Sunday, 26 July 2020

Omnibot’s Robot Root-Out: The Time Professor Heinz Wolff appeared in Loaded Magazine

Back in 2015 I uploaded a post entitled Page 3 Escapes Extermination? in which I speculated if The Sun newspaper had in fact dropped it's page 3 feature after 44 years (it had) and I briefly touched on the subject of "lads' mags" and general 'lad culture' which seemed to be at its height when I was an art student during the mid to late 1990's during this 'movement' there was one magazine that seemed to rule over them all, Loaded a men's lifestyle magazine first launched in 1994. Back in the day the magazine saw monthly sales of 457,318 and won PPA Magazine Of The Year in both 1995 and 1996 and was seen as the leading force of lad culture. Just for the record I've never regarded myself as 'one of the lads', I have no interest in football, I didn't drink lager- preferring cocktails. Never had a hangover but I was partial to an end of the night kebab and my 'clubbing' days were brief, effectively ending when I graduated from college. I rarely visited pubs, and if I did it was either a meeting point or they had a quiz that night and I certainly never used the term, “bird”. Never the less I would (occasionally) read Loaded and it certainly seems to be one of the many (albeit small) fragments that made up a time in my life called 'my art college days' a time made up of student grants, New Labour, Spice Girls, Play Station and Alcopops! Truthfully a lot, if not most of Loaded's content was lost on me, However, in what seemed prominently full page adverts for trainers, watches and aftershave and interviews with sports personalities, I did find amusement in its articles either devoted to amusing place names and signs submitted by its readers (we no longer had BBC's That's Life at this point) and porn lookalikes (photos from pornography that seemingly featured famous people) and not forgetting Now You're Stalking a collection of readers chance taken photographs with random 'celebs' which had me harking back to the days of Look-In magazine. But let's be honest here, as amusing as they were it was the ladies that featured within that was the main appeal here. They weren't naked so it wasn't pornography and so the magazine could be read on the train but the models didn't exactly wear long baggy jumpers either.

Anyway, moving on... as the countdown to the year 2000 drew ever closer the magazine seemed more like an auctioneers catalogue for wife seeking footballers (to me) and so my interest waned somewhat and with me now being a monthly reader of Bizarre magazine my limited student funds could not stretch to both publications.
The magazine's success continued without my casual support, but it would seem that the magazine's circulation had started to decline around the same time as the drop in my clubbing and late night kebab consumption. But it did hang in there, and for some time despite the changes in attitude and continued attacks from various feminist campaigners and groups sparking such moves as the one carried out by the Co-operative chain in 2013 who declared that they would only sell magazines such as Loaded if they were sealed in a plastic "modesty bag" prompting then Loaded editor James Wallis to describe the move by the Co-Op as “A very real threat to the free press and freedom of speech in the UK”, while the campaign group Lose the Lads’ Mags (who also advocated a boycott of Tesco for the same reason) accused the Co-op of not going far enough and called for the banning of the magazines from supermarkets altogether! It certainly seemed as if its' days were slowly coming to an end despite yielding to the modesty bags, dropping its photographs of partially dressed women from its covers and introducing its first female editor in 2014.
In 2015 the magazine reported a steep decline in sales mostly attributed to the decline of a specific form of 'lad culture' and the easy availability of nudity and pornography on the Internet and so (along with fellow lads mags FHM, Maxim, Nuts and Zoo) they announced that they would cease publication (the very same year Page 3 ended ) only to be relaunched as an online publication a few months later dropping the scantily-clad girl image in favour of breaking entertainment news stories and having, “strong, punchy news lines” while seeking to, “update the original edginess of the original 1990s editorial voice offering a sharp wit in amongst the informative tone of stories, whether it be on human interest news stories or entertainment news and reviews” putting itself forward as a “halfway house between the disposable clickbait of some sites and the more pretentious, unrealistically aspirational lifestyle choices of others”, far removed from its days of winning a VIP ticket to Wembley by sending in that photo of yourself with Paul Chuckle in the pub...

Anyway, I went off on somewhat on a tangent there! My loyal robotic assistant Omnibot while digging through my vast collection of items I have accumulated over the years (which he then lists on our eBay shop to raise funds for projects) found this! A single issue of Loaded magazine from May 1997 which not only features former page 3 , FHM, Playboy, Escort, Mayfair, Men Only, Men's World, Razzle and Whitehouse model whom would then go on to feature on Blur's Country House music video and become a television host for the Men and Motors channel- Joanne Guest 'Jo Guest' but also Professor Heinz Siegfried Wolff BSc. FIEE. FIBES FRCP (hon) FRSA!
Many of you will recall that Heinz was the world's first bio-engineer, director of the Division of Biological Engineering at the National Institute for Medical Research and Clinical Research Centre of the Medical Research Council. He founded the Institute of Bio-engineering at Brunel University for over 30 years naming only a few of his accomplishments but perhaps he was better known to us in Britain as the face of The Great Egg Race, but he was also a friend and helped/supported a few of my projects over the years. I would meet Heinz twelve years after reading this article which recounts the time “the scientist met the showgirl” in which they discussed all manner of things from aliens to cave paintings. I thought I would upload it on here for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

