David Mitchell, Judy Murray and Anita Rani compete to have their pet hates and peeves consigned to Room 101. Topics include sniffing, walking and eating, and sugar lumps.
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APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
Hello, I'm Frank Skinner, and welcome to Room 101,
the show where three guests battle to get the things they hate
entombed for all eternity in the dreaded vault.
They'll have to argue their case well
because in each round, only one item can be chosen.
The final decision is mine. Let's meet this week's guests.
Joining me tonight are Peep Show David Mitchell,
sheep show Anita Rani,
and "Can you show me the way to the friends and family box?"
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
BELL DINGS Let's get ready to grumble.
And first of all, I want to find out what is winding up David Mitchell.
Yes, it's, er...people...
People who get annoyed when you don't remember them.
I would like them to go in the room.
Whoever the hell they are.
That was beautiful. It started like rain on a roof, but then...
It grew on them.
Look, I'm not saying it's good to not remember
someone who you've met before, and if you don't remember someone,
obviously, you should try and conceal it.
I accept that. You know, if you can't remember someone's name,
or you're not sure if you've met them at all, or whatever.
Just, you know... nod and smile, say, "Nice to see you."
Don't make it obvious.
You know, it's out there.
You've met this person before, and you haven't remembered them.
Now, I've not been remembered by people,
and I've never made a thing of it.
I don't think there's any point in making a thing of it,
because something has happened,
somewhere deep in the workings of someone's brain,
and there's nothing to be done about it.
The remembering has not happened.
In fact, the person who's angry that I haven't remembered,
I've only got their word for it that I've met them at all.
But, you know, nevertheless, I DO believe them,
because I am quite a thoughtless, forgetful person.
But why get angry with something that my brain
has unconsciously failed to do? What am I supposed to do about it?
Go back in time to the moment when I supposedly met this person and then,
sort of, do some homework afterwards?
Revise people I bumped into at that party,
so that when I meet them next time, I'll go,
"Oh, yes, hello, Steve," or whatever?
No, that's not workable.
Leave me alone.
It's like shouting at children for not being clever enough.
There's no point in getting annoyed.
There's no point saying, "I wish your brain was structured
"in a kinder, more caring way."
That's just not the way social interaction between humans works.
We don't address head on the issue
of whether a person is more or less nice...
So I say, if someone doesn't remember you, live with it,
be bitter inside, don't get outwardly annoyed.
I took my mother-in-law to A&E a couple of weeks ago,
and a nurse was dealing with me, and this porter said,
"He's off the telly."
And she said, "Is it, really?"
And she was staring at me. It's a bit embarrassing.
And then she said, "What's your name? I'll Google you."
So I gave her my name and waited.
And she said...
"Do you host Room 101?"
And I said, "Yeah, I do."
And she said, "That's one of my favourite programmes."
How are you with names, Judy?
I've become quite good at pretending I remember people,
and I just say, "Hi, there."
I was in Blackpool a couple of years ago with Sunetra Sarker,
who's an actress on Casualty, and this woman was coming towards us,
she stopped rigid in front of us, and she said, "I know you."
And luckily she wasn't pointing at me, she was pointing at Sunetra,
and she goes, "Do you remember ME?" And she was quite aggressive.
And Sunetra says, "No, I'm terribly sorry, I don't."
And the woman said, "I know where I know you from - prison!"
And was there a little bit of doubt in your mind?
No, we just ran away.
I was doing a book signing, and a woman came up...
My family was there, and a woman came up and said,
"I don't know if you remember me - we had a one-night stand in 1997."
-You see, THAT'S polite.
Well, I definitely said thank you.
You know, she's saying...
I won't speculate as to whether it's accurate or not -
but she's saying you've had sex, but even so,
she's polite enough to think
that maybe you've forgotten the encounter.
I think that's extremely well-mannered.
And she's attached a year to it as well, so she's given me some...
I'm able to narrow it down.
