Who would you invite to a fantasy rule of six picnic? Here are our choices
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From today in England, the ‘rule of six’ will be reintroduced, allowing friends and family to gather outside in small groups.

The measure was introduced back in September but was then ruled out again for the second and third lockdowns but with cases dropping the small social gatherings are being allowed to return.

However, gatherings, both indoors and outdoors, barring work or educational settings, will be against the law.

Home secretary Priti Patel is quoted as saying: “From Monday new laws will enable the police to fine anyone in breach of the rule of six. As we continue to fight this virus, I urge the public not to participate in social gatherings of more than six people in any setting, indoors or outdoors.”

Now that we can safely meet people outdoors again and hopefully avoid catching Covid-19 it got us thinking: who would you invite to a fantasy rule of six gatherings? It’s basically like the ‘ideal dinner guest party question’ but everyone will most likely be in a park and eating houmous and breadsticks rather than a fancy meal.

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Rules are as follows: You can invite anyone famous or noteworthy that is still alive and that’s it. Do remember only to invite five people as you’ll have to be the sixth person.

Here are our the indy100 team’s personal choices for this fantasy picnic.

Kate Plummer:

1. Priti Patel – to work out if she is genuine or an escaped pantomime villain.

2. Abby Lee Miller from Dance Moms – to satisfy a worrying obsession with the show that began in 2016.

3. Gemma Collins – to learn how to be more assertive.

4. Ann Widdecombe – because I’m starting to worry that Priti Patel won’t fit in in the group and the last thing I want is for the social dynamic to be awkward and for me to be accused of being a bad host.

5.Greta Thunberg – to ensure food chosen is sustainably sourced.

Greg Evans:

1. Anderson Cooper from CNN - because you’ll need some to keep the conversation going and there aren’t much better at doing that than the CNN anchor.

2. Professor Jonathan Van-Tam - as an expert in health protection he will be able to tell us what to do in order to keep safe and if things get a bit boring he’s always up for a football chat.

3. Roy Keane - speaking of football...the outspoken Irish man is never short of opinions and would definitely keep things lively.

4. Cardi B - possibly the only person who has thrived during the pandemic and it would be fascinating to see her and Roy would talk about. She’s also got a strong social media so could document the whole thing online.

5. Q of QAnon fame - this might be a wasted invite but surely it's the only way of finding out if this blighter exists? (He definitely doesn’t exist)

Hattie Brewis:

1. Moira Stuart- she’s been my idol for a good decade now, not only because she is a trailblazing journalist but because I met her as a waitress back in my uni days and she was lovely and hilarious. She’d be the gel that holds the group together.

2. Demis Hassabis - because I’m a massive AI nerd. Plus, you know that a former child chess prodigy, video game designer and qualified neuroscientist must have some good stories to tell.

3. Kanye West - I’ve loved Kanye since, aged 14, I bought my first copy of The College Dropout from my local Woolworths. Sure, he’s had his ups and downs but let’s find out what the man behind the mogul’s really like.

4. Andrew Scott - you can’t have a fantasy picnic without inviting a love interest.

5. My mother - she’s the person I most want to see in the world so I can’t exclude her, not even at the expense of other love interests (sorry, Adam Driver). It has nothing to do with the fact she makes the best sandwiches. Nothing at all...

Andy Gregory:

1. Nina Conti - while inviting a ventriloquist may well end up being a choice I’d regret, a guest armed with endless characters seems like a great way to boost the invite limit.

2. Alice Phoebe Lou- no night would be complete without some music, and I reckon Alice would bring a bit of soul to proceedings, and hopefully regale us with some tales of her busking years and the odd tune from her new album.

3. Bob Mortimer - with much of our lives largely curtailed by restrictions this year, Bob’s epic Would I Lie To You yarns sound like the perfect remedy.

4. George Monbiot - aside from his hair-raising stories of reporting from West Papua and the Amazon or, more recently, his visions for a more palatable future, it’s mostly the former zoology student’s appreciative take on the natural world which sounds like the perfect antidote to a year of Covid restrictions.

5. Ian McKellen - while there’s the obvious bonus of having Gandalf in attendance, the man’s a national treasure and, as a publican, seems like he’d give pretty decent advice on wines.

Bonus - The ‘Apparently’ Kid - while his vocabulary’s likely extended a little since he became a global sensation in 2014, who wouldn’t want Noah Ritter’s take on life at any dinner table.

Conrad Duncan:

1. Fran Lebowitz - Fran loves to talk and I love hearing her talk! The only downside would be I’d worry I’d inconvenienced her by dragging her out to the gathering.

2. Martin Scorsese - A legend of cinema and, most importantly, a good friend of Fran so they wouldn’t feel left out if they didn’t vibe with the rest of the group.

3. Harry Styles - whatever you think of his music, Harry feels like he was tailored-made to be a great casual guest - handsome, charming, yet refreshingly unpretentious.

4. Quincy Jones - the chaotic element. There are few people alive who have better gossip to tell than Quincy and he seems to be ready to dish it out in his old age.

5. Hunter Harris - Hunter reliably puts out some of the funniest posts on Twitter and it would be nice to have another person who’s not a celebrity so I’m not freaking out on my own…

Steph Cockroft:

1. Louis Theroux - for the low-down on pretty much everyone and everything, especially that topic that gripped so many of us at the start of lockdown – Joe Exotic.

2. Michelle Obama - because I’m a walking, talking cliche and she really is a fascinating human being.

3. Pink – there are so many beloved female pop stars to chose from, but the one who knows how to get the party started and raises her glass to being wrong in all the right ways seems like the obvious choice.

4. Nigella Lawson - A picnic isn’t a picnic without a really, really decent spread so what better way to ensure that happens than roping in a celebrity chef? There were a few in the mix, but Nigella’s recent micro-wav-ay moment – and just, generally, her utterly charming nature – has sent her soaring into my number one spot.

5. Jed Mercurio - purely so I can get his assurances that Ted Hastings is not – and never will be – a Bent Copper.

More: The memes that brought us some joy in the darkest times of the pandemic

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