If I was Paul Chuckle for a day… with Tom Cruise

EVERY week, we ask a celebrity to imagine how they would live life as Paul Chuckle, aged 74, of Rotherham. Top Gun star Tom Cruise has a go: 

What’s your morning routine as Paul Chuckle? 

I would go at being Paul Chuckle as hard as I possibly can. The guy’s a Northern England comedian, right? Moustachioed? I can grow that moustache in an hour if I concentrate. Real, not CGI. Then I’d go downstairs and through a serious of hilarious misunderstandings eat 18 guava halves.

Plans for lunch? 

Before Chucklevision there were the Chuckle Hounds. Same brothers but in dog suits, slapstick action, synthesiser soundtrack. 1980s. Nostalgia gold. We bring that back. I’m Paul Chuckle, Simon Pegg’s Barry Chuckle, we do a $200m standalone sequel that brings in $800 million. No dialogue. Huge in international markets.

How would you spend your afternoon? 

Paul Chuckle meets students now, you got that? He meets students. The UK’s nothing. I can meet all the students in a single afternoon, every damn one, just meeting and being genuine and humbled and grateful and Hollywood’s last true star, the real thing, Paul Chuckle. Then I do the routine where I borrow a fiver with 330,000 of them.

And for the evening? 

Huge on social media. Making TikTok happen. Nine million people around the globe simultaneously doing ‘To me – to you’. Pantomime. Cologne commercials. A brokered marriage. Running a window-cleaning business with my brother. Comedy ensues with a ladder. I do the stunts myself and break both legs.

Final ruminations on your day? 

I’ll never be as Paul Chuckle as Paul Chuckle. Maybe I don’t have what it takes to be Paul Chuckle. This is like Jack goddamn Reacher all over again. Why did the shorter one have to die? I need you to sign this NDA.

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OK Computer: why it's crap

TWENTY-FIVE years ago Radiohead released OK Computer, one of the most turgid albums ever played to son by dad. Here’s what’s wrong with it. 

Tracks 2, 3, 6-7, 10: Thinks it’s clever

Computers were the coming thing in the 90s. Ordinary people were just starting to gaze upon their majesty. They were modern and new and the arriving future. Calling an album OK Computer in 1997 is like calling it TikTok Won’t Stop! today.

Tracks 2, 7, 9: It’s The Bends with its cock in a modem

The Bends was a truly great album that made Radiohead a huge international deal. OK Computer has at least five Bends-level songs on it, but messed about with to indicate that Thom Yorke was into glitchy electronica. We didn’t necessarily need to know that.

Tracks 7-8: Two songs are inarguably shit

A seven-course tasting menu where the fourth course is a turd: would you accept that? No? But a classic album where, right in the middle after one of the standout tracks, there’s a robot-voiced sixth-form poem followed by a shit indie-rock workout? Apparently fine.

Tracks 2, 12: It opened the door to prog rock

For all Britpop’s faults, it refocused the NME scene on short pop songs with tunes. The wizard-caped excesses of 1970s prog had been banished, until this album. Where Radiohead led, Muse shouting shit about quantum physics over ten-minute guitar solos followed.

Tracks 3, 4, 9, 12: Too many ballads

Rock bands should be careful with ballads. You start off as Aerosmith and end up only known for Crazy and Cryin’. Four ballads on one album, and a mere 19 years later we arrive at A Moon-Shaped Pool where every bloody track’s a dirge. Radiohead’s downfall is here in embryo.

Track 10: Undeniably depressing

It’s an obvious criticism but come on, a track called No Surprises about a man killing himself in a garage? It’s not a mood-lifter. If you had a shit job at a local council in the late 90s you sang it ironically all day and it still hurts every single time you hear it.