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Home > Politics

The Blairs: Guess who's coming to dinner? (Anthea Turner)

29 June 2005

The Blairs can be criticised for many things, but the most damning criticism is surely that they're just so strange they make Pete Burns look like a natural woman.

Recently a Lib Dem MP managed to get Downing Street to release a list of guests at Chequers from 1997 to 2003. Some of the choices are fairly innocuous - Andrew Motion, the poet laureate, or the rower Steve Redgrave. Poets and rowers don't have much to do with running the country, but if a dinner at Chequers is some sort of reward for people who've achieved something, then so be it, even if it's just making a boat go fast using your arms.

But what of journos like Andew Marr and James Naughtie? Should the taxpayer really be funding New Labour's obsessive media networking? The Blairs seem even to have got this a bit wrong, also inviting non-players such as Kirsty 'Nice Pins' Young, Anna 'Didn't You Used To Be On Good Morning Britain?' Ford, and, most bafflingly, Emma 'Last Seen On TV In 1993' Freud.

But it's when you get to the celeb contingent that the Blairs' judgement really has to be questioned. Not necessarily on the inconsequentiality of the guests, but why the fuck anyone would want to have them over for dinner anyway. Many of the guests are actually people you'd cross the street to avoid: Dawn French, Cilla Black, Elton John, Cliff Richard, Geri Halliwell, Mick Hucknall. But the real non-star of the show is...

Wait for it...

Wait for it... you'll love this...

Simon Mayo.


Simon Mayo is a faded Radio 1 DJ who formed the missing link between the dire old DJs of the 70s and the in-yer-face DJs of the 1990s. He's a transitional form between Dave Lee Travis and Sara Cox, a mutation of the Big Hairy Cornflake that evolved into Foxy Coxy and, later, The King of the Twats, Chris Moyles. What Mayo is remembered for is his lame jokes (perhaps that should be 'joke') and the fact that he looks as though he's melted slightly.

Why, precisely, does Tony Blair feel the need to invite Simon Mayo to Chequers? Is he so undiscerning in his love of 'celebrity' he's actually interested in what it was like back in the heady days of 1987, when Lady in Red was riding high in the charts?

Worryingly, Number 10 hasn't yet released a list of guests from 2003 to the present day. Fortunately TFT has acquired an MI5 transcript of a secret recording of a recent Chequers dinner party. It makes for shocking reading.





Cherie Blair: Well, we're delighted you could all make it this evening.


Flavour Flav: Yo, whassup.

Tony Blair: I think we've all, in a very real sense, contributed to the rich cultural life of Cool Brittania.

Michelle McManus: Can I have the leftovers? I'm still really hungry.

Paul Ross: Have you seen my new show? It's on at 4am on Meridian.

Cherie Blair: That sounds absolutely fascinating. What's it about?

Paul Ross: Basically I make unfunny comments about European condom adverts.

Cherie Blair: That's wonderful. How do you come up with these amazing ideas?

Roger Taylor from Queen: Personally I see myself as a channel for a higher creative power.

Michelle Marsh: I've got tits.

Tony Blair: So what would you all like to see happening in New Labour's historic third term?

Andy McNab: Slot some more fucking ragheads.

Nell McAndrew: I don't like having opinions. It makes my head hurt.

Narinder from Big Brother: Obviously I'd like to do more TV work. Or just any work, really.

Frank Skinner: I like doing it up the bum!


Saira off The Apprentice: No, but seriously. As a focused, ambitious Asian woman, I'm Asian, ambitious and focused and that's what I'd bring to any project and if people can't deal with that it's because they don't appreciate my focus, ambition and Asian-ness.

Bez: I just want some fookin' draw cuz youse lot are fookin' doin' me fookin' 'ead in, like.

Tony Blair: Well, that's quite a diverse range of ideas, but all deeply interesting and all equally valid.

Jon Tickle: Have I told anyone about my stupid idea for a toaster yet?



John McCririck: I think women should spend more time either on their backs or baking cakes, like my wife, or as I like to call her, 'The Big Fat Stupid Worthless Cow Beast'.

Cherie Blair: Yes, women have played an enormous part in Britain's achievements since 1997.

Cheryl Tweedy: Except the jigaboos.


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