What could be more traditionally English than the village fete ? And they don't come much more traditional than the Grand Village Fete at Thrupp and Brimscombe in Gloucestershire's beautiful Stroud Valley.
"At 11 am the first balloon race, launched by TV Presenter Nick Page, signals the opening of the Fête. This is followed by a procession, led around the field by the May Queen. The mainstay of the Fête is the many familiar competitions which are taking place throughout the day: - fancy dress, juggling, town crying, beautiful baby, ripping up Yellow Pages, doggie competitions, knobbly knees and the now famous – jam doughnut eating!"
But alas at 11 o'clock the only thing to go off was TV Presenter Nick Page himself. He had spotted a stall run by a local Christian group called PETRA, who believe in the literal truth of the Bible. The Daily Telegraph reports :
Only moments before the fete was due to begin, the organiser, Liz Peters, was handed a hand-written note.
"Liz, apologies, but due to the religious propagandist overtones of the fete I will be unable to assist," it said, adding, "Regards, Nick Page." Together with the note, Page had returned his judge's badge.
To Page, 33, a stand-up comic and former national debating champion, Petra's presence was like a red rag to a bull. "I am quite argumentative," he confessed.
"But we've got a Christian fundamentalist prime minister sending hundreds of people to their death every week and I couldn't believe people were promoting these sorts of ideas - at a village fete of all places."
Indeed. A Christian stall at a village fete ? They'll be having the Vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Brimscombe judging the baby show next.
Nick Page, a former estate agent, presents the BBC2 afternoon show Escape to The Country. It also shows in the land of creationism, America.
Straw hat tip to Blognor Regis, who described Mr Page unkindly, but not unfairly. Were he any further up said aperture he'd have a self-contained flat there.
Of course in one sense, as Blognor says, this story is very minor. But just imagine a BBC presenter walking out of an engagement because of the presence of a Muslim or Hindu stall. He'd be out of a job faster than you could say 'Kilroy-Silk'.