Sleb Safari: Here's to 2022

Channel 4 sitcom Derry Girls, starring Nicola Coughlan, Saoirse Jackson, Louisa Harland, Jamie-Lee O'Donnell, and Dylan Llewellyn, is set in Derry during the 1990s and the third and final series will air in 2022

Hello and happy new year. If 2020 was the year that set the bar low and then limboed right under it, 2021 was its kinder cousin who came to the party with vaccines and gifted peace of mind. Now we’ve kickstarted 2022 and everyone’s keen to find out whether wine and cheese business meetings are going to take off and if you can boost a booster.

In slebville it’s likely to be business as usual but with a few upsets, hiccups and hastily deleted Instagram stories along the way.

The first major event on the cultural calendar is the commencement of Gemma Collins’ theatre tour - Gemma Collins: The GC’s Big Night Out. Speaking to The Times, Gemma described it as an improvised, audience participation event: “Gonna wheel my [wheelchair-bound] mum out on the stage, open up to the audience, no bars hold [sic] … ”

That’s her mum, Joan, who met an alien on the train one day and communicated with him telepathically.

“...she said, in her head, 'Rustle your newspaper up and down, go up and down with your newspaper three times if you're an alien'.

“He done it. My mum reckons this guy was reading her mind.”

Sleb Safari cannot wait to see the make-up of the theatre audience at Gemma’s shows.

In reality TV news, ‘You have no authority here’ Jackie Weaver has confirmed that she will not be taking part in Strictly Come Dancing but we might get to watch her drink a pig’s anus milkshake on I’m A Celebrity.

Jackie told the Press Association she’s a big fan of Strictly’s Anton Du Beke.

“He did my podcast with me and I remember saying to him, ‘I promise you now – I will not say yes to Strictly because I really want you to win, and I can guarantee you’d be the one partnered with me.'”

You’re not wrong there Jackie.

In cookery show/nepotism news, Brooklyn Beckham is getting his own programme. That’s Brooklyn, the king of the English breakfast sandwich.

Why? Why indeed. Or as Vogue put it: “While Beckham may have been known initially as the progeny of Victoria and David Beckham, he fully entered the spotlight as a photographer, publishing his first book with Rizzoli in 2017 and shooting a fragrance campaign for Burberry. But as he describes it, his well-traveled childhood sparked a life-long passion for food, too.”

Stop sniggering at the back.

 The sausage, egg and bacon sandwich on white bread with no butter and some ketchup which Brooklyn Beckham cooked on the Today show in the US

Last but by no means least, 2022 is going to treat us to a show which, like all the finest, merits not just one watch but several rewatches.

Step forward, Derry Girls. Series three will be the final series in this corker of a programme and they are right to go out on a high.

Here’s to one last hoorah with Sr Michael and the girls.


Mariah Carey and Aspen go together like turkey and stuffing


A post shared by Mariah Carey (@mariahcarey)

It wouldn’t be Christmas if Mariah Carey wasn’t in an outdoor hot tub and Sleb Safari is pleased to report that it was business as usual in Aspen.

Dem Babies and Mariah had a roll in the snow and a dip in the hot tub, dutifully filmed for social media by long-term boyfriend Bryan Tanaka; then Santa visited and everyone wore matching pjyamas and snow boots to greet him and finally Mariah slipped into a red satin evening dress and white fake fur cape with train and posed in the snow. 

Mariah wrote in her autobiography that she lives Christmas to Christmas and boy was she telling the truth. Her children will be 50 and Mariah will still be rolling in the snow with them. Proper order.


A post shared by Mariah Carey (@mariahcarey)


Noddy Holder loves Christmas too

AND so to Noddy Holder who, like Mariah Carey, wrote a Christmas song that left him filthy rich and a big fan of the festive period.

Noddy says he wrote the song after a night in the pub and following a challenge from a Slade band mate’s mother in law.

“People associate me with Christmas, like I’m Santa’s little helper,” Noddy told The Guardian.

“I’m sure they half expect to see me walking down the street in platform shoes and a top hat shouting ‘It’s Chrissstmass!’ They forget we had about 40 other hit singles.”

Noddy says not a day goes by that someone doesn’t yell ‘It’s Chrissstmass!’ at him. 

“When I’m doing my Christmas shopping, I probably get it 40 times a day. But after 50 years, it still makes me smile.”

Noddy and Marah should really spend a Christmas together and find out how people react when they see them together.


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