101 Things Birmingham Gave The World. No 7. Fannying About On A Yacht

When you pick up Hello! or flick to the most exploitative pages in the tabloids what are you likely to see? One may have upskirt pics of vulnerable young actresses, one may have charming stories where you get to see just what the kitchen looks like in the house Sienna Miller has hired for a photoshoot. But both with have long lens pics of celebrities fannying about on a yacht.

Yes, whether they’re oligarchs, sportspeople, singers or simply government ministers enjoying the free hospitality all famous people like to lay back on deck and sup cocktails. But back in the olden days, messing around in boats was done in the mode of people from Walsall like Jerome K Jerome; you had to row your-bloody-self, what good was that? The Black Country is rubbish.

But in 1982, thankfully, Birmingham took the lead and the Taylors, Rhodes-y and sweet little tubby Simon Le Bon showed everyone how it was done in the video to ‘Rio’. No-one quite set the template for looking rich on a boat like the Durannies, and I’m sure it was their time spent in Saramoons that done it.

Author: Jon Bounds

14th Most Influential Person in the West Midlands 2008, subsequently not placed. His new book about visiting every seaside pier in England and Wales — Pier Review — has been described as “On the Road meets On the Buses”, it's out now. Jon wrote and directed the first ever piece of drama to be performed on Twitter and founded the famous blog Birmingham: It's Not Shit.