We win award at film festival!!!

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Yes, we know it’s all gone a bit quiet on the Dawn Rescue front lately, but fret not, we’re back and we’ve got some BIG news! Our promo film (above) wowed the crowds last night at this year’s ‘QueerFest’ film festival, where we walked off with the much coveted ‘Golden Sebastiane’* prize.

Now, before you despatch telegrams of congratulations, let us just point out that this is something of a mixed blessing. You see, we had thought it would be a cunning ruse to send our short film to various ‘gay film festivals’ so that our message could reach the intended audience (to preach to the un-converted, if you will) and to that end we gave ourselves fictional actor names and credited it all to a made-up writing/directing duo of two brothers (because as we all know, the film world is rife with nepotism, LOL!) Our master-plan was this; our film would be screened, the audience would be hit (whack!) straight in the face with our message, the mote would fall from their eyes, etc etc, and ‘Bob’s your Uncle,’ we leave the venue with a couple of hundred new recruits in tow! We had of course entered our film to the LLGFF (London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival) but to no avail, (we discovered, too late, that in order to qualify you must include a shower scene).

‘QueerFest’ bills itself as “an alternative, counter-cultural antidote to the increasing homogenisation of homosexuality” (whatever that means!). The venue was a disused warehouse in East London, and the audience members did not much resemble the sartorially snazzy sorts I’ve previously come across on my sojourns around Soho. Instead there was lots of green and purple hair (dyed, presumably, one can only hope!) facial piercings, and quite a few rather mean, burly looking types with shaven heads and tattoos (and that was just the women, LOL!**)

The films were mostly rather gruesome. There were shower scenes aplenty (presumably more failed entrants to the LLGFF), indeed most of the films blurred into one long shower scene, but an exception which will doubtless linger in my nightmares was the repulsive Corpse Lover, in which a mortuary attendant opens a freezer to pull out the naked body of a young man and then…..(but I shall go no further! I’m sure you can all guess the rest!) There was another called Guitar Licks about two Canadian lesbian singer-songwriters. It’s a case of opposites attract when Ani Difranco-fan Brenda meets Melissa Etheridge-fan Wanda at an open mic night in Toronto and they go for a coffee in a late-night café… (I’m quoting from the festival brochure here). It was rather tedious, but it livened up somewhat towards the end when, after taking a late-night skinny dip in one of Canada’s Great Lakes, the two women are mauled by a grizzly bear whilst trying to retrieve their clothes. Dan and myself both cheered on the bear, (we felt it represented traditional Christian civilization reasserting itself!) prompting angry looks from all around us. Finally, our film was shown! But instead of the desired Damascene conversions, there was either much tittering throughout, (they thought it was a comedy!) or else bored indifference.

Dan and myself were in shock as the lights came up and the festival organiser announced that a “very special guest” was arriving to dole out the prizes, whereupon a coffin was wheeled in to the music from “The Omen” and out sprang a drag queen dressed as Margaret Thatcher! Well, Dan and myself were practically choking on our popcorn at this sacrilege! “You’re all disgusting and immoral!” bellowed the tranny Mrs T to pantomime boos and hisses from the audience. “Maggie” then proceeded to hand out ‘Sebastianes’ from “her” capacious handbag.*** (In case you’re wondering, Corpse Lover won the bronze and Guitar Licks won the silver.)

Dan went up to collect the award on our behalf and used his speech to reveal to the crowd that the film was not in fact a comedy and begged them all to heed it’s angry message, but instead of the expected epiphanies, the crowd all hooted still further, they thought Dan’s speech was all part of some ghastly extended parody!

We both stormed out, furiously. But as we left via the side-exit, who should we bump into but my hideous sister Bryony, standing on the street, cigarette en route to slanderous mouth!

“Bryony!” I shrieked, my suspicions instantly aroused “what are you doing here?”

“I came to see a film by one of my work colleagues, I had no idea your film would be showing!” snapped my errant sibling. She then gestured to the stick-thin young fellow standing beside her with giant curly hair, clothed in “hipster” attire (Kim Jong-Il T-shirt, red braces, black skinny jeans) “This is Charlie Wyrrel-Fife, he wrote and directed Corpse Lover, he’s also head writer on The Fimbles.” (yes, really! These are the sorts of depraved minds at work on our kids TV shows!)

“OMG,” squealed Charlie, “So you’re Bry’s Bro, yah?”

He extended his tiny hand to shake mine, but Dan angrily dragged me off up the street to the tube station, tossing our Golden Sebastiane into a skip on the way there.

*The ‘Golden Sebastiane’ prize is, as you might have surmised, a blasphemous & idolatrous spray-painted figurine of the scantily-clad saint impaled with arrows….there’s something a little odd about anyone who would find such a macabre image ‘homo-erotic’ don’t you think?  

