Friday, 11 January 2013

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Sir Anthony Gerald Fasbender III (18/10/08)

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Welcome to Episode Two of From The Archives, and with it the second episode of The Yesterday Show. This week sees the arrival of one of the show's recurring characters: Sir Anthony Gerald Fasbender III.

As before, a little introduction. When I was in high school, studying A-Level Politics, I used to do impressions of political figures past and present. When it came to class presentations, I often borrowed one of the school's video cameras and filmed short sketches. I enjoyed doing it so much that I once made a tape with a close friend of all the different characters, wishing one of my other classmates a happy birthday.
My impressions ranged from the DUP leader Ian Paisley to then-Conservative Party leader Michael Howard, and none of them were exactly worthy of Spitting Image. But one of my favourite impressions to do was Tony Benn, who served as a Labour MP from 1950 to 2001 and who remains something of a student icon. Having read some of Benn's famous diaries in sixth form, I saw him speak in Trafalgar Square in 2006, and actually met him very briefly in 2009 during a week's work experience in Westminster.
Tom and I both studied Politics as part of our degrees, mine being History and Politics, his being PPE. Both of us were familiar with old politicians who were well-spoken but held outdated or bigoted views, and so we hit upon the idea of a politician with Benn's voice but the exact opposite principles. Sir Anthony Gerald Fasbender III is anti-working class and decidedly eccentric in his policies - and he only grows more eccentric in later episodes.
This episode sees him paired with another character, the trade union leader Freddy Croker. This was more of a foil than a character in his own right, having a couple of good lines mocking the radical Left but being essentially a simple rip-off of Arthur Scargill (President of the NUM during the Miners' Strike of 1984-5). Most of the characters in The Yesterday Show wouldn't stretch beyond the jokes within their respective episodes, but Croker is perhaps the most obvious one-joke character we did. His surname is an obvious nod to Charlie Croker from The Italian Job (insert joke about politicians being crooks).

Sir Anthony will make a further three appearances across the two series of the show, but here he is in his original pomp. Sit back and judge his policies (and Croker's) for yourself:
Daniel

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