Saturday, 28 June 2014

Lad Lit Book Reviews: Double Cross by Sam and Chuck Giancana

Books For Men Book Reviews: Double Cross by Sam & Chuck Giancana
So here’s the problem – I bloody love this book! Okay, so really liking a book isn’t the worst thing in the world – it’s quite good actually. It means the book has done its job, so well done book. The problem is I’m torn between allowing my book crush get in the way of what is real and what is sensationalised and probably not true.

But if I put all of that to one side and forget for one minute about who cares what is fact and what is fiction, this is one hell of a read! Double Cross is the biography of Chicago gangster Sam ‘Mooney’ Giancana as told by his brother Chuck. Giancana was the ruthless mobster who ruled the Chicago Outfit during the mobs heyday in the late 50s and 60s. It was a golden era of American history and some of the most iconic figures from that decade feature prominently within the Giancana legend. None more so than JFK and his infamous assassination in 1963.

Conspiracy theorists would have a field day with this book as Chuck Giancana explains (or claims) just how close the mafia came to having a grip on the White House, as he says it was their blood money that financed the Kennedy Presidential campaign; set-up through the connections of his bootlegger father, Joe Kennedy, to the underworld. The story goes that the moment the Kennedy got into power he turned his back on those who have bankrolled his rise to lead the most powerful country in the world, and hence leaving a few bad guys in fedora's none too happy!

Throw in names like Frank Sinatra, Bobby Kennedy, Phyllis McGuire and Marilyn Monroe, plus a CIA and mob connection to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro and a sprinkle of some of America’s most notorious criminals such as Al Capone, and you have all of the ingredients of a really fantastic story that could easily have fallen off the pages of a Hollywood script.

And this is just one aspect of the life and times of Sam Giancana that his brother Chuck goes into great detail about. Before and after that is the rise and fall of one of the mafia’s most vicious players, starting from his upbringing as a Sicilian immigrant in the early 1900s where his father would mercilessly beat him which undoubtedly went a long way to creating the street thug who murdered his way through the ranks to reach the top of the Chicago mob before his fate was sealed by the very hands in which he had served for his whole life.

The element of doubt on the authenticity of this book that creeps in comes from the fact that Chuck Giancana has woven it all together via recollections of other mobsters and associates of his brother, as well of course as the words straight out of Sam Giancana’s mouth, who's ego was so huge it is not unfair to assess that some of what he said could have been largely exaggerated.

For me, that is an easy stumbling block to get over and it didn’t ruin or tarnish the book for me. Like most books of this ilk, whether it is about a mafia hoodlum or an FBI agent recounting their memories of events, you believe what you choose to believe. For me, there is more than enough evidence that has come from elsewhere to suggest that the mob had their fingers in all of these pies, so what Chuck Giancana says in this book is not out of the realms of possibility. But like any good conspiracy theory, it’s up to you to decide what side of the fence you sit. As for me, I’m firmly on the side of giving this book a huge thumbs up.

Dating disaster comedy eBook The Drought is available for FREE download this weekend on Amazon!

The Drought, Steven Scaffardi, Dan Hilles, Lad Lit, comedy, comedy book, dating disasters, comedy novel, dating disaster book, hilarious book, books for men, lad lit, chick lit, chick lit for men, free ebook, free amazon, book giveaway, Goodreads,
This weekend only you can download my dating disaster comedy eBook The Drought for absolutely free at Amazon (details and links at the bottom of this blog). The hilarious tale of Dan Hilles desperately trying to overcome his sexual dry spell has been a huge hit with readers and online book reviewers as well as scoring an average 4-star rating on social reading website Goodreads.

This promotion is part of the upcoming release of my second novel The Flood which I am hoping to put out within the next couple of months. The Drought is often described as lad lit or chick let for men and has been compared to the work of Mike Gayle, Danny Wallace, Nick Spalding and lad lit king Nick Hornby.

The type of comedy has been compared to that of The Inbetweeners as it focuses on four lads and their commitment to try and help their good friend Dan overcome the type of hurdle that would only seem important to a 20-something man - and often it is all done with side-splitting consequences!

Online book reviewers have been giving it the thumbs-up (read a collection of book reviews and praise about the book here) and last year The Drought was runner-up in the Shirley You Jest book competition. Some of the feedback includes:

"A pleasantly darker alternative to the offerings of Mike Gayle. All hail the arrival of Steven Scaffardi."
Ortis Deley | Television & Radio Presenter 

"The Drought is witty, well-written, and pulls no punches!"
Angellica Bell | Television & Radio Presenter

"If you like crude, rude, and true - you will love this! I was reading this book on the train on my journey home and actually managed to spit my tea out where I was laughing so hard!"

Best Books To Read | Book Review Website

"Warning - this book will have you crying... with laughter! This has a broad appeal and would be the perfect gift for the lad in your life!"
BCF Book Reviews | Book Review Website

"Being a female, I sometimes have difficulty relating to the main characters, but not with this one. Steven Scaffardi’s first novel is absolutely hilarious and will leave every reader, male or female, laughing out loud"
Chick Lit Plus | Book Review Website

"The Drought is a hilarious, highly entertaining and completely unfiltered look into the inner workings of the typical male mind!"
Sarah Taylor | Editor of Self-Publishing Magazine

So if you are looking for that next great holiday read check then click one of the the links below and download your free eBook version of The Drought and you'll be laughing all the way to the beach!

If you download a free copy and enjoy The Drought please leave a review - thanks!

Friday, 27 June 2014

Game of Thrones intro with a touch of 90s nostalgia

Game of Thrones, intro, 90s,
Earlier this week I posted about the hilarious Medieval Land Fun-Time World parody of Game of Thrones. Well now check out this brilliant YouTube clip that has picked up over 3.5m views to date that features the Game of Thrones intro but done with a 90s twist. Creator hunterlsanders is clearly a fan of those classic 90s fantasy TV shows Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and has come up with this viral gem. Love it!

If The Drought was a movie... Part 4: Dapper Laughs (@dapperlaughs) as Jack Chatham

Jack Chatham, The Drought, Steven Scaffardi, lad lit,
This is the one I’ve been waiting for! They say save the best for last and arguably Jack Chatham is the show stealer when it comes to The Drought. He is the one character I get the most feedback from readers about; the guy who gets quoted more than any other and the one who people often tell me he is their favourite. Despite the fact he’s a sexist, a cheat and verging on being a complete chauvinist, it seems that fans of The Drought simply can’t get enough of his cheeky-chappy laddish behaviour!

He is also the most fun character to write because he knows no boundaries. In the right group of friends, he is the type of guy you want on a night out with you. You know he’s probably going to end up doing or saying something that the politically incorrect brigade would have a field day over but you don’t really care. You know what you are going to get with Jack – a complete and total 24-carat lad!

