Learning to Love Widdy

As the press has been plastered with images of Ann Widdecombe in sequinned splendour I thought I’d show her in more characteristic rig: sensible, moor-walking wear.

For those of you without access to or the inclination for British television, also for anyone recently emerged from the Burmese jungle, Ann Widdecombe is the current darling of a show called Strictly Ballroom. As a Conservative politician she was often mocked and reviled, but as a rhythmless overweight dancer they just can’t get enough of her. TV, of course, adores a freak show.

Ann and I were contemporaries at Birmingham University and I very much regret we never met. In the Sixties when it was regarded as a student’s obligation to get stoned and take part in sit-ins, it was hard to find sober, fuddy-duddy friends. She was in the Latin Department. Damn. I never thought to look there. Had I done so she might have saved me a twenty year detour into the wetlands of Socialism.

Anyway, my reason for writing about her this week is to express my admiration for the way she’s handling television. When all about her are pouting, writhing, and posturing like baboons with cheese wires between their buttocks, she has held firm. No decolletage, no copulatory moves. Just flattering mid-calf frocks and a nice line in self-deprecation.

It would be nice to think that some viewers might now have fallen sufficiently in love with her to listen anew to her views on abortion and global warming and think about them. Possibly without foaming at the mouth.

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