Thursday, February 14, 2013

The boyhood of Huhne

Comedians do not always tell the truth about their pasts. Think of Stewart Lee and his stories about David Cameron and Richard Hammond. ("Now that story about David Cameron is not true. But I feel what it tells us about David Cameron is.")

But I think Charmian Hughes is telling the truth here:
The Jesuits say 'Give me the boy at seven and I will give you the man'. 
Chris Huhne wasn't seven when I first met him, he was 11. 
It was 1965, I was nine and my family had just moved to London. Chris and his arty lively clever family lived in our new road. When his mother took her children to the Mermaid theatre to see some mime, she took me along too - my first ever theatre visit -and I saw my first comedy film, Peter Sellers' Two Way Stretch, with them as well. While my own mother said I was strange, Mrs Paul Huhne said I was interesting. She and her family were beacons of light and fun in the lonely claustrophobic urban catastrophe that I knew only as South Kensington. 
Like all boys, Chris was an annoying squirt who was sometimes allowed to play 'Julip Horses' with me, his sister and our friend Jessamy. Then one summer hols, now 14 and back from my convent boarding school, I dropped round to his house to find him disconcertingly yet excitingly transformed. It was a different species that opened the familiar door; deep voiced, with shining layered black hair and eyes as brown and round and alive as my guinea pig Truffles'. What's more, he now sported a black beret, broke spontaneously into French at will, had unpredictable fits of piano playing mid-conversation and had become a Communist.
Anyway, Charmian Hughes is appearing in Leicester tomorrow night as part of the Comedy Festival. If you go along you could ask her yourself.

No comments: