Before I was a singer I ran a company called Bonus Fire “selling and servicing over 500 discounted fire safety products”. Exciting, I know. In fact I still have the business, so if you just happen to need a great deal on a fire extinguisher you know who to ask. Anyway in the mid-90s there was a lot of pressure for companies like mine to get accredited to a new British Standard. It was an expensive process and I always doubted it’s worth. I only did it because everyone else was going it and I didn’t want to be left out. It is much the same, I think with Twitter.I have still to be convinced of the benefits of Tweeting your every thought and action to the world. Does anyone really want to know that “I am in New York shopping”? Tweeting can be dangerous too, especially if you’re performing panto in the provinces, away from the comforts of the metropolis. Owen Woodgate, a young actor appearing as Prince Charming in Lowestoft’s Marina Theatre Panto wasn’t too enamoured with the Suffolk seaside town and used his Twitter account to say as much, describing the place as “a shithole”, adding : “everyone is pregnant. No Starbucks. Hoodies dominate the streets.” Only when his Tweets hit the local paper did he revise his opinion, relying no doubt of his acting talents to say that “his first impressions of the town were way off the mark”, and that he was now having a “fantastic time”. Yeah, right.
Chesney Hakes, who finds himself entertaining my kinfolk in Grimsby made a similarly indiscrete gaff when posting a Tweet "Oh no it isn't" under a poster proclaiming "Grimsby – worth a second look". However, he immediately apologised after a complaint from a fan, tweeting: "It was a panto joke! I love Grimsby. Sorry if I offended you. I assure you I didn't mean to." The funniest thing about this story is the 20 odd reader comments on the paper’s website including this: “I was born and bred in Grimsby and even I think this is hilarious. He's only saying what 90%+ of the residents of that once Great Town think. Why do you think so many people move away???? It's a bloody eyesore, full of drugged up louts, pregnant chavs, lash heads & benefit cheats. It's a shame to say it but as has always been said since the dawn of time......The truth hurts.” You can read the rest of them here. Brilliant stuff.