Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Essex and drugs and rock 'n 'roll…

Seeing Wilko Johnson performing Dr Feelgood's All Through The City on Jools Holland's New Year's Eve bash made me realise it's been another very newsworthy year for Essex. 

Not only does Wilko appear to have beaten off terminal cancer: Russell Brand is now the Che Guevara of the new left, and his book Revolution is a best seller; Grayson Perry has had another successful TV series and presented a New Statesman lecture on the default male at the Royal Institute; while Phill Jupitus starred in the musical Urine Town and had his mug on posters on Shaftesbury Avenue. Made in Dagenham hit the West End as a musical; Mark Wright and Pixie Lott starred on Strictly Come Dancing, Gemma Collins came and went pretty quickly from the jungle in I'm A Celebrity and Joey Essex got his own series in Educating Joey Essex.

In the world of politics Ukip met Carry On as the brilliantly-named Roger Bird and Natasha Bolter traded allegations in Basildon. Ukip's Basildon candidate Kerry Smith blamed homophobic and racist remarks on his medication; Douglas Carswell re-took Clacton after the council painted over a satirical Banksy picture worth thousands; and Braintree MP Brooks Newmark had to resign after sexting a picture of his private members' bill. 

On TV Mr Drew's School For Boys was another hit programme about the Brentwood School's headmaster's work with troubled children and the Tour De France travelled live through lovely Essex. The county was even featured on Radio 4 in Essex, My Essex, Ian Sansom's tribute to his birthplace. And we had a Billericay Dickie beer from Billericay Brewing. It's been emotional.

Will 2015 be able to match that? Probably so; for Essex is seemingly the county no-one ever tires of writing about. 

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