Duncan Norvelle has a stroke.

That’s not a double entendre, he’s in hospital recovering from an actual stroke.
The strangest thing – I found the Chortle web page with the news open on my phone with no memory of clicking on anything or any knowledge of the story in the first place. Bizarre.*
However, my blog stats this morning would alert me to something being amiss. Over 600 hits across the weekend for the 2 or 3 Duncan Norvelle-related articles on here.
As I’ve mentioned before, you can see which search terms bring people to Parking in Stevenage. Duncan Norvelle is the single biggest puller here and there are plenty of variations on a theme. What’s striking is that among all the ‘married/gay’ search strings, not one person has searched for ‘is Duncan Norvelle OK?’ or ‘how is Duncan Norvelle?’. That’s a bit sad.

Back in ’93. The only excuse for that polo – and very feeble at that.

So I shall ask. How’s he doing? Well according to his agent Tony Jo, Duncan has been in hospital since April but expects to come out (of hospital!) in 2 or 3 weeks. And another 80’s variety trouper Stu Francis will be filling in for Duncan’s appearances while he’s recovering.
Now you’ve had your Norvelle fix, feel free to look around the blog. You’ll find exciting news about car parks close to Stevenage railway station. Though if you have a heart condition, perhaps you’d better give it a miss.

This has also afforded me to glean some more vital statistics on the great man, thanks to the news coverage – and this specifically from the Blackpool Gazette: “He has three children, Sophie (with ex-wife Trudi Dean), Yasmin (with former girlfriend Tina Hall) and Jack (with ex-wife Jane Lindsay). ”

*Just figured it out – a link from a mate’s tweet, clicked on and forgotten. And relax.


How did I get here?

A reconstruction.

WordPress tells me what search terms bring you to my blog. It doesn’t identify you personally – I just see a list of search terms and how many hits I got from them.

Dwarfing all others, Duncan Norvelle is the most popular search term. Is he gay? Is he married? Etc.

But in addition it does give me a fascinating window on to the kinds of things you good citizens of the internet are looking for.

This is a new type of post. I will update this from time to time with my favourite search terms. And I shall start with these:

– Sue Holderness legs
– Ford pigeon
– man superdry back
– silica gel Stevenage
– duncan norvelle gardener
– kepi blank
– illegal parking on grass
– Brian Blessed wife swap
– Stevenage Taliban
– Tesco ad where man pushing a car all over the place
– crossdress air force
– lost black glove
– “showing a bit of leg”
– how much does Duncan Norvelle cost to book
– wiki duncan norvelle please leave me alone

946 Duncan Norvelle-curious visitors in a day.

Got back from holiday on December 23. Got a message from a chum (who already au fait with this blog) to tell me that Duncan Norvelle was on Come Dine With Me on Channel 4.

La Norvelle: note the wrists. Tricky innit.

Shame, I got in too late to catch it – plus there was unpacking to do, putting the kids to bed, etc. I thought no more about it until I checked The Parking In Stevenage stats on my first day back at work – yesterday.

Blow me. 946 hits in one day! For little old me. Well, me and Duncan. On WordPress you can see what terms brought the page to people’s attention. Basically, everyone wants to know if he’s gay. Some people beat around the bush and search for “Duncan Norvelle married”, others like to call him “Duncan Chase Me Norvelle” to include his 80’s catch phrase. But the overwhelming majority want to know: is the camp thing real?

Straight up, he’s not gay. That’s what I’m hearing.

See for yourself. Couldn't believe it, etc.

Is he gay. Is he? Is he? No really, is he?

Duncan Norvelle rides again.

The fascinating thing about doing a blog is checking the stats and seeing what people are coming to read.

With WordPress you can even see the search terms that people have used to find a particular post.

So you get the familar ones, like Stevenage, parking and station – no surprises there.

Then you get things like Tesco, shopping trolley and tickets – again, that doesn’t surprise me. I’ve done plenty of posts that have those tags.

So which area of borrowed interest has been the most effective in bringing traffic to PiS?

Two words. Duncan Norvelle. Most of the searches are accompanied by ‘chase me’, ‘married’, ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’. It seems I was not alone in pondering his lifestyle choice, given his act. Turns out it is just that – an act.

The poster that started it all.

The poster that started it all.

