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Harry Potter sells more copies than The Bible

Written by: Hungry Caterpillar Published on: 06 Jan 2003

It was announced today that the number of copies sold of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ have over taken sales figures for the previous all time best seller ‘The Bible’. The author of ‘The Bible’, God, admitted to being “a bit miffed” about this.

‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ (or Sorcerer’s Stone for the illiterate) was released in 1997 and is about a boy who finds out that he can do a few magic tricks and uses his skills a fight evil. Since its release the book has spawn three sequels, lots of tacky merchandise and several million pounds for its author J. K. Rowlings. A film based on the book was released last year and didn’t make as much money as that film about the bloody boat.

‘The Bible’ was released ages ago and is about a boy who finds out that he can do a few magic tricks and uses his skills to fight evil. It also has a whole bunch of stuff in it about the creation of the world and how everything imaginable is a sin, but that’s mostly filler. Since its release the book has spawned numerous crusades, had lots of people killed in it’s name and hasn’t made any money for its author as he’s an omnipotent being who has no need for material possessions. A film based on the book called ‘The Life of Brian’ was released in 1979 and although it didn’t make much money is a lot funnier than either Potter or the boat film.

A lot of people were surprised by the announcement today as it was thought that after two millennia on release ‘The Bible’ would remain number one in the all time sellers list for a while, but it seems that everyone underestimated the buying power of seven to twelve year olds.

We tried to contact J.K. Rowlings for comment but she wanted paying for the interview, so screw her. God however being a complete media whore was more than happy to talk to us. “I have a lot of respect for J.K.’s work.” spoketh the Almighty, “I just don’t think that it has the emotional depth and moral preachiness that is the essence of The Bible. I do have to say though that Robbie Coltrane was very good in the film”. God then went on to say that claims he had threatened to strike J.K. Rowlings down with great vengeance and furious anger were total exaggerated.

At DFTFC we’ll have to side with God on this one, as although we cannot be bothered to read either book ‘The Life of Brian’ was a much better film.

The current all time top 10 best selling book are:

  • Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (or ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ in the US)
  • The Bible
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (or ‘Harry Potter and the Room of Stuff you don’t know about’ in the US)
  • Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakaber (or ‘Harry Potter and the Battlefield Detainee of Rouge Arab State’ in the US)
  • American Spelling Book by Noah Webster
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (or ‘Harry Potter and the Hot Cup’ in the US)
  • The Guinness Book of Records
  • The McGuffey Readers by William Holmes McGuffey
  • Bestiality, Necorphilia, BDSM and my other favourite fetishes by Spunk-Monkey

James Bond 'Not Docusoap'

Written by: Winnie the Poo Published on: 05 Jul 2002

The world was left reeling this afternoon when Tony Blair, the UK president, err prime minister, revealed during question time that James Bond 007, the stalwart of the British Secret Service did not exist. The ‘movies’ the great Mr Bond has been in the last thirty years were not part of a reality television show and were in fact a work of pure fiction!

James Bonds’ supposedly fictional antics as a master spy and all round ladies man have buoyed British confidence in their secret services and scared foreign powers shitless for years. Sam “the squirrel” Jones - our source from the Ministry of Defence who wished to not be named was quoted as saying “the existence of Bond was and is the only thing that’s stopping the ruskies invading the whole of western Europe during this the chilliest hour of the cold war.”

Bond is believed to have been behind many of the momentous events of the last thirty years, from the 1966 world cup final (are you sure that was a Polish linesman…) to the falling of the Berlin wall. In fact, it has been claimed that the Iranian embassy siege only took place because he was on a weekend break with the Irish spy ‘Plenti O’Clitorus’ at the time.

We sent our Russian correspondent, to track down Vladimir - top KGB master of disguise and evasion, for his comments and reaction to the story, “We do not believe it” he said gruffly, “do the UK government really think that we are gullible enough to believe that he does not exist, his antics are legendary, and his prowess as a secret agent is also well known”. When pushed as to what he thought Blair was doing making such an announcement he revealed “we are getting close to killing him, closer than we have been for years, we got Q last year and we will get Bond soon.” When asked whether they would tell firstly Bond their secret plans and then try to kill Bond in a ridiculously intricate (yet easily escapable) death the Russian spymaster simply said “No, we will shot him three times in the head.‡” A warning indeed.

James, if you are out there watching this, be careful, the Russians are coming …

‡ whilst abseiling down a cliff into a vat of liquid hydrogen and juggling twelve monkeys - “we felt nothing should be left to chance…”

Was there life on Mars?

Written by: ChilliBear Published on: 15 Apr 2002

DFTFC have for many years been proud to bring to you the latest and greatest news from all around the world, but even with our world renowned modesty we must admit that had perhaps the potential to be the single most amazing thing which could have happened to the Human race this week. Yes reader more important than the declaration of war by Luxembourg, or the destruction of the moon, and definitely more important than the invention of self buttering bread. However all was not to be, read on for what can only be described as a terrible tragedy.

