Duke’s Diary - February 25, 2012
I didn’t like to mention it at the time but I was a little bit disappointed at not being invited to last year’s Illuminations switch-on.
It’s not that I’m a big fan of Keith Lemon or desperately needed to see any of the stars receiving their few minutes in the limelight in the pre-switch on show. It wasn’t even that I’d starved myself of food so that I’d enjoy whatever outside caterer had been brought in to feed the people who actually were invited with mini versions of real food.
No it’s more a case of having supported the ceremony through thick and thin (and usually wind and rain) for umpteen years, followed its progress from Talbot Square to Central Car Park (or whatever they call it for the one night a year that it gets posh) and lavished plenty of free publicity on it – I’d just kind of assumed that the current Town Hall regime would begrudgingly carry on where the others had left off. Whether they like who they invite or not.
Still, from what I hear the night wasn’t a patch on the good old days when Dr Who was in town and we’d all troop off to a hotel for the after show party until the early hours. Does that sound like sour grapes? It’s not meant to – it’s not as though I was the only person snubbed after years of supporting the event.
I’m trying to remember what I did instead. I certainly wasn’t reviewing Jimmy Carr at the Opera House that same night - again not because I didn’t want to but because I wasn’t invited to that either (well, to be exact, no provincial reviewers were invited) - he’s sensitive about things like that like Billy Connolly, Sarah Millican and a growing number of other performers who love the publicity on the way up but become a little sensitive once they start selling tickets.
No, I think we stayed in, kept warm, ate kebabs and drank Chablis (it was a Friday night for goodness sake). I’d just about forgotten the whole snub thing until I read about Uggie the Dog. He’s the clever canine who received rave reviews for his performance in that excellent award scooping film The Artist. But rave reviews or not, unlike the earlier four legged hero Rin Tin Tin, Uggie has not been invited to the Oscars. What an oversight.
But Uggie and myself are certainly not alone. Russell Brand’s invitation to the Peoples’ Choice Awards seemed to become lost in the post once he confirmed he and Katy Perry were no longer a couple.
But if there’s one thing worse than not being invited to something, it’s being asked to attend then dropped like a hot potato - ask BNP leader Nick Griffin who was “outraged” at being disinvited from a Buckingham Palace Garden Party after exploiting his invitation for political purposes. Members of ageing rock band Kiss also found their invitation to the Michael Forever tribute concert in Cardiff had been Cinderellad after unwise remarks were made by band member Gene Simmons about Michael Jackson. Still, that wasn’t as bad as Robert Mugabe who got as far as Hong Kong for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games before being turned away to avoid embarrassment to China. Better luck this year Bob, or try the Illuminations next time.