Tebbit, you’re havin’ a laugh

150 150 Rob McGibbon

I nearly just choked on my morning pastry a moment ago after reading Norman Tebbit’s intro’ in his article for today’s Daily Mail about Spitting Image. He says, most proudly – to no doubt show us that he has a sense of humour and is one of the lads who can take a wind up – that he liked his puppet. Yeah, rght.

Those of you with the girth and grey hairs of age will recall that he was portrayed most unfavourably as a dark-eyed, brutal henchman – Thatcher’s heartless enforcer.

I appreciate that this is not a matter of State importance, but I am highly irritated by Tebbit’s assertion and hereby accuse my Lord of telling a big fat porky. But how do I know?

My first celebrity interview was with Jeffrey Archer in 1986 when I was a reporter on the Wimbledon News. Our conversation turned to Spitting Image and he said firmly: “I can tell you – but this must be off the record – that one person who is most hurt by his puppet is Norman Tebbit. He doesn’t like it at all.”

Being a wide-eyed beginner I was quite emboldened by the fact that Archer had trusted me with something (at the time) so potentially newsworthy, albeit off the record. I faithfully guarded it for 20 odd years (as if it was worth it, eh).

Despite the fact that dear Jeffrey went on to become something of a world class fibber himself, I have no reason to doubt his account. Hence, this needs to be said: Norman Tebbit hated his puppet and it is no laughing matter that he should pretend otherwise in a family newspaper for filthy lucre.

These politicians, eh, they simply can’t break a habit of a lifetime.