Friday, 23 January 2009

Saturday 24th - Friday 30th of January

'Shhh! I just shat in Richard Owen's slippers.'

This Sunday, BBC4 celebrates 150 years of evolutionary science in What Darwin Didn't Know: a programme with a huge amount of ground to cover, as it turns out that there were a quite a lot of things he didn't know. Here are twenty of them.

1. That time he wet the bed when he was eleven, and his parents made him wear towelling for the next two months, leading to a lifelong sense of insecurity and a pathological doubt as to his own nature…? It wasn't really him that did it. It was his older brother, Piss-Pants Darwin.

2. The girl who worked in the tobacconists' shop down the road from his house had a thing for hairy men with big foreheads, and would've been up for it like a shot if he'd just asked.

3. Noted biologist and natural historian Thomas Huxley (1825-1895) used to make "wanker" signs behind his back.

4. The words to "Groove is in the Heart".

5. The duck-billed platypus was only invented by God in 1870, in a last-ditch effort to throw him off the scent.

6. The turtles of the Galapagos islands thought he was a bit of a tit.

7. The term "Natural Selection" was coined long before the publication of The Origin of Species, and was originally the name of a luxury chocolate assortment from Cadbury's.

8. I had his mum. She was a slag.

9. Human beings share nine-tenths of their genetic material with roll-on deodorants.

10. Whether he liked Marmite or not.

11. Though his work would revolutionise our understanding of genetics, and establish the concept of evolution as an alternative to catastrophism in numerous other fields, it would also be responsible for an estimated 84% of Richard Dawkins' smugness.

12. All living things are descended from the arse.

13. That collar with those sideburns…? Really not working.

14. His publisher used to draw huge willies in the margins of his draft manuscripts, just for the Hell of it.

15. The way to San Jose.

16. While he was asleep, gnomes used to creep into his bedroom and ski on his face.

17. How to shave.

18. That he was destined to be beaten in the BBC's Greatest Britons poll by Princess Diana, for f***'s sake.

19. Whether that dream he had about the Lancashire cricket side made him actually, properly gay, or maybe just a bit gay.

20. In the first draft of the Dr No screenplay, Dr No was a monkey.