We knew Piers Morgan was big but not how big. Now we do.
If this week's Live magazine is to be interpreted, he's about as big as a fridge - a posh one mind.
Now read this
Coming to terms this week with my role as former stranded holiday volcano man and still recovering from a terrifying, dusty night flight from Egypt to Lithuania, I find that I have come through the ordeal with a restored faith in the human condition.
While stories abound of car hire companies doubling prices and the like, my journey has been one of kindness and understanding. Even the Gatwick airport car park waived any excess charge for showing up six days late.
But not everyone is so philanthropic.
One company trying to cash in by paying Google for the term Volcano is www.vacuumcleanerbags.co.uk. But hey, it made me laugh.
For a song written in the 1970s, this is remarkably prescient. In fact, it could be the only song in history that not only deals with coping with economic misery, car scrappage, supermarket overcharging, oil prices and inflation but is also very good; uplifting even.
Check out the story of The Fast Flying Vestibule on this great American poetry site or listen below.
Continuing my series of 'there is no such thing as a special offer any more' today I bring you the Russell Hobbs Belmont stainless steel kettle.
Or, ta da, at Robert Dyas you can bag the boiler for but HALF PRICE!!!
So how much, then, does it cost at Robert Dyas?
As anyone buying anything at Superdrug can probably testify, the guys on the till will ask whether you want stamps with your toothpaste.
But now there's a reason to say 'yes'. A small one. The hair gloop to over-the-counter medicines store is offering 5% off stamps, which means you save a fiver for every £100 of stamps you buy, or in my case 24p off a 12-pack of first classes.
Now that online discount vouchers and voucher codes have completely removed the spontaneity and fun of going out for meals, buying stuff or doing anything that involves money, one positive from the phenomenon is the implied acknowledgement that if you don't have a voucher you're being ripped off.
So what to do.
Best is to relax, buy what you want, eat when and where you want and take the extra cost on the chin. Mostly the discounts seem derisory anyway.
If you really must chase discounts then here's a card worth checking out. While paying in advance for money-off is a backwards way of managing your finances, the Gourmet Society card is a way of knowing where you can save money in advance without having to trawl the plethora of voucher sites before deciding where to dine.
With 3,000 restaurants on its books, it's particularly useful for discovering new places that otherwise might be off your radar and if you're a regular at Pizza Express it's a no-brainer because you'll always get one main course thrown into the mix for free. And even better, you don't need to book in advance.
The card normally costs £53.50 a year but we have a special offer of £33.50 for 14 months. You'll also find discounts on hotels. Check out:
Good news: you can upload your designs to zazzle.co.uk and earn money every time someone buys a T-shirt or mug with your scribble on it. Not so good news: the site boasts more than 22 billion products to choose from. That's quite a lot of competition by anybody's standards.
Still, it's a fun site and worth a look one lunch time.
Isn't it astonishing how much porn there is on Twitter? OK I know it's everywhere but Twitter's the latest thing.
Click on the day's 'Trending Topics' such as Halloween and you'll be greeted with endless lists of 'tweets' from innocent people mucking about with their 140 characters but look closer and you'll see a list often peppered with invitations to meet webcam owners in various states of undress and other related bedroom offshoots.
Astonishing? Well, no it isn't astonishing at all.
Like it or loath it, here is a business sector with a firm grasp of how to promote itself in the online Wild West. You have to admire the tenacity and ingenuity. And businesses that claim ruination at the hands of the online 'revolution' should be learning from them.
What is truly astonishing is just how many businesses still have no online presence whatsoever. How many decrepit local shops don't bother to create a website or a blog and get it indexed on Google before whinging that the future's out the get them? Guys, if you're not on Google you don't exist. Not any more. We've moved on.
If the oldest profession is on the hi-tech ball there really is no excuse for traditional ones such as butchers, bakers or shoe shops to shy away from cyberspace. Your customers are just as likely to begin a real-world shopping trip with a search on Google as they are with an online one. Get over it. Get online.
If you believe the stats, porn and social networks such as Twitter and Facebook are rather more popular than sorry little High Street businesses with old-school non-micro chips on their shoulders. Maybe, just maybe, it's because the pornographers and the geeks are making an effort.
Look. If you really don't know where to start you could dip your toes into the digital with an off-the-shelf blog package like the one used to power this one.
