White Van Karl

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White Van Karl was a segment on the Xfm Shows where Ricky and Steve asked Karl to give his opinion on selected news stories from the week. As Steve would often admit, the idea was shamelessly stolen from the "White Van Man" section in The Sun newspaper.

The feature was introduced 19 January 2002 when Steve began asking Karl some random questions, which reminded him of the "White Van Man" section in The Sun. From then on, the feature was used by Ricky and Steve to help introduce Karl and his unique perspectives to the audience. At that point, Karl was relatively unknown and had no major involvement in the show. He frequently complained of feeling under pressure during this feature, never sure of what the "right" answer was (23 February 2002). Ricky and Steve reassured Karl that whatever his answer was, it would always be great. The feature ended early in the second series, but made a few appearances in later shows.

The feature wasn't used in the podcasts, but the general format of asking Karl for his opinions on topical subjects and major issues is used throughout almost all Xfm shows and podcasts.

Contents

History

19 January 2002

Unofficial White Van Man:

  • What do you think of nudism?
  • What do you think about Nu Metal?
  • Does Karl think Waterworld, Mad Max, and Judge Dredd are accurate pictures of a post-apocalyptic world?

16 February 2002

First official White Van Man:

  • What is your view on Will Young beating Gareth Gates on Pop Idol?
  • What is your view on the rise in street crime?
  • What is your view on former New York mayor becoming Sir Rudy?
  • What do you think about Michael Greco's character Beppe being axed from EastEnders?
  • What do you think about the cat that's been cloned in a $2.5 million research project?
  • What do you make of city workers bonking in the glass part of the The Lloyd's building?

23 February 2002

  • What do you think of the "battle" to be Queen of the Brits: Dido versus Kylie?
  • What do you make of taxes rising in the next budget for NHS improvements?
  • What do you make of the real life Mowgli living in the Transylvania countryside?
  • What do you make of the British Olympic curling team winning the gold?
  • What do you think about the world's tallest man living in a semi in Neasden?
  • Global warming will bring sizzling summers and weird wildlife to Britain; are you worried?

02 March 2002

  • What do you make of Russell Crowe's appalling behavior at the BAFTAs?
  • What about this big debate over if Kylie Minogue has had a bum job?
  • What do you think about Will Young's single?
  • What do you make of our scientists getting the go-ahead to clone embryos for research?

09 March 2002

  • What do you think about skier Alain Baxter testing positive for drugs?
  • What do you make of Posh Spice's documentary?
  • What about the fact that the pension crisis is going to force Britons to work into their 70s?
  • What about Tony Blair turning trendy with his Paul Smith-designed naked lady shirt?
  • What do you make of Top of the Pops banning Will Young from singing both of his single tracks?

16 March 2002

  • What is your opinion on Pop Idol Will Young admitting that he is gay?
  • What do you make of the police protesting to Parliament over reforms?
  • What do you make of the police generally?
  • What do you make of fears that dumped Britney Spears may be cracking up?
  • What do you say to the fact that a judge decided the general public have the right to know about stars flings?

23 March 2002

  • What do you make of the Channel 4 producer, aged 30, who duped a school into believing he was a teenager?
  • What do you make of Mariah Carey's 38 million pound payoff has cost EMI staff their jobs?
  • What about Home Secretary David Blunkett admitting muggers rule some streets?
  • What do you make of the fact that there was a crook that got a security job at Heathrow?

30 March 2002

  • What are your thoughts on Kylie Minogue slagging off Britney Spears for ignoring her fans at her premier?
  • What do you make of New York's ex-police chief saying we need more bobbies on the beat?
  • What about the fact that new gambling laws give Blackpool the green light to become a British Vegas?
  • What do you make of The So Solid Crew's Ashley Walters being jailed for 18 months?
  • What do you make of Halle Berry becoming the first black woman to win an Oscar?

06 April 2002

  • What are your thoughts on the criticism of the BBC's coverage of the Queen Mum's death?
  • What do you make of the first genetically modified baby?
  • What do you make of the fact that Sainsbury's are bringing in square tins?

13 April 2002

  • What do you make of David Beckham's broken foot?
  • What do you think of the 1.5 million pound apartments available on an exclusive ship that sails around the world?
  • What are your thoughts on the Queen Mum's very British send-off this week?
  • What do you think of Liz Hurley lying low at Elton John's house to avoid the press?

20 April 2002

  • What are your views on the fact that attitudes are changing toward to the possible marriage of Charles and Camilla?
  • What do you make of Ulrika Jonnson and Sven Goran Eriksson's affair?
  • Are you disappointed by the nation, that one third of us are unaware of St. George's Day?

Ricky's bonus questions:

  • What do you think of those pug dogs that are bred and can hardly breathe?
  • What do you think of gays?

27 April 2002

  • What do you make of the average woman taking 27 minutes to get ready to go out?
  • What do you think of Sven Goran Eriksson sticking with Nancy rather than Ulrika?
  • What do you make of David Beckham driving despite having an injured foot, further threatening his World Cup chances?
  • What do you make of this fascist leader having a lot of success in the French presidential election?

24 August 2002

  • What do you make of Prince Harry smoking openly at a polo club?
  • What do you think about the scientists that are planning to clone mammoths for a theme park?

Ricky's bonus question:

  • If you went into hospital and they'd done something wrong, would you rather wake up and have lobster claws, duck's feet, or one horn coming out of your head?

09 November 2002

  • What do you make of teenage thug Mickey Caroll who's spent 4 months in jail and won 9.2 million off the lottery?
  • What do you think of the fact that 1 in 5 children aged between 11-16 go on booze binge sessions at least once a week?

11 January 2003

  • What do you make of Cilla Black quitting Blind Date after her husband sent a message from beyond the grave?
  • What do you make of David Blunkett accusing gangsta rappers of making kids believe guns are cool?
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