I was filming in Brighton last week and happened to bump into Jeremy Corbyn. Curiously, he was wandering around a Sainsbury’s car park on his own looking a little lost. I approached him, said hello, and asked if he needed any help? He said he was fine so I took the opportunity to thank him for not making a big deal about the whole David Cameron/pig-gate affair. I explained that I was the owner of a pig myself and that, as someone living near the Prime Minister’s constituency I was coming in for a lot of ribbing from locals.
He nodded in a non-committal kind of a way and seemed to look around for somebody ….
I thought he might not have grasped how bad things had got for me, so I started to tell him about the previous Tuesday. The sun was shining and I had decided to go for a walk with the dogs. “I wasn’t fox-hunting … just a walk, no red coats, no loaned horses, no animals killed …” Corbyn nodded in a distracted manner.
I continued my story. I was 10 minutes into the walk when my lovely local postman screeched up beside me and told me that Wilbur, my pig, was on the loose, and following me on the walk. At my mention of the postman Corbyn showed brief interest. Presumably he was concerned as to whether his pig-spotting constituted some form of forced overtime. I ploughed on with the story.
The postman gave the dogs and me a lift home in the back of his van (a dog’s dream) and I took my old Land Rover out to search for Wilbur.
In Brighton, a woman wandered out of Sainsbury’s and spotted Corbyn. She tried to talk to him but I told her to get in line because I hadn’t finished my pig story.
So, after 10 minutes or so driving around I spotted Wilbur in a field. I parked and called him but he wouldn’t listen. Wilbur is a stubborn pig and, much like Corbyn, does not like being told what to do. I hopped out of the car and approached him. He stared at me defiantly. I asked if he was going to come quietly. Wilbur indicated that no, he was not. So I grabbed him and tried to carry him towards the Land Rover. Wilbur is a big pig and was not going to give in without a struggle. It was at this moment that a large peloton of cyclists came round the corner. They all stopped and stared at the scene in front of them. Dom Joly, apparently struggling to force a large and angry pig into the back of his car. I could see what they were all thinking – “Bloody hell, they’re all at it.”
I tried to look casual and shouted: “It’s not what it looks like ….” But they were off, seemingly pedalling a lot faster than before.
Back in the Brighton car park, I started to chuckle at this silly misunderstanding. Jeremy Corbyn started to back away very slowly. I thanked him again for his integrity, and his help in keeping pig-owners from excess ridicule. He nodded and thanked me for my support. We took a selfie … he insisted … what a lovely man.
‘A woman tried to talk to Corbyn. I told her to get in line. I hadn’t finished my Wilbur story’
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