Wednesday, 14 July 2010
Squawked at: 15:28:00
Another fascinating article in our series of short hackiographies of the faded stars of yesteryear who have been absent from the public eye.
Dame Petey Mandelslime of Goy was a consistently unpopular pantomime Dame who trod the stage in many third rate shows and risqué revues in Britain and on the continental circuits; she hogged the limelight for decades in an attempt to perfect her act but ended up only being remembered for her sinister sliminess and her jumbo-sized fibs.
Born to an undistinguished panto family, her birth name was Peter Mandelson, Petey spent many years learning her stagecraft from masters of the unsubtle and moronic performances that were the mainstay of Lefty Gang pantomime shows. She was brought up during the hey-day of Lefty Gang stage shows and was fascinated by the leading acts of the day such as KGB employee, Micko Foot and his infamous "Doddering Useless Leader" act and Big Jimbo Callaghan with his superb "Winter of Discontent" and "Wot Crisis?" stand-up routines and the ever unpopular Kneel Kinnock who wowed audiences with many classic routines like the Brighton Beach Splash-In and his "We're oooowwwwriiiiight!" catchphrase (also here).
An inspiration - Famous performers Kinnock, Foot and Callaghan in their prime at a panto festival at Blogthorpe in 1950
Despite learning from such accomplished clowns and fools, Mandybum never achieved the faint popularity that seemed to come so easily to her predecessors. Although she worked very hard to perfect her trademark act with the clever twisting of truths, the athletic back-stabbing and her unsurpassed ability to ooze slime, she was always the last act at the bottom of the bill.
Backroom Party Wonk
Constant failure prompted Petey to relaunch her act many times. She first tried to perfect the "Backroom Party Wonk" act in the 1990s where she would slide in unnoticed through back entrances at political meetings and attempt to persuade politicians to do what was wrong. But disaster struck when two of her on-off boyfriends, Tone Blair and Gordo Brown fell out over her two-facedness. They feuded and sulked for over a decade, dragging other Lefty Gang panto performers into a barely-suppressed civil war.
1992 to 2004 - Grand Old Labour MP from Oop North
Petey tried to perfect another stage act as "Grand Old Labour MP from Oop North" but this failed to get the electorate's interest and, to be frank, she was very unconvincing as she pranced around the Hartlepool Hippodrome trying to entertain northern labourers in the matinee performances.
1997 to 1998 - Camp Cabinetier
In 1997, Tone Blair won the exclusive franchise rights for running all pantomime shows in Britain. Mandelslime was rewarded by Tone for her long years of subterfuge and spin by being given a part in the "Camp Cabinet" show. However she continued to indulge in her weakness for blatantly hurling sharp objects into innocent people's backs and was witnessed at the scene of the particular violent drive-by back stabbing of famous cancer sufferer, the saintly Mo Mowlem.
As the panto season progressed, Petey gained fewer friends and more enemies in the Lefty Gang show and she was eventually sacked by Tone for telling more porkies. It became known that she had lied to a Building Society in order to purchase a glamour bachelorette pad to entertain her gentlemen friends. However she failed to tell them that she had received a "loan" from a nice friendly old businessman, a Mr Robinson, in exchange for secret favours. Petey was very unrepentant but was forced to leave the "Cabinet" show by Gordo's friends.
1999 to 2001 - Ulster Queen
Petey spent many months in the wilderness and was desperate to try another act. Then, willing as ever, her old flame Tone gave her one. She tried for a few performances touring Ulster in her "Irish Secretary" act. During this time she became very friendly with some charming exotic gentlemen from the East, the Hinduja Brothers, who plied her with money and charms. She foolishly gave the gentlemen some VIP passes which was strictly against the house rules and when she tried to lie her way out, Tone had to reluctantly cancel her act again.
2001 to 2004 - More Wilderness Years at Camp Mandy
There followed a protracted period where no Lefty Gang shows had any openings for Petey. No matter how desperately she tried to get into any openings, the twice-disgraced Dame would be given the bum's rush at every attempt.
2004 to 2008 - Lord High Continental Panjandrum
Eventually she cadged another favour from her old flame, Tone Blair, who found an attractive, well oiled opening for her in Brussels. She became a high ranking star in the lucrative, long running Euro Panto where she played the Lord High Continental Panjandrum and obtained the odd chuckle from audiences when she pretended to do trade negotiations about bras and ladies' shoes with the Chinese. During this time she met a new boyfriend from Brazil and they shared a glamorous apartment in the fashionable Fagguettes area of Brussels.
