Sunday, November 26, 2023

Rev., Tom Hollander and the shrinking market for Nick Clegg trivia

I went to put some flowers on my mother's grave this afternoon. When I got back I saw a tweet by Andrew Male about rewatching Tom Hollander's situation comedy Rev. He said it has lasted well and even looks prescient:

I now realise how much it was a show about a changing Britain, one where humanity and generosity were gradually being replaced by something more cruel and corporate.

That made me think about how the series and I how I would watch it on DVD with my mother in the days when she was still well enough to come over to my house. 

Andrew Male says that, like Doctor Who, it's all on iPlayer at the moment.

Then a tweet arrived from a Senior Welsh Liberal Democrat Who Now Writes Political Thrillers, asking if I knew that Nick Clegg had been directed in a play by Sam Mendes. I didn't know it. 

Peter Black's tweet sent me to one by Marie Le Conte. which quoted a 2010 Guardian article about... Tom Hollander's situation comedy Rev.

The vital passage says of Hollander:

At Cambridge, where he studied English, he took the title role in a memorable 1988 production of Cyrano de Bergerac that brought together an interesting array of talent. Sam Mendes, a childhood friend from Oxford, was the director, their pal Tom Piper was designer and Nick Clegg, then a frequent student actor, played Carbon de Castel-Jaloux, captain of the cadets.

The market for Nick Clegg trivia has been falling for years, yet I can remember when a blog post about his great great aunt was enough to get you a column with the New Statesman website.

And Tom Hollander's verdict on him has lasted as well as his sit com:

Hollander can't recall Clegg's student performances, but thinks he did well in this year's televised leadership debates. "I would say he's a better actor than Gordon Brown and a worse actor than Tony Blair."

But it was when Blair stopped acting, and everyone else despised him, that I came to have a grudging respect for him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's another low-grade bit of Nick Clegg trivia in the Times today - apparently he was at Cambridge with Dame Sharon White, ex John Lewis, Ofcom and the Treasury.