Dom Joly: Strictly speaking Henson is still more into rumba and tango than rough and tumble

"Sometimes I have dreams about me being a great painter, like Banksy, or being a poet. I wrote a poem in the green room before Strictly last week"
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The Independent Online

Gavin Henson has finally decided to stop arsing about in the Arctic and dancing with wolves to put his rugby career back in gear. Following his highly publicised split with Charlotte Church, the perma-tanned Welsh fop has really put the game on the back burner. Can he now get it back together and make the national team again? First he has to prove himself at his new club, Saracens, before convincing the national coach. Having eavesdropped on his telephone calls for a couple of days, I'm not convinced he's fully motivated for a return to the rough and tumble yet.


"Gavin, mate?"

"Who's that?"

"It's Warren."

"Warren... Warren Beatty?"

"No, you big gullah, Warren Gatland – the coach of your national rugby team... Warren Beatty, you big poof, why would Warren Beatty be ringing you?"

"Oh, I've just written a musical of the film Shampoo, you know, the one with Julie Christie in the Seventies... I really want to play Beatty."

"Whoaa... rewind. You've written a flaming musical?"

"Well, Charlotte did most of it, like... but I gave all the songs their names."

"Well, I thought you were going to Saracens, not poncing about in a musical."

"I've got various interests, rugby is just one facet of that. I love musicals, dancing, sleeping in the Arctic, hair-care products, tanning salons..."

"All right, I get the picture. I've got the whole nation on my back telling me that I've got to put you in the national squad and you're behaving like Judy Garland on ecstasy. For Christ's sake, Gav, get a grip. Start doing what you're good at, not all this poncy nonsense. Tell you what, why don't you pop down and join the boys for a training session next weekend?"

"Weekends are really bad for me because of Strictly, Warren."

"Well, fine, how about next Tuesday?"

"Next Tuesday... Hang on, let me have a look in the diary... Nope can't do that – Ann's having a little knees up that evening, can't miss that."

"Ann... Who's Ann, your new squeeze, you dirty dog?"

"No, God no, Ann Widdecombe."

"What? You're missing rugby training to go out with Ann Widdecombe? There's something loose in your skull, Henso."

"Oh, there's nothing going on, but she's a top laugh – last week we all ended up at hers with a crate of Absolut – it was a riot I tell you."

"Listen, Gavin, I really want to give you a break back in the side but you're going to have to prove to me that you want this – right now it doesn't really seem like you do."

"Oh no, I do, boss... It's just that... well, I'm a bit more than justrugby... Sometimes I have dreams about me being a great painter, like Banksy, or being a poet. I wrote a poem in the green room before Strictly last week. I was sitting on my own, plucking my chest hairs in the mirror, when it came to me. Do you want to hear it?'

"Uuummm, no not really, Gavin, I'm quite busy and...."

"'Are you a bee, is that what you want to be?

"Or are you a wasp?

"You fly in the air and pretend that you don't care....

"But you do, I know that.'"

"Gavin, seriously, focus for a second, I need to know that you want this 100 per cent. What's that bloody noise in the background? I can't hear a thing."


"What's that bloody noise?"

"I'm blow-drying my hair! I'm on The Alan Titchmarsh Show this afternoon. I'm cooking my signature dish, nasi goreng."

"Gavin, you've got to listen to me, mate. You've got to come back to rugby, mate, stop hanging around with these showbiz pansies and get back rucking with the boys. I'm seriously worried about you, boyo."

"OK, Warren, I hear you. Oh, did I tell you I've got an offer to host Cash In The Attic? They're getting rid of the current guy, supposedly his hairpiece is becoming too obvious and guess who they want to host it instead?"


"Yeah... How did you know that?"

"Because you just told me."

"Did I? Bloody hell, I'm not supposed to tell anybody until they've paid off the old guy. If the press get a hold of this it'll be all over the shop."

"Right, Gavin, I'm going now, I don't think there's much more to say."

"Great speaking to you, Warren – I'd love to chat more but I'm opening a Pounderama at one before the Titchmarsh gig and then it's straight to the Beeb for rehearsals – work, work, work..."

"Right. See you then, Gavin."

"See you, Warren. Shall I just turn up on match day, see you there sort of thing?"

"I'll call you, Gav – honest."