Weird in this day and age of beautiful people populating our tv screens, and consequently filling our newspapers with celeb gossip, to see all-and-sundry swooning over the unlikely sex symbol of ex-political reporter John Sergeant. Take this female columnist for the Mail on Sunday who fantasises about marrying him. She calls him “such a cute and squishy chubby chops” and drools “Wouldn’t going to bed with him be just so delicious, like cuddling up next to some kind of big, soft, squidgy manatee… Don’t you, also, love the way John chuckles, with his hand over his mouth, not like a respected TV newsman of many years standing, but like a naughty little boy?”
The thing is, he already is married to the now retired (?) head of sixth form at the school I attended. To us pupils he was always known as “Mr Sergeant” and was always a good sport. Back in the late 80s when he was BBC chief political correspondent he wasn’t too la-di-dah to come along and do careers talks on getting into journalism with Mrs Sergeant approvingly looking on. Later on in 2006 at the Labour party conference one of their offspring – Mike Sergeant – came up to me with a big furry broom person and camera-man to ask if I minded saying a few words for BBC News 24 on what it was like being a young delegate (not knowing I was one his his mum’s ex-pupils). The other person in the vox-pop was Chukka Ummuna, now Labour PPC for Streatham, who was I think wearing a poncho. So Sergeant junior is following the family tradition (as BBC political person not sixth form teacher that is).
I’ve not been watching Strictly Come Dancing but I do like the idea of Mr Sergeant winning, in the same way that Chantelle the non-celeb won “Celebrity Big Brother”. A deluge of articles proclaim him a national treasure eg in the Independent, Times, Mirror etc. As far as his dancing goes though, by all accounts the school report is a “could do better” for the time being.
Brucie bonus: watch Mr Sergeant reminiscing on how he was handbagged by Thatcher back in the day with footage to demonstrate his finest hour.