He’s behind you – oh yes he is!

Panto season started early on Friday as the door to No10 Downing Street opened and to a barrage of photo flashes and frantic shouted questions out came the man we all love to hate carrying a cardboard box.
The only things missing from Dominic Cummings’ departure were a ticking crocodile and a chorus of boos.

It was pure theatre right down to his deliberate use of the front door – a signal to every national editor and news media boss that he’s open for business.

As narratives go, you couldn’t write this one – except someone has, depending on which reporter’s snitch sitting behind that closed door you want to believe. And even then I expect the truth would be something a bit different.

That said, the scenario of this deeply disliked figure – whose public image rests somewhere between Rasputin and Cardinal Richelieu – meeting his eventual downfall at the hands of Carrie Symonds really appeals to my sense of the dramatic.

Meanwhile, Boris doesn’t come out of this well no matter how things actually played out and once Cummings starts talking, which I’m sure he will, it’s going to get even worse.

A way with words

Speaking doesn’t come easy to Rosie Jones. But cerebral palsy hasn’t stopped her from becoming one of the country’s brightest new comedians with appearances on comedy panel shows such as 8 Out Of 10 Cats where she was game for being given a series of electric shocks, and The Last Leg where last year she made a joke about climate campaigner Greta Thunberg which was shocking and hilarious in equal measure.

I choked on my chicken and bacon pizza!

On Thursday, those of us fortunate enough to see Question Time will have seen another side to Rosie as she proved to be more than a match for health and social care minister, Matt Hancock.

If you missed it, go to the BBC iPlayer and watch at least the last 10 minutes or so. I challenge you not to be transfixed. The entire virtual audience burst into spontaneous applause when she finished and even host Fiona Bruce couldn’t hide her delight at the TV gold she had just witnessed.

Speaking doesn’t come easy to Rosie Jones. But my goodness, it’s worth the effort.

An injection of hope

The reaction on social media to the prospect of a COVID vaccine being rolled out from December, has been depressingly predictable from the no one’s forcing me to do anything even if it is for the greater good brigade to the conspiracy theorists who think it’s all a ploy to put stuff into our bodies to control us.

The Government is rightly being cautious as the magic cure still needs to get approval and while short term side effects would appear to be minimal, we won’t know until at least 2022 if we’re suddenly going to sprout a third leg or turn into the walking dead.

But overall, putting aside the vast fortune that Pfizer is going to make out of this, I think there’s cause to be optimistic that if we can just behave for a few more months there may actually be a way out of this nightmare.

If Mr glass half empty can think that, surely there’s a glimmer of hope.

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I love dogs and I love kids, but if I see one more Facebook post where a dog is allowed to lick a baby’s face (and it mostly seems to be in the US) I’m going to start contacting state child services.

Stupid TV quiz answers of the week

I’m sure that the first question on a Tipping Point application form must be: Are you as thick as a plank? (last minute editing there)

Q: Brook, brown and rainbow are types of which freshwater fish?

A: Dolphin

Q: Which former Conservative Party leader was known by the initials IDS?

A: Margaret Thatcher?

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Edward Case

Columnist