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May 4th, 2010 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · 6 Comments · Politics

Patrick Stewart sympathising after learning that I am standing in Horsham

Had a great day today.  This afternoon was so good it even took my mind off the £160 it was going to cost to get the wipers fixed on our car – the linkage had broken – because we had a celebrity visitor in Crawley town centre.

Not just any celebrity visitor but Captain Picard from Star Trek, otherwise known as Patrick Stewart.

The best thing about it was that he is not just a celebrity lending their name to the campaign, but a committed and long-standing member of the party who knows all the isuues and can debate them with anybody.  If you will pardon the tacky, trekkie reference, he is brilliant at engaging with the public,

There were quite a few double-takes as we went around the town.  People were arguing about whether it was really the bloke from X-Files or not, and then flocking (if we are allowed to use that word now)  round him when we told them it really was him.

Chris Oxlade, Labour's candidate for Crawley with his newest fan

It turns out he is a really nice bloke, but I knew that already.  Back in 1993 I went to see his one-man show at the Old Vic when he did A Christmas Carol.  It was absolutely brilliant and led me to go back to reading Dickens.  Previously I had found Dickens a bit daunting, but after that show I ploughed through half a dozen of his books.

Anyway, my Mrs at the time wanted his autograph as she was heavily into Star Trek, but the crowds around the stage door were huge.  Patrick signed autographs for ages, but still the crowd was 12 deep around him when he had to call it a night and go home.  I wrote him a letter, care of the stage door, complimenting him on the performance and mentioning our disappointment that his huge fan base prevented us meeting him.  By return of post we had a big, glossy signed photo. Result.

The reason why Patrick Stewart was in Crawley is that he normally campaigns in the constituency where he lives, Bermondsey South, but this year he is doing a play in Chichester so can’t get back up there.   He called somebody in the party and asked if there was anywhere in Sussex he could help out and they suggested Crawley since it is marginal and has a direct rail link to Chichester.

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • Gordon Seekings

    Not my political party of course but a very fine actor. I’ve always thought one of his best roles was as Kala(sp?) in the “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” drama on TV starring Alec Guiness back before he found fame.

    • Skuds

      As the old cliche goes, I could sit and listen to him read the telephone directory.

      I still can’t read Dickens without doing it slowly and hearing it in his voice in my head.

      • skud's sister

        I can only read Name of the Rose with Sean Connery’s voice in my head. Even the bits that were Christian Slater.

  • Richard

    If the photo is anything to go by Skuds, you ought to be a Star Trek ‘lookalike’ – it might help pay off that £160 car repair 😉

  • alison cornell

    Andrew, everything you said was spot on except that Patrick Stewart was not in the X Files but X Men!

  • Skuds

    I know that. Writing blogs should be added to feeding gremlins on the list of things not to do after midnight!

    The difference between X-Men and X-Files is that I have seen all the X-Men films and never seen a whole episode of X-Files, which is some sort of achievement given that Jayne has the complete box set.