Life on Mars… When we heard the news even I doubted it, I had had my hopes dashed so many times. As a child I remember reading of Dan Dare’s adventures on Venus and we were promised Treens, big mean nasty green Treens lead by the Mekon, yet when we actually have a proper look at the planet - nothing! …

for me - despair… but I digress.

Yesterday evening members of the DFTFC editorial team packed into the crowded Mars Orbital Ordinance (or MOO for short) control room at the JPL, waiting with anticipation for the confirmation of life. On the monitor screens we saw events unfolding… the MOO robot probe slowly, gently dipped its extended appendage into the soft yielding Martian… ground and scooped up a sample, the robot arm gently, smoothly, sensuously taking the alien soil from its resting place in the errr soil and took it deep within it’s shining, glistening, humming metallic body… [EDITOR] hmmm CB this is starting to sound like a cheesy soft-core porn movie - you really must stop chatting to Spunk-Monkey. Anyhow back to the filth… Hungry Caterpillar. Well no sooner than the analysis started to come through on our monitor screens we see a bloody great big foot descending on the camera, pah I say, some stupid alien went and trod on the bleedin’ robot probe. Bloody typical is what I thought we wait years in suspense wondering if there is actually any life on Mars and just as we are about to find out some clumsy Martian goes and ruins our last best hope!

So alas readers once more humanity sits on planet Earth, wondering, are we alone in this great big Universe, or maybe just maybe somewhere out there… somewhere beyond the English Channel there might be intelligent lifeforms - god knows we’re short of them down here…

Time Machine Destroyed

Written by: Sean the Irish Bastard Published on: 17 Jan 2002

The time transference module developed last year by Professor Gustave Ravel has been destroyed during a raid on the NPL in the London suburb of Twickenham. The raid, suspected to have been carried out by His Majesty’s Secret Service occurred in the early hours of this morning, when very few resident scientists were still around. A team of four men were involved in the raid, which saw computer systems as well as paper records destroyed. Professor Ravel himself has not been seen since the raid, and is feared dead. The break-in certainly appeared to focus on total destruction of the machinery and its documentation rather than its theft, a theory supported by the disappearance of its inventor.

Professor Ravel
Professor Ravel

A spokesman for the NPL said today that terrorism had been ruled out: “We have not received any demands or word of any kind from the group responsible, which we would have by now. We believe paranoia of the higher powers have forced the end of this scientific revolution.” This is becoming the latest conspiracy theory of recent years, after similar theories following the deaths of Princess Diana, Jill Dando and Will Smith.

Later on, a man calling himself ‘Nasty Colin’ had claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of Professor Ravel, but this was dismissed as a crank.

Professor Ravel’s assistant, Tim Roper, added “Of course there is very little public knowledge about the TTM” (Time Transference Module), “as news passed on has been cleverly disguised as a serial hoax. This way, we don’t have to keep secrets from the public - they just don’t believe us. And people like Nasty Colin do us a great service in this respect” Roper then tapped his nose, winked and drove off in his Austin Maxi.

Nasty Colin
Nasty Colin

The demise of the time machine, which DFTFC had exclusive access to means the end of our “Pioneers” series of interviews, although the final two transcripts, yet to be written up will follow shortly. It also means that going back to avert the death of Spunk Monkey following his tussle with a French Revolutionary will be tricky, especially as we brought his head back to use as a paperweight.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that the pod may have automatically tried to displace itself when attacked (as was in the development stage), and that disabling it mid-transference could have caused the creation of certain anomalies by the pod’s warp field generator. It is possible that these may have caused some bizarre side effects. For all we know, the outside world may have been ‘altered’, and although we have no way of knowing for sure, history may have been changed (remember, DFTFC’s expeditions held a non-interference policy, except when we gave that Gameboy to a group of Aborigines in 18th century Australia). Perhaps all the effects of the pod’s travel will be negated? If so, Spunk Monkey could still turn up at some point, smelling of Garlic (though we’re sure he prefers being dead).

Any further developments will be reported as and when they happen, if causality permits it.

Supermarket Stars: latest TV sensation

Written by: Hostile17 Published on: 02 Jan 2002

ITV’s recent line up of programmes that turn common people in to celebrities has been a ratings winner for the station–and it’s not about to end any time soon. First there was Popstars, a search to find five members of the public to form a new pop band. Then there was Soapstars, the aim being to find a family for ITV’s Emmerdale. The franchise was then taken to new levels with Dogstars, where the hunt was on to find a canine companion for the soap star family. The search for the dog had a dramatic finale when Kim Marsh was disqualified from the last round. The judges decided that the fact she’d already won Popstars was unfair on the other finalists, Golden Labrador Prince and Shitzu Sheba. The show reportedly drew in 25m visitors, a new high for ITV. To capitalise on this success, they soon announced the latest addition to the lineup: Supermarket Stars.

