Hilarious clip of BBC News presenter reading out list of bizarre by-election candidates in 1984 goes viral

Hilarious clip of BBC News presenter reading out list of bizarre by-election candidates in 1984 goes viral

A by-election in Chesterfield in 1984 isn’t the most likely source of news in 2021 but a BBC News clip from that particular election has gone viral for a hilarious reason.

The election was significant for several reasons. Firstly the election was won by the admired Labour MP Tony Benn, who held the seat until 2001 when he chose to retire.

The second reason, and the reason the clip has gone for, is for the many opponents that stood for election with Benn on that day who sound more like a line for a comedy festival than a list of parliamentary candidates.

In the clip, delivered with the utmost seriousness by former BBC Newsreader Moira Stuart, the list of a record 17 candidates who stood as nominees for the election that happened on 1 March 1984. As well the Conservative candidate, Nick Bourne and Lib Dem Max Payne (no, not the video game character) we have a whole host of names representing all sorts of independent parties.

They are as follows:

David Sutch - Monster Raving Loony Party

Sid Shaw - Elivisly Yours, Elvis Presley Party

David Bentley - Four-wheel Drive Hatchback Road Safety

John Davey - Independent

Thomas Layton - Independent Ecology Party

Helen Ascomb - Death Off Roads

Jitendra Bardwaj - Yoga and Meditation

Donald Butler - Buy your Chesterfield in Thame Party

David Cahill - Reclassify the Sun Newspaper as a Comic

John Connell - Peace candidate

John Davey - No Increase in Dental Charges

Christopher Hill - Prisoner Party

Thomas Layton - Spare the Earth

Paul Nicholls Jones - Independent

Giancarlo Piccaro - Official Acne Party

Where to start? Always nice to see the Monster Raving Loony Party pop up and we’re curious as to what the policies of the Elvis Presley and Acne parties would have been. In addition, why were there two road safety parties?

Amazingly the clip didn’t mention actor Bill Maynard, best known for his role on Heartbeat in the 1990s, also stood in the election as an Independent Labour candidate.

This bizarre list of names and parties has provoked some amusing reactions on Twitter.

Thankfully, this type of tounge-in-cheek politics hasn’t completely died out in the UK. We still have candidates such as ‘Lord Buckethead’ and ‘Count Binface’ and the man who dressed as a fish finger and won 309 votes against Tim Farron in 2017.

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