Former Match of the Day presenter Des Lynam, once the national face of BBC television sport, has announced that he backs the UK Independence Party.
The broadcaster revealed that he voted for Nigel Farage’s Ukip in last week’s county council elections, explaining: “I feel they have something to offer the country as a whole, and Sussex.”
To mark his conversion to the anti-European Union cause, Mr Lynam has rewritten the lyrics of Stephen Sondheim’s Send in the Clowns in a riposte to Kenneth Clarke’s cutting pre-election description of Ukip’s leadership.
Mr Lynam now joins the Dynasty actress Joan Collins and television chef Rustie Lee as celebrity Ukip supporters, along with radio presenter, political commentator and columnist Jon Gaunt and former BBC Radio 1 DJ Mike Read.
The chat show presenter Robert Kilroy-Silk briefly represented the party in the European Parliament, but resigned to found his own party.
Mr Farage said he was delighted to welcome Mr Lynam on board and promised that his adapted Send in the Clowns lyrics would be sung next month at the party’s South-east regional conference.
Des Lynam's version
We used to be rich/Now we are not/But here at last/there’s a chance/To stop the all rot/ Send in the clowns.
Isn’t it bliss/Don’t you approve/They just kept tearing around/But they wouldn’t move/We need the clowns/Send in the clowns.
They’d never stopped/Opening our doors/Now you are learning/The vote that we wanted was yours/We’ll make our entrance again/With unusual flair/Sure of our lines/Well be right there.
We’ve had the farce/Their fault I fear/We know that you want/what we want/No need to fear/They call us the clowns.
So send in the clowns/And give us a cheer.
What a surprise/Who could have thought/You’d come to feel about things/We felt you ought/Only now will they see/
You’ve drifted our way/No surprise now/It’s no cliché
Isn’t it strange/Now they have fear/They’ve lost their timing this late/In their careers/And where are the clowns/Quick, send in the clowns.
Don’t bother we’re here.
The alternative version – by The Independent’s John Walsh
Isn’t life a bitch?
Isn’t life unfair?
Me here at last unemployed,
You needing care –
Do we vote for Farage?
There’s too many Poles here,
There’s too many Slavs.
We need a party that doesn’t
Do things by halves,
That’s happy to oblige –
Should we vote for Nige?
Just when I started
Believing the Tories,
Thinking their stuff about voting on Europe
Mr Cameron shifts the goalposts
It gives me the pip.
Should I join Ukip?
But Nige’s such an arse.
Such a beer-swilling twit.
Whoever portrayed him as Toad of Toad Hall
Scored a palpable hit.
And who’s his entourage?
Are his cabinet, by and large,
All as bad as Farage?
I’m tired of the Tories,
Their Etonian orgies,
And I’ve had it right up to here
With Georgie bloody Porgy.
But could I live with myself
If I spent just an hour
In the company of Ukip’s
Gosh, that was close.
I can’t deny,
I lost my moral compass
For the wink of an eye.
But now I’m revived.
It was all a mirage –
Goodbye Nigel Farage.