Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Dracula deserts Shropshire – to MPs' dismay

 

MP Mark Pritchard speaking outside the House of Parliament
MP Mark Pritchard speaking outside the House of Parliament

In one of the more solemn moments of Culture Media and Sport questions, the Tory MP Mark Pritchard complained that a Dracula film was no longer to be made on location in Shropshire as planned but in “another European country”.

All the more gallingly since the county had been good enough for “many famous films including Atonement”.

Though Pritchard could not bring himself to say so, the film is going to be made in Hungary, possibly because it’s nearer Transylvania. Which is a blow to the “hundreds” of star-struck extras the producers had begun to recruit in Pritchard’s Wrekin constituency. Well, “star-struck” may be a stretch since the film’s most famous actor –so far – is George Lazenby, who once played James Bond to mixed reviews. In 1969.

The Speaker John Bercow said archly that he “assumed” Pritchard was not “auditioning for the lead”. This hint at a demonic role for the MP may have had an edge to it, since the two men have had their differences, including in 2011 when aggrieved at not having been called in a debate, Pritchard was told by Bercow to make way for his procession and answered: “You are not fucking royalty, Mr Speaker.”

Either way, the Culture Secretary Sajid Javid had scant comfort for Pritchard, paying tribute to the “fantastic talent in Shropshire” but reeling off films made elsewhere in Britain: Outlander in Scotland, Testament of Youth in Yorkshire and Far from the Madding Crowd, which is set in Dorset. Cruellest of all, he mentioned Dracula Untold – made in Northern Ireland.

This was the last DCMS questions of the Parliament, as the culture minister Ed Vaizey kept reminding MPs. The valedictory mood hardly excused a toe-curling exchange on superfast broadband in which the Tory Adam Afriyie remarked that “quite often late at night … my spouse looks at me quite suspiciously when she notices that I have been online.”

Javid responded: “I encourage my honourable friend’s spouse to ensure that the family filters are turned on.” Over-sharing or what?

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in