Monday, November 03, 2008

The winning formula

Andy Zaltzman is not only funny, he’s also very observant. On Saturday, he pointed out:

on the evidence of the past 40 years, the Democrats win elections only in years in which a British driver takes the Formula One world title, and British drivers only ever win Formula One titles in years in which the Democrats take the White House.
The Jimmy Carter-James Hunt ticket did the business in 1976. In 1992, Nigel Mansell and Bill Clinton saw each other to glory, and four years later, President Clinton and Damon Hill will have sent each other congratulatory boxes of chocolates in the post.

He’s right (and let’s not forget the John Surtees-LBJ dream team of 1964). Every British Formula One win in an election year has also seen a Democrat win the presidency.

So Barack Obama will of course be delighted by Lewis Hamilton’s great British victory yesterday (he’s also the first black – nay, the first mixed-race – driver to win Formula One).

Incidentally, someone – very possibly the man himself – has been having fun with Andy’s Wikipedia page:

Born and brought up in the Shire, Zaltzman is the son of Morgan Freeman and Anthea Turner. Zaltzman has repeatedly claimed that Turner was not his first choice of mother and that originally Dame Maggie Smith had been drafted in for the role, unfortunately due to a clash of commitments she had to pull out 6 months before Zaltzman's birth. Zaltzman took up acting at a young age, with walk on parts in such classics as "The Wizard of Oz", "Gone with the Wind" and "Pokemon 2000", but it was his role in "Piddling with Paxman" as the uncredited "Slice of Toast" that really won him plaudits. Indeed Mark Kermode described it as "The purest piece of acting that we have seen in a generation. He (Zaltzman) was more bready than Lulu during her "Boom-Bang-a-Bang" years."

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