**No, REALLY, that WAS just the women!

***No, I don’t quite get the logic of Margaret Thatcher returning from the dead, arriving at a gay film festival to abuse the crowd and then thinking, “oh, ok, whilst I’m here I may as well stay and hand out some awards.” Somehow it doesn’t quite sound like the uncompromising “not for turning” Iron Lady we all knew and loved, does it?

Dawn Rescue under attack!

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Well it had to happen sooner or later, folks, didn’t it? Our noble organisation of Dawn Rescue is under attack from the secular establishment, by that fortress of Communist propaganda; the BBC! The above video has been vomitted over the web, styling itself as an ‘investigation’ into Dawn Rescue, and making a whole load of fanciful and unsubstantiated claims. In a nutshell; IT’S ALL LIES, FOLKS! (But you knew that already of course!) And who is behind this barrage of hate-filled bigotry? Why, if it isn’t Bryony Ditty, none other than the sister of our own Matthew Ditty, (although she was long ago disowned by Matthew, you’ll be pleased to hear). She has previous form on this. See here and her numerous aggressive and hysterical BTL comments on our site here and here and here.

How fitting that this should hapen now of all times, on Good Friday! Just as our Lord was betrayed and punished for others sins, so do our enemies atempt to crucify Dawn Rescue! But unlike Jesus, we’re not quitters!

Did homosexuality kill off the dinosaurs?

Didhomosexualitykilloffthedinosaurs

The above picture has been surfing about on the interweb, and it certainly gives pause for thought and provides a very compelling argument. (Although there are some quibbles one might make. Are the serpents referred to in the Bible really dinosaurs? Are we to believe Eve was tempted by a velociraptor, or a stegosaurus? Hmmm.) But the point about dinosaurs being serial killers is a persuasive one. Indeed, what of other serial killers in the contemporary animal community, such as tigers, lions, wolves, eagles and owls, all of whom are endangered species? We are forever told their numbers are declining because of ‘poaching’ or ‘global warming’ but perhaps there is another reason which they are not telling us? Perhaps a certain lifestyle choice? Why so coy, Mr Lion? And why are you blushing, Monsieur Owl?

In this ‘historic’ week when the British parliament signed the death warrant for heterosexual marriage, are we humans also facing extinction?

However, the answer to the question posed above is an emphatic NO. Homosexuality did not kill off the dinosaurs BECAUSE DINOSAURS NEVER EXISTED (as we have already explained before).

Matthew’s Blog: Master of the House!

Brute with Joel picSo, have you seen Les Mis? Isn’t it just super! Now come on, spill the beans, peeps; did you have a nice big juicy cry at the end? Don’t worry, yours truly had to wipe away a few stray tears as the credits rolled, and I’m not at all ashamed to admit it! Because not only is it a masterpiece of cinema, it’s also a deeply Christian film! (And you can’t say that very often nowadays, can you?) Oh, and isn’t Eddie Redmayne simply sublime as Marius? I shall have to keep my eye on this charming, freckle-faced young chap! (Because of his considerable acting and singing talents, of course! Why else do you think?)

For the past few days since seeing the film I’ve been walking around the flat trilling all the songs. Thankfully Dan hasn’t been around, or he’d have flipped with rage by now. He’s still traversing the African plains with his dear old mama, leaving me all on my tod to be ‘Master of the House!’ (well, ok, ‘master of the flat’!)

I’ve been getting along just fine of course, despite Dan and Linda’s touching concern for me before they left. “You’ll be all by yourself,” warned Dan, “but don’t think you can go getting up to any mischief in my absence! Remember, I can read you like a book, Matthew, I’ll know!” “And God witnesses everything!” added Linda as she heaved her suitcases behind her out the door.

But there are the occasional moments where one yearns for the brain and braun of Mr Dan Erpingham to be on hand. Take yesterday for instance.

I’d just popped out to the shops to get some groceries and returned to the front entrance of the flats to find a mean looking young lad in a hoodie loitering by the door. I hurried past him and hastily let myself in but as I had feared the youth followed me into the hallway. My heart pounded in my chest as I took the stairwell and ascended quickly, he in hot pursuit. As I reached the door of my flat, it became apparent that my pursuer was still snapping at my heels, so I would simply have to man up and confront the fellow. I spun round to face him, but before I could squeak “please don’t hurt me!” he had thrust a crumpled photograph under my nose. Well, this didn’t seem like the modus operandi of any young felon I’d read about, so I began to breathe a sigh of relief only to have said sigh halted mid-exhalation and reversed back into a sharp intake of breath as I observed who the photograph depicted. It was Joel, our former admin assistant and lodger, (up until he wavered and had to be taken to ‘The Garage’ for his ‘MOT’).

“Where’s Joel!” he snapped.

“Who?” I queried, taking care to suitably furrow my brow. “I know no Joels!”

“Yes you do, he lives here!” barked the boy. I didn’t like the racket he was kicking up for the neighbours entertainment so I opened the door and ushered him inside.

