Flogging a dead horse

Never mind that the sequel to the phenomenally popular Bridget Jones’s Diary
was about as amusing as having your teeth pulled, or that Helen Fielding
never actually wrote a third instalment about her heroine’s (mis)adventures.
When Hollywood catches a whiff of money (even the sequel made £160m),
there’s no holding back, regardless of whether a “threequel” will
have any merit.

Flogging a dead horse factor: 3/5

Bankers’ bonuses

Another day, another doomed attempt to curb the bonus culture. When will the
politicians learn that people such as Sir Fred Goodwin are Masters of the
Universe? Well, that’s how they see themselves. What’s the betting City
high-flyers have already mentally cashed this year’s fat pay cheque?

Flogging a dead horse factor: 4/5

Tony Blair

Talk about a man having more lives than a cat … the lawyer turned politician
turned public speaker turned Middle East peace envoy is now embarking on his
nth reincarnation, this time as international statesman, as he aims to
become the European Union’s first fully fledged president. What’s next, we
can’t help but wonder. An application to become the Messiah? The words “career”
and “over” are clearly not in his dictionary.

Flogging a dead horse factor: 4/5

Sarah Palin

The former beauty pageant queen, who thought being able to see Russia from her
house counted as foreign affairs experience, might be out of a job as
Alaskan governor from next week, but only an optimist would expect her to
bow out of our lives. Possible ways she might flog her flayed flesh range
from a new career as a TV pundit to possibly, just possibly, attempting to
secure the Republican nomination for president in 2012. Yup, we’re
shuddering too.

Flogging a dead horse factor: 5/5

Nolan Sisters

First, Take That. Now, the Nolans. Sorry, the who? What, you don’t know the
Nolans with their not-even-chart-topping-hit-unless-you-follow-the-Japanese-
charts “I’m in the Mood for Dancing”? You could call them the
Spice Girls of the Seventies (if you’re feeling generous), or a British
Jackson 5, albeit with just the one tune. Either way, four of the sisters
are joining the queue of pop comebacks with a tour this autumn. Don’t bother
booking ahead.

Flogging a dead horse factor: 3/5

The Lord of the Rings

Writing some of the world’s best-read books would satisfy most people. Not so
J R R Tolkien, whose posthumous publishing ambitions would exhaust most
living authors. His latest missive from beyond the grave is a 500-stanza Old
Norse poem. No, we won’t be packing it for the beach, either.

Flogging a dead horse factor: 4/5

Newcastle United

Out of the Premier League and out of favour, at least with anyone remotely
willing to brandish the £100m cheque that owner Mike Ashley wants in order
to offload the club. This is one football team that has had its day. But
just try telling that to any member of its army of Toon foot soldiers, who
will never stop whipping this particular beast.

Flogging a dead horse factor: 3/5

Big Brother

Surely this reality show is on its last legs. Please? Pretty please? Talk
about dragging it out … BB is back for a 10th time, and we say
enough is enough. So do all those viewers who can’t face tuning in. Again.
Are you listening, Channel 4?

Flogging a dead horse factor: 4/5

Last of the Summer Wine

When the show’s creator, Roy Clarke, admits the 36-year-old series might have
run its course, you might think it’s curtains. Not so the Beeb. It wants the
world’s longest-running sitcom to return for the 31st time. Never mind that
some of its cast have died, along with its audience, one suspects.

Flogging a dead horse factor: 2/5

Jamie Oliver

New dad duties done and dusted, the mockney chef is busy interfering in our
kitchens once again. You wouldn’t catch him dishing out a free meal, yet
that’s just what he wants us to do at today’s Big Lunch shindig. We say, “All
round to the Olivers!”

Flogging a dead horse factor: 3/5

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