Andy Richardson: Who’s hot and who’s not, all will be revealed
This morning, we’ll find out who’s hot and who’s not. The Sunday papers will show us who has a press fixer worth their salt.
Some Ministers will bely their lack of intelligence by confusing such words as conscious with conscientious in national TV interviews, thereby changing the meaning of their message and prompting Twitter surveys to find out who is the thickest MP in Cabinet.
No names, but, really… Others will opine that they are as fit as a butcher’s dog before hitting the floor to give it ten while a shocked reporter looks on.
It’s been 32 years since I was first invited into a sporting dressing room by a former England cricketer to conduct my first newspaper interview.
Since then, there’s been an A-Z of actors and musicians, politicians and comics (usually the same thing, obviously), chefs and rock stars.
From swivel-eyed, drug-taking loons to potty-mouthed, Oscar-winning movie stars; from ultra-sensitive, Hollywood paranoiacs to private-aeroplane-owning nut cases. There’s been a kaleidoscope of characters.
Selecting a top few is never easy – it’s usually the quiet ones who are the best: those who don’t fear the consequences and bare their soul.
But a list gradually emerges featuring some of the usual suspects.
The Usual Suspects brings us neatly to Kevin Spacey, of course, the exceptional, two-time Oscar winner whose career hit the skids when he was accused of sexual harassment.
Spacey was wild and unconventional, he peppered each and every sentence with more profanity than a gangster with tourettes. Had a bleep device being used on the tape, it would have sounded more like a techno soundtrack than a conversation with a fellow human being.
Prince was surprisingly normal, despite a dressing room full of purple, pot plants and rock star ephemera. Daniel Day Lewis was as thoughtful as a philosopher, Rod Stewart as rambunctious as a guy down the pub, Bono as rock star-ish as a man who’s sold 170 million records.
Most politicians have been as oleaginous as pork lard, as slippery as vaselined glass.
It’s not just personalities that are revealed; the setting often talks volumes. UB40 flew journalists to the South of France to quaff expensive wine, Alice Cooper was more interested in wrapping up so he could go shopping with his wife and golfing with his friends while Kylie Minogue was 1.52 metres of perfectly-manicured, perfectly-polite, utterly-professional charm.
Ozzy Osbourne was the strangest.
He’d agreed to be interviewed by Men’s Health Magazine – no, it wasn’t running a special section on the nutritional benefits of eating bats.
Rather than do the interview via phone, Ozzy invited us to his palatial pad in leafy Beaconsfield, where electric gates and a cascading drive led to an imposing home.
A kitchen resplendent with expensive copper pans and intimidating dogs was near to a cigar room, in which the interview was to take place. Ozzy led the way.
We chatted about his health and fitness regime. Then, midway through the interview, like a teenager trying to impress a girlfriend’s mum, he decided that actions would speak louder than words.
So, rather than narrate his workout, he enacted it.
As I sat on an expensive chair, Ozzy dropped to the floor. He lay on his back, placed his hands behind his head, tucked his knees into the air and pulled himself up. One-ah, two-ah, three-ah, four-ah… As I watched on, my inner monologue kicked in: ‘Ozzy Osbourne is doing ab crunches at my feet. This is weird.’
I imagine Glen Owen, political editor for the Mail on Sunday, would have felt similarly perturbed when the man responsible for leading us through our greatest national crisis since the War did something similar.
Boris Johnson told his interrogator that he was as fit as a butcher’s dog, though judging from the photographs, there may have been a typo on fit/fat. After all, surely butcher’s dogs are fat, not fit, if they spend all day eating scraps and piling on the pounds… Ah, now I see what Boris meant.
Like Boris, Vladimir Putin has a fragile male ego and poses for photographs with guns, on motorbikes, flooring opponents during judo, swimming in icy waters or riding horses naked from the waist up.
Boris, however, looked like a political David Brent. A man who spent £900,000 on a paint job for his aeroplane as some 60,000 lost their lives to a virus, it wasn’t good for the optics.
But tomorrow is another day and who knows what it will bring.
A Match of the Day host presenting the show in his underpants, a Prime Ministerial advisor going for a test drive to test his eyesight, a Prime Minister stuck on a zip wire with his crotch ensnared by a harness?
We live in strange times.
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