Anorak News | Red Alert

Red Alert

by | 22nd, March 2004

‘NOT since the moment when Tony Blair stripped off his jacket to reveal two drenched armpits have a man’s sweat glands proved so newsworthy.

Next time Charles would wear basque and suspenders in a bigger size

The man doing a Blair is Charles Kennedy, whose propensity to sweat captivates all the papers.

The face of the leader of the Liberal Democrats makes it onto the cover of the Times, where readers can see the Scot delivering his speech at the party’s spring conference in Southport.

Described as “gaunt, pale and perspiring”, the marked shift in Kennedy’s appearance from the chubby, robust leader who delivered his first address as leader in 2000 is obvious.

The Telegraph, sensing injured prey, moves in close, zooming in on Kennedy’s eyes and a bead of sweat snaking its way down from temple to drawn cheek.

The Independent suggests that Kennedy is suffering from stage fright, the condition when “anxiety turns to panic”.

If so, Kennedy’s in good company, as the paper tells us how Stephen Fry boarded a ferry for France after a critical savaging for his performance in the play Cell Mates.

And Mel Gibson suffered so badly that, in his first school production, his legs and body failed him and he had to perform sitting down, causing him to vow that one day he would do the nativity play as it was meant to be done.

We even hear from a doctor, one Paul Miller, a consultant psychologist, who tells us that stage fright comes about when someone is asked to perform before a large group of people.

Another doctor is employed to state the obvious over a pair of lowered bifocals by the Times. There, Dr Thomas Stuttaford tells us that Kennedy “looked unhappy”.

Kennedy, however, will surely be slightly less unhappy knowing that if he is ill, the country’s medical experts are skilled enough to cope.’

Posted: 22nd, March 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink