HERE on Merseyside we are used to being both overwhelmed and underwhelmed.

But now comes a new term coined by one irate caller to a local radio station relating to the recent River of Light Firework washout.

Or as it is now known 'The Great British Bangers and Mash Up.' 

He called it 'whelm-less.'

Inspired – unlike the fizzled-out festival comparable to a nil-nil football draw.

Just because something is deemed ‘free’, doesn't mean it has to be going cheap in the sales.

And was it really free?

Can there be a breakdown of costs in the next council Bugle newsletter?

The firework boffins team patted themselves on the back.

But, as Linda Walsh of Meols told the Inferno, "someone had forgotten about the people who mattered – the public".

Linda took to Facebook, like thousands of others, calling it the Festival of ... something rhyming with light and beginning with S.

You get the picture.

Many, like Linda, left early.

They want to see a return to the good old local community celebration, not be forced to stand in the cold like urchins with noses pressed up against a huge window.

While organisers praised the drummers and air display, a smoke-screen of excuses was quickly erected in the aftermath saying they would learn from their mistakes.

On commentator says "how about investing in a mega big Birkenhead Park display where families can actually see and enjoy the occasion and where you can hear the music live and not rely on ridiculous mobile phone apps".

Wirral Council, keen on using highly-paid outside consultants for other events, should now ask the real value-for-money, unpaid consultants – YOU – the residents.

Don't let the council make you feel wide-eyed and whelm-less again.

Give them rockets of firework feedback.


BIRTHDAY greetings to the Liverpool Empire which has just celebrated 150 years.

And now it's the turn of the Liverpool Playhouse, which is also 150.

Their Christmas show isn’t a panto, it is a musical play called The Star .

It is written by Birkenhead's Michael Wynne and already the stage whispers the show set in a music hall format will be a cracker.

It stars Michael Starke, the man who made Sinbad a household name in Brookside.

Versatile Michael told the Inferno that there is a Wirral connection to his stage name.

“I took it from a poster outside a cinema in homage to the great actor Graham Stark who was from Wallasey.

"I just added an extra E." 

And here’s an exclusive Starke revelation...

He will be presenting an ‘audience with evening' as part of next year’s Literally Bookshop Literary Festival in New Brighton.

You heard it here first.


ORDER! Order!

I am planning to offer my own night school sessions on 'how to watch a show in the theatre.' 

After a lifetime reviewing productions, it seems some audience members still can't behave themselves.

They make an art form out of eating sweets from rustling bags.

But it's not enough to ask people to turn off their mobile phones.

Such was the chatter during the performance of this week's Full Monty that the Empire made a special announcement: "Please stop talking during the show and spoiling it for others."

Five-star action.

The Empire strikes back for those punters annoyed by the selfishness and rudeness of others.

Long may this announcement run and run when needed.



And finally

HAPPY Birthday to Ken Dodd who was 89 yesterday.

Ken, appearing at the New Brighton Floral Pavilion on November 27, is always a living firework display on stage.

I can think of no better Christmas present for a man who has brought happiness to millions than reading the headline 'Arise Sir Ken' – surely it is about time.

Peter Grant