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Harold Flashman is one of Britain's best-known and most loved comedians. Born in Streatham, London on April 17, 1923, he developed an early childhood fondness for parody and mimicry. In 1960, when he was 18, he produced his own burlesque newspaper which was reminiscent of The Daily Mail, a populist newspaper published in London.
Harold progressed through to university, getting a BA (Hons) 2:1 in Media Studies with a special cum laude for his thesis. It was titled Because It Says So in My Newspaper and is still a widely-used reference for trainee journalists to help then craft articles that appeal to people's emotions rather than their reasoning processes. As the Eighties went on, he became a radio talking head / satirist with brilliant parodies of the ordinary man in the street. His most famous, transmitted on Newcastle's Howay 97.5 station, became legendary when he portrayed a male reasoning-challenged office worker who blamed immigrants for the most improbable things, in this case, the shortage of paperclips at his local Post Office. The given reason being that more immigrants equals more paper clip use.
edit Public Reaction
The following are media testimonials to the brilliance of his work:
“...watch the Amazing Flashman, tautologist extrordinaire, as he desperately chops logic in a futile attempt to shift ground.”
“Then let me congratulate you on the best impression of a Mail reader I have ever encountered! It's inspired. And worrying.”
“More screaming histrionics from Mr Flashman...”
“You [Harry Flashman], on the other hand, are HYS King of Guesswork. Your false assumptions, error-laden conclusions and painful lack of logic make you the shrill mascot of the anti-intellectual.”
edit Mental Breakdown and the Seaside Sanatorium
The pressures of being called Harold Flashman eventually took their toll. It's not clear whether being named after one of literature's footnote-characters or the strain of maintaining a media persona precipitated the mental breakdown, but he spent 4 years recovering at Butlins, a premier private hospital in Bognor Regis.
Since then he has maintained a media presence on BBC's Have Your Say. Sadly, his genius and comedic skills are often overlooked and he is all too often regarded as "just another Daily Mail reader". He is much more than that. As one observer observed in an observational manner:
“Yesterday he said he had a bsc and arts degrees were for losers, now an MA pops up as if by magic. The Walter Mitty of HYS strikes again.”
edit Mental Breakdown and the Have Your Say Implosion
“This debate has been turned to fully moderated because of the inappropriate comments made by Harry Flashman. His account has now been banned because of persistent rule breaking.”
Harold Flashman's feigned breakdown on the Have Your Say site was an intentional break with the site. Having recently started his own business, he found himself unable to stop posting under at least 60 user accounts between the hours of 9AM and 5PM. He engineered his exit in the following way
- by pretending that people have been let off drink-driving in the UK
- by copying and pasting in a potentially true account of a drink-driving death into his posts
- by then claiming this was his mother
- by wishing family members of multiple other users dead (in contravention of the site rules) when they pointed out he was talking rubbish claiming "they mock my grief"
edit Bollywood Rumours
Recent press reports that Harold Flashman has been approached to co-write a Bollywood comedy have not yet been confirmed by any studios. Shilpa Shetty has publicly declared an interest in starring in a Harold Flashman comedy, and Amitabh Bachchan has publicly stated he will not, under any circumstances, be involved with a Harold Flashman project. He stated "Under no circumstances will I work with this grotty little man! He's really got my gander up."