Not only that, I had a reply to the post from someone saying that Duncan had got their sister’s mate pregnant – presumably a woman. Well that pretty much settles it. Though to be fair, neither Google nor Wikipedia could corroborate the story, so who knows (he says, trying to avoid legal proceedings).

So as well as being an excuse to post a traffic-pulling topic that will once again bring high volumes of curious visitors, hopefully this gives you a valuable insight into your fellow browsers. And by the way, another top puller is the word ‘transvestite’. Now I’ve got my best tags all in one post – a sort of greatest hits if you like.

For the original post on Duncan Norvelle, go here:

Kind of a big deal : part 1

LinkedIn. Know it? It’s kind of like Facebook but with a businessy twist. The egomaniacal voyeur in me particularly likes the fact that you can check to see how any people have been looking at your profile. It will even give you a rough profile of the people who’ve swung by to check on your business life story.

This week it’s the same old mix of headhunters and people in similar roles checking out the opposition. But HELLO, who’s this having a butcher’s at my bio? Head at Aardman?

I guess they're just drawn to me.

I guess they're just drawn to me.

Has my unique way with words reached the ears of Nick Park? Will Parking in Stevenage be retired in favour of Scriptwriting in Bristol? Will I bound on to the stage at the Oscars alongside the Old Parkster in one of his ridiculous bow-ties? I’ve not had the call yet, but when he reads this he’ll realise the game’s up, come clean and get me to grammar-check his latest screenplay.

Watch this space.

5 things you never knew about Duncan Norvelle.

At Christmas 2008, Duncan “Chase me” Norvelle was appearing at the theatre in Stevenage in a ‘Legends of the Oche’ show/tournament. I commented at the time – but re-reading my post I was curious to know if he was gay or not, given that his whole routine was based around limp-wristed campery.

So I Googled and here are 5 things that I didn’t know this time yesterday:

1. Duncan Norvelle is straight (married to Jane (Norvelle)).

A heterosexual man, yesterday.

A heterosexual man, yesterday.

2. Duncan Norvelle hosted the pilot show which eventually went on to become Blind Date.

BLINDER DATER as our Graham used to say.

BLINDER DATER as our Graham used to say.

3. Duncan Norvelle scored a record 281 as a celebrity guest on Bullseye.

You get nothing for 2 in a bed in this game.

You get nothing for 2 in a bed in this game.

4. Duncan Norvelle is a part-time landscape gardener – and sometimes does other celebs’ gardens.

One of his creations. S'alright innit.

One of his creations. S'alright innit.

5. Duncan Norvelle can be seen selling furniture in Kamenka furniture store on Doncaster Road, Stairfoot.

Dunc puts the 'furn' in 'furniture'.

Dunc puts the 'furn' in 'furniture'.

I, for one, feel better for knowing all of the above.

Bookmark Parking in Stevenage

There’s only one word for that: “Magic darts…”

Next to the panto poster, there was an ad for some darts-related gig. A friendly tournament featuring names from the golden age of darts when it was a staple of World Of Sport and they could win tournaments too pissed to remember they were playing, let alone subtract treble 17 from 281 (seeing as you ask, it’s 230).

"Be prepared to laugh."

But the thing that caught my eye was the host – Duncan ‘Chase Me’ Norvelle. Those of a certain age will remember him from variety shows on TV in the 80’s – and curiously, as a dancer on Top Of The Pops (not as in Pan’s People but as a sort of enthusiastic ringer to get the starstruck youths to stop staring at the cameras and dance to Bananarama or the Pointer Sisters.

His schtick was to play the camp entertainer with the sleeves of his pastel suit rolled up to reveal VERY limp wrists. Is this man gay? Or has he no pride? A short visit to Wikipedia may answer these and more. Fair play to him – he’s kept a career going on it for 30 years – unless he owns an MOT testing centre on the side. He’s certainly been very protective of the Norvelle brand. Stoic even.

However, I do find the concept of an extremely limp-wristed gentleman hosting a darts event somewhat ironic. “Be prepared to laugh,” says the poster. Well I wouldn’t enter into too much preparation – unless he continually throws darts into his own feet due to his under-developed wrist muscles… Still he still looks well on it – but those 80’s publicity shots do flatter to deceive.

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