And then spend your lunch break reading these two useful pieces on how to maintain a site worth visiting and then a bit on how to promote it.
And if you're business is worth saving read this.
(I should perhaps add that this rant is in response to another local business complaining that the internet is killing their business while not doing anything about it.)
I'm lucky. I don't have debts. I did once. Now I don't. I wrote a book about it. This fact, however, doesn't stop companies hounding me for money I don't owe them. It's a pain in the timetable because each demand has to be dealt with and that's my time they're thieving, never mind the attempts to palm my cash using computer-generated hate mail.
Now, if you are in debt and being hounded to pay it back, it can be a terrifying experience.
And poring over the statistics from money education charity Credit Action suggests that there are an awful lot of people in a parlous state of financial affairs. Each household owes more than £9,000 or £21,000 if you only include households with unsecured loans. If I don't owe £9,000 that can mean my neighbour owes £18,000 and so on. That 'advice' to beat credit card companies at their own game doesn't seem so smart now.
So this lunchtime if the money blues are foremost in your mind, I'd take a look at some of the advice out there, and particularly worth memorising are your rights and how to react if the bailiffs pop round for your prized stuff.
'We officially announce to you the result of VW Motors Email Lottery Promotion of £950,000.00GBP. Contact James Haggin for further details: email@example.com'
Feel free to contact James on my behalf. Apparently I won a Volkwagen, a literal of a car if ever there was one.
The big two former motoring clubs, the AA and the RAC, offer breakdown insurance that can sometimes feel like they're trying to break the bank balance.
But here's one that offers similar all-encompasing cover such as at-home recovery and tow-home from the UK and Europe for just 60 quid for a year - even for older cars.
Go to Gocompare and click on Breakdown cover.
Now we have to destroy all evidence that we have bank accounts, buy stuff, use the phone or the cash machine but fire is an unacceptable means to destruction. No, we have to turn each sheet into 4mm strips of pet cage padding. We have to shred.
But the rest of us can't just walk away from our responsibilities. We have to buy a machine capable of turning everything to do with our bank into rubbish.
And here's one that's looking like a decent deal.
The Fellowes Cross Cut P-48C shredder is on offer at Ryman for £32.99 (was £39.99) + delivery.
It's big and it's robust. Rather like RBS before it made the biggest loss in our banking history.
You can read some glowing reviews on Amazon (£40) with free delivery. But the advantage of Ryman is you can pick it up in store for the same discounted price.* You just need to carry it. It's a bit of a beast.
(*And the Ryman website isn't working.)
It's a car rental comparing tool from the people at the flights comparison service, Skyscanner.
Here you go:
With a price tag of £20 it's not something to throw money at without some kind of reassurance of its efficacy.
This one, and it's not the same, gets a resounding thumbs down from American razor sharpener reviewers.
So if anyone has beard tested the RazorPit, drop a comment on this post. We need to know.
People love to knock Ryanair and with the ever-more imaginative ways of finding things to charge for I can't help but feel the company is getting harder to defend. Oh, yeah, it's still cheap sometimes and pretty reliable.
But with latest ruse which means you cannot now fly with Ryanair without paying to check in - £5 to check in online, £40 if you show up at the airport without having checked in online - it struck me that the most useful page on the whole of the world wide web is probably Ryanair's list of charges.
At least if would be if it was a bit clearer. For example, the 'Not Checked in Online Fine £40' is referred to as the 'Airport Boarding Card Re-issue - Booked via a Call Centre or Airport £40.'
Anyway, here's the page. Bookmark it, print it, check it regularly, memorise it or click on the image to admire it in full pop-up glory.
If you want to watch your kid jumping up an down in a cage in the garden this summer, and you're the, now I'm guessing here, only other family apart from mine in the country without a trampoline, Argos has knocked 25% of one of theirs this week. It's around £75, down from £100.
It's true. Although it is only for children. But if you buy and collect your pass before the end of May you'll pay but a tenner. A saving of £43 on the annual children's pass at Legoland, a park suited to younger children. The adult's pass costs £71. Day tickets for adults cost £22.
Ever fancied yourself as the next Noel Gallagher or, I don't know, world's best band The Toy Dolls, the man who saved country, Waylon Jennings, or one of the more interesting pop acts, Katy Perry, here's something worth checking out.
