Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

An Extra Large Tablet from Tic-Tac Man's Heathen Heaven; TV WATCH

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

An Extra Large Tablet from Tic-Tac Man's Heathen Heaven; TV WATCH

Article excerpt

Byline: VICTOR LEWIS-SMITH

The Ten Commandments

C4 Radio

I've been involved in some strange legal cases in my time, but the weirdest of all was when I decided to sue the Church of England, and its Managing Director, God. Citing a clause in the company's brochure (The Bible) which clearly stated that "the meek shall inherit the earth", I issued a writ pointing out that I was extremely meek, yet had so far inherited absolutely sod all, and I demanded Benidorm and half of Basildon by way of compensation (though hinted that I'd accept Clacton as an out-of-court settlement).

The case was heard at the Royal Courts of Justice, and was unfortunately thrown out by the judge on a technicality, after God's barrister observed that suing the church was an act of deliberate self-assertion on my part, so I, therefore, no longer qualified as meek.

What an appallingly sly legal trick that was, and it's why I still regard the quintessential definition of "waste" as being a busful of lawyers going over a cliff ... with two empty seats.

Of course, the Christian church has never had much time for meekness, and most Christians I've met seem to prefer the Old Testament's vengeful "thou shalt not" approach to the forgiveness and passivity espoused by Jesus in the Gospels.

So it was deliciously ironic to listen to The Ten Commandments on C4 yesterday, and hear John McCririck utter the edict: "Thou shalt have no religion," before rightly blaming sky gods of all denominations for most of the misery and bloodshed that's occurred on this small blue planet.

I use the word "listen" advisedly, by the way, because this was C4 radio, which came into existence earlier this month, and is currently accessible via the channel4radio.com website (although its morning news programme can also be picked up on satellite TV on the Oneword channel).

So instead of being greeted by the sight of an obese Worzel Gummidge after an incident with a letter bomb (which is usually what I see on my screen when McCririck is speaking), I found myself staring at the Real Player on my PC, which displayed patterns so psychedelic that I felt as though I'd just swallowed a canful of Chesswood Magic Mushrooms.

The programme asks celebrities what 10 laws they would enact if they were ruler of the universe, and McCririck's selection certainly encompassed all aspects of human existence. "Religions are the curse of mankind," he insisted as he justified his first commandment, and was utterly incensed that so many people still feel the need to believe in an afterlife, although I can reassure him that he'll have better luck with his supplementary wish that "When I die ... I don't want the nation in mourning."

He was equally passionate about his desire to end the whipping of racehorses during races, because "the hitting of animals in the name of sport is unacceptable", and also demanded "life imprisonment for murder", with no chance of parole, although he ruled out capital punishment. …

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