EXTERMINATE! I have interviewed some pretty strange types over the years but none more challenging than a Dalek.
The unlikely meeting of a Kent columnist and an interplanetary killer alien who has turned plungers into offensive weapons happened the other Sunday during the Shopping Experience exhibition at Detling’s County Show Ground.
It had been a fairly ordinary day. I had been introducing acts on our entertainment stage and had already encountered a number of surprises.
There was singer Timothy Edwards (a chap to watch out for) who turned up with his name modestly emblazoned in studs not only on his own leather belt but on his girlfriend’s belt, too. Surely there is no better example of love and devotion?
There was a troupe of dancers from Canterbury’s da capo theatre school who arrived on Sunday morning fresh from finishing a run of the musical Annie at the University of Kent’s Gulbenkian Theatre and went straight into a frantic 15-minute routine which left me exhausted just watching. They are now auditioning for Rent.
There were performances by a Fulston Manor School folk band from Sitingbourne featuring a lad on ukelele, Sheppey’s Razzamatazz drama school showing how to have arguments on stage and Maidstone’s Theatre Train which went down a storm.
A man even came up to demonstrate how to loosen your nuts with something called a Milli-grip. I was so impressed I followed him to his stand and bought one. Mrs Nurden was not impressed.
“Why did you buy one of those?” she demanded when I returned home.
“Look,” I said, whipping it out of its bubble-wrap and holding it inches from her nose, “It’s like an adjustable spanner but it uses gravity so you only need one hand.”
“And you need one of those?” she replied.
“Not now, but you never know when…” I explained.
However, back at the show, nothing had prepared me for my destination with danger as the final guest of the day slowly glided into view.
“Exterminate,” it squawked as it waved its plunger at me.
“Excuse me?” I replied, never having interviewed a space traveller before.
It turned out it had landed from the Planet Skaro to give Demelza children’s hospice a helping hand for its fundraising. It seemed quite a good idea. I don’t know many people who have said “no” to a Dalek and lived.
Then it swung through 360 degrees and headed off to do battle with the burger van and a young chap selling foot-long hot dogs.
I like to think I somehow helped to save the world from an alien invasion…
(First published March 14, 2009)