How Ali told Tony to stay away from Homer

Click to follow
Indy Politics

Alastair Campbell has never been known to mince his words - and documents released last night revealed he warned Tony Blair he could be "barmy" to risk appearing on The Simpsons.

Alastair Campbell has never been known to mince his words - and documents released last night revealed he warned Tony Blair he could be "barmy" to risk appearing on The Simpsons.

As preparations grew for war in Iraq, the issue of whether Mr Blair should accept a role in the satirical cartoon was also preoccupying Downing Street.

Mr Campbell, the Prime Minister's director of communications at the time, made clear his scepticism, but, when he was overruled, suggested script changes and a strategy for justifying the appearance.

A restricted memo to Mr Blair on 7 January 2003, and copied to senior aides, reminded him of the invitation to provide a voiceover for a special London edition of The Simpsons.

Mr Campbell attached a suggested script and counselled: "Everyone here thinks it's barmy, but the barmy side of me retains a slight attachment to the idea, so the final decision must be yours."

Ten days later, Mr Campbell told Mr Blair he was working with The Simpsons' writers on a script that was "usable and funny". He warned: "There must be a rationale - namely that you seize any opportunity to promote Britain."

Mr Campbell's proposed jokes are not disclosed, apart from suggesting that Homer Simpson should make a wisecrack about the Queen building Windsor Castle so close to Heathrow Airport for convenience.

Comments