Jack is an amalgamation of a few people I know, but two guys in particular who I have worked with, even if I have overly exaggerated his outlandish personality for comedy effect. Jack’s diminutive stature has given him a fair share of small-man syndrome so what he lacks in height he tries to make up for in voice, and bot does he have an opinion! Some of his classic quotes include:

On arranging to meet a girl for the first time:
‘Wherever you go, make sure you arrange to meet somewhere out in the open so you can get a good look at her beforehand. I’m sure Grace is a good-looking girl, but we all had our beer goggles on that night. She could be a right old bow-wow. In which case, ditch her there and then. Give me a call and we’ll go for a beer instead.’

On why God is a woman:
‘If God was a man then why would he put his G-spot up his arse?’

On reasons why he doesn’t want to stay in a gay bar:
‘This isn’t The Flintstones – I’m not going to have a gay old time.’

On why doggy is the best sexual position:
‘The doggy position means you don’t have to look at her face if she is fugly.’

On whether he’d sleep with another girl behind his girlfriend’s back:
‘Would I cheat? In a heartbeat.’

In terms of who I would have play Jack in a movie version of The Drought I’ve always said in the past that he is a cross between Danny Dyer and Jay from The Inbetweeners. Danny Dyer because he is a bit of a geezer and mockney-cockney, and Jay because he likes to boast about his ability with the opposite sex, although it’s fair to say Jack has more success than Jay. Jack is a numbers man – he dives in and chats up as many girls as he can, figuring that at some point he’ll hit the jackpot or at the very least find one who is drunk enough to give in to him!

But in recent weeks I have decided that there is only one man who could play Jack – the one guy who fits the bill probably even more perfectly than the other three characters I’ve done this week. And that man is my new favourite social media comedy hero – Daniel O’Reilly aka Dapper Laughs!

Dapper Laughs, Daniel O'Reilly, Jack Chatham, Comedian, Vine, Vide video clips, The Drought, movie, lad lit, funny book, comedy novel, funny book about relationships,

Even though I’m slowly coming to terms that I’m now in my mid-30s and the inevitable crawl towards the big 4-0, I still like to think I’m a big lad at heart and nothing makes me laugh more than good old classic lad behaviour, and no one personifies that better than that man Dapper Laughs (check out my top 10 favourite Vine video clips from Dapper Laughs). This man is Jack all over and it is a total no-brainer that I would pick him. If you are a fan of Dapper Laughs then you’d be a fan of Jack Chatham!

And that completes the line-up of actors to play the characters in The Drought movie! See all of The Drought 'move stars' by clicking here.  Let me know what you think!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Top 10 Luis Suarez meme's doing the rounds after his 4-month FIFA suspension for biting at the World Cup!

You have to love this modern world in which we live. Back in the day when a big footy story like this broke we had to wait until we got to the pub for the banter to start flying around, but now thanks to social media we have it in instant!

So Kop Dracula have been given a 9-match man from international football and a 4-month global ban from all football activity meaning Luis Suarez can't even enter a football stadium (which is probably seen as a more of a gift if you're a fan of Scottish football). Personally I think the ban is too lenient and I put together a list of appropriate punishments yesterday which would have been far better in my opinion.

But what's done is done and now it's time to let the wonderful world of Facebook, Twitter, Vine and YouTube do what they do best. And here you have it - my personal favourite Luis Suarez meme's in the aftermath of his Fifa ban...!

1. BREAKING: Following news of #Suarez ban, Liverpool have agreed the re-signing of Andy Carroll on a four month loan (via @theRome84 on Twitter)

Luis Suarez, meme, bite, World Cup 2014, Uruguay, funny, funny picture, Andy Carroll, Brendan Rodgers,

2. Suarez hearing the news he has only been banned for 4 months... (via Sporting News on Vine)

3. Suajaws (via @Chrisreed619 on Twitter)

Suajaws, Luis Suarez, meme, bite, World Cup 2014, Uruguay, funny, funny picture,

4. Playstation release a "cheat" as to how to bite with Luis Suarez on FIFA (via @BenchWarmers on Twitter)

PlayStation, cheat, Luis Suarez, meme, bite, World Cup 2014, Uruguay, funny, funny picture, Football,

5. Suarez bit my finger (via Soccer Hype on Vine)

6. Suarez was here (via @Brilliant_Ads on Twitter)

Luis Suarez, meme, bite, World Cup 2014, Uruguay, funny, funny picture, Apple, adverts, funny adverts

7. BREAKING: Luis Suarez has this morning been captured by Brazilian Police (via @BBCSporf on Twitter)

Luis Suarez, meme, bite, World Cup 2014, Uruguay, funny, funny picture,

8. Rickie Lambert reacts to news that Luis Suarez will be out for 4 months! (via @TSBible on Twitter)

Rickie Lambert, Liverpool, Luis Suarez, meme, bite, World Cup 2014, Uruguay, funny, funny picture,

9. Luis Suarez has a new video game (via James Dator on Vine)

10. Just met Louis on the beach!!!! (via @chris_kammy on Twitter)

Chris Kamara, Luis Suarez, meme, bite, World Cup 2014, Uruguay, funny, funny picture,

If The Drought was a movie... Part 3: Will Poulter (@PoulterWill) as Ollie Pemberton

Ollie Pemberton, The Drought, Steven Scaffardi, lad lit,
Whenever I think of the character Ollie Pemberton, I always seem to drift back to one particular afternoon I spent sitting in a pub in Mitcham a good few years ago with the friend who I based the character on. It was a bit of a rough old pub, but it was within walking distance of our houses and it served beer so it was good enough for us. As usual I was taking the piss out of him; he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer and therefore an easy target when I wanted to amuse myself. It wasn’t exactly intelligent banter, but it didn’t matter. After all, here was a guy who twice in the space of a month tried to dye his hair peroxide blonde to look like Eminem but ended up ginger both times.

No matter how many times I made a joke at his expense, that big dopey grin of his remained permanently plastered across his face; a cigarette often dangling from his mouth. It was as though he didn’t have a care in the world apart from what time the pub opened and where his next shag was coming from. He was a simple guy with simple needs and all too often would say things without thinking. One of my favourite quotes of his came when we was watching an England football match and he was wearing a replica shirt. When a friends little brother asked him what the difference was between the football top he was wearing and the ones the players on TV had on his reply was: “The only difference is if I was playing I would have my name across the back and my number – nutter.”

And when a girl who he was dating bragged about how big his manhood was, we got him T-Short made up for our lads holiday in Crete which read on the front The Beast of Greece has Returned and we put the number nine on the back but with the inches symbol just below it. Whenever girls asked if they could see his well-endowed member he would shove his hands into his pants and rub himself to the point of excitement explaining ‘I’ve only got a semi.’

