Meeting Toby Anstis



Recently it came to my attention, I could win a competition. Not just any competition. A competition that centred around TEA!

As regular reader of the blog know (and I know there are regular readers as I get lots of lovely comments thanking me on the ‘content’ of my blog and it is EXACTLY what they are looking for. Admittedly, they use all the same phrases, but I’m sure that’s because my CONTENT is exactly what ANYONE would be looking for, so it’s divine coincidence, rather than vicious spam bots) that I love tea. Yes, I’m beveragely bonded and caught in a naughty love-game with tea. You may not know that a ‘Good heart’ by Feargal Sharkey was written about someone making you a decent brew. Yeah. It’s hard to find all right.

Anyway, I digress. Suffice to say, any sensible tea lover follows the Tetley tea folk on Twitter. They often have competitions like “what do you best love about tea?” or “what’s your favourite tea?” Searing stuff, but it sorts the wheat from the chaff in a competition arena.

The latest competition was, obviously, tea related and I’m pretty sure you could win some tea, or I wouldn’t have entered…but wait…there’s a catch…you win tea and get the chance to meet Heart FM’s Toby Anstis.

Look, the tea I’ll take, but meeting Toby…er…I’ve nothing against the fella, but what would you say to him?!

Seriously, I cannot think of a single thing to say to Toby Anstis. I mean, the conversation is going to get quite thin early on isn’t it?

Tetley worker: Er, Mr. Anstis, we’ll bring in the competition winner in a bit. Name’s Dr. Angel. Likes tea. Female, we think. You’ve got an hour to spend some time together and then you can take your tenner and fuck off.

Anstis: Nice one, pal (I assume Toby Anstis, uses the word ‘pal’ when being chummy)

Dr. Angel: er, hiya Toby, I’m Dr. Angel.

Anstis: Hi there, I’m Toby.

Dr. A: Pleased to meet you. So…you like tea?

Anstis: No not really. Are you a fan of Heart FM?

Dr. A: I’ve never heard of it to be honest. Is it a southern radio station? I only listen to radio phone ins when the host is particularly provocative and gets people riled up.

Anstis: Oh. Why did you enter then?

Dr. A: I fucking love tea.

Anstis: you watch any programmes I was on?

Dr. A: er, I think I saw you on an episode of come dine with me, but I’m not sure.

Anstis: Oh. Do you, er, drink tea?

Dr. A: I do, Toby, I do. So…

Anstis: Well…

Dr. A:  So…

Anstis: er

Dr. A: Toby, I’m going to the loo. Just go if you need to. There’s another 55 minutes to go.

Anstis: Thank fuck. I’m going to spend my tenner on Astrobelts.

So, Shedders, be careful what you enter. Whether that may be a complicated romantic liaison with a unstable co-worker, or an ill thought out tea fest. You may get more than you bargained for (an STD or Toby Anstis).


The Tea Folk Reply

Some Eagle the Eagle Edwards eyed Shedders may have spotted via the giftage of Twitter and this here blog, that I wrote to Tetley after the abomination of finding my usual brew of earl grey and Vanilla was infact the prole beverage ‘normal tea’. Well nothing as lowly as that can pass my lips, so I wrote a very strongly worded letter. You can see it here.


Well, boil my shingled feet, Tetley wrote back. I was thouroughly heartend to see that they didn’t really take my lette eriously and they wrote back a reply much in the same vein, demonstrating a sense of humour (although admittedly, I’m sure we will be waiting some while for their Edinburgh Fringe Show) and also enclosing SIX POUNDS of vouchers. Therefore profit for Sheds equals four pounds! Four pounds for writing a load of nonsense that got recycled for my blog. That’s a win in my book. And my book is full of champions.

Here is the said reply (names have been changed to protect the sexy).


Dear Dr. Angel

Thank you for returning some Tetley Earl Grey and Vanilla tea bags to us for investigation and I’m sorry we drove you to such naughtyness!

At Tetley we’re proud of out high quality products and we try to make sure they reach you in perfect condition every time. We always appreciate feedback-it’s how we check out products and our standards. Our tea blending team have taste tested the tea bags you returned. Unfortunately, they found that the levels of bergamot and vanilla were below standard for this product and have escaped out usual quality procedures. Gaffer has had a word with Sydney and we’ve been assured he won’t do it again!

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to contact us and I enclose £6.00 in vouchers with compliments. If there is anything I can help you with, please call on FREEPHONE 0800 387227 or e-mail via

Yours sincerely

Consumer Services Executive

Dear Tetley Tea folk…

A real letter to a very real and harrowing situation. I’ll let you know when they respond. Teas Earl Grey Vanilla (Med)


Dear Tetley Tea Folk (probably Gaffer, I assume he’s in charge)


I absolutely love with a roaring passion your earl grey & vanilla tea. I’ve been there through all the packaging changes with unwavering faithfulness. So, as you can see, I’m not a shallow person. My partner actually thinks I’m addicted to it as I get really angry when it’s run out, but I have only stolen once to get money for it, so I really don’t think that constitutes an addiction, but I will let you know whether it turns that way.


However, yesterday I opened a packet of EG&V and made myself a refreshing brew after a ‘hard days yakka’ as Alf Stewart might have put it. I put the amber liquid to my lips expecting my usual hit of the ‘unique soothing appeal’ to find it was normal tea. Yes normal tea. I raced into the kitchen on my racer and smelt all the tea bags…surely this was just an anomaly…a rogue teabag wanting to mix with the elite EG&V…no. It was all normal tea. At this point, my partner is laughing his head off at my total despair as I scrabble through the fifty bags like a junkie desperate for my next hit.


No matter, I thought. Luckily I had stocked up in Morrisons (the only place where you can buy it incidentally, you should rectify that, Gaffer) as I go through a box a week. I opened the other box, thanking the lord for my foresight. Despair was squared and maybe even, cubed as I realised that, horror of horrors, that the box was also NORMAL TEA.


Well Gaffer, if my mum and dad could have heard the expletives that bellowed forth from my desperate frame, they would have disowned me on the spot. Oh Gaffer, I cursed Tetley. I know, it’s total heresy. I do love you guys really. Please find enclosed in this ‘jiffy bag’ the offending articles in the hope that you can make everything right, and soon I will be enjoying my deliciously indulgent tea with a unique soothing appeal.


Yours, hopingly

Dr. Angel