Last week Richmond Council announced that they’d identified 10 suitable candidates for the Twickenham Advisory Panel. As you’d expect, the excitement levels went up a notch as rumours were rife about who these people were. And why.

Today another milestone as LBRuT have gone so far as to name them. These brave souls will help El Brute with the regeneration of Twickenham. It’s a bit like having a Board of Governors or bunch of Non-executive Directors only with less power. For the record, we think it’s a good idea to get citizens involved in Project Twickenham and having a small group of keen locals on a Twickenham Advisory Panel un-hindered by party political ties (we hope) will provide some fresh resource to the Council and offer some additional impetus to the various initiatives already underway. It’s a big ask.

The tricky bit (which we assume has already been dealt with) is to ensure that our 10 panelists are not SIFs, wonks, nimbys, or gonks*. It’s important that as well as having ideas and vision for the town, these people are independent minded and not afraid to say so. Will the public and lobbyists be allowed near them? How long are will they be signed up for? We’ve no idea but hey, let’s get the Panel in place first. Sure, they’ll have political views of their own but we’d rather they were “10 good men & true” rather than “10 good men and True” (geddit? Lord True??). And yes of course, women are also eligible.

Here’s what’s going to happen next:
Lord True stands on a raised platform at the entrance to York House, microphone in hand. Hundreds of locals fill the grounds cheering and waving. The atmosphere is electric. Cameras flash.

True raises the mike and says: “Hello Twickenham. This is Nick speaking. Panelists, you are about to be introduced live to Twickenham. Please do not swear!”

The first of 10 black stretch limos hoves into view. Security guards leap from the slow moving car. It draws to a halt. A guard opens the rear door. A foot emerges and touches down on the hallowed tarmac in front of York House. We are ready to meet the first of the Twickenham Panelists…

Blimey, it’s only bloody Nick Frost. The east-end boy turned west-side suburbanite and star of numerous comic adventures on film & TV is perfect for the role. He’s got popular appeal, does a great “gormless” look (but we assume that’s the acting) and he’s a bit fan of a local business in the form of the TCB Tattoo studio. Get in! We’re off to a flyer…

Next car. It’s Peter the florist from Peter’s Petals. The one and only Mr “Two Bunches for Five Fifty, Nowww” from outside the station. This guy must know the comings and goings of Twickenham commuters like the back of his hand. He’s also well placed to take a view on the station development. Now then, how much for two bunches did you say it was, nahhhh?

Limo number three and it’s the guy who operates the Hammerton Ferry from Twickenham to Ham. He’s been chosen to represent the border control aspects of Twickenham life, to keep tabs on people trying to sneak into Twickenham by river. He’ll surely keep those snobbish Surrey types at bay.

Fourth limo. Cor blimey, this is amazing. It’s Jane “Little Voice & Tesco Adverts” Horrocks. El Brute have clearly decided that it’s important to demonstrate the town’s broad demographic, and so who better to do that than someone from “up north”.

From limo number five we see the little legs and long socks of Mr Rob Brydon. Twickenham’s rugby stadium plays host to visitors from all around the world and so in another nod to the broad mix of folk we have our very own representative from the international community. First the north, now Wales. Whoever next?

Limo Number 6…. Where is Limo Number 6?? Well, then we all woke up and our Fantasy Panel disappeared. Instead of the razzmattaz of a grand parade into York House we just scanned the Council press release to see if we knew any of the following:

* Judith Bunting
* Graham Henderson
* John Kelly
* Paul Leonard
* Philip Morgan
* Zarina Naqvi
* Ben Rostron
* Martin Seymour
* Judith Strong
* Graham Strudwick

We soon realised that we didn’t know them. Any of them. We’d like a brief bio on each of them but in the meantime we wished them well for the important task ahead but couldn’t help but speculate on what might have been with Twickenham’s “Ultimate Panel of 10”.

So, who’d be on your list? Let’s be ‘avin ya!

Council Press Release

* Glossary:
SIF – Single Issue Fanatic.
Wonk – Someone obsessed by study or political policy
Nimby – Not In My Back Yard (derog: opposer of progress)
Gonk – Fluffy toy made from plastic body and brightly coloured fur.