TO BOLDLY GO: As celebrities go, William Shatner is the gift that keeps on giving, having long since won the battle to turn shameless self-parody into a positive character trait, and a beneficial career move. The tragedy of Shatner is that almost nobody, except perhaps Christopher Walken, has managed to pull off anything resembling this feat.

In an article on his new autobiography on the site, Shatner is quoted on the inadvisability of getting involved with fans – or Star Trek fans, at the very least. Citing what sounds like personal experience, Shatner says that fans arrived at the captain’s quarters, so to speak, with a few issues, and more than a few fantasies, in tow. They would insist on being “beamed up” – whatever that’s supposed to mean – and would shriek “So, this is what it's like to be in bed with Captain Kirk!”

“You can't imagine how much of a downer that is in every sense of the word,” Shatner writes. And that, Scotty, is what we call too much information.

As if he didn’t have enough to worry about with a credit crisis, botched new tax policies and a recent electoral trouncing, British prime minister Gordon Brown is apparently launching a charm offensive, with new policies aiding housing, families and schools and, if an Associated Press story yesterday is to be believed, a tentative plan to appear on a reality TV show.

Brown is entertaining a spot as a guest judge on Junior P.M., a British reality show modeled roughly on The Apprentice, where contestants try to prove they have what it takes to lead a constitutional monarchy. Brown has admitted to being a fan of reality shows in the past, and has to deal with an image problem that dogs him as glum and humourless.

To this end, according to the AP story, he has tried to soften his image recently, “holding talks with pop star Shakira and recording a video message for American Idol.” It sounds like promising, at least – the long conflict between Shakira and Britain has been a problem for the country’s foreign policy.

Of course, none of this seems to have done much good, as Brown’s Labour party suffered terribly at the hands of the Tories in recent elections, and is presumed to likely fair as poorly at a special election next week.

Here’s a radical idea - maybe Brown shouldn’t be running about trying to look like someone’s dad throwing gang signs and going emo; perhaps this might at least partially account for his party’s poor performance in the polls. A humourless politician, at least, is one that doesn’t give the impression that he has something to laugh about, at our potential expense.

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