The TV psychic medium Colin Fry - star of Living's 6ixth Sense - has just returned from a tour of New Zealand where the Maoris performed a Haka for him. "I was named a 'medicine man' by one of the biggest tribes in Auckland," he tells The Argus. He adds quite correctly (NZ expert Duncan Fallowell please note): "Indigenous populations are usually deeply spiritual people, so the type of work I do appeals to them."
It is however his comment on the Guardian columnist Charlie Brooker which amuses me. Brooker has been particularly brutal to Fry on his BBC 4 show Screenwipe. He once said of the man who has mediated for the spirits of the late Quentin Crisp and Kenneth Williams (do I sense a theme here?): "He has a face like a rat trying to work out if someone's just farted."
Fry's riposte lacks Brooker's stiletto, that sieving for the right phrasing refined by years of freelance notice-me hacking during wanking episodes, but here it is: "At the end of the day, what has Charlie Brooker ever contributed to society? He's the kind of man I'd like to go up to in a restaurant and tip a plate of spaghetti over his head, because I just think he's vile and nasty."
Vile and nasty. Oh dear, that won't do. Brooker is paid to be vile and nasty, wittily. Brooker may look like a man struggling with the ravages of face thrush but I have heard many a chuckle burst forth behind a copy of the Guardian - and I can assure you that Peter Preston was not the cause. Fry should show clemency and summon up his "croaky-voiced" spirit guide Magnus for guidance on this matter. Brooker is the Norman Wisdom of prose antics, the Jeremy Beadle of comic reassurance of conventional prejudices. Even smart readers need their placebos.