Numbers can be difficult sometimes – just ask Right Said Fred

I don’t agree with the stance of the Fairbrass brothers over Covid rules but I do sometimes find the glut of recent statistics hard to take in, writes Katy Brand

Friday 03 September 2021 21:30
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<p>Fred, left, and Richard Fairbrass of Right Said Fred</p>

Fred, left, and Richard Fairbrass of Right Said Fred

Oh how my heart hurts for the Fairbrass brothers, who make up 100 per cent of the band Right Said Fred. It hurts because I genuinely loved their first album, Up, released in 1992. Yes, it had the novelty hit single “I’m Too Sexy” on it, but there were several other great songs that I listened to and enjoyed as a teenager. I still sometimes sing the lyric, “I’m like a swan – I only love once” to myself when I am in a happy mood. It’s a lovely song.

But lately the brothers Fairbrass have revealed a different side to themselves, becoming vocal anti-lockdown campaigners, joining protests in London against Covid-19 restrictions – including mandatory mask orders, compulsory vaccination, and social distancing. They have become a joke act all over again, only this time it’s not quite so funny.

I do not sympathise with or support the stance they take on any of this. However I couldn’t help feeling sorry for them this week as they gaffed all over Twitter with a basic misunderstanding about how percentages and probability work. It was pointed out in the news that fully vaccinated people are 47 per cent less likely to suffer serious illness, a statistic leapt on by the Fairbrass bros to suggest that this meant somehow you were 53 per cent more likely to be seriously ill if you are vaccinated, and therefore they remained unimpressed by the efficacy of the jab rollout.

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