The Sketch: Ed, you are more Gromit than Wallace

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The Independent Online

Yes, a roller coaster of emotions. You must have felt them too, as Harriet wound up the conference. They'd been disappointed, proud, sobered, fortified and as Lord Prescott would say, optimisticated. Yes, and when the polls come out they might get that lovely whizzy feeling you get going over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Every post-conference poll gives a party a four-point bounce. Iain Duncan Something got four points after his Quiet Man speech. Ed Miliband will need eight to be a success.

Harriet said 3,000 people had joined the party since news of Ed's assumption, maybe he'll make it.

Already he's stamping his authority. Chief whip Nick Brown woke up to welcome the new generation and found a horse's head in his bed. I hope Ed Balls is avoiding those old, metal-grille lifts.

At any rate, the Sketch is rarely susceptible to optimism but there is a cracking good chance this is going to be a great leadership story. When you pause the TV on Ed Miliband's close-ups it is possible to sense in him a reservoir of ambition, determination, and indifference to cruelty. Let him complete his grip on the Shadow Cabinet, softly softly, gently gently. And let us follow at a safe distance in the knowledge this is going to end in Technicolor.

What were the highlights? We start with Gordon Brown's new communications strategy. It's the Elephant Man idea, essentially, bellowing at people "I'm not a politician, I'm a normal person!" He described his marriage saying: "It is a love affair that will never end." And then, echoing her compliment to him: "My wife. My hero."

We should consider ourselves lucky. If he thought normal people quoted Lady Chatterley, we might have got some of the most purple passages in modern politics.

That this is the last sort of thing normal people say was missed by him because – as 61 million people in the UK know – Gordon is far from a normal person.

The other great moment was Eddie Izzard's debut, chairing a Q and A for the new leader. God he made me laugh.

You know how Ed Miliband sloughed off his nicknames in a plea for "grown-up debate"? Forrest Gump, Red Ed and Wallace? Eddie Izzard took up the theme and interrupted his chairing to do some comedy. "You're not Wallace," he said... "You're Gromit!" Gromit is the non-speaking dog in the animated show. There was a certain lack of reaction in the hall. Izzard went on: "Gromit makes a space craft that goes to the moon and stops the evil penguin! So you're more Gromit than Wallace!"

Ed, with exquisite timing: "Let's have some more questions."

I haven't laughed so much at a comedian for years. Eddie wants to be an MP. Let it be so! We all want Eddie to be an MP!