I was reading a Reddit post on which celebs are “assholes” and which aren’t, and can exclusively reveal that Chris Tarrant is a tosspot, whereas Irish post-punk bands The Undertones and Stiff Little Fingers are jolly nice people — Jake Burns wished me happy birthday, and Undertones’ bassist Micky Bradley gave me a can of Stella when I was 14.
Perhaps more surprisingly, Thatcher-era government minister Norman Tebbit is a good guy too, although he’s largely remembered as a leather-clad psychotic enforcer in the satirical show Spitting Image.
However, Tebbit also has a sense of humour. At University, my housemates and I would write letters to TV personalities requesting autographed photos to decorate our rented house on De Grey Street, Hull, AKA “Raunchy Studsville”. (Note, this is before the Web existed to divert students from essays etc).
We wrote to Tebbit at the House of Commons:
Dear Norm, we’ve watched your rise through the Tory party with admiration. Market Forces dictate that you send us a signed photograph. Get Down! The Raunchy Studs.
A week later, an House of Commons envelope addressed to “Raunchy Studsville, 1 De Grey St, Hull” landed on our doormat, containing a hand-written note on headed note paper:
Dear Studs, who am I to argue with Market Forces? Here’s your photo. Get Down!
and the photo was signed “Norm”.