“Would you like a cup of tea?” I asked, in an attempt to pacify the brute via the medium of hot beverages.

“Joel!” hollered the young man, rudely barging into every room in search of our fallen comrade. “Where is he? What the f*** have you done with him?”

I attempted in vain to maintain the fiction that this Joel was a complete stranger to myself but the intruder fished a letter from his inside pocket and waved it accusingly in my face, a letter written by Joel some months ago. Having disgorged several items of paperwork from a filing cabinet which established that a Matthew Ditty and Dan Erpingham both resided in the residence, (and that being in the residence I was likely to be one of them) he then began reading aloud choice passages from Joel’s letter that seemed to further verify that myself, Joel and Dan were indeed intimately acquainted, despite my earlier protestations to the contrary.

“I think you’d better sit down,” I said calmly, leading him to the kitchen table as I made us some tea.

Turns out young Declan (for that is his name) has a lurking suspicion that all isn’t quite tickety boo with his old chum. Joel wrote to his old school pal Declan whilst ensconsed in our spare room, just to say “so long, adieu, auf wiedersehen goodbye” or words to that effect. But he’d listed our address on the letter and given lengthy descriptions of Dan and myself. Well, mostly Dan, actually. (Referred to throughout as the “handsome one”! Hmm.)

Declan resides in Brighton (where Joel hailed from). Apparently Joel had announced one Friday to Dec that he was off to London for the weekend to taste the “hedonistic splendour of gay London” (or words to that effect) as he’d grown tired of the rather provincial Brighton scene. So nobody was more shocked than Declan when Joel returned to sixth form college the following Monday to announce that he’d become a Christian. Joel’s parents, (two militant lesbians) were outraged, immediately turfing him out into the street in disgust.

So Joel came hurtling back to London on the next train and sought me out (the cause of his conversion, natch), pitching up in our flat for the next few months. (You can see Joel in our promotional video, re-enacting his first encounter with me, about 3:39 minutes in). Then of course there was the fateful phone call to one of his mothers, the olive branch of peace was extended and he was to be tentatively welcomed back into the fold.

Except of course he never arrived. But Joel’s mothers did receive a message on their answer-phone from Joel. “Hello Mums,” Joel’s quavering voice had said, “I’ve decided not to come home after all. Ever. Don’t try and contact me. I hate you and I never want to speak to either of you ever again. Goodbye.”

“Well, then,” I said, “mystery solved.”

“No, it’s not mystery solved! Where is he?”

“He just took off one day,” I said, “said he fancied doing some travelling, something about India I think. Said he wanted to find himself, go on a spiritual journey, or some such.”

“But he’s a Christian!”

“No,” I corrected him, “he got bored with Christ, said he fancied giving Eastern mysticism a whirl, like so many pampered Westerners before him.” And on that point, I emitted a weary little sigh and rolled my eyes.

“I don’t know,” shrugged Declan, flummoxed. “I just thought it was all a bit suspicious. I heard that answerphone message and thought it sounded a bit weird, like you’d made him record it under duress or something.”

I laughed at this to demonstrate how ridiculous I thought it sounded.

“I tried to get his mums to report him missing to the police, but they didn’t seem to give a toss. I was like, “he’s your son!” and one of his mum’s was like, “no son of mine is a Christian!” and the other mum was like, “yes, and he’s probably started reading the Daily Mail too, and voting Tory!” And they both shuddered, and one of them said, “what would the neighbours say if they saw him walking up the street with his crucifix necklace, his Daily Mail and his blue rosette, we’d be cast out of Brighton society! Never again will Caroline Lucas MP invite us to her vegan summer barbecues! Julie Burchill will spit in our faces!” And I was like, “but Julie Burchill’s a Christian!” and his mums were both, like, “all the more reason why she’d spit in our faces, Julie hates anyone copying her!” I gave up trying to reason with them, so I thought I’d try and find Joel myself!”

“But maybe,” I said sadly, squeezing Declan’s hand, “Joel doesn’t want to be found?”

“But I’m his BFF!” protested Declan.

A brainwave suddenly occured to me. “Tell me Declan, did Joel have any other friends called Declan?”

“No,” said Declan, “just me. Why?”

I bit my lip. “Because he often used to talk about someone called Declan whom he found really annoying, and secretly despised, and how he’d be so happy never to see him again.”

As Declan stared at me I thought ‘here it comes,’ as the flood gates opened and he burst into tears.

“Oh dear, come here, Declan,” I murmured, enfolding him in my arms. “There, there!” And as I cradled him I sang ‘Do You Hear The People Sing?’ from Les Miserables. And what do you know, after a couple of verses Declan joined in!

So a round of applause please for clever-clogs Matthew who successfully managed to defuse this potentially explosive situation! Who says I can’t look after myself, eh?

All together now, “master of the house, doling out the charm, ready with a handshake and an open palm…..”

