“I’ll have a P please Bob.”
It’s an easy gag when you know how the gameshow Blockbusters worked, but back in the day, when I was at school, it was hilarious. Nowadays I’m more sophisticated and go for “I’ll have a T please Bob” when someone’s getting the coffees in.
All this is why I’m sad that Bob Holness, host of Blockbusters, has passed away. It’s like a part of the cultural life of the country has gone, because Bob was the source of more memes and urban myths than most presenters. The story goes that he played the saxophone on ‘Baker Street’; I was gutted to find out that this unlikely sounding factlet was untrue; in my mind’s eye, the sax is still played by Bob. Heck, for me he even plays guitar on the Foo Fighters’ cover of the song.
It’s even more bizarre that Bob was the first actor to play James Bond, in a fifties radio adaptation of Moonraker. Never mind George Lazenby, I think we should all spare a thought today for the real forgotten Bond.
And now even a typo in the Labour Party leader’s tribute to Bob is becoming a Twitter meme. That’s weirdly appropriate somehow.