Whilst writing the chart commentary this week it seemed sort of appropriate to dig out what I had written about Mysterious Girl first time around. I couldn’t find a way to shoehorn it into the Launch piece itself, so here it is for posterity, from the dotmusic chart commentary for the week ending June 1st 1996:

The campaign to turn the Australian pretty boy into a major star over here is apparantly reaping rewards. After a curious period at the end of last year when he appeared all over teen magazines, apparantly famous for being famous, he scored his first chart hit earlier this year with ‘Only One’, a pleasant enough pop song which didn’t really deserve more than its Number 16 peak. Now with his profile built even higher he releases a second single and scores an instant smash hit. Actually I could do to curb my natural cynicism over this because ‘Mysterious Girl’ is actually rather wonderful, a summery reggae track featuring the toasting of Bubbler Ranx which would have been a hit single even if it wasn’t sang by a long-haired Australian with gleaming pectorals. But for the fact that ‘Three Lions’ looks to be in a strong position at the top, this track could even be marked as a potential Number One.

Hey, I wasn’t wrong either, just about seven years premature.

Well we aren’t going to win Eurovision now are we? To give the voting public full credit they at least avoided choosing a cliched boy band performance to represent us but instead went for a Fame Academy reject warbling in a sub Ryan Adams kind of way. Only one song actually had a chance of appealing to European audiences and true to form it was nowhere in the running.

Word has it that the best pop songwriters in the country were approached so that our entry would come up to standard and be a world away from last year’s debacle.

No wonder singles sales are down.

Sometimes the interesting things in life don’t happen to you. Instead they happen to friends of yours and in such a way as to make you glad that your life is quite dull in comparison.

This then is the story of one of my colleagues, we will call him Alan to preserve what little dignity he has left. It begins at the start of the week when Alan was excited about his forthcoming foreign trip – to Porto in fact to watch his beloved United in the Champions League. The only clouds on the horizon appeared on Tuesday when he spent most of the day turning his desk upside down. We enquired as to why.

“I’ve lost my passport”, he confessed, adding that he had had it with him earlier in the week as proof of identity having recently lost his wallet.

We thought no more of it, Alan being off work on Wednesday to travel to the match. United of course lost and were utter pants, so what better way to cheer him up on Thursday morning than to phone his mobile and tease him about the performance…

He answered groggily.

“So Alan, how was the match? What was it like to see your boys lose so badly?”

“What, you mean the match I watched at home on TV?”

It turns out he never found the passport, had no way of leaving the country and was stuck with just taking two days off work. To console him we urged him to come down in the evening anyway as there was a work social event happening. Bond with your colleagues we said, that will make it all seem better.

So indeed he did come along, not only to the celebrity bingo organised by the production department but also to the pub across the road where there was money behind the bar and beer flowing aplenty.

I left at about 10pm but many people stayed on until closing time.

This morning Alan did not appear along with the other hungover hoardes. At 10.30am we called his phone which turned out to be out of service. Calling his home produced a ringing tone but nothing more. Now we are not heartless people so this was actually cause for some small concern. The last people to see him had conveniently taken the morning off, so clues as to his whereabouts did not emerge until close to lunchtime.

One of my other colleagues arrived at work and confirmed that Alan had stayed at his house overnight, having been the victim of a robbery the night before. Details at that stage were scarce. All was not revealed until almost 2pm when Alan finally staggered through the door, looking somewhat the worse for wear.

It transpired that he and a few colleagues had been in the pub until chucking out time and in search of further alcohol had made their way to the Borderline club and had stayed there until 3am. During the course of the evening Alan managed to lose his cloakroom ticket and upon pleading his case at the door discovered that someone had found his ticket and cashed it in, taking his coat and phone with them.

With great presence of mind he had apparently called his mobile and had the call answered.

“Excuse me, but you know you have my coat don’t you?”

“Yes,” replied the man on the other end, “it is a very nice coat, thanks very much.”

Right now I am delighted to be me, and not certain other people that I could mention.