Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Fat Four-Eyed Brummie Jew

Last night's documentary 'Stalking Pete Doherty' on Channel 4 pitted lunatic fringe film-maker and Alan Partridge wannabe, Max Carlish, against former Libertines front man and heroin hero, Pete Doherty, in a battle of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Though to be honest, the sex only existed in Max's mind. It was a bit like 'When Harry Met Sally', only funnier.

Pete is apparently the most iconic rock star of his generation, although nobody had ever heard of him six months ago, while Max "helped produce" a Bafta and Emmy award winning documentary series about the Royal Opera House. Which sounds quite impressive, until you remember that Kelly Brook is a consultant producer on 'Celebrity Love Island', so clearly it's no guarantee of talent.

The most shocking revelation of the film was that Max actually manages to hold down a job as a university lecturer. Frankly I wouldn't put him in charge of a goldfish. But then again, he's teaching media studies students, so goldfish might be a step up. Either way though, the man's clearly barking. And I mean that in the wholly accurate, medical sense of the word.

Having taken an extended break from his film-making career (and I use the term loosely), Max Carlish decided to make his comeback last year by means of a rockumentary about Pete Doherty, a singing heroin addict with 11 A*s at GCSE and four good A-levels. At the pair's first meeting, Max jumped straight in with the well thought out compliment "You've got a kind of Marilyn Monroe quality to you, Pete. You've definitely got the brain of a young Marilyn. Sorry, the body of a young Marilyn". I'm glad he corrected himself. It would've sounded ridiculous otherwise.

Bizarrely that seemed to be enough to win over our Pete, which just goes to show how drugs can affect your mind, and before we knew it, Max was on tour with Pete's band Babyshambles.

At which point we realised just how little Max knew about the rock 'n' roll lifestyle. Finding himself in the mosh pit during a performance of 'The Boy Looked at Johnny', Max joined in the fun with a cry of "Stop the madness! Watch out! Watch out! Be careful! There is a major public health risk!"

Fortunately though, Max soon adjusted to the situation by starting to call everyone 'dude' and 'man', and although not, to my knowledge, a trained dancer, Max took to the stage anyway and got funky, an act which endeared him to the audience, who responded in the style of the 'Strictly Come Dancing' judging panel, with the considered review "You fat c**t".

A stickler for accuracy, Max came back with the witty riposte "I'm not a fat c**t. I'm a fat, four-eyed Brummie Jew". Hmmm... well I can see where you're coming from, Max, but to be honest I'm still with the audience on that one.

Max's problem (apart from his tendency to sing "You're Gorgeous" to Pete's face, before slipping straight into a rendition of "Spiderman, Spiderman, does whatever a spider can" for no apparent reason) seemed to be his interview technique, which consisted of killer questions such as "What's your favourite food?" and "How does it feel to be better than Kurt Cobain?", questions which have led some people to liken him to Alan Partridge. For me, it's an unfair comparison. Alan Partridge wasn't that bad. But you have to hand it to Max - how many people, when shown Pete Doherty's tattoo of the words 'Baby Shambles' above his right nipple, would respond immediately with the question "Did you choose the font?"

Of course, the relationship eventually turned sour. Max turned up in Nottingham with his "little beautiful people set" in the hope of "showing Pete and his lot that I had mates". Which might have worked if the set had actually included any mates, and hadn't just been a group of his students trying to get a better grade on their coursework. It all went wrong when Pete refused to see them, but as Max himself said "I'm not just some nutty stalker". I believe that's what they call 'self-unaware'.

Max was philosophical about the experience though. He described the stalking - sorry I mean film-making - process thus: "It's not rape, it's sex. And we both have orgasms, and we both come a lot", before putting a purple neck-tie around his head and singing 'Jerusalem'. Not that there's anything wrong with him, obviously.

In fact, the outcome has been nothing but good for Mad Max Carlish. He says, "When people actually shout 'wanker' out of cars as they go past, you suddenly get a taste of fame. And I've always wanted to taste that fame".

Well if that's fame, I'm sure Max will be famous for the rest of his life. Unless he's locked up first.