He played and had the frame of a rugby player, but smoked and drank too much to ever really be considered an athlete. But despite the fact that he probably could have squashed me (and God knows I deserved it the amount of ribbing I used to give him) not once did he ever get pissed off or display any aggression, and I guess I never really saw him as the type of guy that could quite easily rip your arm off like pulling the wing from a fly.

But the reason I think I always think of that afternoon in that Mitcham pub whenever I think about the Ollie character is because of what happened that day. There was a guy in there who’d had a bit too much to drink and was looking to start a fight with anyone he could. I happened to unfortunately wander within his eye line and he threatened to batter me on the basis I’d spilt his drink or knocked his pork scratching’s out of his hand. I can’t remember the exact reason, but it was ridiculous whatever it was. I’m not exactly a fighter and this guy was clearly a bit of a bad lad who probably had two or three punch-ups a day. But at the precise moment where I was probably about to poop myself, my mate appeared from behind me and asked if there was a problem. That was all he said. He didn’t say it with any malice or anger but at the same time he carried himself in a way that said ‘don’t fuck with me!’

It worked a treat. Within seconds the guy who wanted to batter me backed away, My mate stood his ground for a few seconds longer before he turned to me and said: ‘You shit yourself there didn’t you?!’ And then he laughed and that big dopey grin returned to his face.

I included that story in The Drought because I think it captures perfectly who Ollie Pemberton is. He’s a stereotypical big friendly giant; by no means is he the brightest spark and he will do and say before thinking, but his loyalty to his friends is never in question, and like that day in the pub where I completely fell to bits, not once did he lose his head and he had the presence of mind to use his own strengths (his size) to defuse things without even raising his voice.

For the choice of who I’d choose to play Ollie in my fantasy movie version of The Drought I could have quite easily gone with someone who simply just looked the part – big and thick! But I think when you read the book you’ll find that some of funniest and sometimes most subtle of comedy moments come from Ollie. That is why I opted for Will Poulter because not only is he a brilliant comedic actor (Meet the Millers) but he can also have an air of danger about him (Wild Bill).

Will Poulter, actor, Ollie Pemberton, The Drought, movie, lad lit, funny book, comedy novel, funny book about relationships,

In a way, Ollie Pemberton is somewhere in the middle of the two characters Poulter played in Meet the Millers and Wild Bill but with a healthy sprinkle of Trigger from Only Fools & Horses! The fact that Poulter happens to look a lot like my friend who I based the character on is a bonus for me, but probably not so much for Will Poulter!

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Top 10 punishments FIFA should impose on Luis Suarez following his World Cup bite

Luis Suarez, bite, World Cup 2014, Liverpool,
Roy Hodgson could not have planned it better himself. As England's worst World Cup performance since 1958 ended in a rather uninspiring goalless draw with Costa Rica, Luis Suarez was doing his best to make sure he grabbed all the headlines by sinking his teeth into Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini.

Of course, we shouldn't be surprised. Here is a man who has twice bitten opposing players on the field of play previous to this incident, but that is all the more reason why Fifa need to come down on the man universally regarded as football's answer of Hannibal Lecter.

But what can you do to stop this man? Clearly a ban doesn't work and any fine is merely a drop in the ocean for these millionaire footballers. Nope, Fifa need to come up with something that is going to hit Suarez where it hurts. A punishment so bad that he'll never dine out on a sportsman again. So without further ado, here is my top 10 punishments Fifa should impose on Luis Suarez following his World Cup bite...

Luis Suarez, Chewy Suarez, Chewbacca, Crufts, Bite, World Cup 2014, Uruguay,
10. Make him to change his name to Chewy Suarez by deed poll
That's right, the media-imposed name given to Suarez which reflects his tendency to take a bite out of opponents should be forced upon him by law. And not only that, he should be forced to wear a Star Wars Chewbacca costume at all times. If he wants to act like a dog then he should dress like one. And he should not be allowed to return to a football pitch until he has entered Crufts and won. This includes eating nothing but dog feed up until that point. A sniffing butts.

Luis Suarez, bite, World Cup 2014, wrestling, WWE
9. Take part in a four-man handicap WWE tag team muzzle match
Suarez is forced to take part in a WWE wrestling match where he must face the three men he has bitten in a no hold barred handicap match where anything goes. Already equipped with wrasslin' nicknames such as The Cannibal of Ajax and The Kop Canine, plus his trademark finishing move The Chomp, Suarez will feel right at home in the WWE despite the fact he has the odds stacked against him by taking on Otman Bakkal, Branislav Ivanovic and Giorgio Chiellini. The big stipulation in this one is that is Suarez loses he must wear a muzzle for the rest of his days.

KLuis Suarez, funny, bite, World Cup 2014, Hungry Hungry Suarez
8. Restrict his earning power by selecting what products he can endorse
A £100,000 fine might not make much of a dent in Suarez's pocket, but if FIFA were to enforce an embargo on what he can and can't endorse, not only would that hit him in his pocket but we could all have a bit of fun at his expense. So forget Nike and Adidas, from now on Suarez has to endorse kids games like Hungry Hippo, or in this case Hungry Hungry Suarez. And furthermore, Suarez should be forced to stand in for other footballer's ad campaigns which means England fans only have to suffer the humiliation of their team exiting competitions early rather than putting up with the terrible efforts of Joe Hart or Daniel Sturridge trying to flog shampoo and sandwiches.

Shaun Custis, Luis Suarez, World Cup 2014, bite
7. Carry out community service with Shaun Custis
It's fair to say that Suarez is not a fan of the British press. He genuinely believes that a lot of his issues in England stem from an agenda set by the  journo's rather than say, oh I don't know, racially abusing Patrice Evra! Not 48 hours prior to his third installment of is very own Jaws sequel (see below), Suarez was having a little dig by saying his two-goal heroics against England was spurred on by the bad press he receives in the UK. Even after that Chiellini bite the Uruguay camp were insisting the whole incident was nothing but a conspiracy dreamed up by the English! So with no love lost there whatsoever, what better way to punish Suarez than by making him carry out community service at a British tabloid? And to make matters worse, let's put him under the tutelage of that wally Shaun Custis at The Sun. With a bit of luck Suarez will sink his fangs into that prized plonker.

6. Torture him by making him watch the same video again and again and again...
Torture comes in many different forms. Sleep deprivation is one form while US interrogators take to blasting loud rock music at irregular intervals to break prisoners of war. Well if Luis Suarez insists on biting people time and time again he should be forced to endure his actions time and time again. Add to this video the soundtrack of Another One Bites The Dust continuously playing on loop in the background and Suarez will hopefully learn his lesson. I would have suggested making him watch Robbie Savage's Greatest Footballing Moments but that video would be shorter than the one below. Besides, it's not like Suarez killed anyone - even that punishment would be tad too severe here.

5. Hand him a probation period where he must wear a lampshade on his head
Whatever the punishment dealt out to Suarez, there needs to be some sort of probation period put in place when he returns, a bit like an electronic tag that a criminal might have to wear when released from prison. In this circumstance Suarez should only be allowed to play if he wears a pet lampshade collar, just in case the moment takes him again...