It's like Google Earth - I'll just close it in just a little bit.
I'm with you - why get offended by it?
If it was me, I'd feel bad that you didn't remember me,
rather than feeling annoyed that you didn't remember me.
Yeah, I mean, there's an onus on a person
to be at least slightly memorable.
Don't get angry at me that you're so forgettable.
Get angry at your personality, and the world.
You know, it's not my fault.
Sometimes you remember people for being horrible.
Yes. Everyone remembered Hitler's name.
Yeah. Just the surname we've got, but, yeah.
Yeah, just call him Herr Hitler -
don't let on that you can't remember his first name!
Here's an aide-memoire that a wife put together for a husband.
This is a sign that she left on the door so he didn't forget his lunch.
What I find regrettable there is she obviously has decided her husband
is just obsessed with breasts and vaginas, and yet...
Hold on, where's the vagina?
-Because the down...
-That's an arrow. That's a downward arrow.
Oh... Oh, you...
Oh, I see. I saw...
What I was thinking
is she was thinking he would look first at the breasts,
and then downwards towards the groin.
There you go - there's no point in hiding it now,
it has been televised.
OK, let's see what is winding up Judy Murray.
-Sniffing - there's a lot of it in showbusiness.
I can't stand sniffing.
Anyone who sniffs, especially if they sniff constantly,
is going straight in Room 101, and it'd better be soundproofed.
I sat on a flight on the way down here
beside a guy who sniffed constantly.
And I started off looking at him with my best death stare,
which I usually reserve for people like Novak Djokovic.
Judy, can you show me your evil stare?
-Wow! That's a good one.
-And it didn't make any difference.
And I've always hated sniffing,
but when you're sitting in close proximity,
and especially when you're on a flight and you can't move,
it's just horrendous.
So eventually, I go into my bag,
because I always keep a pack of tissues in my bag,
because of my sniffing...problem.
And I said, "Would you like a tissue?"
You actually said that?
Yeah. Because it drives me...
I mean, I don't want to know what's going on up that guy's nose.
And why don't you just blow your nose?
Why don't you just get it out?
And I don't want your germs, either.
But it's... No, sniffing.
Can't stand it. Get in that room. Now.
I can, er... SLIGHT APPLAUSE
I can... One person.
Everyone else is breathing very carefully.
If you're sniffing, I will hear you.
I've had catarrh since I was about 12, I think. I've always had it.
So when I heard there was going to be a Qatar World Cup,
"I should enter that!"
They have a thing in Japan, erm...
called the Hay Fever Hat - have you ever heard of that?
It just so happens I have one here.
And if you have hay fever, and are in a sniffy situation...
This is real.
This is honestly real.
So...erm... So you...
What you don't want to do is fall asleep in a public lavatory.
Which, erm...I haven't done for many years now.
That used to be my weekend thing.
If you're sneezing, you just pull this down...
BLOWS HIS NOSE
tear that off.
I can put that in my pocket, and stuff.
There's never any excuse for sniffing.
I don't know if you'd be allowed on a plane in it.
It should be mandatory for anybody who has a cold.
Yeah. And if we all wore them, then no-one would think it was,
you know, particularly...
So that's the Hay Fever Hat.
I think what's worse than sniffing
-is when people wipe their snot with their sleeve, you know?
I think that's worse.
Sniffing - if you've got no tissue, what do you do?
It's like, oh, er...
-But that is...
-I'd rather they did that than sniff.
-Would you really?
It comes in handy for falconry.
You've got, like, a solid crust for the talons.
What do you think of this for a piece of nasal activity
from the world of international tennis, Judy?
-At least he didn't sniff.
He'd run out of bananas that day and needed some protein.
I'm going to have one last chance to win you over,
and I think this is a bit special.
"TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR" PLAYS ON RECORDER
TUNE PLAYS TO END
I mean, I think, musically,
I think the man has to take some of the credit.
OK, so, what is upsetting Anita?
Walking and eating.
