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Who would have thought that I would receive 356 requests to do a post about spoofing? Certainly not me. And I'd have been right. (Well done Jon). I, of course, haven't received any. But that's not to say there aren't people out there who are interested in this most creative of arts. And spoofing is an art. So, for those 356 people, this - and subsequent - posts are going to be an education.

First, let me share with you my credentials. You don't want to be taking advice from any old spoofer do you? Well, in summary, I have spoofed everyone from the great to the good. From Richard Bacon to Ricky Ponting. From Grace Kelly to Henry Kelly. I have spoofed so many people, so accurately, that it prompted Sir Michael Parkinson to dub me The Rory Bremner of the Written Word. Okay, this isn't actually true, but he has thought it. Probably. Basically, I'm pretty good.

So let's get started on the fundamentals.

1. Why The Written Spoof.

There are many kinds of spoof and many ways of going about performing it. I favour the written spoof. In fact all my spooves (that's a hybrid of spoof and move) are written. They may be blogs, they may be letters, they maybe newspaper articles. Whichever method I choose, you can be assured that you will have to do some reading. There are a number of reasons why I go for the written spoof. The main one is that I can do it in my pyjamas. Others include the lack of the need for make-up and not having to get on a bus. If you feel that your talents lie in vocal impressionism, then this probably isn't the article for you. (Incidentally, the written spoof benefits your spellchecker too. So it's all good).

2. Identify Your Target

Now there is no point is spoofing any old person. Or young person for that matter. Not if you want to be spoken about in the same breath as me. You need to choose someone who other people are keen to see spoofed. Generally this means someone other people like or dislike. A big no-no is to go for someone who people are indifferent about. My nailed-on test for this is to think about your target and then think about Austria. If you have the same kind of feelings for each of them, cross them off your list. Once you have a list of - let us say - ten people, read onwards. A good tip is to also pick people who are alive. Grace Kelly was a bitch to do.

3. Are They Spoofable?

You would be naive to think that everyone on your list can be spoofed. Some - like Adolf Hitler - have been done before. I mean you are never going to stand out next to Mein Kamper Van are you? Others - like Nicolas Sarkozy - for reasons I still don't fully understand, speak predominantly French. Thus to spoof such a person would involve buying a French-English/English-French dictionary. Basically a waste of time/effort/money when there are others on the list that you can get stuck into immediately.

So you have eight people left. Who are they? At a guess Jeff Goldblum, Rod Hull, Roger Federer, Jennifer Aniston, Ant or Dec, Simon Cowell, someone from Blue Peter & Harriet Harman. That's a solid list. Nice one. Now you need to work out if they have any mannerisms that you can pick up on and parody to Pluto and back. And when I say mannerisms I am really talking about things they say regularly. Jennifer Aniston touching her hair is lovely and everything, but it's not going to come across in a piece of spoofified literature is it? To give you a better idea, here is a a personal insight. When I was studying Richard Bacon I noticed he says 'ironic', 'tremendous', 'Danny Wallace' and 'Richard Bacon' a lot. Now, I think you'll agree that this is spoofing material of a gold standard. Mannerisms really are your most important assets. They are oxygen to you. A target without mannerisms is like a spoofer without a pen. Pointless.

So for next week this is your task. Study the people on your list. What are their mannerisms? What do they say a lot? Which is their favourite Sylvanian Family? This is the information that will help identify whether they are indeed spoofable. Or not.

If you have topics you want me to cover within the whole spoofing related arena, please leave a comment. I read them all. And nearly always reply too. Oh, and if there is someone you want me to spoof, tell me that too.

About the Author

Ali Bajwa
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  1. "I touched my hair, then went to the hardware store. The man behind the counter asked me if I required a tapered, or non-tapered, threaded bolt. Touching my hair I replied, "Non-tapered".

    With my shopping completed, I decided to pay a visit to the Santa Barbara animal sanctuary. I'm one of their major benefactors and, in recognition of this they have allowed me to officially adopt a number of animals. Today I visited the petting area where I met my goat for the first time, and touched my hare."

    I think this is easier than you're making it out to be, Jonathan.

  2. Does that really sound like her? No. Love the way you have linked to your own blog Marc. I really didn't have a clue who this was.

  3. Well I thought I'd better make it clear for you. I'm sure that no one wants to see a repeat of the Lee Mack incident.

  4. Driving back from the sanctuary now with the roof down. Singing along to the radio. Sometimes I like to change song lyrics just for fun...
    "They call me hell
    They call me Stacey
    They call me her
    They call me Jane
    I touch my hair
    I touch my hair
    I touch my hair
    I touch MY hair"