Being an artist has always been the boring front for my real job as a secret agent. At the age of two I was sent away to Bavaria to a training camp for toddler spies, there I learned to ski, scuba dive, parachute jump and how to build deadly weapons from stickle bricks and Lego. It served me well and pretty soon I was rising up the ranks of spy school until I found myself at the tender age of seven transferred back to Blighty to undergo further training in a disused underground station in Central London. I added unarmed combat, gymnastics, cocktail mixology and how to smoke to my skills as well as how to use the fuzzy felt identikit to aid my memory.
Then it all went wrong, I refer to my wayward years when in 1974 I ran away from spy school and joined the Bay City Rollers, an up and coming band starting on the road to stardom. I went wild, one drunken night I fell down stairs holding a guitar and came up with ‘Shang-a-Lang’ on the way down, it proved to be a big hit and catapulted us to super stardom on par with The Wombles. Over the next few years I got blind drunk every night and threw myself down the stairs with my guitar coming up with classics like ‘Bye, Bye, Baby’ and ‘Give a Little Love’ until the hits stopped coming. By 1976 the shine was beginning to tarnish, I had already moaned about our tartan image and suggested paisley when it all came to a head with a fight with rivals Showaddywaddy after arguing about ‘Under The Moon Of Love’ and wether crepe soles were fashionable anymore.
I was kicked out of the band at the beginning of 1977 just in time to be hired again as a spy, this time I was given an important mission, the Jubilee. Orchestrating an entire country to celebrate was a thankless task I can tell you. I had to personally check each jubilee street table throughout the land for stability to avoid compensation claims from the monarchy, I had to make sure the sun shone and keep the Sex Pistols from reaching number one but as history shows I did it but my name was erased from history for this period to retain secrecy and instead I was expected to pretend that during the jubilee I was a normal ten year old holidaying in Great Yarmouth.
I was sacked in 1978 after the great Corgi revolt, I didn’t know that they couldn’t eat Bonio’s or that Bonio’s due to their ingredients proved psychotic to Corgis who went berserk during the visit of the American president Jimmy Carter. Barbara Woodhouse had to be bought in to fetch them down for the chandeliers and to remove them from Jimmy Carter’s hair.
After bumming around for a few years in the Bahamas I eventually found employment in 1980 at the BBC and featured in several classics including doubling up as Ernie Wise’s stunt wig during their infamous Morecombe and Wise shows. I moved to ITV in 1984 and joined the team behind Ted Rogers 3,2,1 and helped write the complex puzzles given to contestants that led to prizes delivered by has been celebrities. Dusty Bin came to me in a dream after Ted asked me to create a memorable character to match his 3,2,1 finger dexterity, Dusty Bin became a staple of 80’s television and was so popular that every household in the country had a bin. By 1986 I was working on Bullseye and was given the task of sorting the ten pound notes for Jim Bowen. It was me that came up with bully’s special prize this week and I pioneered the prize of a speedboat to landlocked contestants from council houses, it was a proud moment.
It couldn’t last, after karate chopping Les Dennis on celebrity squares I was fired. Luckily the computer industry was just burgeoning and as I was trained on mega computers during the 70’s I fell straight into the industry selling ZX-Spectrums from the back of a van. In 1988 I wrote Ceefax which was immediately snapped up by broadcasters, it was originally called Facefax which had a certain ring to it and I launched a separate computer programme for the Spectrum called Twitterbook that allowed users around the world to connect and communicate, a sort of social network. Unfortunately it didn’t take off, primarily as I had designed it for the Internet and tablets, both of which hadn’t been taken up by a public that still preferred an Atari 2600 and Arctic roll for tea on a Sunday afternoon.
So I returned to spying, in 1999 I was instructed to stop the millennium bug, a fiendish bit of coding that caused computers to not recognise the year 2000 and instead decide that it was victorian England and roll the clocks back to 1900. Despite all the doom mongering I wiped out all the worlds programmers in one fell swoop after causing confusing between them after an argument about Linux and Linus, the character from Snoopy. Unable to grasp the concept of an operating system and a cartoon character sharing four letters in the same order they all tried to write programs to prove the difference and caused a series of endless loops until they all expired after two weeks with no sleep and living on coffee and pizza.
With disaster averted I was awarded the purple cross at a ceremony, unfortunately the computer printing the invite for the 2nd January 2000 had got the date wrong and I missed the entire ceremony by a hundred years. I retired from spying and bought myself a nice cream van. Touring the UK I made so much money selling Mr Whippy laced with brandy called a 99% proof that I purchased a small island in the Bahamas and started selling Bisto to the locals, apparently it has aphrodisiac properties and pretty soon I was making so much money I got greedy and started to cut the Bisto with home brand gravy granuals, I was found out and banished from the Bahamas forever.
Back in Blighty I decided there and then that I wanted to dissapear from the world so decided to do the most boring job ever, become an artist. I still maintain a cloak of secrecy to this day and work in total darkness using the sense of touch to complete every painting. I have been called ‘touched’ on many occasions, the last time I was called it two nice men arrived in a van and gave me a special jacket to wear. I was taken away to look at their interior design and admire their padded walls for weeks on end.
So today you find a jaded skint ex rock star has been spy with a penchant for creating naff game shows sat in a darkened room dreaming of stripy creatures but coiled with the ability to French kick you to death using my little finger.
And that dear reader is how I became a spy and now you know too much, watch the shadows, I am the Kato of assassins, don’t be surprised if you find me sellotaped to your ceiling when you get home ready to lunge and protect my secret identity.
Oh my, I’m off to have a lay down. Oooo, pretty butterfly, la,la,la…I’m a little teapot…