LIFESTYLE AND AMBITIONS 
Joanne: Do you just sit at home and invent things or do you ever just have sex and beer?
Heinz: [smiles]: On the whole, I never stop working, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy myself. Drinking beer doesn't happen to be one of my hobbies, watching telly I quite like. Most of the things I do at work I enjoy sufficiently enough to carry them on home. Do you enjoy your work?
Joanne: Well, if it's like this sort of job all I do is get dolled up and drink beer, and I do that in my spare time as well.
Heinz: Yes but is it your ultimate ambition? When I used to be on television for what, about 30 years, I was on most weeks and had a a few series, and so a generation grew up with me and my face. And then it suddenly stopped in 1986 and I wasn't on any more. And I found it very, very hard to suddenly abandoned by the media. I would have thought this would be the same with a model, when people don't want to take your photograph any more.
Joanne: I know that's gonna happen. But with the money I've made I would want to be just as well appropriated but maybe in a business form rather than physical one.
Heinz: So what you are saying is that you want to make your pile and then you can choose? I wonder, what was it like when you were 15? How did your future look then?
Joanne: I wanted to be a hairdresser. I went to college for a year and then didn't want to be one after that. What about you?
Heinz: I don't think I ever had any doubts since I was a conscious human being that I would have to do something with science and engineering. I always had engineering in my blood, I was always making things. I knew it so well that I took a biological degree at university because I felt I knew engineering. Later on I went back to it and invented a new discipline called bio- engineering, when I was 23 or 24.
Joanne: Chemistry was my favourite subject at school.
Heinz: Oh really?
Joanne: Yes. Well not the amount you love it but I did understand it. This was at GCSE level, mind you. I had a chemistry set and messed around with the test tubes. I bet you didn't bother reading from the text books in your chemistry class, you probably did your own thing.
Heinz: Well yes, this is true.

BEAUTY
Heinz: If I may ask, and this away from chemistry, when did you realise that you were prettier than most?
Joanne: It wasn't at school, I was really quiet then. I think it was when the boys started fancying me, I thought there must be something right with me. Then I got offered work as a model.
Heinz: I used the word pretty in perhaps a way which is socially incorrect, one is not supposed to distinguish people by their looks. I have never consciously seen you before, but if you are asking me whether I'm interested in good looking girls and fashions then I would have to say yes. I am in fact extremely visual and I have no inhibitions about telling women or girls that I like the look of them. I mean, what is your job Joanne?
Joanne: Well, I would class it more glamour than fashion.
Heinz: For me, when looking at a well dressed, beautiful woman, for this to give me real pleasure, without giving any sexual overtones to it, it's like looking at a good meal, something which is well done, it;s the well done-ness of it which gives the pleasure.
Joanne: What about an undressed beautiful woman?
Heinz: Erm, haha, well... haha... huruumpph.
Joanne: Like in The Sun.
Heinz: I am aware of the Sun. They printed my obituary three years ago, which caused me a certain amount of embarrassment. In Sun language, it was perfectly correct. It would have been even better had I not had to take extreme measures to convince the world that I wasn't actually dead.

ALIENS & SPIRITUALITY
Joanne: I've got something else I want to ask you. Is there such a thing as aliens and other stuff like that?
Heinz: Well what do you think?
Joanne: Well I rely on people like you to tell me. 
Heinz: Now that's a cop out.
Joanne: Well alright, I believe in a spiritual world. I don't believe this is all there can be. But when you start thinking about the unknown and nothing's been proven, then it becomes belief. Like whether God created the Earth or whether there were dinosaurs.
Heinz: Well, God could have created the dinosaurs as well.
Joanne: But all the timing's wrong isn't it?
Heinz: But that's only if you believe what the Bible says. But then scientists are always asked, 'how is it possible for scientist to believe in God?' but the answer is simple. Somebody must have made the rules. Straight from the big bang to now, the rules were made up.
Joanne:What about aliens?
Heinz: Well my standard answer for this, because I lecture about this, life elsewhere itself may be dead common. (They drink their tea out of saucers then? - ed) Unambitious life like bacteria and amoeba. When you come to intelligent life like you and I. It's probably much, much rarer. I'll ask you this, imagine you open a newspaper tomorrow morning, a newspaper you trust, you open page three...
Joanne: And it's me.
Heinz: Oh OK, a proper newspaper. And it says for the last three years people have been receiving signals from space which proves without any doubt that there's a civilisation which is at least as intelligent as we are. Now how would this effect you?
Joanne: Well, er, I wouldn't immediately believe that they were aliens. Id believe more that it was coming from a spiritual world. And that's another debatable problem, whether there is a spiritual world. We've picked up vibrations that could be ghosts or could be radio waves coming from a cab.