Matthew’s Blog: The Light Continent

Dan and Linda Uganda pic

Have you been watching ‘Africa’ on the BBC? If you’re anything like me, you’ll have been glued to Attenborough’s latest on the goggle-box as the intrepid octogenarian travails the vast expanses of that mighty continent. (Of course one must always be on one’s guard with Sir David, always ready at a moment’s notice to stick one’s fingers in one’s ears and sing “la la la” whenever he starts spouting his atheist lies about “evolution.”)

Watching ‘Africa’ is also a good way of remaining close to Dan, who is currently, like Attenborough, beating a path through the tough African terrain, accompanied by his dearest mother Linda. (I imagine they both look great in explorer’s hats and khaki shorts!) However whilst Attenborough hobbles off in pursuit of cheetahs and shakes his walking stick at angry rhinos, Dan and Linda have rather more pressing matters at hand. They’re not there to frivolously admire the wildlife, but to educate the good Christians of the ‘Dark Continent’ (it’s actually quite sunny there, so I’m led to believe) as to the perils of ‘tolerating’ sexual perversion, ably assisted by a travelling slide-show of shocking images guaranteed to bring Mr Vomit rushing up the elevator and loitering with intent at the back of one’s throat.

Prior to leaving, Dan and Linda had spent many hours sat on the sofa in the front room of our flat with the laptop on Dan’s lap, trawling the info super-highway in search of the filthiest, most despicable images with which to refresh their dossier of depravity.

Unfortunately, Google Images seemed somewhat half-hearted with its suggestions, shyly offering up a few desultory offerings that Linda and Dan both felt didn’t quite have that ‘je ne sais quoi’ quality required to truly enrage pious Africans and get them hurriedly forming an orderly lynch mob outside the hut of the nearest ‘flamboyant’ villager.

Horrified African kids

I was happily leaving them to their dirty work as I sat on the sofa opposite, flicking through the latest issue of Empire magazine, so engrossed in some pics of Aaron Taylor Johnson on the set of Kick Ass 2 that at first I didn’t notice that both Erpinghams had diverted their attention from the computer screen and re-routed it in my direction. After a minute or so I began to feel the heat of their rays burning into me and as I looked up to answer their gaze my heart hit an iceberg and plummeted into the abyss. I knew at once that my services were to be enlisted.

Thus I was despatched to the nearest sin-pot to sniff out a suitable muse to assist in the tableaux. There was a likely looking lad perched at the bar as I walked in and I wasted no time in “chatting him up.” Although interested enough in me, he seemed in no hurry to escort me homewards, so with Dan impatiently texting me I whipped out the wallet and flashed a few twenties under the young chap’s nostrils, at which he hastily plonked his pint glass down on the counter and dutifully trooped out in my slipstream.

He seemed a little bemused when he arrived back at the flat to be greeted by both Dan and Linda setting up the camera on its tripod in the bathroom, but after a few more twenties were flashed in front of his nose he quit whimpering as I nudged him into the makeshift studio to begin our gruelling five hour ordeal. And here, dear reader, a curtain of discretion must descend upon proceedings. What we did, we did in the service of Dawn Rescue, and I won’t begin to describe any of the terrible images we conjured up on that long, long night, suffice to say they will remain forever etched into my mind however hard I might try to erase them, (and would doubtless remain forever etched in yours too, should you ever be unlucky enough to see them).  Eventually Linda declared “it’s a wrap, guys!” so that myself and the ‘rough trade’ could wipe ourselves clean and put our clothes back on. I had to stuff a few more twenties into the stunned hustler’s trembling hands to silence any lingering objections he might have, and then hurriedly marched him out the door so we could assess the results. And according to the latest email which has just slam-dunked into my inbox, those pictures have most definitely been having the desired effect on the good people of Uganda! (Next stop, Ethiopia!) Which is reassuring to know, don’t you think?

The things Muggins here does for Dawn Rescue!

Matthew’s Blog: New Year, New Dawn

new dawnHappy (belated) 2013! Have you made any new year resolutions? What were they? And have you managed to stick to them? Come on now, be honest! Ooh look, you’ve turned bright puce! Naughty, naughty, tut tut! I’ve made my usual resolutions, the same resolutions I make every year (to have no more impure thoughts, to finally quit the self-abuse, to completely change my sexual orientation, etc etc) and after my “annus horribilis” of 2012 (whence I was tempted by a certain slithering serpent, lest we forget ) I have high hopes that 2013 will finally be my year! Fingers crossed!

How was your Christmas? Did you get lots of lovely pressies? Here at Dawn Rescue we had the best Christmas presents ever! Dan’s mum Linda graced us once again with her invigorating company (her divine presence is surely enough of a present in itself!). On Christmas morning we sat around the tree doling out the spoils. From Dan I got a signed first edition of his book The Importance of Being Jack (bound to be a collectors item one of these days!) and from Linda an intriguing memoir entitled Gimme Gimme Gimme A Man After Midnight (Named Jesus) by Orson V. Schnitzel, an American chap, detailing his struggles to remain on the ‘straight and narrow’. “I think it’d be a very beneficial book for you to read!” intoned Linda with a hint of steel in her voice as I unwrapped it and Orson’s toothsome, suntanned visage smiled back at me from the front cover.