Take it away is an Arts Council initiative designed to help more people get involved in learning and playing music. The scheme allows individuals to apply for a loan of up to £2,000 for the purchase of any kind of musical instrument, and pay it back in nine monthly instalments, completely interest free.
The scheme is open to everyone (over the age of 18), but primarily designed to help those who might otherwise be unable to afford an instrument appropriate for their needs.
Its aims are:
• to encourage children and young people to develop their interests and skills in music making
• to inspire new players of all ages to begin learning an instrument
• to enable those on lower incomes to acquire an instrument appropriate to their needs (or the needs of their children)
Alternatively you may want to try...
Cheapo credit cards (Is there such a thing? Not really. Only for those who can clear the balance, please)
The evolution of 21st century children goes something like this.
If yours have reached stage four and are part of the global Arctic phenomenon - a gaming world populated by Disney's penguins - then now may be the time to learn some of the secret helpful tips (cheats) to show you're not completely out of touch. In turn, you could help your children's penguins earn coins to buy virtual rubbish for their cartoon igloos.
Ok, it's not a great way to learn about money. In fact, it's probably how our bankers learned about money. But you can't ignore progress.
Here's one site worth checking out.
So, John Humphrys was wrong. Mobile phones are something to love and cherish.
I beg to differ, of course.
But if you are of the Humphrys way of thinking then get over to the Alpha Telecom website as you may find their tariffs for certain countries are worth checking out.
Calls to much of Europe, the USA and Australia are just 1p a minute from your mobile. You need to pre-load your account then dial a prefix or register your number for automatic savings.
Here's an offer from our broadband partner, Broadband Choices, which makes an already great offer really worth checking out either today or tomorrow.
Until 30 April, TalkTalk is offering 3 months free bundled broadband and phone, normal cost just £6.49 a month plus phone line rental.
TalkTalk has just been voted Best Bundled Services ISP in the value for money category in a survey by Broadband Choices. Sky and Tiscali were in 2nd and 3rd places. Check out our...
I was chatting to an economist the other day about my theories on saving money. Most so-called money saving websites are all about spending money on stuff you don't need, which is why the global economy is in such a mess. He told me to check out the book, Millionaire Next Door. The author has met some of America's people with fat bank accounts and found that anyone can get rich if they don't follow the herd and live frugally. 'They don't look like millionaires'. You can spend your lunchtime reading the 280-odd reviews (link below) if you don't want to buy it. Or read this account from the New York Times.
I was chatting to an economist the other day about my theories on saving money. Most so-called money saving websites are all about spending money on stuff you don't need, which is why the global economy is in such a mess.
He told me to check out the book, Millionaire Next Door.
The author has met some of America's people with fat bank accounts and found that anyone can get rich if they don't follow the herd and live frugally. 'They don't look like millionaires'. You can spend your lunchtime reading the 280-odd reviews (link below) if you don't want to buy it. Or read this account from the New York Times.
Recession can bring out the worst in people. Already every year we spend £90m on stolen cars and £50m on internet motoring scams, so don't let the rogue car traders get one over on you if you're thinking of buying a used model.
Our sister site, Motors.co.uk, has produced this handy guide on how to spot a fraud.
The site also carries out a history check on every car before it is uploaded to the site. Watch the video below.
According to recent statistics from the flight search website, Skyscanner, the most popular destination for flights from the UK this easter is... wait for it... no, not Florida or France or in fact anywhere in Europe or the rest of the world, but London.
People really are cutting back on foreign travel. Yet, London isn't the cheapest of destinations. There are however some interesting discounts out there. This one caught my eye.
If you are heading for the capital, the site has other offers worth a look
If last night's Comic Relief showed us anything at all about the British pscyhe it's that judging the talents of James Corden based on his hosting of the Brits is so wrong. He is funny after all. Seriously funny.
It also reminded me that I had a Nationwide Comic Relief credit card until they withdrew it last year. That's not so funny.
We're often asked what is the best way to take money abroad and with all things financial the answer takes you into a web of intrigue, commissions, opacity and, oh you know... the usual shenanigans of the money industry.
But one option that has caught our eye lately is the pre-loaded currency card that allows you to load up online when the exchange rate takes your fancy, then withdraw cash from ATMs abroad displaying the Visa, Maestro and Mastercard logos.
If this sound like it may be the way to avoiding variable charges and exchange rates then read this piece, where you'll find details of an offer to get a free one (normally a tenner).