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This is a question I'm your biggest Fan

Tell us about your heroes. No. Scratch that.

Tell us about the lengths you've gone to in order to show your devotion to your heroes. Just how big a fan are you?

and we've already heard the fan jokes, thankyou

(, Thu 16 Apr 2009, 20:31)
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Clement Freud - proper legend
I'll be honest, I hadn't even heard of Clement Freud until 2002 when he decided to run for the post of Rector at the University of St Andrews against Germaine Greer.

I first saw this stout, slow moving man at the hecklings where each candidate delivered a speech prior to answering questions from the audience. Though his body may have been frail, his diction and wit were second to none and he won me over instantly.

"During the campaigning for this election a great deal has been made of the fact that I'm 78. Don't worry as this is an entirely temporary situation. Next year I fully intend to be 79."

In closing he finished with, "I see by looking at my watch that I'm running out of time. I must say this timepiece is very dear to me as it was my grandfather's. He sold it to me on his deathbed."

Later during the heckling part someone posed the following to him...

"Sir Freud, I've seen you speak before at [some event] and you told the exact same joke about Sigmund Freud's watch then."

And without missing a beat.

"Well consider how lucky you are to have only heard it twice. Some of my dear friends who've seen me speak more frequently have endured hearing that joke dozens of times."

He duly won the election to become our Rector for 3 years and my girlfriend and I made sure we attended his inauguration. In the old and majestic surroundings of Younger Hall it was a bizarre occasion: on the surface a very formal event with the ceremonial maces, properly attired officers of the university and a few verses of our latin anthem The Gaudeamus. But it was also half an hour of, what was essentially, some of the best standup I've ever heard.

I was rushing to an appointment in Paris and was driving there excitedly about to use the EuroStar for the first time. On the way I was listening to a local radio station and there was a request for a song to be played from one friend for another.

"Could you play 'Walking on Sunshine' please for my friend Janet as today she is 111."


"Oh sorry, I misread that, she's ill!"

I later recounted the story of this amusing slip up to my French hosts over drinks.

"Et alors il dit, '...qui est aujourd'hui 111. Aucun désolé, elle est malade.'"*

[dramatic pause while we all laugh]

"The French have no sense of humour."

I didn't ever meet him properly but when I graduated he was there on the front of the stage, applauding each and every student with the gusto that belied his then 80 year old body. I gave him a little bow before heading over to the podium pleased to receive such a small compliment from such a great man.

RIP Clement Freud.

*apologies for my rusty translation
(, Fri 17 Apr 2009, 15:06, 4 replies)
I like this.
A lot.
Damn well written.
(, Fri 17 Apr 2009, 15:36, closed)
thank you sir
(, Fri 17 Apr 2009, 16:57, closed)
Dittos Hard!
(, Fri 17 Apr 2009, 16:58, closed)
And thank you bill
(, Sat 18 Apr 2009, 3:29, closed)

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