Read Even More About It

There's some more news about the news. The newspaper column by Steve N Allen has now expanded to include publication in the Swindon Advertiser.

A longer, more in-depth look at the news is published every Tuesday. It can be found on sale in news agents in Wiltshire.

This adds to the circulation that already includes London, Essex, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.

The column takes a look at a news story from that week and finds the angles that may not have been considered to shed light on issues in a way that only humour can.

Keep an eye out in your local papers to see if the Steve N Allen column comes to you area in the coming months.


The Goop Christmas Gift Ideas Have Landed

Do you have someone in your life who is difficult to buy for? If so, Christmas can be a harrowing time. Sure, you have thought of dumping them before the big day but that way you don't get the things they have bought for you so that option is off the table.

What do you get the man who has everything? Antibiotics. But you probably got them that last Christmas, or the Christmas before. It's certainly such an old joke I am sure you have bought it by now.

Thankfully help is on hand from someone who understands how hard it can be to keep someone happy. Gwyneth Paltrow! I am assuming she knows how hard it is to keep someone happy judging by the number of Coldplay songs in a minor key.

Her website Goop has published some gift ideas. If your money to sense ratio can be expressed as a vulgar fraction this stuff might be for you.

For just $250,000 you can buy a Virgin Galactic space flight. If I were to spend that much money and do something as risky as go into space I might be tempted to go to the actual Virgin website. Sure, I'd try Expedia first to see if I could get it cheaper but I'm not sure I want Pepper Potts selling me a space flight.

It's one thing if you buy that for yourself but if you buy a ticket to space as a gift for someone it's a bit of a hint. "I got you this. Now there is a risk you'll die and, best case, you're not on this planet for a while. Bye."

Also on the website you could treat someone to a $100,000 tree house. Actually, if you could have them build it somewhere in Zone 1 London you'd make a profit.

It's not all big ticket items, you can get some stocking-fillers, which have to be small as I'd guess the kind of person who shops at Goop and only has macrobiotic snacks won't fill large stockings.

You can get a pot of caviar for $16,000. Jesus! These are motorway service station prices.

My favourite item on the site is the lovers' bondage restraints. They cost $1,350 but at least they are useful. You can tie up your partner before you explain that you wasted all your joint savings eating a pot of fish eggs in a tree house.


A Few More Podcasts with Steve N Allen

For the 17th year in a row we're told that podcasts are the next big thing. Let's hope so because recently I have been kept busy turning up on the odd podcast.

Should you suddenly be hit by the urge to listen to what I get up to in podcastland here are a few of them.

I was interviewed about comedy and radio by Ben Punter in his "What Have We Learnt" podcast. Fun fact: It was recorded in a pub, which I think should be the location for more of my work.
Hear here

I talked about my theories of how to have a good relationship on the Frank podcast. I'm no expert, and some days it feels like calling myself a "gifted amateur" would be a bit of a stretch, but I give my thoughts all the same.
Hear here

I had an in depth conversation about comedy on Rhodder's "Stand and Deliver" podcast in this episode.
Hear here

I was on a panel of comedians talking about comedy and its role in political discourse and news coverage in this episode of the RedBox podcast from The Times
Hear here

And if all of that isn't enough for you there's my podcast with the BBC, it's called "Steve N Allen’s Week", which you can…
Hear here.

If you'd like to have me on your podcast find a way to get in touch and I bet we can make it happen.



Christmas Election - Get Festive

I hope you wanted a General Election for Christmas because that's what we're getting.

For me, the news was like getting my Christmas wish early. That makes sense because Christmas gets earlier every year, why shouldn't the wishes? As soon as the August Bank Holiday is over shops start to peddle their red-themed tat, but that's a rant for another column.

It's been nearly a century since this country had a December vote. Those who think things were better back in the olden days should be happy.

Christmas is a time for traditions like wrapping up warm to stand in a queue outside a primary school in whatever weather we'll get that day.

Some may struggle to get out to vote. Do a postal vote. Dashing to the post box before to deadline is a Yuletide classic.

Christmastime post isn't known to be reliable but if your postal vote gets lost it will probably turn up again years from now. You'll have voted in the 2034 election, which could easily still be mainly run along Brexit lines.

Will this festive election sort this whole mess out? Maybe not. A General Election isn't the best way to sort out a single issue and due to the first-past-the-post system people living in safe seats will feel like they don't have a say. But this is what we have. Learn to be grateful for what you get at Christmas. It could have been a lump of coal.

The Christmas election comes down to this, which Santa will you want to visit you? Will it be the old man with a white beard who wants to give things away to people but doesn't talk about how much that costs? Or will it be the overweight, jolly man who has been in many bedrooms?

I can't wait to find out.


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