Sunday, 8 August 2010

Project Alniro #1

There are some questions in life that fascinate me. Questions that split opinion. That leave grown men genuinely undecided. That make you give one answer, then wake up the next day and give the other. Questions such as:

  • Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal?
  • The Office or Phoenix Nights?
  • David Dickinson or Tim Wonnacott?
  • How are babies made?
In answer to those - Federer. Phoenix Nights. Tim Wonnacott (OBVIOUSLY). No idea.

One of these questions that has puzzled mankind for many a year is, of course, the classic - Marmite or Bovril? Long-term readers of my blog will remember this, but for those of you who have joined in the fun and games here in the past 12 months, let me recap for you:

In August, 2009, Dan and I decided one night to think up a question and send it to Kristen Bell on Twitter. You know Kristen Bell, right? Veronica Mars? Heroes? Forgetting Sarah Marshall? So I tweeted her a stupid question, and then sighed - she wouldn't answer, and even if she did, it would probably be about a week later.

She replied 15 minutes later. And that got us thinking - because if Kristen Bell, a Hollywood starlet, could reply to a stupid question within minutes from a mere mortal like me, how much more fun could we have with Twitter? So we decided to put out the legendary "Marmite or Bovril" question to as many celebrities as we could. We had a decent response, amazingly - Jonathan Ross, Katherine Jenkins, Dave Gorman, Andi fucking Peters amongst others. To see all the responses, please do see here.

Fast forward 12 months, to right now, August 2010. The boredom of the university summer break has yet again set in, and so we decided to give another Twitter project a whirl. But this time, bigger. Better. More intense. You see, what I've noticed is that in the past 12 months, Twitter has really taken off. So much so, that when Dan and I went through the lists of who we follow, we ended up with just over 200 "celebrities". How about that for a nice, big sample size?

And so we needed a suitable question. Last year, we tweeted William Shatner the Marmite/Bovril conundrum. He didn't reply, the cunt, but that may be because as a North American, living in North America, he didn't understand what we were going on about. So this time around, we realised that our question had to be one that men and women of all ages, and all nationalities, could wrestle with. And then one night it came to me:

Al Pacino or Robert De Niro?

It's a very tough one, as I love both. It's probably De Niro, but in my mind he loses points for those dreadful comedy films he did with Ben Stiller and Barbra Streisand. Not cool, Bobby! Al Pacino is amazingly consistent - there aren't many bad Pacino films/performances, but perhaps he lacks the sheer number of all-time outstanding movies that De Niro has appeared in.

Al Pacino:
  • Scarface
  • Carlito's Way
  • The Godfather I and II
  • Scent of a Woman
  • The Devil's Advocate
  • Any Given Sunday
Robert De Niro:
  • Mean Streets
  • The Godfather II
  • Taxi Driver
  • The Deer Hunter
  • Raging Bull
  • Once Upon A Time in America
As I said, it's probably De Niro, but it's well worth asking the question. Which is what, over the next few days/weeks, we're going to do. On our list we have 203 celebrities - not all of them will reply, sadly, but we're hoping for a healthy return and a close run contest.

In my next blog post I'll be posting all the replies from the celebrities who have been kind enough to reply. If however you do want to follow the project as we go along, you can follow the madness over at the Twitter page we've set up for it:

We're starting today, and we're starting with A. First up is Chris Addison. Let the great debate begin!