DRINK & DRUGS 
Joanne: Do you ever get drunk?
Heinz: If I drink lots of alcohol the only thing which happens is that my upper lip goes stiff. It doesn't uninhibit me because I don't actually need uninhibiting. But the main thing is that I don't think alcohol tastes very nice. Out of a choice between apple juice and beer I would choose apple juice.
Joanne: But if I took you for a drink you would have some alcohol. So which would you have?
Heinz: Well, so not to upset you I would choose champagne or a glass of whit whine.
Joanne: I love beer too much. If I drink too much my legs just go.
Heinz: You see, I don't like to loose control. I couldn't do that. I only end up with indigestion with alcohol. I seem to be able to drink quantities of it that other aren't able to cope with. I have often been to parties where I have been responsible for everybody else going home.
Joanne: You should give your brain cells a rest for a little while. Have you ever tried any drugs from experimenting? Because I've only ever had a spliff and I didn't like it.
Heinz: No, never. I haven't even smoked too much either. I've no hang up about pills though. I've taken sleeping pills for the last 30 or 40 years.
Joanne: But they just make you unconscious don't they?
Heinz: No, no, I sleep well and wake up as fresh as a daisy. If I don't take them, I'm tired the next day.
Joanne: I've smoked a joint, I've not done any of the pills, Es, acid or whatever. Joints didn't work with the alcohol. I tried it once and it just didn't mix. It's just that my body starts shaking and muscles start twitching. I felt ill and I just didn't like it.
Heinz: So you don't like loosing control?
Joanne: No.

BIONIC MEN AND BRAS
Heinz: There's something that not a lot of people know about me but I'm actually bionic. I have a large lump of electronics in my chest. Because I was dead about three years ago, not for very long, but I was resuscitated and ever since then I've got a defibrillator in my chest. So if my heart misbehaves it gives me a huge electric shock to get it started again. Rather like hitting a television set.
Joanne: So is there anything you can't do?
Heinz: I don't know. It's never gone off yet.
Joanne: Do you peep when you go through customs?
Heinz: Well, they allow me to walk around.
Joanne: I had to go through the law courts one time after there was a story that Wonderbras make their detectors go off. Mine didn't go off though.
Heinz: Curiously enough, the metal which is used in Wonderbras we do quite a lot of work with for medical purposes. You see some bras have their support made of something called 'Shape Memory Alloy'. And this has an interesting property which enables it to memorise shapes. Is this interesting?
Joanne: Oh yes I'm interested in bras. 
Heinz: Well, I have no views on bras.

INSIGNIFICANCE
Loaded: Would you say both your jobs are important to life?
Joanne: [to Heinz] Mine's probably less important than yours. You're doing things for children, for the future. I'm just doing things for the moment.
Heinz: It isn't an open or shut question. If people open your magazine, or the kinds of things you do, and they're grants a moment of pleasure or happiness, I wouldn't have said that's an insignificant contribution to human existence. [All laugh, then Heinz to Loaded] That's an endorsement for you.
Loaded: What would you have been if you hadn't been a professor?
Heinz: I became a professor quite late in life, because I would quite have likes to have worked in an advertising agency.
Loaded: What would you have done Jo?

Joanne: Well, I tried my modelling while I was at college doing hotel management so it would have been ideal to have gone into that. If it hadn't worked out in the summer and I wasn't getting anywhere, I would probably have gone back to hotel management. In the first year I was cleaning the toilet and changing the beds and I thought 'I want to be a manager', but I would have been – I know.

FASHION & STYLE
Loaded [To Heinz]: As regards to fashion, does fashion bother you at all? I mean you've always gone for the dicky bow...
Heinz: You mean my own personal fashion? Or men's fashion?
Loaded: Do you take an interest in it or does your wife...?
Heinz: Yes, well my wife, I've been married for 43 years ad never did a moment, an occasion, pass without saying that I couldn't have done without my wife's support. And she's looked after me very well. She on the whole buys my clothes. I'm a stock size so it's not difficult. Men my age wear suits or they wear corduroy and sports jackets.
Loaded: How many bow ties have you got?
Heinz: About 100 I should think.
Loaded: 100?
Heinz: Yes, but they wear out you see, because my beard goes from above the top edge and I throw them away after a time.
Loaded: Do you have a lucky one?
Heinz: I suppose in the morning I go and say 'Well what sort of tie should I wear today/'
Loaded: Does it reflect you?
Heinz: Up to a point it reflects my mood. I suppose, also the colour of my shirt.
Joanne: Mine match my knickers, ha ha. To be honest I wear the underwear for work. I don't usually wear any the rest of the time.
Heinz: I don't believe you.
Joanne: No I don't, cos I think I might need it again for work the next day and I have to wash it again. I don't usually wear any.

