Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Why Daniel Corbett is either a *maverick* genius or else just slightly annoying and unnecessary. Why it's time for the jury to decide.

Come on everyone!!! Let's have a mass debate. What do you think? I can't do this on my own can I? It wouldn't be a *mass* debate then would it? What would you call it, a solo debate? Hmmm. It's just not right. I would never have a *mass* debate on my own. What sort of pleasure would I get out of that? Huh. None. Obviously. So. Here is the thing:

##Dan Corbett - maverick genius or just some guy camping it up so students will post clips of him on YouTube?##

Cos if he's *for real* then I'm all in favour. If he's trying to be a *cult* then he's a bit of a mass debater himself, frankly.

"Wait up," I hear NAFANTK's yawning, Imaginary Reader exclaim. "Who the chuff is Dan Corbett? Is he any relation to Matthew Corbett or Sooty Corbett, his glove puppet sidekick? Or even, Ronnie Corbett the legendary glove puppet sized comedian? How about Corbett's shoe shop on Polshaw Road, in Lower Ancoats, does he work there? If he does, does he do keys as well? Or does he just do heels and soles?"

Sadly no, Imaginary Reader, Dan is a BBC weather man who both amuses me and scares me, especially when I am sleepy: because he never is. He looks like he exists - in Lester Piggott's words - on coffee and cigar smoke.

He is as thin as a pin, and as jumpy as someone who's just stuck his fingers in an electrical socket. If I was 5 years old and drawing a picture of a man, the man that I did drawed would look like Daniel Corbett: big waving arms, head slightly out of proportion to the rest of his stick man body, big happy smiling face - and in the background - the sun / the rain / the snow.

"Polar bears ... doing a spot of Saturday morning shopping in Glasgow."

He does of course now have his own fansite/blog - the healthily obsessed That's the Weather, For Now

Where many many Daniel Corbett weather report transcripts can be found. Such as this from the day before yesterday - entirely at random:

Monday, 03 November 20083rd 19:56 BBC News

Through the night, a damp, cloudy night, not one of the nights for many of us to wheel out the old telescope [telescope gesture].

With the blanket of cloud like a big thick blanket on the end of the bed, it's not as chilly.

Low pressure to the south, so this is bringing in this sort of like sheet, like putting a sheet on the bed and it just sort of sits there.

Then by Thursday a bit of a weather sandwich.

So the question is - is Daniel Corbett:

  1. Alan Partridge?
  2. A character off the Fast Show?
  3. A genuinely eccentric word mangling stick man?
  4. Russell Brand shaved, brushed up, stick body stuck in a suit, providing surreal amusement in his new role as a weather man?

Wiki says Dan has, "developed something of a cult following due to his personalised style of weather presentation, including his trademark 'point-and-nod' sign-off: "That's the weather... for now.""

Other trademarks

  • Giving temperatures as "the numbers"
  • Using creative similes in reference to the weather, such as: "it's like I've gone mad with my crayon here" or "like cold treacle running down fudge pie".
  • He often refers to rain on the radar as "blobs" or "little chappy/chappies"
  • He's also known for giving specific weather-related advice ("so if you're out shopping ..."; "maybe an extra blanket on the bed tonight"; "nice day to take the doggy out to the park"; "a lovely day for a picnic").
  • Wet weather (said quickly and with heavy use of pronouncing 'h').
  • General elision when speaking, evident in individualistic pronunciations such as "Scottun" for Scotland; "Ingun" for England, etc.
  • Making sudden and pronounced movements and gestures for no apparent reason.

The jury is still out, frankly. Right now I'm ready to put my vote on the *National Treasure*

I may have changed my mind by this time next week. He *could* get a bit annoying...


  1. This is something that has been bothering me for a while. Weather forecasters have, as a whole, become flippant and jolly.

    No more does the weather get the reverence that it deserves. I rarely know what the weather is going to be due to mostly complaining about the forecaster in question.

    See? They've turned me into an old person. Evil evil evil.

  2. Well there is a lot of weather these days. A lot of weird weather in the world, much much more news/weather on the tellybox.

    It's all just jazzier & scarier nowadays. Everything's showbiz these days; even the actual weather has an agent. (I suspect).

  3. Firstly, I cannot read the word 'maverick' without saying, 'you betcha!' in a cute accent and going 'pew-pew' while making shooting gestures in the air.

    Secondly, 'camping it up'? Gah! The c-word again. Why do people say that?!

    Thirdly (and most importantly), Dan Corbett is a genius and ought to be knighted for his services to edu-tainment. National treasure indeed.

    Actually, I think he might very well be Alan Partridge; he did say something closely resembling 'A-HA!' in one of tonight's forecasts.

    Thanks for the blog linkage!

  4. he does seem a *little* camp to me. As does Russell Brand. And he is a famous womaniser.

    I will take your vote and put it on the 'genius' column.

  5. I feel compelled to take action.

    This here is the beginning.

    Take note people.

    The beginning, I tell you, of the end of this weather disrespection.

  6. "weather disrespection"

    I love that phrase. It's a little bit clever, a little big George W. Bush.

    I suggest MD that it may be up to you - and you alone - to hold back the tide of weather disrespection. Personally I feel that the weather treats me with disrespect. Always changing. Someone needs to get a grip on things. A firm hand. As always I would like to blame God or the BBC but I doubt either are listening.........

  7. I'm onto it. The DDD (Damsels Distressed at Disrespection) is hereby formed.

  8. Colin John Nethercott1:34 pm

    Dan is the long-awaited natural successor to Ian McAskill who if I remember rightly was TOO culture-shocking when he first came on the Beeb during the 1978-9 deep freeze, mentioning amongst other innovations something about 'and you wouldn't want those kind of temperatures up around The Trossachs'. I'm sure he disappeared after that for a while but came back to become one of our fave weathermen of all time. Ps this is from the founder of the FB site 'Daniel Corbett for Prime Minister' quoted elsewhere; I really AM a sincere fan of Dan so please forgive a little of the hyperbole and caricature appearing on 'my' Dan posts!

  9. I'm sure he is related to Harry Corbett and Sooty!!!

  10. Anonymous8:15 pm

    I hate dan Corbett her a doocebag