Particularly if it's a burger, or a kebab, or a pasty,
or something else that can just flop around.
You see people at lunchtime walking around with their lunch,
cos they're so busy that they are on the go,
"Oh, I haven't got time to sit down.
"I've just got to eat a sandwich and drink a coffee at the same time,
"and try and get to my next meeting."
It's just nonsense. Just sit down.
Take five minutes, and eat your lunch.
Just have some food.
Because food, to me, is more than just sustenance.
It's one of the pleasures of life.
Food is the reason I get up in the morning, cos I think,
"Oh, what am I going to have for breakfast?"
And then I think, "Great, lunch is on its way."
And then, "Fantastic! Dinner is round the corner!"
And it's just that pleasure of sitting down, eating,
taking your time, and enjoying food.
So, walking and eating is this sort of dismissive,
casual attitude to life that I think deserves to go in there forever.
That's how strongly I feel about it.
We have a picture of you here in the street, Anita.
So it's all right if you've got some poor minion
holding the stuff for you.
What about ice creams?
Are they allowed?
An ice cream cone?
You have to go and sit down?
You have to get a napkin?
Well, there is...
Do you have to eat it with a knife and fork?
It's just that it drips down your hand, and you're like...
and then you can't finish it.
I mean, it's just complicated, isn't it?
Yes, it's complicated - that's what childhood is for.
Learning how to eat an ice cream
in a way that doesn't drip down your hand,
and it doesn't make the cone go soggy.
No, make the child sit down and eat that ice cream
before they have to walk along the beach is what I say.
I'm just going to take it to the nth degree. Even chips.
Even chips, you have to sit down and eat.
If I'm going to put it in there, let's just go all out.
-Even a lolly.
Sit down, eat it with a spoon.
You're not getting up until you've finished it.
This is a thing, it's called the Portable Pizza Pouch,
and you wear it around your neck...
..so you've always got a piece.
You know when you're out and you really need a piece of pizza,
when you're out walking.
I've got one. I'll tell you one thing I do really like about it.
And I worked out that if you, er...
Bear with me.
If you, er...
Just a second.
RECORDING: # Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler
# If you think we're on the run?
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
# We are the boys who will stop your little game
# We are the boys who will make you think again...
I love this job! LAUGHTER
# ..Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler... # FRANK: Oh, sorry.
# If you think old... #
I'm not going to put this into Room 101
because what about the homeless, for a start-off?
I saw a guy eating banana skins out of a wheelie bin.
Was he supposed to push that to the nearest picnic area?
Now, this one is a bit more difficult.
I do find the sniffing thing really, really annoying,
and I'm a big champion of the handkerchief,
and would like to see that make a comeback.
I think people, probably, will always get upset
if you forget their names, and, let's face it, it can happen.
So, you know what, I am going to put sniffing into Room 101.
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
And so to the next round, and to Judy's choice.
Inane motorway signs.
Well, there is nothing worse than driving along,
and suddenly there's a huge sign in front of you on the motorway,
which distracts you for a start,
and maybe because I don't like being told what to do,
it really annoys me when I see a sign
that is of no use to me whatsoever,
that says something like, "Don't take drugs and drive."
Are you kidding me? I'm already driving.
That is of no use to me whatsoever.
Almost as bad as that are the roadwork signs
that they've been experimenting with,
and they've been designed by a psychologist
to help drivers cope with the stress of being stuck in roadworks.
So they're kind of empathetic signs that say things like,
"Say no to tailgating."
"Drive carefully - somebody loves you."
-That's a very big assumption, isn't it?
-Are you kidding me?
How do you know that anybody loves me?
I'm not sure that anybody does.
Just an example, here's a sort of standard one
that we've probably all seen, which is there.
"Keep your distance,"
which I've always thought would make a lovely lapel badge.
Erm... Not drugs, but we have an alcohol-based one which I...
You'll identify with this.
"After whisky, driving is risky."
It's not out of the question.
