Thursday, April 06, 2006

Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank

Dont know if anyone else has seen any of Dinner with Portiallo - you'd need cable/freeview or the like as it's on BBC4. It's one of the most surreal things I've ever seen - Michael Portillo and a bunch of guests, the one I saw included Rosie Boycott, Ken Clarke, Angela Rumbold and Gerald Kaufman at a dinner party, chatting about some chosen subject - in this case the year 1973. I don't know who thought it up, but they'd obviously been taking something. I'm not sure whether they were just looking for a bit of a concept, just pushing the established boundaries regardless of them needing pushing or what. Oddly though, it kinda works. It enables you to have a civilised discussion involving about eight people, simply because half of them have their mouths full (although this suffered when they'd finished a course, and they began to all talk at once). And also, there are some oddly entertaining moments, like Rosie Boycott being blissfully oblivious of a piece of food hanging off her chin. I'm actually quite surprised that people agreed to do it, as I imagine being filmed eating, let alone trying to have a high-brow discussion at6 the same time, causing quite a lot of self-consciousness.

I have to say, Portillo, possibly epitomises an odd pattern I;ve noticed over the years - ie. that Tory politicians turn out to be amazingly likeable when they aren't actually in a place of huge influence in their party or the country. Take Major, Billy Hague (although it'll be interesting to see more of how he fares as shadow home sec), IDS, hey even occasionally John Redwood! They all turn out to be pretty nice chaps as long as you know that they won't be in any position to feed their own grandmothers to the bugblatter beast of Traal. Oh, and Portillo holds another place in my heart: he is the closest I have come to achieving a longheld ambition, finding a white man called Denzil (it's Portillo's middle name).


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