4.  Make him shower naked with Tony Pulis
Just ask James Beattie about this one - a wet, naked and angry Tony Pulis is not a sight you want to encounter. Back in 2009, the then Stoke manager headbutted striker Beattie while completely starkers (apart from his baseball cap of course) following a defeat to Arsenal. The story goes that Pulis was incensed over a comment Beattie had made about the club's Christmas party so just imagine what he'd do if Suarez tried to take a little nibble out of his Pulis. Finish him!

Luis Suarez, bite, World Cup 2014, Tony Pulis, naked, shower, headbutt

3. He has to play in vest and pants for a season
It's an indignity we all faced at school. Having forgot to pack your P.E. kit the teacher makes you play in your vest and pants, much to the delight of the other teasing children, and unnervingly looking back, much to the teacher's delight as well. It was the ultimate form of punishment which made sure you never forgot your kit again. For one full season, Suarez should be forced to play in his underwear and not even a note from his mum will make a blind bit of difference. That'll learn ya sunshine!

Luis Suarez, pants, underwear, bite, World Cup 2014

2. New goal celebration
Twice England fans had to watch that smug little git reel away kissing his wrist last week as Uruguay put England the the sword, and opposing fans of Liverpool saw it all far too often last season. So from now on Fifa should insist that whenever Suarez scores he is not allowed to kiss his wrist and instead must rush towards the crowd in an attempt to kiss the wrists of as many opposing fans as possible, hopefully resulting in a few punches to the face along the way.

Luis Suarez, wrist kiss, celebartion, England v Uruguay,

1. Force him to play for England
It's the one nightmare footballer's fear the most. Penalty misses, early tournament exits, your skipper shagging your bird - there is an endless list of woes from pulling on the white of England. So what better punishment for Luis Suarez than forcing him to play for England with no chance of early international retirement. Better still, once Suarez does finally hang up the boots he should be put in place as England manager to prolong the excruciating pain. You think a life sentence is bad? Try 48 years of hurt. Boom!
FIFA, punishment, Luis Suarez, World Cup, World Cup 2014, Uruguay, bit, England,

If The Drought was a movie... Part 2: Douglas Booth (@DouglasBooth) as Rob Devlin

Rob Devlin, The Drought, Lad Lit, Steven Scaffardi, funny book, comedy novel, book about relationships, novel about dating disasters,
Let's face it lads, we all know a guy like Rob Devlin. He's the type of guy who wakes up in the morning and without a hair out of place. The type of guy who makes getting a girls phone number look as routine as an England World Cup exit.The type of guy you'd love to bloody hate if he wasn't so frickin' cool!

Rob is not only Dan's best friend, he is the Vinny Chase (from Entourage) to his group of friends. He's the grenade they throw into enemy lines (or groups of girls) and once the explosion goes off, they are there to feed on the scraps left behind.

Yep, there is no denying that a guy like Rob is a useful weapon to have at your disposal. Once you finally accept that your role within the friendship is to sneak in and chat up the friend of the girl that happens to take Rob's eye. The best you can hope for in that situation is that you don't come up against that classic hot chick/ugly chick combo (the one where good looking girls pair themselves off with facially challenged friends in order to enhance their own looks), because we don't mind playing the wing-man to our good-looking pal but not at the expense of constantly being paired off with a girl who looks like Luis Suarez with long hair.

So the type of actor I'd like to play Rob in the make-believe-world of The Drought being made into a movie would clearly need to have the looks and charisma, but he'd need to mix it with a little bit of lad arrogance. In other words, he needs to be able to carry himself as one of the chaps.

It took me a while to think of someone who would do the part justice. For a while I kept coming back to Rob Pattinson, but for whatever reason he didn't quite feel right. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that all I could think of was Twilight and then I'd stab myself in the eye with a dull butterfly knife.

So I went back to square one and Googled young male actors.And then something happened that I wasn't expecting.

My wife checked my search history, looked at me funny, broke down in tears and through her sobs asked me why I had hidden my gay tendencies from her for all these years. It was an awkward moment, which didn't exactly get any better when I explained I was searching for actors to play a character in a film that will be never be made things were all good in the world again. The tears stopped but the funny looks didn't. Oh well, one out of two ain't bad.

After 10 minutes or so of searching I found my Rob in Noah actor Douglas Booth. At first glance he looked the part and certainly matched the appearance that I had of Rob in mind and I thought he'd pair off nicely with Alex Carter as Dan. But what about his personality? Did that match?

Douglas Booth, young British actor, Rob Devlin, The Drought, Lad Lit, Steven Scaffardi, funny book, comedy novel, book about relationships, novel about dating disasters, lad lit, ladlit, dick lit,

How the hell do I know if the personality matched?! I don't know the guy and to be honest, this whole search for the perfect actor to play Rob had already resulted in my wife going from thinking I am gay to thinking I'm just an oddball spending too much time on pointless activities. As far as I'm concerned, this task hasn't exactly done me any favours so I'm going to quit while I'm ahead and go with Douglas Booth. Don't let me down sunshine!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Three bites and you're out! Luis Suarez is at it again as he bites back at the World Cup!

Luis Suarez, Giorgio Chiellini, Uruguay, Italy, World Cup 2014, bite, bites, bitten
Can you frickin' believe it? Luis Suarez is up to his old tricks again. They say it comes it three's and it seems as though Suarez is no exception to the rule as it is believed he has bitten Italy's Giorgio Chiellini during their World Cup match this afternoon. You couldn't make it up. This is the third time the Liverpool striker has bitten an opponent on the field of play - they should use the three strike rule: three bites and you're out! Ban him!

If The Drought was a movie... Part 1: Alex Carter (@alexcarterltd) as Dan Hilles

Dan Hilles, The Drought, Lad Lit, Steven Scaffardi, funny book, comedy novel, book about relationships, novel about dating disasters,
Dan Hilles
Dan is main character in the story; the unfortunate chap who happens to be experiencing a rather stressful lack of sexual activity, hence The Drought. I'm sorry to say that Dan is loosely based on a rather testing period in my life (and by loosely I mean mean 90% is based on fact and by testing I mean a nightmare eight month period where I couldn't get a sniff of any action!) so I have a certain affinity with him.

And clearly if Dan is based on yours truly then we are talking about a rather special leading man to take on the role. I've plundered a lot of my own characteristics into this guy so clearly we are going to need someone with immaculate style, a hefty dose of panache, a classy guy who oozes charisma and of course is blessed with the type of rugged good looks that would leave David Beckham feeling a tad envious.

