Pam Ayres makes a poem of Matthew Steeples
Yesterday, I found myself listening to a self-proclaimed “writer, broadcaster and entertainer” named Pam Ayres on BBC Radio 4.
An example of her style numbers:
“I am sittin’ on the sofa. By the fire and stayin’ in. Me head is free of comfort. And me nose is free of skin. Me friends have run for cover, They have left me pale and sick. With me pockets full of tissues. And me nostrils full of Vick.”
I recall having first encountered the supposed “humour “of Ms Ayres, whom the Daily Telegraph once described as “the doyenne of doggerel,” at a dinner hosted by The Lady Taverners at The Savoy some years ago. As Ayres droned on, an American lady at my table tapped me on the shoulder and said: “What the hell is this strange woman on about?” Having never heard of this “poet,” I shrugged and simply responded: “I haven’t got a clue.” When, in desperation, it was suggested we vacate to the bar, I embraced the idea with gusto. Sat there with an extremely strong martini, I felt well again.
That, I assumed, would be the last my poor ears heard from Ayres but sadly it was not to be. Radio 4, which I listen to throughout the day, have chosen to give her airtime and yesterday, when she came on, the first comment from my friend Charles was: “Oh God, not her, she terrified me even when I was a kid.” The unwelcome ghostly voice of an evening past had returned to my life.
Having had my fill, I thought I’d share my thoughts with my Twitter followers and posted the following:
“I have to say @PamAyres is quite possibly the most tedious person on @BBCRadio4. Her attempt at “humour” is cringeworthy and annoying.”
Within minutes, I’d been bombarded with hatemail from furious fans of Ayres. Most curiously amongst them were missives from the former game show panelist Annabel Giles (@Annabel_Giles) and “Britain’s premiere [sic] Nazi hunter” Alan Stoob (@nazihunteralan). Plainly Ayres is “much loved” in all manner of circles.
Later, a poem came from the woman herself. It reads as follows:
This geezer Matthew Steeples (May he rot in K & C)
Has posted on his twitterfeed a photograph of me
And with my blameless heifers he has held us up to shame,
I may heal in time. The cows will NEVER be the same.
“Blummin’ ‘ell:” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Never could I have imagined that I’d find myself immortalised in a poem by Pam Ayres.