SO there I was, yesterday afternoon, in a cubicle in a toilet in the House of Commons, when I hear a man walk into the room and start using the bank of urinals. While tootling away, said chap starts reciting a speech about the economy. Was it an MP preparing for a session in the main chamber?
As I went to wash my hands I looked across and this was no nervous MP, it was Bill Nighy, the actor who was brilliant as a newspaper editor in State Of Play series later turned into a film. He clocks me and then gets back to rehearsing his speech and what-have-you with admirable dexterity. What an impressive man.
Nighy, it turned out, was having a pit-stop on his way to the committee room next to the one I was going to. I was at the House to hear tenants collectively shout: Hands of our council housing. Nighy was speaking at an event next door organised by those promoting a Robin Hood tax, the idea of levying an extra charge from the banks to help the poor and protect public services.
Those doubting the wisdom of that idea might like to consider Nighy’s performance as a baddie banker in the campaign’s smart promotional film, directed by Richard Curtis – that normally lovey-dovey film-maker who recently changed tack and blew up some schoolchildren at Camden School for Girls for the 10:10 climate change campaign.