Step forward mister Kit Harrington. I'm sure you'd agree it's the obvious choice... sorry, what was that noise you just made. For a moment it sounded like stifled laughter. No, wait. It's not stifled laughter. It's quite clearly a rip-roaring trombone howl of laughter. Okay, so maybe I'm not exactly like the Game of Thrones actor; in terms of both appearance and personality. Granted, he's good looking and bloody cool, whereas my alter ego Dan is fairly average looking and funny in a down on your luck type of way. So this selection is best taken out of my hands and given the choice by the people who know me best, and I'm fairly sure they'd opt for Alex Carter, better known as Lee Hunter from Hollyoaks. Is that stifled laughter again?!

More than once I've been likened to the fictional yet hapless and unlucky-in-love soap character, and given a few tweaks to his TV persona I reluctantly conceive that he could be the man to take Dan on. Granted the Oldham born actor would need to adopt a London accent, but his personality fits the bill perfectly for Dan who suffers more than one indignity as he attempts (and fails) to woo the opposite sex into bed.

Dan Hilles, Alex Carter, Lee Hunter, Hollyoaks, Jamie Hope, Emmerdale, The Drought, Lad Lit, Steven Scaffardi, funny book, comedy novel, book about relationships, novel about dating disasters, lad lit, ladlit, dick lit,

The part of Dan calls for it's fair share of comedy moments and Carter, who picked up the Best Comedy Performance gong at the 2004 British Soap Awards, fits the bill perfectly in that respect. Plus his Lee Hunter character wasn't exactly a hit with the ladies either so he already has something in common with Dan! Whether it's situations where Dan gets so blind drunk on a first date that he ends up dancing like an octopus that had only two tentacles left and was trying to compensate for the missing six or the part where he gets beaten up by a barmaid, I'm confident the boy Carter would deliver with great comedy timing.

Okay, one down, three to go! Tomorrow is Dan's best friend Rob...

Game Of Thrones Bad Lip Reading presents Medieval Land Fun-Time World - Funniest thing ever?!

Medieval Land Fun-Time World, Game of Thrones Bad Lip Reading, Funny video, YouTube
I've been a little late to the Game of Thrones party but having spent the last couple of months fully immersed in series 1-4 it is fair to say I'm a bit of a fan.

But not nearly as much of a fan of the brilliant YouTube sensation Medieval Land Fun-Time World. How the hell did I miss this bad boy?! This might just be the funniest thing I've seen since Jimmy Fallon presents Brian Williams rapping Snoop Dogg style!

There isn't too much more to say other than watch and laugh your little heart out...!

Monday, 23 June 2014

If The Drought was made into a film which actors would be in it?

The Drought, Lad Lit, Comedy novel, funny book, book abour relationships, Dan Hilles, Rob Devlin, Ollie Pemberton, Jack Chatham
Okay, so I'm sitting here the other night a little bit bored and something pops into my head: If The Drought became a film, which actors do I think would play the main characters? 

I accept that I'm getting a little ahead of myself (it would be nice for the book to sell a few more copies before I start thinking about film rights, or any rights for that matter) but it didn't stop my little brain wandering none the less. I guess the idea stemmed from an early review The Drought received when it was compared to The Inbetweeners and what with the second movie installment of that brilliant show coming out this August, why not dream a little big?

So this week I am playing casting director and will be posting four daily blogs starting tomorrow as I pick the four actors I think would be brilliant to bring the main characters alive in The Drought. It'll be fun to think of who I'd choose as most of the characters are based on people I actually know!

First up tomorrow is the main character Dan Hilles...

Maxim Tsigalko voted best Championship / Football Manager player of all time!

Maxim Tsigalko, Championship, Football Manager, CM 01/02, Legend
Last year I posted a blog listing my Top 10 best Championship / Football Manager players ever! Alongside the blog I ran a poll asking people to vote for their favourite CM/FM player of all time and last week the voting officially ended and we have a winner!

Maxim Tsigalko - take a bow son as the ex-Belarusian international took 19% of the vote to fend off competition from Andri Sigporsson (14%) in second spot and Tonton Zola Moukoko (9%) in third. And I guess it shows how much I know because I didn't even have Tsigalko in my top 10! (Perhaps the reason for this was because he often struggled to get a work permit in England...)

The former Dinamo Minsk striker was a revelation in the CM 01/02 version of the game - the version many consider to be the best in the series - banging in goals for fun to the point where his computer game adventures are given a special mention on his Wikipedia profile. It shouldn't be a surprise, with near perfect stats in the striking department, the boy from Belarus was always destined for greater things!

Maxim Tsigalko, CM 01/02, Profile, Championship Manager, Football Manager,

For the modest sum of £2m you could buy the poacher and have him lead your line for a good 10 seasons, easily topping the scoring charts each year if deployed correctly. Even the fact the guys at CM spelt his name incorrectly (it should be spelt 'Maksim') didn't matter because if you instructed Tsigalko to man-mark the goalkeeper (one of those completely unrealistic tactical gems that were fantastic when you stumbled across them) it would not be unrealistic for him to score 100 goals a season!

Maxim Tsigalko, CM 01/02, Profile, Championship Manager, Football Manager, 100 goals,

Alas, Tsigalko never lived up to his CM exploits in real life as his career was cut short due to persistent injuries which forced his early retirement in 2010 at the age of 26. But he will forever be remembered as a footballing legend for many a gamer and his name (even though we can't pronounce it properly) will live on forever!

Fun Fact! Tsigalkotwin brother, Yuri, still plays as a goalkeeper for Shakhtyor Soligorsk.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

The Drought no longer available in paperback and latest update on The Flood!

The Flood, Steven Scaffardi, Lad Lit, Book Update, eBook, comedy, funny, funny books, books for men, comedy book, dating books
Last week I got word from the team at Pen Press that they had ceased trading, which means there is a good chance The Drought will no longer be available in paperback. I am working on this but it could mean the lad lit novel might only be available in eBook format from now on.

And that leads me on to an update about the progress of my second novel The Flood. Way back when I was planning a summer release but it's looking unlikely now. The good news is that I'm about 80,000 words in and hopeful to have the eBook published on Amazon within the next three months.

The Flood picks up where The Drought left on and sees our hero Dan experiencing a bit more luck with the ladies this time but how will he juggle multiple women? Only time will tell! There will be plenty more lad laughs in this one again - watch this space!

Top 10 funniest Dapper Laughs Vine video clips!

A few months ago I stumbled across a social media comedic genius making waves with his hilarious six second Vine video clips and I don't mind admitting that he got me proper moist! Dapper Laughs is the ultimate geezer; a proper lad in every sense of the word. He has a touch of the Jack Chatham's (from The Drought) about him and that his humour is right up my alley. He has already amassed an impressive following across Facebook and Twitter and just in case you haven't heard of him, here is a selection of 10 of his funniest and my favourite Vine clips...

10. Geeks hey??? (With Ben Adams)
This is a personal favourite of mine because it features Ben Adams, a stand-up comedian who I regularly used to see when I was performing on the open mic circuit a couple of years ago.

