Dylan Jones: If you ask me

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The Independent Online

If you ask me, being compared to a politician can ruin your day. And for some reason it seems to happen to me all the time.

Once, many moons ago, back in the early Nineties, when the Tories were still riding high in the saddle, I was compared – without irony, and with a certain amount of glee – to Norman Tebbit, the notorious Chingford skinhead. Apparently I had the same stern demeanour, the same grey pallor and, obviously, the same follicly challenged coiffure. And then about seven or eight years ago, when I started to attend church regularly, the non-believers in my parish (Thin Lizzy fans, mostly) started calling me a bouffant-haired poodle – or, in layman's terms – Tony Blair, perhaps because they spent too much time reading Private Eye, or most probably just because they wanted to annoy me. And guess what? It worked.

This, of course, all changed a couple of years ago when I decided to put David Cameron on the cover of GQ. Then, almost overnight, I was Cameron incarnate, with one of my friends sinisterly referencing the fact that as we'd never been seen in public together, we must be one and the same person. Personally I was perfectly happy with this comparison (even though he looks nothing like me, the lucky chap) and being compared to DC was a lot better than being compared to Lord Tebbit of Chingford.

But now things have turned again, and just last week, as I was sunbathing by the pool in the Perpignan sun, a friend took hold of my fingers and said, in rather too loud a voice, "Oh my God, you're turning into Gordon Brown!"

The reason, I'm almost embarrassed to say, is my nails, which I bite, and have bitten – with impunity – since I was a small boy (and I have to say I'm rather good at it). I'm not proud of it, but I've certainly put the hours in. I have tried to stop on umpteen occasions (covering my nails with vile liquid, sitting on my hands, smoking, etc), but it is a vice I seem unable to kick – unlike smoking crack and having sex with goats, obviously. However, at the pool that day, I had a serious wake-up call, a revelation almost, and if anything's going to make me stop biting my nails, it may just be comparisons to our current Prime Minister.

Dylan Jones is the editor of 'GQ'

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