Like myself, Orson is tussling daily with his personal demons, and it seems he has been having some commendable success in swatting them away. Having said that, his irreverent writing style seems to occasionally teeter dangerously on the border of blasphemy, (if not passing straight through immigration control with passport stamped and full citizenship granted!). Take this, from page 42, “Whereas once I used to kneel on restroom floors before some guy,” he breathlessly informs us, “and take an intimate part of his anatomy in my mouth, I now kneel on church floors in front of a priest and swallow part of the Lord’s body instead!” And later; “As Barbra Streisand once sang, ‘someday he’ll come along, the man I love,’ well there’s only one hot stud in my life right now and his name is Jesus! Sure, he’s no ‘twink’, (he’s more of an ‘otter’), but like Brad Pitt and that cutie from Kings of Leon, JC totally rocks the bearded look!” (There’s a lot more in this vein!) I don’t doubt Mr Schnitzel’s sincerity and I wish him all the luck on his quest to gain admission to the Kingdom of Heaven, however one does register slight concern as to what exactly Orson plans to do to the Messiah once he gets there! But perhaps we should be lenient. Maybe it’s like nicotine patches, and this is his first faltering step on the way to weaning himself off his unnatural urges for good.

But Dan got given the best present of all! A huge box wrapped in glistening gold paper and adorned with a mighty red bow, it loomed like Sauron’s tower of Mordor over all the other paltry little bundles. Dan had been dropping hints to his mum about an HD TV all year so his excitement was palpable as he vigorously undressed the box, stripping it down to it’s cardboard nakedness and forcefully thrusting his hands through it’s flaps to root around inside, tossing bundles of bubble wrap over his shoulder.

“I do hope you like it, Danny darling,” said Linda with an intriguing twinkle in her eye. “I’ve kept the receipt just in case!” The suspense was killing me as I waited with baited breath to see what Dan would fish from its boxy depths and bring victoriously to the surface. But nothing was forthcoming. There was much furrowing of Dan’s brow as his fingers scrabbled around in the nooks and crannies of the cube but to no avail. Linda clasped her hand over her mouth in attempt to suppress all audio emissions of mirth as Dan upended the empty vessel but still no contents came plopping out. He looked up and surveyed his giggling Mater with a wounded mix of hurt and confusion. Was this some cruel trick? Or some unusual punishment, and if so, what for?

“Well?” said Linda, “Don’t you like it?”

Son stared back at mother, nonplussed.

“It’s the Gift of God’s love!” explained Linda, with a stating-the-obvious sigh, “Is it not simply wondrous?”

The penny dropped! Instantaneously Dan’s expression changed to pure relief and elation. “Oh mummy!” he cried, flinging his arms around the Mothership, “It’s the best present ever!” And truly it was! Bet you didn’t get a present as cool as that!

Keep it on the QT!

Dimbleby pointing “It was Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, not Adam and Steve!”

It truly was a fantastically pithy (and rather witty!) little statement, annihilating any possible arguments in favour of ‘gay marriage.’ Once Dan had delivered that sentence live on British television, why, then the debate would surely be over and all plans to redefine marriage abandoned permanently!

Dan and myself were in the living room of Linda’s house in Clifton, helping Linda (that’s Dan’s mum, remember!) decorate her Christmas tree whilst the Kings College choir sang “I Saw Three Ships Go Sailing By” on the CD player. What was especially apt was that Dan had just delivered this winning statement at exactly the same time as Linda had turned on the Christmas tree lights, so it was like a hundred light bulbs switching on at such genius! As Linda and myself congratulated Dan on his brainwave, we emptied the last of the tinsel and baubles from the box until there was but one last decoration to be fished out and dangled from the tree. It was a little figurine of a vicar with some string forming a noose around his neck.

“Hang daddy from the tree,” commanded Linda in a hoarse whisper as she pressed the figure into Dan’s hands. I could see tears welling up in Dan’s eyes as with trembling hands he hung the miniature clergyman from a branch and watched as it’s little feet formed tiny semi-circles as they must have done all those years ago when young Dan discovered his father’s corpse swinging from the vicarage rafters.

We had been staying at Linda’s as Dan had won tickets to be in the audience of Thursday’s edition of the BBC show Question Time, which last week was visiting nearby Bristol. It was intensely exciting, as we knew the hot topic of ‘gay marriage’ was bound to be debated and Dan was determined to make his views known!