9. 1st Dates
Here is some first date insight from Dapper Laughs that all the guys will relate to. Sorry girls, but it's time to face the truth...

8. Thinks I'm gonna need a new gym
We've all seen those big geezer's showing off in the gym and no one puts them in their place like Dapper. Go on my son!

7. If Forest Gump lived in Brixton
Brixton often gets a bad press, but in recent years it has turned itself around and the people are now super friendly as Dapper Laughs found out.

6. Tinder Dates
As my old man says: "I was born too soon" and that certainly applies to me when I think about the joys of Tinder. This sums it up perfectly!

5. It's all about technique
It's a well known fact that bigger girls are more grateful when it comes to the loving so luckily Dapper has some cracking advice on how to get them moist. 

4. Had to get of the tube sharpish!
You see it all on the London tube. Luckily Dapper is there to capture it in all its six seconds of glory. Or is that morning glory?

3. Putting the rascal on her
What more can you say about this clip other than what a 24-carat LAD!

2. Pint please!
Trying to get a drink in the pub while the World Cup is on has its challenges so here is a cracking tip from Dapper to get the barman's attention...

1. Me and Ashley go back years
Even Ashley Cole gets in on the act. Classic Dapper.

Lad Lit Book Reviews: Dinner For Two by Mike Gayle

Books For Men Book Reviews: Dinner For Two by Mike Gayle
I have to be honest from the off and admit that I read this book quite some time ago. At first glance of the cover I couldn’t quite remember what the book was about but after a quick glance over the blurb I remembered the book fondly (Stop Press! Book blurb explains what the story is about!).

So here is the gist of the story – Dave Harding is a serious music journalist and we all know a bloke like Dave. They bang on about the most obscure bands you’ve never heard of and insist that if you don’t like the “indy” scene then you are not very cool. Not too dissimilar from the Rob Fleming character from Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity.

But when Dave finds himself out of a job after the music magazine he is working for folds, he is forced to make ends meet by writing articles for a women’s magazine edited by his wife Izzy, and before long he lands the role of Agony Uncle for a Teen Scene; a publication for boy-band loving girls. The problem is, Dave actually starts to enjoy dishing our advice to teenage girls and before long he is offering up his ‘expertise’ to anyone who will listen!

Then out of the blue, Dave gets a letter from a 13-year-old girl claiming that he is her father and his world is thrown into chaos somewhat, especially seeing as Izzy has recently suffered a miscarriage. The prospect of fatherhood had left Dave longing to have a child of his own, but now he finds himself in the unenviable position of being torn between the revelation that he could be father for a teenage girl he hardly knows and how to approach the woman he loves to tell her he has fathered a child from a previous relationship within weeks of them losing their own baby.

It’s an interesting subject matter to tackle from a ‘blokes’ point of view and as I’ve always found with Mike Gayle books, he does it with a really nice approach and tone. It never came across as trying to take itself too seriously although it always kept in line with the fact it was dealing with a serious issue, and it is helped along with comical dithering that a man would certainly be able to relate to, and probably a lot of women would recognise too!

This is Mike Gayle doing what he does best, and wrapping a very clever story in comfortable surroundings (the back story of Dave being a magazine journalistic mirrors Gayle’s own profession), so it is very easy to believe the character and the life in which he is living. What probably wasn’t as easy was tackling the issue of building a relationship with someone you hardly know while at the same time trying not to hurt the one closest to you.

All in all, it’s another notch on the lad lit post for Gayle, and fans of his of this style of genre will lap it up. It might not be to every lads taste but what is? If you haven’t tried Mike Gayle before then this is not a bad place to start!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Lad Lit Book Reviews: Casino: Love & Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi

Books For Men Book Reviews: Casino: Love & Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi
Anyone who has seen the Martin Scorsese film Casino will clearly remember the scene where Joe Pesci’s character pops the guys eye out of its socket whilst squeezing his head in a vice. It’s fair to say it’s wasn't a pretty sight (pardon the pun), but if you are a die-hard mob movie fan then it’s a scene that is right up there with a horse’s head in a bed or asking if I’m funny like a clown.

Well if you were a fan of the film (or even better, if you haven’t seen the film yet), then make sure you check out this book! Brought to us by Nicholas Pileggi, the same author who penned Wiseguy which was the inspiration for Goodfellas, this is the story of Love and Honor in Las Vegas.

Pileggi focuses in on two prominent mob figures who went to Las Vegas in the 1970s with the instructions from the Chicago Outfit to run the gambling capital of the world with a combination of brains and brawn. Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, who  was one of Chicago’s top sports handicappers, was sent by mob bosses to run the casinos and skim millions of dollars from the profits to line their pockets in the process, while Tony “The Ant” Spilotro was the street thug and mafia hitman sent in to take care of any unsavoury business!

What follows is a story full of lust, greed, violence and more violence as Pilleggi delivers a knock-out blow-by-blow account of what Vegas was like during the mob’s heyday stranglehold of sin city; but perhaps most importantly of all it tells of the fall of the mafia’s grip on Las Vegas. A lot of the story is told through the words of Rosenthal and his own downfall, which starts to unravel when he falls into legal problems over his lack of a gaming licence due to his criminal record, his Showgirl wife’s addiction to everything that is wrong in her life, and last but not least the increasingly erratic and violent behaviour of Spilitro. 

It also flags up just how much of a crazy town Vegas was during that period. For example, Rosenthal’s answer to not being given a gaming licence was to star in his own TV chat show to combat those who had rejected his application. Read that again. That's right – he decided to host his own TV chat show because someone told him no! It’s basically the same as not being successful in a job interview so you decide to go onto Jeremy Kyle to air your grievances!

And things don’t get any better for poor Frank as his showgirl wife, Geri, spirals out of control on drink and drugs and then does the one thing that would be bloody hard for any lad to deal with – she shacks up with the local hitman and has an affair with Spilotro, who by now is playing by his own rules and is heading up the notorious Hole in the Wall gang who would break into places by, well, smashing a hole through the wall!

Evil doesn’t even do the word justice in trying to explain the type of man Spilitro was, but even for all his crimes you still can’t quite believe the shocking and gruesome demise he is met with, which probably says as much about dispelling the so-called romance around the mafia created by stories such as The Godfather that I was still unable comprehend the awful way in which these gangsters deal with their own.

My only criticism of the book – and it has to be said that it is a minor criticism – is that it doesn’t read as smoothly at times as Wiseguy did. Pileggi has done his research, no doubt about it, but there were times when trying to keep up with the narrative that had been pieced together by old interviews or FBI files wasn’t easy to follow.

But all in all, if you like your gangster stories, then you will like Casino. It harks back to an age where Vegas was not the adult theme park it has become today. "Today in Las Vegas, the men in fedoras who built the city are gone," Pileggi concludes, and whilst that is true, it still remains that one of the wealthiest cities in the world was built on the blood money by American gangsters.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

The Top 10 Best World Cup 2014 Adverts!