It reminds me of when I was a young man,
people used to say stuff like, "Whisky makes you frisky."
"Brandy makes you randy." And all that stuff.
What I needed was a drink that rhymed with "totally impotent."
What about this for the most indiscreet traffic sign ever?
There seems to be more and more.
I'd certainly agree with that.
And one that annoys me is you drive into a place,
and it just says, "slow down."
And they've got no idea what a tight schedule I run to.
Or indeed, how quickly you're going.
That's the thing. Don't try and get inside people's heads.
What if you were going at a dangerously slow speed?
They'd need to say, "Speed up!
"Someone's going to ram in the back of you."
It should just say, "Drive at the appropriate speed", and then they'd realise,
we don't need this sign, that's obvious.
Just say, "Don't be a dick."
OK, then, what's upsetting Anita Rani?
Yeah. Stuff, really.
The amount of stuff that we have these days.
I've moved house quite a few times,
and every time I move house, I move into a slightly bigger place,
and I just seem to get more and more stuff.
And now I've got to a stage where I feel like
I can't see the wood for the trees.
Because not only have I got all this stuff, half of it is obsolete,
I don't really need it any more.
So I actually did this thing recently, because I read -
not that I'm into self-help books,
but there was a book about decluttering.
So I read it, thought, OK, let's give it a go.
Is this The Magic Of Tidying, by any chance?
I don't know. It's by Mari Kondo, the Japanese woman.
Yes, it's The Magic Of Tidying.
Exactly. And she basically says, get everything out of your...
you start with the clothes, so that's what I started with.
Put everything on the floor, and then take each item of clothing,
feel it, and if it means something to you,
put it back in your wardrobe.
Like if you feel like, "Yes, this makes me feel something..."
So I did it, and it worked.
And she says put all the other stuff in bin liners and I've got this fantastic wardrobe now
where I open my wardrobe and I feel joy, I'm like,
"Yeah, I can see the clothes!"
Before, just so many clothes, oh...
And still you think, "I've got nothing, I don't know what to wear."
Now I see these clothes, and it's like, "OK, yes,
"I can see that shirt will go with those trousers."
Except now I've got a problem when I've got a room full of bin liners.
I just always think when I tidy up,
I'm going to find something really interesting I didn't know I'd got.
Last time, for example, in the spare bedroom, there was a fitted carpet.
We have a tweet of yours, actually, making the same point.
Even your tweets are cluttered.
You've got to use it until you run out of characters, don't you?
What have you done with the self-help book?
Still cluttering the place up?
That's the one thing I can't get rid of.
Maybe it's because I have a problem with just buying too much stuff.
Because I know that my life would be so much easier if I didn't have it.
All of it. How many face creams do I need?
I've got a lot of face creams. I've got at least nine.
-That's a guess.
I threw out a load of stuff, and I've started buying...
buying it back on eBay!
I used to collect, you know those magazines that make encyclopaedias.
Story Of Pop was one that I had, and I got rid of years ago,
and I bought it back recently from eBay.
And it was great to have it back in the house.
That was a year ago, I haven't opened it, but it's there.
So what's upsetting David Mitchell?
You take a commodity that people want to decide how much they want,
and you congeal it in such a way as to prescribe a minimum dose.
You don't get that with ketchup.
You can have as much ketchup on, or as little as you like.
You don't have to put a minimum of that sized clod of it.
Sugar exists as a powder in a granulated form,
why turn it into lumps?
What are you doing? You're only limiting its usage,
you're not extending its usage.
So... There you go, sugar lumps, why do they exist?
Stop doing it. Stop congealing sugar into lumps.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
I don't know why it exists, actually.
And, do you know, one argument you could make,
let me play devil's advocate, and I mean devil's.
They're devils, these people!
..is you could say it's a useful way to take, you know, an amount of sugar.
You can then hold it, such as a sugar sachet.
And obviously, a sugar sachet, that involves paper,
that's worse for the environment.