So we arrived early at the recording venue and sat as near to the front as we possibly could. It was a long evening. Proceedings kicked off just after 8pm with a warm up act. It’s a little known fact that Question Time employs comedians to tell topical jokes before each show- to fully prep the audience so they are fully versed in the topics to be discussed, and also to ‘banter’ with them and get them out of their shells and happy to ask questions. (This is why QT audiences sometimes seem curiously well-informed and opinionated compared to the population at large.) This week it was the turn of diminutive Scottish schoolboy comic Wee Jimmy Krankie to be the warm-up act, rattling off quick-fire gags through his barely intelligible Glasweigan accent. Wee Jimmy is nobody’s idea of a topical satirist, nevertheless his quip about how his dad couldn’t be there tonight because he was “marrying Alex Salmond” sent shivers up my spine! (However, I must say it is a little concerning that such a young lad was not being chaperoned, especially considering recent revelations about the BBC!).

The recording began at 9pm (no, it is not live, and has not been ever since Mo Mowlam addressed Richard Littlejohn with the ‘C’ word on air back in 2002). On the panel were former Shooting Stars team captain Will Self, (hmm, wonder what he’s been up to since?) a foreign man called Lord Balamory (no, me neither!), a Tory woman, a Labour woman, and Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens, (it turns out this is not the same Hitchens who wrote the book Zac gave to me, confusingly it seems there are two Hitchens who look a bit similar and share the same surname). As ever, David Dimbleby chaired proceedings (little known fact; JK Rowling based the character of Dumbledore in her Satanic ‘Harry Potter’ series on this venerable and wizened broadcaster). As luck would have it, the first question was indeed regarding the backbench Tory revolt over same sex ‘marriage’. Dan’s arm immediately shot up and remained there whilst the panellists offered their responses.

The odious Will Self drawled that “can we not simply apply the principle of Ockham’s razor (?) to those who oppose gay marriage, and say ‘these people are homophobes, they don’t like gay people’?” prompting a furious response from the fine Mr Hitchens, who in a rousing speech declared that those conservatives who oppose gay marriage are now being hounded in a way gay people once were, only to be rudely interrupted by a jeering Will Self who chillingly threatened, “Yes, we will hound you, we will imprison you! We will arrest you in toilets, Peter, and force you to undergo electro-shock therapy!” He said it like it was a joke, but recall that this was a man who, moments ago, was advocating that we apply a razor to the throats of all those who oppose gay marriage!!! Be afeard, good Christians, be very afeard!

Finally Dimbleby noticed Dan. “You, there, the man in the blue shirt,” he barked, pointing straight at Dan, “what’s your opinion about all this?” It was Dan’s moment, all eyes were on Dan, the camera was trained on him, the boom mic dangling over his sweating forehead, the panellists all waiting expectantly. He seemed flustered, momentarily unable to speak, but then he spoke; “It was Adam and Steve in the Garden of Eden, not Adam and Eve!”

It took a moment to fully register what had gone wrong, and why almost everyone in the room was laughing. “Was it?” chortled Dimbleby, “I don’t remember that in my religious studies class!” whilst a sniggering Will Self remarked in his languorous nasal whine “Yes, I think I’ve seen that particular DVD on sale in Soho” to yet more merriment. Only Hitchens looked un-amused, indeed he shook his head in disgust at Dan and raised his imperious Romanesque nose in disdain. (Our only potential ally on the panel, and we’d let him down!)

“No, no, I meant to say…” protested Dan, but the boom mic had already departed to another head in the audience, for in the harsh arena of QT, you only get one shot! For the remainder of the recording, Dan sat red-faced and fuming. As soon as the show ended, Dan stormed out, with me in hot pursuit.

We arrived back at Linda’s an hour later, just as the show was being broadcast on BBC1. Linda was sat on her sofa with a cup of tea, the opening music blaring from the box.

“No, turn it off!” cried Dan, as he lurched through the front door.

“But I want to see it!” said Dan’s startled mum, almost spilling her tea.

“But there’s no point! I didn’t say anything,” lied Dan, “I had my hand up but Dimbleby never came to me.” Linda was disappointed but she shrugged and said, “oh well, I’d still like to watch it anyway.” Dan laughed, trying to mask his panic as he sat down on the sofa next to her and took the remote from her hand, switching the TV off, “but how about we spend some quality time together mummy?” Linda, however, was having none of it, and she snatched the remote back and switched the TV on again. “I want to watch Question Time, Daniel, and I shall not be gainsaid!”

So we sat in horrified anticipation, waiting for disaster to be replayed. Only it never was! Dan’s national disgrace never happened- they had cut his contribution from the final broadcast! “So there is a God!” I quipped to Dan whilst Linda had popped to the kitchen to make more tea. “Was that a joke, Matthew?” hissed Dan, “Leave the comedy to the professionals, like Wee Jimmy Crankie.”

Matthew’s Blog: Walk Through The Fire

The bruises are starting to heal. Dan is now out of bed and walking again. For my part, it no longer causes me violent paroxysms of pain whenever I laugh (not that I’ve had much cause to do that these past few days!).