Although she and her boyfriend became astoundingly rich from this gig, she still longed for the traditional betrayal, thuggery, blackmail and nastiness of the good old Lefty Gang Panto in the West-mincer Palais. She often remarked on how she missed the exotic costumes, the stars in their eyes, the treachery in their hearts, the blackness of their souls and the daggers in their backs.
After many years enjoying an exclusive, luxurious lifestyle that most normals would prostitute themselves for, Petey moved back to London, hoping that one of her old flames might give her another opening to fill.
2009 - Exalted Supreme Nabob of all the Known Universe
As bad luck would have it, her old on-off beau, Gordo, who had taken over the management of the Lefty Gang show, was having various relationship problems and he had a gap that desperately needed filling, so he summoned Petey for an intimate chat. As a result, Petey was given the main billing at the West-mincer Palais in her most prominent and slimy act to date; she was given the huge role of "First Secretary of State, Lord President of the Council and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills". Many objected to Petey being given this high honour when the audience hadn't even voted for her. But with her typical air of entitlement and disdain for "democracy" she continued in her slimy act with not a care for anyone.
This was the pinnacle of Petey's career and she played the role with all the over-the-top ham acting, smugness and campiness she could muster. She became a household name in all media and West-mincer Bubble households while the rest of the country continued to suffer huge tax rises, falling standards and shouted obscenities and threw things at her.
2010 - Careering to a Slimy End
Petey and the other members of the Lefty Gang show suffered bad reviews and falling audience numbers. Eventually, to everyone's relief, the Lefty Gang show was cancelled in May 2010. As she packed her carpet bags to leave the West-mincer Palais and gazed once more in her favourite bejewelled mirrors, Petey still felt she could achieve greater fame and, although saddened by yet more cock ups, she still desperately tried to make another comeback.
The rival "Lib Con All-Blinging All-Prancing" show had just moved from the shadow theatres to start a short run at the West-mincer Palais. Its main stars, Davo The Cameroon and Niko Klegg became very popular with a few unimaginative journalists. Petey felt some of that stardom should be his and attempted to make indelicate propositions to the unworldy Cameroon. It all ended in embarrassment as Dave Cameroon had to seek a court order to stop Petey stalking him.
Cameroon's pretty wife, Sambo was viciously attacked by Petey after a cocktail evening on the terrace bar at the Palais. She suffered many scratches and ended up having to defend herself by grabbing Petey's favourite poodle and throwing it at Petey.
Fairy Tale Ending
As Petey slid into obscurity again, she tried to climb back to fame by having a ghost written book of Lefty Gang fairy tales published. Her ghost writer described strange and sinister goings on in the fabled land of "Future Fair for All", with stories like:
- Gordon the grumpy ogre
- Tony the fairy princess
- Babe Millibands in the wood
- The Golden Goose that sold bullion at a loss
- The government full of Pinnochios whose noses grew longer for 13 years
- 646 little piggies whose house expenses and ACA allowances were blown down by the big bad wolf of West-mincer
- Jack and the Beanstalk. A tale of tiny Jack the voter and Prescott the Giant. Tiny Jack the voter struggled to avoid being squashed or eaten alive by Prescott the Giant who was a large greedy, bad-tempered, stupid, really greedy giant and who amassed too much money and too many large mansions.
- The Faerie Queen. Some reviewers felt this sad tale was the only sincere piece of autobiography in the book.
- The Evil Witch Queen and the Innocent Electorate. Other reviewers disagreed and felt that this tale of dark deeds was the only sincere piece of autobiography in the book.
Fortunately only wonks, journalists and obsessives bought this excruciatingly bad book.
After this failure, Petey had to content herself by occasionally appearing on Newsnight in that boring discussion bit with has-been performers at the end. She also petitioned the "Womans Hour" producer to do a piece on nail varnish but was told she was too girly for their robust, fat feminist editorial style.
Soon after that, Petey died of botox poisoning. Some suspect it was a deliberate act of assassination by one of the estimated 60 million people who hated her. Her funeral was attended by her housekeeper and her poodles.