Hague tells Tories: `Dumb on down!'

WILLIAM HAGUE, at 38 Britain's youngest political party leader, is taking television's oldest game-show host as his new role model. He has decided the Conservative Party has much to learn from 71-year-old presenter Bruce Forsyth.

So taken is he with Mr Forsyth's The Price is Right show that he wants to model part of October's Tory party conference on it. He plans to parade, contestant-style, his new MEPs and councillors before delegates, prior to inviting them - in Bruce Forsyth's bonhomie-brimming catchphrase - to "come on down" to the podium.

He believes the game-show format will draw attention to the rising stars in his party and present the public with a fresh set of Tory personalities. Young candidates who won seats at the European elections, such as Theresa Villiers and Daniel Hannan, are to get the full "celeb" treatment, to emphasise the party's recent election victories.

However, the plan is causing some dismay among staff at Conservative Central Office, who fear that it could be perceived as tacky. "They will be offering us toasters next if we win a seat," commented one party member, who prefers to remain anonymous.

Mr Forsyth famously likes all contestants to be a winner and Mr Hague believes his idea will convince voters that the Conservatives are a winning party. Indeed "winning" is to be a key theme of the conference.

Delegates will be encouraged to applaud and cheer as the "winners" come down to the podium. They may be personally greeted by Mr Hague, exactly as Mr Forsyth does on television.

But some party insiders fear that the move will prove another costly embarrassment, like Ffion Hague's diamante pound-sign necklace or the purchase of a kitchen table for the shadow cabinet to sit around.

A number of Euro MPs are already warning that they would rather attend a meeting of the European Parliament than be press-ganged into "coming on down". Figures such as Lord Bethell, the veteran Tory MEP who regained a seat for the Conservatives in June, could look a trifle out of place in a game-show style format.

But Mr Hague may have to order some of his young stars to return from Strasbourg so that he can show them off.

"The party conference coincides with a Strasbourg session and it could be that we are finally endorsing the new European Commission then," said James Elles, Tory MEP. "This could be a very important meeting for the Conservative group."

Although immortalised by Mr Forsyth, the catchphrase "come on down" was in fact coined by the former host of The Price is Right, Leslie Crowther. He used it to summon members of the audience from their seats and invite them to play for a string of prizes.

Mr Forsyth, who is rumoured to earn in excess of pounds 1m for the show, has through the years been assisted by young, attractive hostesses, of whom the best known is probably Emma Noble, now the wife of James Major, son of former Tory Prime Minister John Major.

It is not yet known if Ffion Hague will play Emma to her husband's Bruce.

Arts and Entertainment
A host of big name acts recorded 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' in London on Saturday
musicCharity single tops chart
News
people
News
peopleChildren leave in tears as Santa is caught smoking and drinking
Sport
premier leagueHull vs Tottenham match report
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
tvStrictly presenter returns to screens after Halloween accident
News
peopleFormer civil rights activist who was jailed for smoking crack cocaine has died aged 78
News
Boxing promoter Kellie Maloney, formerly known as Frank Maloney, entered the 2014 Celebrity Big Brother house
people
Sport
Dwight Gayle (left) celebrates making it 1-1 with Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak
premier leagueReds falter to humbling defeat
Arts and Entertainment
Morgana Robinson
arts + entsIt is not easy interviewing Morgana Robinson. Here's why...
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Solicitor NQ+ Oxford

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CORPORATE - Corporate Solicitor NQ+ An excelle...

Reach Volunteering: Financial Trustee and Company Secretary

Voluntary Only - Expenses Reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: A trustee (company d...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager

£45000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin