Top ten Brians part 2

5. Brian Johnston, “Johnners”, cricket commentating legend. Co-creator of one of the funniest moments in all sporting commentary.

4. BRIAN BLESSED. When I worked in a college bar which was not equipped with a bell to ring for last orders, I used to shout last orders. I’d take a few breaths, loosen my shoulders and get my diaphragm into shape, then I’d take a great big breath and BELLOW “LAST ORDERS AT THE BAR PLEASE” – right from the depth of my belly. I felt just an inkling of the stupendous joy that Brian Blessed must derive simple from being Brian Blessed. I felt… blessed.

3. Professor Brian Cox. I like him because he has a similar haircut to me. And because he’s a great science educator and communicator. And his wife, producer and presenter Gia Milinovich is ace. There will sadly be no “top ten Gias” list until I know of nine more splendid women named Gia.

2. Lord Justice Brian Leveson. Or “Judge Brian” as I like to refer to him.Head shot of Lord Justice Leveson from the Leveson Inquiry website
During the hearings of the inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press which bears his name, many people became fans of Judge Brian. But the blood in my veins is tinged hipster, and so I must say I was there before you. Since the beginning of the inquiry, I mean. I’m not going to make out I was a fan since he was counsel for the prosecution in the Rosemary West murder case. That would be peculiar.

So, why Judge Brian? His interjections are always good. They are incisive and analytic, as here, discussing with Brian Paddick (who would be in my top 20) propriety in relations between the press and the police (p28 line 15 and on); and throughout this session with Colin Myler, picking through the events leading to the out of court settlement paid to Gordon Taylor in relation to phone hacking.

His humour is wry and dry. After a witness referred to “the black cloud hanging over the industry with the phone hacking and the News of the World, Lord Justice Leveson interjects with “I’ve been described in many ways. I’ve never previously been described as a ‘black cloud’,” with a delightful Merseyside dryness. Possibly my favourite Judge Brian quip is from the application from government counsel for cabinet ministers as individuals and the government as a body to be granted core participant status. “I’m sorry to be tediously legal about it, but, er, that’s my touchstone.” (watch from 6min 30 sec on the video. Do note the expressive eyebrows.)

The number one Brian, the Brian in chief, il Brian di tutti Briani, will be revealed in the next post. If I remember to post it.

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