I think it is important for everyone to have a Nemesis – or at least someone at whom one can rant and moan and blame for anything and everything. For me that person has been Ben Fogle.
Which is a bit like saying that you don’t believe in fairies, or that puppies are hideous. The revelation is often met with gasps and a hand going to the mouth in horror.
Why? Isn’t it obvious? No one can be that nice. There must be some evil alternate existence in which he dissects fairies and plays football with puppies. Oh, and then there is the simple matter of the green-eyed god of jealousy. I want as many people to read my books as read his, I want to be on TV as much as he is (well, maybe not as much, but a little bit more than the near nothing I have now).
But most of all, I want to elicit the same response he does from every woman involved in the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, my wife and countless others.
When he accepted our kind invitation to him to become a patron of the society there was swooning. I have already written about the delight when he signed some envelopes for us and how the announcement of his raising money for the charity by going off on a jog was met with awed silence (even though I raised more through the agonising acquisition of a hedgehog tattoo).
And now? What am I supposed to do? One of his adoring fans at the BHPS has passed on to me an article he wrote in The Times. “A Prickly Affair by Hugh Warwick is a wonderful story…” “The book is funny and moving…” “Read it and you will see hedgehogs in a whole new light.”
Is this deliberate torture? Do you think he knows what he is doing? Destroying my mental punch bag? Damn and blast is all I can say (because I have not the verbal dexterity of Mr Fry).
So, who next? Who else can I moan about now I have to accept Ben Fogle might actually be a force for good?
ps – couldn’t find a picture of him with a hedgehog … so stole the one of him and a cheetah from his website … when I went to Namibia and stroked a cheetah there was no-one there to record it … he is at it again….