"LIFE is what happens while you're busy making other plans". 

Patric Walker, John Lennon's favourite astrologer, told the superstitious Beatle that unexpected accidents can and frequently do happen.

The Oscars fiasco proved it.

You simply cannot script for human error.

Sunday's blockbuster bungle was a Hollywood disaster movie.

And it was all down to a mix-up with envelopes.

Easily done!

I will never forget presenting an award at a glitzy ceremony, but on opening the envelope I discovered there was no card inside.

(Cue Panic by The Smiths)

Luckily, I remembered who the winner was having been on the judging panel months earlier.

On another occasion I received a 50th birthday card emblazoned with the words: 'Deepest Sympathy'.

I took the 'joke' well until I was told the sender had inadvertently sent my comedy greetings card to her recently-bereaved friend.

At the 89th Oscars, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunnaway, who once played on-screen villains Bonnie and Clyde, killed off a magic winner's moment.

The team behind Moonlight were eventually given the Best Picture statuette after La La Land waltzed off with the prize for a few horrendous, cringe-inducing, globally-televised minutes.

The blame went to an accountant from Oscar's official auditors, CWP.

So there's a moral in this Tinsel Town tale for all of us – always check you have the right envelope.

I pray that when Donald Trump was handed the nuclear button codes on his first day in the Oval office he wasn’t handed a fake envelope.


INFERNO congratulations to Gary Millar and Steve MacFarlane – two adopted Merseysiders – who were happily married at St George's Hall last week, despite the efforts of an unwanted guest.

It was 10 years ago that Gary, a former Lord Mayor and now Labour councillor, celebrated a civil partnership with IT consultant Steve.

Both do tremendous work for local charities including Claire House.

Celebrity guests, alongside family and friends from Scotland, were at the reception at the Shankly Hotel and included Joe Anderson, Tina Malone, Pete Price and former Liverpool and England footballer Mark Wright.

As for that one uninvited guest who over-stayed her welcome but didn't spoil the proceedings – it was Doris, the dastardly storm.


SUBTITLES would be helpful for the current BBC drama SS-GB, which has come under a lot of attack for its mumbling dialogue.

Here the storyline paints a chilling portrait of Hitler as victorious in the Second World War.

The series presents some eerie views of London with a bombed-out Buckingham Palace and a swastika-draped Piccadilly.

I saw a similar shocking sight in Liverpool in the mid-90s.

When heading for an early train on a Sunday morning, I walked into a deserted city centre and saw the buildings adorned with Nazi banners and there were groups of jack-booted soldiers.

I was convinced I had stepped into a twilight zone-styled time portal.

Until, that is, I saw a reassuring Scouse milk float which brought me back to reality.

And the word ‘cut’ as a director told me to keep out of sight as they were making a film – Liverpool was the stand-in for Berlin.


TALKING of special effects at St George's Hall, the iconic Liverpool building has just enjoyed the delight of The Narnia Experience where it was turned into a wonderland thanks to 500 volunteers, many from Wirral.

It was an inter-active celebration of the world created by CS Lewis who wrote this timeless classic.

It brought back memories for me of studying in Oxford and my favourite pub – the Eagle and Child, where Lewis and Tolkien met as part of the Inklings Club.

There is a wooden seat dedicated to the great man.

On one occasion I had to point out to an American tourist that she couldn't sit on it as it was 'CS Lewis' chair'.

"Oh, has he gone to the men's room?" she asked.

What a proper Narnia.


AS we honour World Book Day tomorrow we should make more of our own local literature greats.

While there are streets named after Dickens and Philip Larkin and poet Wilfred Owen there should be tributes to Wallasey’s Malcolm Lowry and Birkenhead- born Adrian Henri.

Adrian was one third of The Mersey Poets and helped put his beloved birthplace on the literary map.

A street named after him or a commemorative blue plaque in The Mersey Sound's 50th year would be a fitting mark of respect for a much-missed Wirralanian.


AND finally ... I can reveal Gilbert O'Sullivan, who plays the Philharmonic Hall on March 24, will be dedicating a song to Evertonians.

He played an invite-only anniversary gig at the Cavern Club in January where he adapted one of his songs Hold on to what you've got to include Liverpool FC manager Jurgen Klopp in the chorus.

He will now redress the balance by singing: "Blue Wacka Do Wacka Day". 


Peter Grant