How did it all go so wrong? Last Thursday’s event had looked set to be a huge success. Twitter was all abuzz, so when we arrived at the Ripper Museum for Dan’s talk, there was already a queue snaking round Mitre Square! Geoffrey, the museum curator, stood in the doorway, peering over his spectacles with a ‘rabbit-in-the-headlights’ look.

“Thank God you’re here!” he cried with relief, hurriedly ushering us inside and locking the door behind us.

Well, the scene that greeted us took my breath away! The whole cafe was lit by candlelight, it was as if we had been transported aboard the TARDIS back to Victorian times, and Geoffrey was the Doctor (more William Hartnell than Matt Smith). On a table at the far end of the room, (where Dan was to give his talk) sat the prized possession from the collection, the human kidney sent by the Ripper to the police! Two candles stood either side of the glass jar, guarding it like sentries, and it almost seemed to glow and pulsate in the flickering light, as if it were alive.

“Yes, I thought you’d like that,” said Geoffrey, chuckling, “adds an extra gothic element, don’t you think? Just do be careful you don’t knock it over, the alcohol in the jar is highly flammable! What’s that you’re carrying?”

“A smoke machine and an overhead projector,” I gasped, dropping both heavy items to the floor. (I had asked Dan to help me carry them from the station, but he was carrying his costume and also, as he pointed out quite reasonably, he needed to preserve his energy for his performance).

We set up, Dan changed into his Victorian costume and Geoffrey opened the doors to let in the hordes. Our audience was a motley bunch. It soon transpired they were evenly divided between ‘Ripperologists’ and ‘Wildeans’ (many of the latter sporting green carnations) and they were all, quite frankly, weirdoes to a man (and they were ALL men!) Geoffrey briefly introduced us and then the show commenced. I switched on the smoke machine and Dan entered from the toilets in top hat and cloak.

“Night. A clock chimes twelve times,” intoned Dan, swishing his cloak around. “A young woman hurries through the dark, deserted square. Suddenly, a figure emerges through the unfurling London fog in front of her.” I thought Dan was giving a stunning performance, really showing the benefits of his abortive RADA training (another story for another time, dear reader) but there was some tittering from one corner of the room, tittering which gradually began to spread across the room like a Mexican wave. It was when Dan began to do the voices that people really began to hoot. His ‘cockney prostitute’ voice was too much for some. Rather red faced, he bravely finished reciting the book’s opening chapter to scattered (and somewhat sarcastic) applause. Then he began the ‘meat’ of the night, his detailed presentation of the evidence against Wilde. Then, lastly, came the Q and A. We were both somewhat taken aback by the hostility of the questions. The Oscar Wilde society were furious. One compared Dan to the Marquis of Queensbury, another angrily accused us of trying to defame a dead man who couldn’t defend himself (he got a huge round of applause for this). Understandable perhaps as he was their ‘hero’ so the sordid truth must hurt, (Jimmy Savile fans must be currently undergoing similar torments) but if anything the ‘Ripperologists’ were even worse! They picked holes in everything, pointing out that Wilde was in Paris at the time of one murder, in Dublin at the time of another, etc etc etc (Well of course he’d have given himself alibis, wouldn’t he?) One man, after mistakenly presuming he’d torn our argument to shreds, smugly asserted that “of course everyone knows that the real Ripper was in fact Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man!” to be shouted at by every other Ripperologist in the room, saying, “no, no, it was obviously George Bernard Shaw!” or “nonsense! Even a damn fool knows it must’ve been Prime Minister William Gladstone,” to which someone else retorted “Tory lies! It was blatantly Disraeli!” It was at this point that I noticed something was seriously awry with the smoke machine. It had been gently releasing a steady stream of dry ice across the floor, but now it had malfunctioned somehow and huge clouds of smoke were gushing out, quickly filling the room till nothing could be seen through the dense fog, whilst a succession of disembodied voices angrily shouted out names; “George Gissing!” “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle!” “W.B Yeats!” “No, no, Florence Nightingale!” “You’re all wrong, it was Emmeline Pankhurst, I have the proof right here!” At this, everyone seemed to suddenly notice that they couldn’t actually see anything, and widespread panic broke out.

“Please, remain in your seats,” urged Geoffrey’s alarmed voice, but it was no use, pandemonium was unleashed. Tables and chairs could be heard toppling over as people cursed and cried out in pain.

Dan was angrily hissing at me, “Switch it off, Matthew!”

“I can’t,” I whimpered. There was the sound of something glass smashing to the floor nearby. I stepped forward, and something squelched under my foot (I think you can guess what!). I yelped in disgust as I slipped over onto my back. A burst of flame flared up over me, the room was filling with real smoke now, black and thick, setting off the fire alarms and sprinklers. Everyone was coughing and screaming. Someone had found the door and flung it open, smoke spilling out into Mitre Square, dispersing enough for everyone to see their way out. As I exited through the door I grabbed a sobbing Geoffrey and we hurtled across the square just as his beloved museum exploded behind us, all the evidence and artefacts pertaining to the Ripper’s crimes incinerated forever!

