And now he forgives and moves on. Sorry, I do not see the problem ?

  13. You’ve got to be joking. I’d rather drink 2 pints of Baileys in one go than listen to that dirge 🙂

  14. The year I persuade the ATW commentariat of the greatness of Cliff Richard

    Hmmmmmmmmm. ‘Greatness’ I don’t know but his success and longevity are unquestionable.

  15. Shaking Stevens was actually the UK’s biggest selling solo act of the 1980s. Sold even more than Michael Jackson or Madonna. I await a post from Pete on the creative genius of the Welsh Elvis 🙂

  16. Good call out, Colm. Shaky’s “Merry Christmas Everyone” is even better than M&W. My 3rd favourite Christmas song of all time (after Fairytale of NY and a traditional church choir version of Hark the Herald)

  17. for colm, who can’t accuse me of derailing ? ( or can he ? ) you decide
    Bohemiam Rhapsody – err the DJT Version ofc
    all hail the dear leader 😉

  18. It’s not Christmas until Yoko is screeching ‘waa ees ovva’ And yes, Elvis lives inside Shaky.

    I like this rather unusal Christmas song:

  19. ‘Greatness’ I don’t know but his success and longevity are unquestionable.

    Well, yes, but Cliff Richard’s longevity, and the fact that he went off in many bland and inoffensive directions, has obscured his significance.

    Before The Beatles and before The Stones there was Cliff Richard. He is a genuine Rock n Roll pioneer, so I’ll always have a soft spot for him.

  20. ow gawd
    the cliff richard talk is grating
    yes he’s a talent, yes he’s a star that has a huge career . full honours
    But how often day listen to him petem ?
    lol there’s the rub .. my guess is not very often , see ? – nuff said !

  21. the cliff richard talk is grating

    The post is about Cliff Richard. But wait till you see the bloke who bangs on incessantly about Trump whatever the post is about. Ah well, I ain’t losing sleep and I ain’t counting sheep.

  22. Gotta admit, I’d rather listen to Pete lauding the ‘greatness’ of boring git Cliff, than kurt regaling us endlessly with his 24 hour unstoppable passion for the idiot in the White House 🙂

  23. kurt doesn’t yet know that he will greatly miss President Trump. The good news is that he only has four years to wait for His return.

  24. lol the only thing connecting Trump and C.Richard is
    someone is taking his troops , like lemmings off a Cliff 😉
    boom boom ! on fire tonite

  25. There’s another thing connecting Cliff & Trump, barkers.

    Trump’s a carnie barker & Cliff shagged Sue Barker, (allegedly)

  26. hahaha
    colm which is worse for you posts on Trump,Flynn,Steele Dossier,or the Durham Report
    rank em man on scale of 1-10 of sheer agony 😉

  27. kurt

    What the F *** is the Durham report… or daren’t I ask ?

    I bet it’s Trump related though 🙂

    Paul

    Cliff shagged Sue Barker ? Yeah sure he did.

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