The Top 10 Best World Cup 2014 Adverts!
Stop everything... The World Cup has arrived!
And this is not just any old World Cup, this is a World Cup in Brazil. Yep, the English might have created the game of Association Football, but it was the Brazilian's who made it beautiful! It's time to forget South Africa and samba the night away!

But before things officially kick-off this evening with Brazil vs Croatia, that well-slicked marketing machine has already been charging across the globe to that delightful samba beat. And seeing as my day job means I have to take in a bit of advertising from time to time, a few corkers have been flying around the office today! Check them out...

1. McDonald`s GOL! FIFA World Cup Brasil 2014 

2. Nike Football: The Last Game

3. The Sun's World Cup Advert - #DoUsProud

4. 2014 FIFA World Cup on ESPN -- Ian Darke Calls a Date

5. Nike Football: Winner Stays

6. Beats by Dre - The Game Before The Game

7. Adidas Commercial 2014 : House Match

8. Adriana Lima - KIA World Cup 2014 TV Commercial Ads

9. Hyundai Because Fútbol - "Avoidance"

10. Cristiano Ronaldo and Pele commercial for Fly Emirates and FIFA World Cup 2014 

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Lad Lit Book Reviews: I Am Zlatan Ibrahimović

Books For Men Book Reviews: I Am Zlatan Ibrahimović
If Zlatan Ibrahimović could sum up his book in one word, I’m pretty sure he would call it awesome. After all, this is the word that Zlatan refers to himself as on no fewer than 104 times within the first three pages! And if I’m completely honest, I tend to agree!

This is much more than a football autobiography. Of course it charts his incredible footballing journey from Swedish outfit Malmö to the dizzy heights of European giants Ajax, Juventus, Inter, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris St Germain, but the heart of this story is that of a poor child of immigrant parents.

Growing up on the tough streets of Rosengard, Zlatan paints a fairly bleak childhood in terms of poverty, where stealing bikes was seen as nothing more than an everyday pastime and imitating a police officer with a shampoo bottle to pull someone over (yes, he actually did this!) was merely just a bit of fun. Caught in between a bitter divorce between his Bosnian Muslim father and his Croatian Catholic mother, it was Zlatan’s talent as a football player that shone through and would act as he escape mechanism to a world that was totally out of reach for people on the estate in which he lived.

While other youngsters played football to the strict no-nonsense Swedish approach, Zlatan was more concerned with imitating his Brazilian heroes who’s videos he would study to perfect their wonderfully crafted samba skills. Even when parents at the local football club where Zlatan played started a petition to rid Zlatan and his selfish exploits on the football pitch, he was undeterred in his approach to the beautiful game.

It is a stubbornness and confrontational attitude that would serve Zlatan well throughout his career, if not making the odd enemy along the way. In the very first chapter of the book Zlatan accuses legendary Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola of being a ‘creepy control freak’ and later on as a man who was afraid of Jose Mourinho with ‘no balls’. That pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the book that pulls no punches.

Sandwiched in the middle of all of this are those wonderfully classic Zlatan moments of magic, mayhem and mastery on and off the football field. When a young Zlatan was informed that Southampton was interested in acquiring his services he bluntly responded with: “What the fuck! Southampton! Is that my level?” Or his poetic comparison of playing for two of the modern games greatest managers: “If Mourinho lights up a room, Guardiola draws the curtains.” And of course the modest Zlatan quotes that range from “We won the UEFA Supercup, I was awesome” to “An injured Zlatan is a properly serious thing for any team.”

But just like that other sporting great Muhammad Ali, who set the standard for could talking the talk and walking the walk, Zlatan backs up all of his bravado by delivering the goods. After all, here is a man who has won league titles at every club he has played at, including an eight-year winning streak that took in championships in Holland, Spain and Italy. So when this man tells you that “What John Carew does with a football, I can do with an orange” you tend to listen.

It is fair to say that I Am Zlatan Ibrahimović will whet the appetite of every football fan as it not only details a great story of an underdog rising to the very top, but it intrigues with tales and insight of some of the game’s greatest names. Added to the mix his youth and background makes for one of the best – if not the best – football biography I’ve ever read.

If I was asked to sum this autobiography  up in one word, I’d literally take a leaf out of Zlatan’s book and call it awesome.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

My top 10 favourite The Wonder Years facts you might not know to celebrate the DVD release!

The Wonder Years, Top 10 Facts, Trivia, facts about the show,
This week marks one of the greatest weeks in TV history! And I'm not talking about the fact that yet another Hollyoaks girl got naked in Games of Thrones last night (although that is and always will be worthy of a special mention...). But this is much bigger than that! You can forget the On Demand revolution and internet streaming because it is time to celebrate a good old fashioned DVD release! The Wonder Years has finally been given the long-awaited nod to be made available to the public to own forever!

The Wonder Years, reunion, DVD release, Fred Savage, Tweet, Twitter,Fred Savage made the announcement this week when he Tweeted "#WonderYearsDVD coming soon" with an accompanying image of the whole cast back together, and as if I didn't damn right nearly pee myself in a state of nostalgic heaven!

The Wonder Years is the greatest coming-of-age story ever told, and if you grew up in the late 80s and early 90s then you will in no doubt be in agreement that this TV show is up there with the best of them! It was a huge influence on me, including my writing and there are influences in The Drought for sure which will hopefully be recognizable to anyone who has read the book.

You can keep up to date with details about the DVD release at but before you do please check out my very own mini celebration with a trip down memory lane with my Top 10 favourite facts about The Wonder Years that you might not know. Ah, the memories. Enjoy!

The Wonder Years, Kevin Arnold, New York Jets, where was the Wonder Years set,10. Does anyone know where The Wonder Years was set?
In a word, no! It was never really mentioned in the show where the Arnold family actually lived. According to Wikipedia, the show’s husband and wife co-creators Neal Marlens and Carol, Black based a lot of the stories on their own childhood memories from growing up in Huntington, Long Island (New York) and White Oak, Silver Spring (Maryland) respectively. But TV network ABC wanted the location to be the non-specific suburb of Anywhere, USA, to appeal to a wider audience. Some fans have pointed to the fact that the family car had a Californian licence plate number in one episode, while others say New York because of the New York Jets jacket Kevin religiously wore in the first couple of seasons.The actual house used for exterior shots was at 516 University Ave., Burbank, California.

The Wonder Years, Emmy Awards9. The Wonder Years won an Emmy after only six episodes
Today our favorite shows seem to churn out an endless number of episodes per series (I mean seriously, does anyone care anymore how he met his mother?!). But The Wonder Years needed only six episodes to pick up the Emmy award for Best Comedy Series in 1988 and Fred Savage became the youngest actor at 13 to be nominated for the Best Leading Actor for a Comedy Series. In all, the show received a total of 70 nominations for various awards and won 24 of those including gongs for the outstanding series soundtrack, which incidentally is one of the main reasons why it has taken so long for the show to be released on DVD due to the sensitive issue rights of all the tracks used in the show.

