Anorak News | Westminster – A Soap Opera

Westminster – A Soap Opera

by | 9th, June 2006

WHEN former EastEnders actor Michael Cashman became a Labour Member of the European Parliament we applauded and may even have cheered.

Who needs career politicians when you can have actors?

How inspirational it was that the man who played Colin Russell – the first man to kiss another man in a soap opera in the UK – should make it into public office.

We looked for others to make the move from telly to politics. Would EastEnders’ Pauline Fowler become the official voice of laundrette workers and platinum blondes? Could the show’s villainous Nick Cotton be the next drugs tsar. Would Roly the poodle do for dogs what the Pankhurts did for women?

But none came forward, and we feared that the great dream of a Westminster soap opera would come to nought, the actors lured away from politics life by Celebrity X Factor and The Bill. And then Adam Rickitt arrived at Tory headquarters.

Rickitt, who played Nick Tilsley in Coronation Street in a style that marked him out as natural to sit on Parliament’s wooden benches, wanted to be an MP. And not just any MP – a Tory MP.

He talked sense. He had nice blonde hair. He worked the camera. And he duly made it onto the party’s 100-strong A-list of priority candidates.

But the 28-year-old will have to wait for his big chance. As the Telegraph reports, Adam did not make a shortlist of 20 hopefuls for Folkestone and Hythe, the seat being vacated by Michael Howard, the former Tory leader.

Rickitt was supposed to reach out to the yoof vote. As he wrote in the Telegraph last week: “This is the very breed of voter we need to reach as a party, and the task will surely be made only harder if they see a member of their own generation immediately dismissed for wanting to get involved.”

Indeed. But Rickitt should comfort himself with the news that when it comes to elections, the youth vote he craves is more likely to be found watching telly than out voting…

Posted: 9th, June 2006 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink