Tune in, switch off - Nothing super about Ted

18th September 2009 at 01:00
Turpin Ted has achieved for the Haworth tourist industry what the Taliban did for winter sun breaks in Afghanistan

It's called the Changegate Car Park in Haworth. But you won't get any change from the #163;75 you pay for clamp removal if you break their rules even a teeny bit, as we saw in The Yorkshire Clamper (Channel 4).

Leave your car for a couple of minutes to get some coins and you no longer need them. Just the big notes, please. Park across two bays, even if there's not another car in sight, and they'll demand the contents of your handbag. Baroness Betty Boothroyd was done for sticking her ticket in her car window upside down. It would have been cheaper to get her eyes tested at Specsavers.

Not surprisingly, the owner Ted has become a Dick Turpin hate figure. Turpin Ted has achieved for the Haworth tourist industry what the Taliban did for winter sun breaks in Afghanistan.

For Ted it's a matter of principle: "You can't have rules and then bend them," he says. It seems perfectly reasonable when he explains it, though he cheekily flogs Turpin T-shirts, even as the wheel torture screws are being fitted to cars. I call that turpitude.

He recited his four parking expectations as we do our class codes of behaviour. But what about leniency, Sir? Impossible - where would you draw the line? This was tough on crime and the causes of crime all at the same time. If Ted ever wants a job enforcing the wearing of our school uniform, he's my man. We might even get rich together on the fines.

Several rich men celebrated their talent - as well as their upcoming books, TV programmes or films - in the new series of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross (BBC One).

Ross is a hyperactive host but quick quips and a compelling personality make for interesting conversation. For example, national cricket hero, Stuart Broad, told Ross that his fastest ball travelled at 93mph. Wow, that beats the last Virgin train I travelled on.

Ricky Gervais reminded us, as he always does, what a huge superstar he is. I spotted him patiently queuing behind my wife in a London bookshop recently and she hadn't even recognised him. But then he didn't recognise her either.

Jamie Oliver demonstrated how to cook "bullock's bollocks" and chop a cucumber in thin slices in less than seven seconds, a skill learnt when he was 10. I won't be risking that in my school. Now he's testing his kids on the names, smells and tastes of the 24 herbs in his garden.

Jamie would have had something to say about the freshness of food plundered from supermarket bins by "freegans", protesting about waste, in another new series, Tonight: From Bin to Banquet (ITV1). It was Antony Worrall Thompson's turn to do the cooking with free ingredients from skips. He fed hundreds - it was just like the parable of the loaves and fishes. But this really was a miracle because nobody got food poisoning. Just goes to show: what you lose on the clamp, you win from the bin.

Ray Tarleton is principal of South Dartmoor Community College in Ashburton, Devon.

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