Winnie Cooper, Becky Slater, Danica McKellar, Crystal McKellar, The Wonder Years
8. Becky Slater and Winner Cooper are sisters
That's right, Kevin Arnold's nemesis and significant other (fans of Season 2, Episode 11 will get that nerdy reference I have just made...) are sisters! Not in the show obviously, but in real life. In fact, Danica McKellar who played Winnie Cooper actually had some competition from her younger sibling, Crystal, to land the main role of Kevin's young love. Even casting director Mary Buck admitted that "it was practically a tossup" as to who got the role, but in the end Danica got the nod and would even go up against her real-life sister for Kevin affections as Crystal McKellar played part of Becky Slater in 11 episodes. Perhaps one of the reasons that influenced the whole Becky Slater story had to do with the fact during the filming of the show, Danica McKellar had a growth spurt which resulted in her looking ridiculous standing next to the 4-foot-10 Fred Savage and forced the writers to write Winnie in as a background character for a short period to allow Kevin's height to catch up with her!

David Chase, The Wonder Years
7. Imagine if Kevin had a touch of The Sopranos about him...
Fred Savage has built out a decent career for himself as a director and producer (he has directed shows such as 2 Broke Girls and Modern Family), but back when he was a fresh-faced actor it was another TV great in the making who nearly had the chance to shape and mould the direction of one Kevin Arnold. In an attempt to make the show more edgier, ABC asked David Chase (who would go on to create The Sopranos) to write them a script. Chase proposed an episode where Kevin ends up acting like Holden Caulfield after reading Catcher in the Rye and starts drinking coffee and smoking, but it was rejected in favour of keeping with the wholesome image of the show intact.

Paul Pfeiffer, Marilyn Manson, Josh Saviano, The Wonder Years
6. Paul Pfeiffer is NOT Marilyn Manson!
For a period of time a rumour spread like wildfire that actor Josh Saviano was indeed shock rocker Marilyn Manson. Of course this was ridiculous as Paul and Winnie getting together (nerds please see episode "She, My Friend and I"). In fact, Saviano, who played Kevin's geeky sidekick Paul, turned his back on acting and the entertainment world all together after the show and studied at Yale before becoming a successful New York lawyer (which was almost on the money to what happened to Paul as it was revealed in the final episode that he went to Harvard and became a lawyer). And for the record, Marilyn Manson's real name is Brain Warner. Yeah, doesn't really have the right ring to it huh?

Robin Ticke, Alicia Silverstone, Seth Green, David Schwimmer, The Wonder Years
5. The Wonder Years was a playground for future famous stars
Despite the fact that Paul Pfeiffer did not go on to become an Antichrist Superstar and don red lipstick and eye liner, there were plenty of other actors who appeared in The Wonder Years and went on to become familiar faces in their own right. Here is a few names you might recognise who all had roles alongside Kevin Arnold and co: John Corbett (Sex and the City, My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Saved by the Bell), Breckin Meyer (Road Trip, Garfield), Dustin Diamond (Saved by the Bell), Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers), David Schwimmer (Friends), Alicia Silverstone (Clueless), Jim Caviezel (The Passion of Christ), Giovanni Ribisi (Friends, Saving Private Ryan), Seth Green (Family Guy, Austin Powers) and Robin Thicke (plonker who cheated on Paula Patton - what were you thinking man?!).

Daniel Stern, The Wonder Years
4. And that Home Alone guy was the voice of older Kevin!
That's right, believe it or not, Daniel Stern - who played the hapless crook alongside Joe Pesci trying to outwit Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone - was indeed the inner voice and thoughts of Kevin Arnold. Stern also directed a number of episodes of The Wonder Years and appeared alongside Fred Savage in the movie Little Monsters before he went on to encounter another little monster in Kevin McCallister. And here is another little nugget for ya - Daniel Stern was not originally penned in as the narrator. Actor Arye Gross was used in the pilot episode, before the producers had a last-minute change of heart and re-recorded with Stern. And if that isn't enough Stern trivia for you, it was actually the voice of Stern's real-life son in the final narration of the final episode!

Winnie Cooper, Danica McKellar, The Wonder Years
3. Winnie Cooper is hot
Like many a young teenage boy, I had a crush on Winnie Cooper (including Fred Savage who said he was "in love with her for the same reasons every other boy fell in love with her" before their relationship became one more of a sibling type bond and all he wanted to do was "irritate her.") But I digress... So it is nice to know that had my completely unrealistic fantasy as a 13-year-old boy that I would one day and meet and marry Winnie had come true, I would have been a very lucky man! And just in case you find this section of the top 10 isn't lowbrow and perhaps a tad sexist, another Danica McKellar fact is that she has a degree in mathematics and is a best-selling author. Hot and smart, the perfect combination!

Kevin Arnold, Wayne Arnold, The Wonder Years, Jason Hervey, Fred Savage, lawsuit, 2. Was Jason a bad an influence on Fred as Wayne was on Kevin?
Jason Hervey's character Wayne Arnold was notorious for terrorizing and generally setting a bad example for Kevin (so much so that the 'Wayne Arnold' character was ranked #7 in TV Guide's list of "TV's 10 Biggest Brats" in 2005), and during the filming of the sixth and final series, it was alleged that some of that bad behaviour had spilled over into real life when a costume designer on the show named Monique Long filed a sexual harassment charge against the stars. The case was eventually settled out of court but it brought a lot of unwanted publicity, and according to created a number of rumours that were completely false. Savage called the whole incident "a terrible experience." As for Jason Hervey, it wasn't always easy playing the bad older brother especially when some fans couldn't separate the fiction from reality, which resulted in someone once punching him in the face in a bar and telling him "I used to have a brother like you!"

Holly Sampson, porn star, The Wonder Years
1. Kevin Arnold kissed a porn star
Throughout the six seasons of The Wonder Years Kevin had his fair share of TV romances. Despite the fact Winnie was the main object of his desires pretty much throughout the whole series, he still managed to keep himself fairly busy with the opposite sex. Who could forget Denise the Grease, or Inga the Swedish exchange student, or the new girl Madeline Adams, or even Miss White (especially Miss White!). But the most infamous of all Kevin's ex-flames has to be his holiday romance Terri from season 3. And it wasn't necessarily that a 13-year-old Kevin lies to a 15-year-old Terri about his age that was controversial, more to do with the fact that the actress who played her, Holly Sampson, went on became a porn star as in such movie greats as Cheating Housewives 6. And if that wasn't enough, the actress was also linked to Tiger Woods during his cheating scandal! You can find out more about Kevin's love interests here.