HEROES
Loaded: Who do you most admire in life? We'll start with you Jo, you were saying Kathy Lloyd.
Joanne: Yes, I really like Kathy actually.
Loaded [To Heinz] Kathy Lloyd is another glamour model, she's a few years older. She's one of the most famous glamour models we've had in Britain.
Joanne: I don't think it's hard when you admire the work somebody's done and you meet them and become their friend. It's like... you share things...
Loaded [To Heinz] What about you?
Heinz: Obviously I met thousands of people in a year and there are great scientists I've met that I admire- particularly when they come to a lecture of mine. I was very chuffed when an 83- year-old molecular biologist, a man who's won the Nobel prize, a fellow of the Royal Society, came to one of my lectures.
Joanne: I think you admire people for different reasons. I admire Madonna for her boldness and her ability to express herself. I admire David Seaman for saving goals and for being the gentleman that he is. I admire Mother Theresa. You admire different people for different reasons. I admire Kathy for keeping with it all the time.

LOVE AND ROMANCE
Loaded [To Heinz]: The other thing I was going to ask was about love and when you first met your wife, what wooing was involved then?
Heinz: Remember this was 40 years ago things were a lot more sedate in those days.
Loaded: There was lots more wooing I'd imagine as well.
Heinz: Yes, oh yes. My wife and I met...
Loaded: What attracted you to her?
Heinz: That she was a beautiful woman. In those days, nurse's uniforms were exceedingly flattering...
Joanne: They still are today!
Heinz: With a bow under the chin and a starched caps and those lovely cloaks which were red on the inside and blue on the outside. That I suppose drew my attention in the first instance. We went out together and in a good old- fashioned way got to love one another. It all happened in Wales, at this particular hospital in Wales where she was working. Courting habits then were quite different. Loaded: Do you remember where you were for the first kiss?
Heinz: Yes, I remember. I could take you to the spot. It was in a town called Caernarfon, and there's a park. I think we'd been to a dance hall or a restaurant and that day in the park I plucked up the courage for the first time.
Joanne: It sounds so much more romantic. I mean, it wouldn't even be a kiss now, it'd be a snog and a one night stand. It's so unromantic.  

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENTS
Loaded: What are the next jobs that you're doing? The reason I ask is that Joanne's got an interesting job to do this week. Tell us what it is.
Joanne: I'm speaking at the Oxford Union...
Loaded [To Heinz]: Have you got any advice fr her?
Joanne: scary.
Heinz: What is the motion? What are you speaking about?
Joanne: They've invited me to speak about myself...
Heinz: I see, so it's not a debate.
Joanne: I imagine the ladies there are going to make it quite difficult... they'll all go 'model' and...
Loaded: It's the subject of Jo's life.
Heinz: That's right. Because what normally happens at Oxford Union is that there a motion that 'This house deplores beautiful women getting more money than ugly women' or something like that- you could have been speaking on that. It's very unusual I would have thought, I mean it's quite an honour to be doing it.
Joanne: That's why I'm doing it. I'm excited but I'm really nervous because I've got to do a 15 minute speech and then question and answers after that because I'm on there for an hour.
Heinz: Really! Have you made up your mind what you're going to say?
Joanne: I don't want to cover all the answers to their questions in the first 15 minutes, so it's just 'Hello, thank you for inviting me' and do the history of the pin-up, which is something like 'The pin-up has been around since man began...'
Heinz: Yes, I suppose pornographic pictures are a form of pin-up. I think the pin-up is really a product of the First World War. I think before that because of the effect religion on population, it would have been very naughty.
Joanne: Cavemen, they had naked drawings of women on their walls...
Heinz: They were probably not pin-ups. They were for fertility.

DESERT ISLAND PANTS
Loaded: The last question I was going to ask and then you can escape back to your laboratory- is if the pair of you were stuck on a desert island- it's a hypothetical question- and you've got meals and all that, who would do what to survive?
Heinz: To whom are you putting this question?
Loaded: To both of you, you've got to fend for yourself, you've got to survive...
Heinz: I would kid myself that because, I've read books about it I would probably be better at making myself a flint axe or finding a sharp edged sea-shell or something like that than Joanne would.
Joanne: If I was going on a bat or a plane I'd have a pair of white knickers in me bag case. I'd tie them to the top of a stick and wave it. Just sit there and wave me knickers!
Loaded: Thank you both.

Story by Pete Stanton and story photos by Derek Ridgers

© Arfon Jones 2020. All images are copyrighted throughout the world. 

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