This is me, Eccles

This is me, Eccles
This is me, Eccles

Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Fall and Rise of Damian Thompson

I have long watched the career of Damian "blood-crazed ferret" Thompson with interest - indeed I contributed to the comments section of his "Holy Smoke" Telegraph blog as "Eccles", the brother of the idiot "St Bosco", until I was banned. Then I contributed again as "ThisIsNotEccles" - but the moderators were not fooled by my subtlety and I was soon banned again. Later I was cunningly "Incongito" - this was in the days before I got a secretary, Ecclesiam, to help me with the typing - but that didn't last long either... Anyway, the blog you're reading would probably not be here, were it not for my response to the activities of Brother Bosco on Damian's blog.


Supporters of Bosco protest at his banishment from Damian's blog.

As I have recorded elsewhere on this blog, Damian's blog was originally full of religious news and discussion, hence the nickname "Holy Smoke". Later, however, a distinct dumbing-down was noticed, especially after Damian started to write a Saturday column in the Telegraph. Less frequent were the references to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor or the Ordinariate, and more frequent the mentions of cupcakes, custard, the pianist Gladys Mills, and the actress Noele Gordon. Occasionally, there were snippets of religious gossip, such as the plots against the Nuncio, and the prediction that Fr Alban McCoy would become the next (Catholic) Bishop of Leeds. This event has yet to come to pass.


Damnit, Damian! I'm a doctor, not a bishop!

Finally, however, Damian parted company "amicably" with the Telegraph, as we have recorded already; Jason the Mekon, ruler of the Treens of northern Venus, was brought in to dumb-down the newspaper further. Luckily Bryony Gordon and Bill Gardner, formerly of the Brighton Argus - and who better to write about Dull and Boring Day? - are still there to back up the few grown-up writers remaining at the Telegraph, such as Tim Stanley and Tom Chivers.

cupcake poster

Gardner of the Argus's greatest scoop.

So what of Damian? Of course he was still doing casual journalism for the Catholic Herald and the Spectator, but otherwise he was alone in the world with his collection of 10 million CDs, his Gladys Mills piano, his royalties from the Fix - soon to be a major blockbuster starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz - and a significant pay-off from the Telegraph.

Golden Cupcake

Damian received a substantial "Golden Cupcake" from the Telegraph.

Well, a few weeks later we learned that Damian had been given a real job at the Spectator. Of course, he had to begin at the bottom, as the tea-boy, but we all have to start somewhere, and the senior Spectator staff appreciated having their tea poured out by someone who could talk knowledgeably about Wagner, custard, Islam and of course Catholicism as he helped them to sugar. Promotion was inevitable: like the chap in H.M.S. Pinafore who "polished up that handle so carefullee, that now he is the Ruler of the Queen's Navee", we could sing about Damian, "At making tea so good an operator, that now he is an Ass. Ed. of the great Spectator". An Ass. Ed. is nothing to do with donkeys, but is an Associate Editor, which is a very grand position indeed.

Spectator tea party

Cristina Odone is called in to help Damian interview a new tea-boy (R).

So the story has a happy ending, and Damian is blogging on religious matters again at the Spectator's Coffee House - or Custard House, as it is to be renamed. In-depth articles are appearing:

Bravo, Justin Welby! Much better than Rowan Williams! (even Anglicans get it right sometimes, eh?)

Fr Jean-Marie Charles-Roux - the priest with the William Hartnell hairstyle (ah, comments on hairstyles make me nostalgic for the old Telegraph days) and

Even the atheist left realise that Richard Dawkins is a bigot (a bit of an open goal, that one).

Ad multos bloggos, Damian. Will I be allowed to comment on your posts though?

The Abbot of Amboise, a lookalike of Fr Charles-Roux.


  1. Life imitates art. In the "Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin" the protagonist is trapped in the sugary hell-hole of "Sunshine Desserts" (no mention of the prevalence of custard in the workplace, but I think we can draw our own conclusions) and when he reaches tipping point he disgorges a tankerload of fruit compote into the river near to where CJason is fishing for subscribers. "Tony" and "David" are dead ringers for Tim Stanley and Will Heaven, and Christina Odone is certainly based on the laid back Elizabeth.

    Perrin visualises his mother-in-law as a hippopotamus (Surely a forerunner of the role of Gladys Mills), and has a boring left-wing bespectacled son-in-law (Chivers). Rather than a collection of Stephen Hough CDs of teeth being pulled ), Perrin has a collection of artwork by his dentist.

    All I can say is that if he tires of the Spectator, I hope he finally cops off with the lovely Joan, and follows her to her hair salon on the cobbles of Coronation Street, and lives happily and well coiffed ever after.

    1. Thanks, Jadis, that's a most illuminating interpretation of the career of our hero.

  2. When is he going to open up Grot shop or the equivalent though Jadis, in which the Dr Snurds made a mint?

    Will he have 3 different coloured telephones which he can answer "Hello, Thompson on green"!

  3. Oh Dear! I've got to start again since clicking on "Publish" sent my previous messge into the ether while it went looking for my monika! I did say that I did not know that Fr. Alban McCoy had been tipped for Loidensis and that that See has been vacant for far too long since its previous incumbent went looking for an icerink to skate on in Felix Roma.