So, if you were planning a trip to the Ripper Museum anytime soon, sorry, too late! As Geoffrey sadly noted in the police station later that night, as he rocked backwards and forwards, “it survived the Blitz, it’s survived multiple funding cuts and threats of closure, but it couldn’t survive one night with Dawn Rescue!” Well, perhaps there’s a little lesson there, Geoffrey. If you’re going to run a museum glorifying an evil murderer, well, the good Lord might get a little cross about that and, as it were, ‘send the boys in’! “For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase…” (Deuteronomy 32:22)

Exclusive extract: The Importance Of Being Jack

In preparation for tonight’s exciting event at the Ripper Museum, here is an exclusive extract from Dan’s new book ‘The Importance Of Being Jack.’ None of the following is conjecture, it is all based on meticulous research conducted by Dan. In short, it is 100% fact, and precisely 0% fiction!

Dead of night. A distant clock chimes twelve times. The near-by sound of horse hooves and carriage wheels on cobbles. A young woman hurries through the dark, deserted square. Suddenly, a figure emerges through the unfurling London fog in front of her.

“Lor, guv’nor, you aint ‘alf scared me!” cries the woman.

The figure doffs his top hat.

“I beg your pardon, madam,” he says in his lugubrious tones. 

The woman’s ears prick up at the obvious wealth and breeding of this stranger as displayed in his elegant accent and diction.

“Cor, you sounds like a likely sort of swell, bet’s you knows how to treat a lady, dontcha?”

The man chuckles. “Oh I do indeed know how to treat a lady, madam!”

“How’s abaht we go somewhere then, guv’nor. I aint cheap, mind, it’ll cost you tuppence ha’penny and nuffink less!”

“Oh, there’s no need to go anywhere, right here will do for what I have in mind. And I do believe I have tuppence ha’penny in my bag.”

“A handbag?” cries the woman in surprise as she sees the gentleman thrust his hand into a large brown leather bag he has been carrying. But he doesn’t retrieve any money from his bag, but instead something shinier than coins!

“Cor, what you gonna do with that, then?” says the woman as the knife glints in the moonlight.

“Why, with this I shall create a work of art,” muses the man, “perhaps my finest work to date. One that shall life forever in the annals of infamy, for there is only one thing worse in life than being talked about, and that is not being talked about!”

And with that he nonchalantly sinks the blade into the woman’s stomach.

“You are wicked!” she gasps as he pulls the knife out and she drops to the cobbles, blood spattering around her.

“Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others,” quips the man as he opens his capacious bag again and takes out various surgical implements, delicately placing them on the ground.

The woman watches in horror as the man gets to work. “Why?” she croaks.

“Because you are A Woman Of No Importance!”

“And you are Lucifer himself!” she wheezes.

“Well, really, Gwendolen, I must say I think there are lots of other much nicer names. I think Jack, for instance, a charming name.”

“Me name’s not Gwendolen, it’s…..” but before she can tell him her name, the spirit leaves the body of Polly Nichols.

“Murder is so awfully taxing on one’s wardrobe!” the man mutters to himself, dabbing at his bloodstained clothes with his handkerchief as he disappears into the fog on that cold, dark night, leaving Polly behind him, sleeping her last sweet sleep, the eternal slumber from which she will never again awaken, in her warm bed of blood and entrails…

Special event at the Ripper Museum, Whitechapel, this Thursday!

Mark the date in your diaries!

This Thursday the 8th of November we’ll be holding a special event to accompany the forthcoming publication of Dan’s groundbreaking book The Importance Of Being Jack at the excellent Ripper Museum in Mitre Square, EC3, London!

This Thursday we will reveal once and for all the true identity of the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper! Before the night is out it’ll be ‘case closed’ as the greatest ‘cold case’ in history is finally cracked by Dawn Rescue’s very own in-house super-sleuth. The shocking revelations are bound to do for the culprit (clue: he’s a revered ‘wit,’ aesthete, playwright and sometime resident of Reading Gaol who liked to take a walk on the Wilde side) what recent revelations have done for the reputation of Jimmy Savile. Just as never again will the BBC show re-runs of ‘Jim Will Fix It’ so never again will actresses proclaim “a handbag!” whilst treading the boards in a certain person’s plays, and never again will clever-clogs types like Stephen Fry quote a certain person’s epigrams.

So head on down to the Ripper Museum this Thursday. The talk is FREE and starts at 7pm, and is followed by a Q and A and a special author signing. (The book is hot off the presses and doesn’t go on sale officially until the new year so this is your opportunity to get your mitts on an advance copy and a piece of history!)

We’ll be downstairs in the Museum’s cafe, right next to the marvellous gift shop. (Why not get there early and do a spot of shopping! You can check out the souvenir dolls of the victims, complete with removable internal organs- surely the ideal stocking filler!)