Roberts-Free Zone

Sit down, Chris Roberts fans, I have some sad news for you. I have just received my copy of Greenwich Time, and although the whole household has combed through it, no one can find any photographs whatsoever of The Man Himself. In fact we can only find one picture of any councillor – Jackie Smith (of whom I confess I’ve never heard, so it hardly counts.)

It’s a bit of a shock, I know. Going cold turkey – from up to seven pictures in one week to none at all could be quite upsetting for some vulnerable sections of our community and so far I have been unable to ascertain that the council have set up any kind of special counselling service to help people deal with the emotional fallout resulting from this decision.

I have to say that many will applaud this zero-tolerance attitude, and some may even point out that the paper seems to be pulling its socks up, but I feel that this measure is a little draconian.

My suggestion would be a softer regime. By instigating a “Pin Up Corner” (somewhere between the wheely-bins and the vast number of stories about small children gardening) Roberts addicts – and, indeed, all collectors of Chris-o-bilia could have their own section – without which the whole thing could go underground and become difficult to police effectively.

A specially-commissioned portrait one week, maybe; tougher images the next, for the hardcore mob (with accompanying Parental Advice warnings prominently-displayed on the previous page, of course.)

Perhaps Our Man sitting astride a Harley Davidson cuddling a kitten, or in action-pose standing on top of One-Tree Hill dressed as Neo from The Matrix ? Ah. I’m the only one that fantasises about that one then. The Phantom moves swiftly on…

I can just see the section now – lovely pictures – a heart-shaped one, perhaps, with dotted lines around it and a little scissor-symbol to make it accessible for all. Or maybe he could be wearing a chef’s outfit and it could be combined with a healthy recipe for all the vegetables those kids are growing?

Or what about his own cartoon strip? A Marvel/DC Comics superhero-type thing? The Councillor. No – that’s all wrong. That sounds more like a super-villain. Maybe a Photo-Love Story then? Let’s face it. The possibilities are endless. We could have an annual freebie calendar – Chris with a beach ball, Chris with mistletoe, Chris as the Easter Bunny…

Or – if this is all too much of a temptation for people trying to kick the habit, perhaps he could be quietly inserted into one of the other pictures. Peeping from behind bushes, or looking through one of the windows of the available council houses for example. Searching for him could take all week and there could be a small prize for the first person to Spot The Chris.

Subliminal, eh?

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