Sir Erasmus Cackarse
Sir Erasmus Cackarse (1912-1999) believed he was one of the leading travel writers of the 20th Century.
Born in abject luxury in a mansion just outside the quintessential English village of Luton, his parents were the noted white slave trader and celebrity fascist Sir Peregrine Cackarse, the 12th Earl of Leighton Buzzard and Madeline La Roquefort, an actress whom Sir Peregrine had met whilst watching a theatre play in London and who was alleged to flash her private parts for two shillings a time (although this was never proved).
An only child Erasmus was educated at school and made his way to Oxford, courtesy of a week-long Go-anywhere ticket from the Oxfordshire & District Motor Omnibus Company Limited. Whilst there he would get a job pushing cowpats through people's letterboxes for a farmer with a grudge against the local community.
First Big Break
One of the letterboxes he delivered to belonged to the editor of the Oxfordshire Burglar, a newspaper that was originally to be called the Oxfordshire Bugler but suffered at the hands of a printer with a unique sense of humour.
The editor, a bachelor by the name of Charles Unfathomable, took a liking to the young, bronzed muscular eighteen old Erasmus and offered him a job at the Burglar. Immediately Erasmus, with no knowledge of journalism, became the assistant editor and occupied an office on Unfathomable's knee.
Sensing something was not quite right Erasmus asked to be made the Foreign Correspondent of the Burglar and, following a police investigation, was granted his wish. During his tenure in this role he visited many countries including the Isle of Man, the Isle of Wight and Isle of St.Clair.
His reports soon aroused the interest of Jack Scandal 'Scandal is my middle name' Halibut, the editor of the now defunct News Crucible, then the countries best-selling national newspaper with a circulation of 400 million readers (unaudited).
Recruited by Halibut he was able to travel further a field and his reports, especially about how he believed Mr Hitler was a harmless eccentric who meant no harm, were warmly received.
The War Years
With the outbreak of war, and following his previous reports of Mr Hitler which were now seen as treason, Erasmus was imprisoned at His Majesty's request (although it was noted that King George was a Daily Mail reader). During the war years Cackarse was held at a Prisoner Of War camp just outside Cleethorpes. Later he would note that five minutes in Cleethorpes was worse than five hundred years in the front line, something later acknowledged by thousands of Yorkshiremen forced by their families to take holidays in the resort during the 1950's.
After the War
With the triumph of the Allies, Cackarse was released and immediately returned to his previous position at the News Crucible. Upon arrival he was escorted off the premises by security who told him he was no longer employed there, hadn’t been since 1939 and to stop buggering about.
With this news he returned to the family seat at Cackarse Towers just in time to see his pater snuff it. With his mother dying during the war (rumour has it she was shagged to death by members of the Canadian Air Force, the United States Air Force, the Royal Air Force, the Home Guard, captured members of the Luftwaffe and the cast of the Ghost Train all on the same evening although this was never proved) he was the sole beneficiary of his fathers' estate, including the hereditary title.
Sadly death duties meant the sale of the estate and his imprisonment during the war meant he could not inherit the title of the Duke of Buzzard, which passed to a relations living in the United States. He was however allowed to inherit the knighthood , which after trying to sell in the Exchange and Mart, he decided to keep.
Impoverished, Cackarse tried his luck in several jobs, including a dog turd grader for the Greater London Council and a timeshare salesman for the Prison Service.
Second Big Break
In 1953 Sir Erasmus caught the eye of Duncan Spanner, a producer for the BBC. The pair were often seen at the Featherlite Gentlemen’s Club; Spanner as a member, Cackarse as the waiter who bought him his drinks.
Upon chatting one evening Spanner discovered Erasmus’ past and offered him the role of presenting a new travel show called Freeloading. Cackarse jumped at the chance and before you could say Lime Grove Erasmus was there.
The show ran for fourteen years; during this time Sir Erasmus conducted interviews with the rich and famous including the former US president Mickie Most, the despot Wun-Ung-Lo and his legendary encounter with the infamous fraudster Dr. Emily Saunders.
However the job did not pay well and Sir Erasmus wanted to restore his family wealth. With this in mind, in 1967 he accepted an offer from a consortium that was applying for an ITV franchise. They won and a year later Cackarse was instrumental in the launch of the ill-fated Accrington Weekend Television.
Research had shown great potential for the new station; however it was later revealed the studies had been carried out in London and not Accrington. Within minutes the station went bust and Cackarse was once again back grading dog turds for the GLC.
Write my way out of this
In 1974, a failed prospective Conservative parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Tickle-on-the-Tum, Sir Erasmus joined a controversial right-wing think tank, the Ashtar Galactic Command. Here he helped devise policies that would eventually return the Conservative Party back to power. It was Cackarse who stupidly advised that free school milk should be stopped despite having invested all his remaining wealth in National Dairies Limited shares two weeks earlier; this was a decision that would bankrupt him. Dozy Twat.
In 1978 Erasmus turned to writing, publishing his first travel monologue I Desperately Need Your Money. This was met with critical derision and every copy was pulped a week later. His sequel, The Bailiffs are Knocking at My Door is the only book ever to be publicly burned by the National Library.
Guess what? Yes, that’s it, yet another big break
In 1980, now penniless and living rough in Scunthorpe, Cackarse was re-discovered by a lost Yorkshire Television film crew. When asked for directions his reply was so eloquent that the crew hit him on the head with their camera, mistaking his response for sarcasm. Thinking they’d killed him they bundled him into their van and drove him to Hull. While attempting to dispose of the body in the River Humber he regained consciousness. Fearing criminal charges and a lawsuit they offered him the chance to present a travel show with a unique twist; he had to present it in drag. Wish You Were Her? ran for fifteen years and allowed Cackarse to travel the globe. The show won numerous awards including a prestigious Bafta for the worst show of any kind, at any time, ever.
By autumn 1995 and at the height of his popularity Sir Erasmus astounded the media world by announcing his sudden retirement at the age of 83. He put it down to feeling his age (amongst other things). Contrary to reports in the News of the World his retirement was not forced and had nothing to do with an alleged affair with a 24 year old pole dancer from Great Yarmouth. It was however everything to do with a very real affair with a 19 year old secretary from Stoke.
Living in faded grandeur at a rest home on the east coast, Cackarse lived a quiet life mainly due to the fact he passed away in the summer of 1999. His rotting corpse was not noted as such until a visit from social services in 2002.
On his maternal side he is related to the famous French-American detective Jim Roquefort. The great thespian Geraldo Hornblower once noted that ’Cackarse’s life was lived in vain’.
He never married and had no children (none who’ve come forward anyway). He is buried somewhere.