“It’s Popstars in reverse,” proclaimed LWT’s controller of entertainment Nigel Lythgoe. “Popstars, Soapstars and Dogstars focused on delivering members of the general public into the world of showbiz, and turning them in to celebrities. Supermarket Stars is the innovate addition to the line-up, and takes on a different role to its predecessors.”

Whereas the previous shows were open to the public, Supermarket Stars will only be open to people who have starred on TV or had a music career in the past. Its aim: to give a has-been celebrity a coveted job on a supermarket checkout.

“It really is an exciting opportunity for the lucky winner,” enthused Tesco chief executive Benjamin Eans. “The winner will be given a six-month trial contract with the UK’s leading supermarket, with the option of it being extended to a permanent contract afterthat time.”

The benefits by no means end there. The winner of the show will also get free uniforms, subsidised meals and 10% discount after a year’s work.

The impressive mix of benefits has already caught the notice of a lot of ex-celebs, and the turnout has been strong. A number of stars are rumoured to have entered at the first round including Vanessa Feltz, Adam Rickett, Anthea Turner, Julie Goodyear, Jason Donovan and a number of Big Brother stars. Victoria Beckham was also reportedly there, but was removed from the building after demanding that her autobiography must be on her till if she wins.

Viewers at home will soon get to see who turned up. The show will follow the audition process, as the judges rate the entrants on cleanliness, politeness, efficiency and ability to meet people with a smile. Auditions took place in London over a week, as they whittled the numbers down to ten finalists. Only one can go through, however, and win Supermarket Stars.

The television crew will follow the winner as the go through extensive training in preparation for their new role. The winner will be given checkout training from the very best in HR trainers, and they’ll get to watch a number of videos on customer care. These videos will also be on sale in stores after the show has finished, along with ‘every little helps’ badges.

“I have to say, in particular, the final episode will be very exciting,” said Lythgoe. “After we’ve seen the winner trained, we’ll go with them to their first day on the checkout. We don’t know what will happen on that day, or who will come. We may have an old woman with coupons and lots of small change one minute, and some dropped eggs the next. It’s an exciting unpredictable atmosphere. Viewers at home can then head for the store and be served by someone they’ve got to know on TV, it’s really quite unique. Plus we’re giving this wonderful opportunity to someone who really needs it, and that makes it very worthwhile indeed.”

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Written by: Sean the Irish Bastard Published on: 25 Dec 2001

The first of Joanne Rowling’s seven projected Potter books reaches the silver screen at last, in two and a half hours of family entertainment. Shooting is already underway on the first sequel, but how does this first instalment fare?

Well, overall it’s a great film, true to the book, and a worthy adaptation. The grandiose Hogwart’s setting is well realised with some fantastic CG work, and effectively lit sets (we’ll forgive the painted backdrop outside the Dursley’s front hall).

The film isn’t without its flaws. Despite the long running time (although it doesn’t feel that long at all), the content of the book has been about as mercilessly treated as Warner Bros could probably get away with. The lead up to Harry’s arrival at Hogwarts is too brief and many memorable parts of the book are excised completely from the screenplay. However, the inclusion of just one Quidditch match was probably a sensible move. In general the decision seems to have been taken to remove certain whole sections rather than have a greater number of over-edited scenes, which in film-making theory is the correct path, especially in a family film.

And this is well and truly a family film, with only five bloodies, one bugger and an arse. Don’t look for subtle jokes, knowing winks and double entendres though, because there aren’t any.

The casting in the film is just about perfect. If you can forgive Emma Watson’s (Hermione) matter-of-fact drama school diction, the three child leads are spot-on. Daniel Radcliffe excels in the role of Harry which he was born to play. The interplay between they and Rupert Grint (Ron) shows great promise for the sequels as we watch the characters develop.

It’s a shame about having a peroxide Draco Malfoy, who is not quite the nemesis of Harry’s that he is in the book. As he gets older though, I’m sure he’ll become more menacing. A few of the cameo roles, like those of John Cleese and Leslie Philips (I kept waiting for the sorting hat to say “Ding, dong”) push a little to far towards all-star casting abuse, but none detract from the action, nor spoil the mood.

There’s some Spot-the-Actor fun to be had elsewhere, with Vernon Dursley played by Richard “Uncle Monty” Griffifths, John Hurt as the wand seller and Harry’s mother may be a familiar face to viewers of Cracker (speaking of which, Robbie Coltrane, made even bigger by computer, is a definitive Hagrid). And see if you can spot Warwick Davis and Verne Troyer in the Gringott’s Bank sequence.

Overall, I would recommend this film to anyone who’s curious to know what the fuss is about, but do yourself a favour and read the book first!

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