There were many people vying for a much-coveted spot on my fantasy dinner party invite list, however, after much soul-searching I have managed to come up with the following six names. Representing a wide spectrum of society, most of these have made it by virtue of contributing to what I think would for, sheer frivolity’s sake, make a relatively entertaining evening…
Captain Lawrence Oates
For me, Oates was the real star of Captain Scott’s [abortive] foray to the South Pole. He also manages to encapsulate that very British quality of abject failure, naturally coupled with the normal stiff upper lip – even in the face of the loss of limbs to frostbite. Of course, given his record it would be only sensible for me to check on him if were he to announce that he was just going to pop outside for a bit and ‘may be some time’…
Eddie ‘the eagle’ Edwards
Whilst his appearance on that awful diving programme with Tom Daley has dented my opinion of him somewhat, I still take great pleasure in watching his many attempts at ski jumping. Like myself, another Briton to have journeyed along the well-trodden path to [inter]national humiliation.
Whilst undoubtedly a man of great integrity, I also reckon Desmond’s a bit of a sweetie. No dinner party is surely complete without a man whom has been able to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and also dance with the Black Eyed Peas . I’ve also always harboured a slightly odd desire to sit on his knee and demand he read me a story but I’m fairly confident I’d be able to contain this for the evening, at least until after the Hors d’oeuvres have been served..
Slightly controversial choice, however, there are few things I enjoy more than watching him appear at international conferences and answer almost every question with a forty minute rant on British colonialism and its assorted ills. I do wonder, however, how well his rather limited repertoire of anecdotes would go down at my dinner party: ‘I know what you think of European Imperialism, Robert, but I was simply asking if you wanted some more amuse-bouches…’
Along with a mistrust of anyone wearing sunglasses indoors, an aversion to singing in public and a puritanical hatred of garden gnomes I seem to have also inherited my mother’s Trekky tendencies. I defy anyone not to cry like a child in the face of Leonard Nimoy’s portrayal of a man/Vulcan at war with himself.
Pope Benedict XVI
Given his recent resignation I can’t help but feel like his Holiness may be in need of a bit of company and so he’s also made it onto my list. I imagine that God’s Rottweillier might be slightly insulted at only creeping onto my list out of pity. I do hope he’d come though, it would give me a chance to fulfil a recent ambition to attempt to say the Holy See’s motto of ‘cooperatores veritati’ to him with a straight face.
Photo credit: Hannah Raval