The Framley Examiner
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The Framley Examiner ('Framley's traditional favourite since 1978') is a parody of a newspaper in a small provincial English town. Very little happens in Framley, so the highlights in the newspaper are the absurdist classified ads (for items such as second-hand Dachshund stabilizers, a child's Paul Simon costume, and a set of nested bunk beds that sleep eighteen progressively smaller people), firmly in the absurdist British comic tradition of The Goon Show and Monty Python. It has been noted that Framley and its surrounding villages are actually based upon the town of Chelmsford, Essex and surrounding settlements such as Writtle.
The Framley Examiner originally began as a website, started around 2001. Its success then spawned a book The Framley Examiner (ISBN 0-7181-4579-8) described on the cover as "the book of the website of the newspaper". A second book, Historic Framley (ISBN 0-14-101528-4), was later published, produced in association with Framley Museum.
The writers are Robin Halstead, Jason Hazeley, Alex Morris and Joel Morris. The four are regular contributors to Viz magazine. The book Bollocks to Alton Towers (ISBN 0-7181-4791-X), published in April 2005, by the same authors, is a non-fiction book unrelated to The Framley Examiner. The website was last updated on 23 July 2013, but more recent posts have been made to social media accounts.
- Challenger Putney, a bespectacled reporter who enjoys reporting on stories featuring the Framley town council or the Mayor of Framley, William D'Ainty. He is especially suited to the job, since he lives with the Mayor and his wife.
- Katie Blirdsnest, a woman who runs a feature called "The Blirdnest Report" which takes a look at life in and around the Framley area. Her previous reports have included such topics as interviewing the man who swallows the tide to stop it from flooding Framley, and rolling down rubbish heaps with binmen. Her reports often contain the phrase "I couldn't believe my eyes!"
- Damiun Clavalier, bored son of international fridge magnate Garuth Clavelier, who writes ridiculous articles in the hope of being sacked.
- Adam Wrent, whose photo byline depicts him at the age of four.
- Taunton Mishap, whose trademark journalistic style is to miss the point of the story.
- Pigshit Nelson, a transgender man who writes unintelligible sport reports.
- Bunco Booth, a journalist who is in love with Katie Blirdsnest.
- Beaky Coxwain, a possible lesbian who is also in love with Katie Blirdsnest
- Ursula Cloybeam, the Examiner's petty and vitriolic arts correspondent. Her reviews of local arts include a harsh review of a local school production of Julius Caesar. She is also apparently a member of the local secret society the Wripple Vetivers.
- Jesus Chigley, wrote the first article ever published in the Framley Examiner, and spends most of the time reminding his colleagues of this.
- Stan Rubbish, the Examiner's darts correspondent.
- Bowery Tarpaulin
- Pharaoh Clutchstraw, science expert.
- Arcady Belvedere, writes about local history that only he seems to remember or care about.
- Odgar Cushion (deceased), a reporter of uncertain age who wrote the We'll Fancy That column, until his death sometime between 1994 and 2012 when the column was inherited by his son, Odnald.
- Arbroath Smokie
- Oliver Singultus-Hiccup, motoring reporter.
Framley and district
- The Dungeon Housing Estate, which has more single fathers than there are grains of sand in the mighty desert
- Shilillingbury Lillingbury Illingbury On Ingbury
- Effing Sodbury
- Bellaire, home of the Bellaire Hillock.
- Princes Freshborough (these last two are a reference to the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
St Eyot's and district
- St Eyot's, whose historic castle is thought to be the home of Britain's first batman
- Flapton Nogley
- Yopney St Oh!
- Gartside Green
Molford and district
- Molford St Gavin
- Molford St Malcolm
- Molford St Arahim Rhamal
- Robot Oak, a utopian village constructed of artificial materials and populated by robots
- Ghastley St Matthew
- Strawbury Magma
- Diesel Park West
Sockford and district
- Sockford holds an annual Vulture Jamboree in which visitors are invited to 'Discover how to Milk Vultures' and could meet Lazenby, Framley's biggest Hedgehog (until he died of prickleworm)
- Lessbury Moreborough
Whoft and district
- Whoft, which frequently suffered deluges of fluff, and was famous for its annual fete (featuring the 'Kitten in a Bottle' competition) until being completely destroyed by property developers due to a planning error.
- Wotten Plodney
- Queues Likely
- Little Godley, controlled by councillor Haris Paris, who mounted a military coup in late 1994 after someone parked a blue P Reg Mondeo in his allocated parking space.
- King's Mustard
- Clifton James
- Carnaby Constable
- Hazeldean Inchmistress
- Billberry Buryborry
- Professor Arthur Bostrom, who meddles with the fabric of time and space, yet always declares "Experiment successful". Reference: Arthur Bostrom, actor who played the part of an English policeman in the BBC sitcom 'Allo 'Allo! in the 1980s.
- A man named Mr. Hollyhock who is always trying to sell his daughter Josie or her possessions in the classified ads.
- The Wripple Vetivers, a local secret society. They are routinely consulted by the US Treasury about proposed changes to US banknotes. The US Treasury forgot to do this only once, with grim but unspecified consequences.
- Estelle Donne, who has appeared in about a dozen wedding announcements.
- Fluff, which is apparently a mainstay of Whoft's economy.
- Mayor William D'Ainty, a flamboyant and possibly insane man who mounts ever more outrageous stunts in order to relieve the tedium of ruling Framley. Reference: the late Billy Dainty, a music hall and television comic
- Vince Previous, an unsavoury fellow who frequently places adverts offering various kinds of massage for ladies.
- Ianbeale Steeplecocque, MP for the district, whose sole concern is the effect of time travel on the local economy and infrastructure. Given the continued meddling of Professor Bostrom, his concerns may be justified. He was recently ousted in a cash for crisps scandal. Reference: Ian Beale is a character in the BBC soap EastEnders.
- A constant desire for a Black and Decker Dinnermate and to go at any length to get one. For example in one ad: "Fountain of Knowledge, will swap for Elixir of Youth or Black and Decker Dinnermate". Reference: portable workbench the Black & Decker Workmate.
- Framley's twin town, Baden Schleissgarten ASF, and its mayor, Claus Freneddt, occasionally appear in the Examiner. Mayor Freneddt once ordered the Framley council to put up posters saying "your town stinks" across the town.
- Roy Newby, a rake magnate who owns most of the shops in the Framley area under the brand of "Newby's of Molford", including the NcNewby's fast food restaurant.
- http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.framleyexaminer.com/ shows the domain first active in July 2001, with the first content pages being added several months later