Today was meant to be a day off. A guest post on here to spare me writing anything, a day doing little before going off to the I Love Beeston Awards this evening in my capacity as a judge. A lie down in the garden, perhaps. A bit more research
into tadpoles, maybe. But no. Daftly, just before I went to bed, I checked my email.
First surprise is BBC Radio 4 heavy news programme The World Tonight, who get in touch regarding a venue for a forthcoming election special they’ll be hosting from Beeston. We are the World, it seems.
Then I noticed that something I had written on a whim about the Justice For Men and Boys party had caused a bit of a stir with their leader, Mike Buchanan. He sent through a comment (see last article) deeming me, in an unimprovable Alan Partridge choice of words ‘A blithering idiot’.
Over on his website, he wrote an angry post about Beestonia, tellingly assuming I was female. One of his followers backed him up on this, now labelling the writing here as the work of ‘a precocious schoolgirl’. Well, unlike some Tory activists I’m not one to go online pretending to be a 13 year old girl. And I have man parts in my pants. I imagine Buchanan and his rabid horde of misogynistic mules must think I’m a traitor to the male gender, a man who, well, quite likes women, and holds the radically absurd view that women are people too.
Someone who really loves to blur the gender lines – ‘Womens’ clothes? They’re not womens’ clothes, they’re MY clothes, I paid for them’ – is Eddie Izzard, multiple marathon man; polyglot comedian and, perhaps, Mayor of London one day. As I finally decided to go to bed, an email pops up telling me that Izzard would be in Beeston later that day (it was well past midnight by then). Blimey. Election madness in full force: celebrities descending on our town isn’t a common thing (oh wait, it is actually) .
So, at midday I’m in the rather strange position of standing next to comic legend Eddie Izzard; who’s also bought along Tom
Watson MP: the guy who faced down Murdoch in the phone-hacking scandal, and as such a bit of a hero of mine: Murdoch bears deep grudges, and is nastily attacking Labour, the SNP and Miliband relentlessly through his scummy newspapers for daring question his control over the British news agenda. Somehow, we’re talking about strawberries. Loads of telly cameras jostle along the High Road as the pair, here to support Nick Palmer, visit Chimera, Hallams, Iguazu and other shops, as well as chatting to random passers-by (one lady hugs Izzard ‘You’re my first famous person’ she cries. Another says ‘I’m much more excited to meet Tom Watson’, to which Izzard pulls a mock-petulant pout).
They then head to The Bean, where the star struck staff come out for a picture (‘anything to get that bloody Soubry out’ one tells me), and then we get to do a quick interview. I explain to Tom Watson that I’m not in anyway incorporated to Murdoch through my publishing ‘Ah good. They don’t seem to want to talk to me anymore’, and Izzard is quite charming, commenting on the Gallic nature of my t-shirt ‘Good and French’. I’ll upload the audio when I get a minute.
We were Izzard’s 50th stop off this election (And Tom Watson is somewhere in the seventies). Quite an incredible work-rate, but he is passionate to see Labour win ‘It’s just a question of fairness. I’ve done well for myself in life, but I struggled when younger, and that never leaves you. I want to do what I can with what I’ve got to help others. And that’s what Labour does’. He was delighted by the turn out of activists ‘This is what we do best. We have the people. The Conservatives just have the money’. He repeated his intention to stand for election, either as MP or as London Mayor, in a few years time. Insert your own ‘London doesn’t need another comedian’ joke here…
This was no show-up, smile at the cameras then head off thing either. He really talked to people. When he stopped to chat to a guy ambling by called Rob (a self-confessed, recovering Lib Dem voter in 2010) he waved off the Labour Party staff trying to move him on and really got into a discussion, finished, as is inevitable these days, with a group selfie.
Rumours that Soubry has spent the afternoon negotiating a price to get The Chuckle Brothers to accompany her to Costa Coffee are entirely made up.
Bizarre day, but I have deep suspicions that we have weirder to come. Keep tuned to Beestonia for all oddities, including a bit of a scandal involving a naughty bit of misappropriation of funds…. Also, College House plays host to the second Beeston Hustings tonight. I have heard that Soubry isn’t bothering turning up, due to not liking Beeston Express editor Sheila, who is hosting the hustings. From 7pm. We have our guest reporter Tom to cover the event: but let us know how it goes!