Supper With the Stars

The internet. A place where so many things can be bought, sold, copied and stolen. You are no doubt aware that one can now rent DVDs online but did you know that you can rent celebrities too? Well you can. Not necessarily the top-of-the-range stars such as might open the more high class supermarket or appear in amusingly anarchic sketches with Ant and Declan but celebrities never the less. One such website is Supper With the Stars and it offers a never-ending supply of glittering icons willing, for a fee, to be a guest at your dinner party.  What better way to make it go for a swing?

Let us suppose, for instance, that I am planning a celebratory breaking of bread to commemorate the new series of some television programme or other. I've invited my inner circle - Stevie Fry, Susie Perkins, Ali Silverstone, Melly Gedders and Paddingtony Bear - but I need a bit of extra fizz (some say sparkle) to ensure the soiree goes with a bang. What could I get for my £600 to £5,000?

One option would be the rarely popular but always spikey haired comedian Billy Pearce. His biography tell us "Billy has an extensive comedy routine and he can entertain you and your guests for hours, though watch you don't choke on your food through laughter!" Which sounds fantastic… except that the terms and conditions assumes "that a dinner sitting will last one and a half hours…With prior negotiation, some of the guests will be willing to spend an extended period of time at your dinner, for a scaled increase of fee." So one has an image of Billy being half way through an extensive comedy routine when his alarm goes off and you have to pay him extra to find out what the second nun said. If humour is not to your liking, each biography has little icons to tell you a bit more about the celeb. Billy has a couple of dice beneath his biography. What can that mean?

Many of our celebrities like playing after-dinner party games (such as Charades, Pictionary or Guess Who)

Woo and hoo – we can play Pictionary with our paying guest in the few minutes that remain after dinner.

How about something a little more urbane? Jonathan Morris from TV’s "Bread" is available. Jonathan not only offers "many stories from his long acting career to make sure that you are thoroughly entertained" but his icon tray shows a microphone…

Some of the celebrities are musicians. The microphone icon means that they will be willing to perform a song or two for you.

I wonder if the theme to "Bread" is on his list? I think it would be funny to get him along and ask him lots of questions about "Festival of Death", "Flip Flop" and "Bloodtide". Best of all, he wouldn’t understand. Ho ho ho.

Perhaps something cheaper would be better. The less we spend on celebs, the more we have left over for pizzas, pop and prosti… pudding. What about Ross Davidson?

Who?

Ross Davidson. Sadly no relation of Peter, Ross is described thusly.

Ross has appeared in U.K. soaps Eastenders and Brookside as well as the long-running Admiral Insurance TV commercials.

According to the IMDB (I don’t just throw these things together you know) he was in Hollyoaks between 1999 and 2002. But obviously the Admiral Insurance adverts are more likely to impress potential clients. Ross’s icon tray contains only a dinner plate. This means he is prepared to eat dinner.

In the pantheon of great comedy double acts few will rank any higher than Little and Large. So at the higher end of the Supper with the Stars portfolio we have… Syd Little. Yes – the chance to have dinner with the unfunny one from Little and Large. That’s Syd Little by the way. Just in case the previous sentence confused you. His promotional biography says that performing at your dinner table will give "him the opportunity to show how versitile he is (without Eddie butting in)" which is not only a scary mental image but also misspelled. Syd’s icon tray includes a cow with a cross through it. A glance at the legend tell us this means he doesn’t eat meat. So that puts him higher on our list.

For someone of my age the chance to share a dinner table with Limahl is almost too difficult to resist. The singer of such classic hits as "Too Shy" and… many others has enjoyed a career revival of late now that the 80s has reached retro-status. The good news is that he is prepared to sing AND play party games. At least, both are listed. He may get stroppy and insist that it’s one or the other. Decisions, decisions – a medley of his hit or a game of Guess Who?

If you find Limahl a bit weedy, what about the queen of butch, Fatima Whitbread? "Fatima has many exciting stories about her Olympic triumphs" says her biog. I suppose "big, hairy and threw a pointy stick" would’ve been a bit derogatory. Although her résumé does actually say "an anagram of her name is "I’m fat with a beard"." I can’t help feeling they’ve given away one of her better punchlines with that remark.

I get the feeling that some of them might be a bit difficult. Keith Harris will happily entertain you – for his standard fee – but charges extra for Orville and Cuddles. Keith’s biography bizarrely claims "Keith is one of Britains' most inventive and talented performers". Twenty five years ago he put a nappy on a duck and has done fuck all since. I bet he travels by car and keeps the puppets locked away in the boot. He won’t get them out unless you slip him "an additional fee". I imagine him throwing his voice "Let me out" says Orville. The nostalgic dinner guests get all soft hearted and throw cash at the laughing Harris until he releases everyone’s favourite incontinent, green, nylon duck.

The Hamiltons – two for the price of one, I wonder? – are available via this e-pimping emporium. They offer "pure entertaining banter" and their icon tray informs us that one or other of them suffers from a potentially fatal nut allergy.

And finally, Schnorbitz the fourth"the one-time pet of dearly departed comedian Bernie Winters". Schnorbitz will "fetch and play dead" and requires only "a dog bowl, basket (with mo-hair blanket) and a bone." Bearing in mind that Bernie Winters died fourteen years ago, his dog must be getting on a bit. An animal celeb might be suitable for a children’s party but few children remember Bernie Winters. Bernie famously replaced his brother Mike with a dog when the former passed away. Now it’s just the dog left in the act. Like a band whose original members have all departed but their replacements keep on gigging, Schnorbitz Winters the Fourth keeps the spirit of Mike’n’Bernie alive while he fetches and plays dead.

I think I’ll forget the hiring of a celebrity. I’ll just get AussieGuy to sing us some of his genuine South African folk songs.

Although, I wonder if Jonathan Morris or Limahl know the one that goes "ya hum ho hum… ya hum ho hum"?