However, there exists, and I have seen this,
and the people who make these are the real Satans of the world.
Sugar lumps in sachets!
A lump of sugar in a little plastic...
Why is THAT allowed to exist?
What's the point of that? The only defence for the lump,
the sugar lump that allows bowls of sugar in cafes to get dirtier
and, "Oh, I'll have that one. Oh, that's a bit of a wonky one."
This disgusting thing!
The only defence is a certain level of convenience.
And then someone decides, well, actually,
let's take the sachet that also provides that level of convenience
and put a lump in it.
These aren't sugar sachets that have been left in the wet or something,
this is a deliberately formed sugar lump put in a sachet.
Can you imagine anything more diabolical?
I think with sugar lumps, probably,
every sugar lump in a bowl in a cafe
has been handled by at least 60 to 100 toddlers.
You're preaching to the converted, but what I'm saying is,
if you've decided, "OK, sugar lumps are disgusting,
"let's put sugar in sachets to limit small amounts of it" - why?
Render the sugar into a lump before you put it in a sachet?
Because then the toddler germs won't get on the sugar lump
you want to use.
But, no. But, but...
You... But the unlumpened sugar has the same sweetening effect!
You don't need to turn it into a lump!
You can just put it in a sachet!
The toddlers can't touch it,
you can have half of it if you don't want the whole thing.
How do they stick it together? The lump?
I've heard they get Chinese children to cry.
But you need sugar lumps to be able to feed sugar to horses.
You may have hit upon the only use for the sugar lump.
the instances of equine diabetes are through the roof.
And secondly, I'm sure we could design some sort of spoon
for feeding sugar to horses.
Or a tube. We know they can blow out, they can probably...
Yeah, we could give the horse a kind of...
We don't want horses snorting sugar!
The other argument you could make in favour of the sugar lump,
but you wouldn't, unless, you know, came from hell.
Another argument you could make is that it saves on, you know,
washing a piece of cutlery, because you don't need a spoon.
You can just plop it in. You'll need a spoon to stir.
But you shouldn't use the same spoon to spoon sugar in as to stir.
That makes you a monster.
They have those little tongs, though.
The days of those tongs are gone now. Hardly...
Not in Dunblane.
Really? The last bastion of the sugar tong!
If you're saying the only way to make the lumps hygienic
is to use tongs, then you're not saving on cutlery at all.
That got you.
But as you pointed out, tongs are on the way out.
And I, for one, would like to save the tong.
I've got, in my house, I have sugar tongs.
I have a coal fire with tongs.
Any excuse to use tongs. I run a small men's clinic.
I would be sad to see the end of the tong.
And if you get rid of sugar lumps
that is going to be a major blow to the tong industry.
You're going to keep the sugar lump to save the tongs?
This is madness.
My mum, every time she made a cup of tea,
she'd put two spoons of sugar in it, and if we had visitors,
she'd give them the tea and say, "Do you take sugar?"
And if they said "No, she'd say, don't stir it!"
I swear, I swear to you, I didn't make that up.
This is tough. I think you're so right about all this.
I would only say there are inane road signs,
but when I'm driving on my own, I'm just glad of something to read.
So I'm going to keep that in.
The sugar lump, as I say, as a champion of the tong,
I just can't...
Cos there's nothing left.
The tongs are no good to you if the sugar lump's in a sachet!
Unless you have tiny little sachet scissors.
But I have to say, this is something I've never really thought of,
but clutter, I think, is a really bad thing.
Just endless clutter all over the place.
So I am going to put clutter into Room 101.
And that brings us to the end of the show, and well done, Judy,
you were the most persuasive guest, so you are this week's winner!
Thanks very much, David Mitchell, Judy Murray and Anita Rani.
And thank you, good night.
Frank Skinner hosts the comedy panel show as David Mitchell, Judy Murray and Anita Rani compete to have their pet hates and peeves consigned to Room 101. Topics include sniffing, walking and eating, and sugar lumps.