Interview: Matt Forde – ‘Trump is a massive, technicolour, HD dickhead’
The Nottingham impressionist and podcaster takes his Political Party across the country
Matt Forde has been ripping politicians several new ones for many years with his satire and impersonations. A former adviser to New Labour, that hasn’t stopped him from mimicking everyone left, middle, right and beyond. In this Q&A he wonders what Jeremy Corbyn needs to do to enter No 10, revels in the array of characters in modern British politics and speculates on what the UK-US ‘special relationship’ might look like post-Obama and once Cameron has exeunted stage right
As fun as the UK political battlefield is at the moment, is it ultimately being put into the shade by the US Presidential nomination process?
They're both equally exciting. Trump is a massive, technicolour, HD dickhead. Morally it's shocking but in entertainment terms there's something perversely thrilling about it all. I don't want to see President Trump but there's a part of me that just wants to see how crackers it would really be. As for politics in Britain, it's in a wonderful state of chaos. The Tories going bonkers over Europe, Labour going bonkers about everything, the SNP still energised by the last referendum and desperate for another and UKIP paradoxically having the moment they've always dreamt of while not quite capitalising on it themselves. In short: it's nuts. Which is good.
What would be the funniest / scariest scenario for the 'special relationship'? Boris and Trump / Boris and Hillary / Boris and Bernie / Boris and, well, anyone at all?
I notice Corbyn didn't even enter your equation, which is noted and shall be mentioned to the leader in dispatches. Expect to attend a re-education program on the benefits of state control or be sent to the gulag. Part of me thinks Boris / Trump would be the funniest, because you'd finally have a politician who made Boris look normal. Trump / Corbyn would be a different level though: a right-wing President and a socialist Prime Minister. Where's the common ground there? Corbyn likes drain covers and we know Trump likes walls so maybe local planning law could be their unifying cause?
Despite the array of characters we have in British politics today, do you think it's still a little stale in comparison to the 1980s and the open goal which this gave Spitting Image?
Not at all. Part of the joke of Spitting Image was how it elevated quite bland individuals into these huge characters. British politics hasn't been this vivid in my lifetime: Boris, Sturgeon, Farage, Corbyn, McDonnell, Salmond, Rees-Mogg … politics is bursting with character. Google Michael Fabricant: he's a true British eccentric.
With recent revelations this week about the Blairs' property 'portfolio', is there anything that would take the shine off Tony for you?
The same things that would take the shine off any politician: if he was rude, proven to have lied, been disrespectful or condescending to someone. I like most politicians, even ones I disagree with. They do a very difficult job and are rarely acknowledged for it. I'll still take the piss out of everyone though, including Tony Blair. Everyone is fair game!
Who is the toughest leading British politician to impersonate?
Corbyn (if you count him as a leading British politician). Partly because he's a new one I'm having to learn and partly because his accent is a mixture of English middle class with a sort of cockney affectation.
What do you think Corbyn needs to do to have any hope of becoming PM?
Change his name to Boris Johnson.
Matt Forde: Get the Political Party Started is currently appearing across the country.