It occurred to me the other day that there aren’t many real characters left. You know those people that spark debate, love them, loathe them, they get you talking, they get your blood boiling, they make you shout at the TV. When did everyone become grey? I’m not talking about those close to you, I’m talking about those in the public eye, you know politicians, actors, sports stars. There used to be so many, they’d have a opinion and by goodness they’d share it far and wide and to hell with the consequences. They’d behave in a way that would provoke either outrage or admiration. The singer Ozzy Osbourne once dragged a dead shark into his hotel room and dismembered it in front of his band mate Tony Lommi, nowadays Jennifer Lopez demands that her room is entirely white. We had Paddy ‘Pants Down’ Ashdown, Tony ‘Zig Zag Loon’ Benn, John ‘Two Jags’ Prescott, Dennis ‘The Beast of Bolsover’ Skinner and Norman ‘ The Chingford Skinhead’ Tebbit, today we have Theresa ‘Maybe’ May, Greg ‘Silent’ Knight and Danny ‘Beaker’ Alexander (after the muppet!). One of the best footballers ever, George Best, once said “If I had to chose between dribbling past 5 players and scoring from 40 yards at Anfield or sleeping with Miss World it would be a hard choice. Thankfully I’ve done both.” Today Ronaldo, one of the current greatest said, “Your love makes me strong.” Something has changed, we just don’t have those characters anymore and I’m not sure that we are better off for it. Today seems about not passing opinion, being liked by everyone, not rocking the boat. Does this mean that people in the spotlight today don’t have the courage in their convictions? I don’t know, they may have, but we’ll never know because they don’t say it or show it. I’m not advocating the dismembering of sharks, a rivers of blood speech or playing football still drunk and maybe it’s the age we live in, but I miss those characters. I want to love, I want to loathe, I want to shout at the TV because without it we’ll just drift along and be remembered for nothing. Call me amazing, call me abysmal but never call me boring.
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